TSSAA Rule Punishes Standout Pitcher
Antiquated TSSAA robs high school pitcher of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
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Photo by Danny Parker
Ryan Hagenow is a class of 2020 right handed pitcher out of Knoxville, TN. He plays at Farragut High School, and was recently named a Perfect Game All-American. The 6-foot-5-inch 200 pound University of Kentucky commit throws a changeup and curveball to compliment his 92 mph fastball.
Unfortunately, a Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) rule is going to keep him from participating in the upcoming Perfect Game All-American Game. The game is August 11 at Petco Park in San Diego, home of the San Diego Padres.
THIS HAS TO CHANGE.
Preventing kids from participating in prestigious all-star games because of the TSSAA rule below is ridiculous and out of touch with the sport of baseball. They have to hold this game between JR/SR years.
— 5Star Preps (@5StarPreps)
Jul 11, 2019
Unsurprisingly, TSSAA Executive Director, Bernard Childress, doesn’t seem to have an issue with the rule and this specific enforcement of it:
Youth athletic governing bodies are designed to protect their various stakeholders (players, teams, schools, coaches, umpires, referees, etc) and the integrity of the game. When that power yields results that hurt, hold back, or detract from the long term development and well-being of those stakeholders, they should be held accountable.
TSSAA, how in the world do you think this is okay? This kid gets a once in a lifetime opportunity to play with the best high school baseball players in the country in a Major League stadium in August and you won’t allow it.
The saddest part of this situation is TSSAA has no problem with Hagenow traveling to the game, working out before the game, getting as many reps in as he needs to before the game or in practice. If the rule was to "protect" the athletes from overuse, etc then I would at least entertain its validity.
But after reading the wording of the rule, this is nothing more than a money grab for TSSAA - at the student athlete's expense. When this rule was put into place, TSSAA was not getting a piece of the All-Star game pie. This effectively forces All-Star game organizers to pay $1,000 to TSSAA to sanction or else players aren't allowed to play.
The rule, Article II Section 23, reads:
Shame on you TSSAA, we thought you were here to protect the kids.
Please make an exception. There has to be a mechanism to do so.
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