Team styles: The boys were definitely more apt to blame a teammate for any mistake – whether the teammate’s error or their own. The girls were more apt to shrug it off. Missed balls just happen. At this age, both boys and girls would tend to watch the ball rather than run after it, although each team had one or two go-getters.
Goof-off styles: The boys tackle and dog pile. The girls chase and group hug. Both were easily distracted by each other. Some coaches have great solutions like individual buckets that they put upside down for each child to sit on. For both teams, I had a parent on task for watching the dug-out. I noticed that the kids do like some sense of order, and both boys and girls enjoyed yelling out the batting order and knowing "who's next."
Level of acting up because the parent (me) was there: My son seemed to act up the same, but usually it involved play with the other boys (see above). My daughter, I felt, had a little more drama and would demand rights (like getting to bat first), because I was the head coach. This also had to do with the ultimate decision power of head coach. My son certainly knew who to cajole for a favored position to play, and it wasn’t me.
Parent involvement: This is tricky because I can’t characterize it. The girls’ softball feels more intimate. The parents seem more involved and more into the game. Maybe it’s because there are less coaches (we need more help) and because the coaches are less experienced (we need more help). This could also be the age difference, in that the younger leagues allow parents in the field with the kids to help direct play (“throw to first, throw to first, throw to first”). It could also be coach style – I’m pretty open and welcomed anyone that wanted to help at a practice or game. I think that it’s great for the kids, boys and girls, to see their dads and moms involved. You don’t have to be skilled to help.
Impact on my kids: