Trail Times Columnist Dave Thompson

Trail Times Columnist Dave Thompson

Best of B.C. Little League coming to Trail

“The local team could be a strong contender, so you might want to make an effort to attend.”

We will have full on summer weather this next week – baseball weather. Good thing there is baseball on tap.

The Trail All Stars play at 2 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday and 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

The local team could be a strong contender, so you might want to make an effort to attend.

It will be hot and sunny, so bring shade and sun block. Bilesky Park has one of the best little concession stands on the planet and it being staffed by volunteers has allowed prices to stay very low, so no need to bring food unless you have special dietary needs.

Parking is always at a premium at the Park, so do not plan on driving all the way up the hill. Car pooling should be the order of the day, and vehicles should be left at the bottom of the hill out of driveways and, Sunday morning, out of the church parking lots. Perhaps one or some good samaritans will take it upon themselves to provide shuttle service up the hill for old, slow, hampered folks like myself, but either way give yourselves lots of time – it is a residential area.

Oh, and if you are not already, get connected to Facebook. All the details, and a broadcast of every game, will be available on the 2018 B.C. Little League Provincials Facebook Page.

The FIFA World Cup was well organized and contained some surprises, which made for an interesting five weeks. But, soccer must entertain changes to its officiating regimen – in particular adding another on field official.

The stage is too big and the game is becoming too fast for a single all powerful referee to adequately handle it adequately. Video Assistant Referees and Goal Line Cameras have helped, but the VAR seemed to impact proper decisions as often as missed plays, and at the end close games were essentially decided by the officiating – not always in an objectively fair way.

Soccer is a cumbersome game to play, with 20 of 22 participants having their hands behind their backs, as it were, so niggling complaints about the officiating will always be around. It was clear while most of the best players in the world were competing in Russia, however, that teams and players were, well, “playing,” the officials, including the ones at the VAR screens.

It is a funny memory to have linger after such a memorable and exciting event, but there it is.

Been a soccer fan my whole life (it isn’t baseball, but the game is interesting, even entrancing, at times). I do not believe big time soccer will come near my neighbourhood, or any North American neighbourhood, any time soon unless the perception that cheating prospers is eliminated.

Fix it, folks. You are leaving money and participation off the table until you do.