It might be hard to imagine anything scandalous in the world of what should be competitive yet wholesome Little League sports, but league officials confirmed dishonest activity Tuesday, as one team was accused of throwing a game.
"The Little League International Tournament Committee recently received credible reports that some teams did not play with the effort and spirit appropriate for any Little League game," a news release from Little League International stated, according to the Des Moines Register.
Here's what went down Monday at the Little League World Series in Portland, Oregon.
Central Iowa beat a Canadian team to finish 3-1 in pool play. The then undefeated South Snohomish Little League of Snohomish, Washington, went up against a North Carolina team and lost, 8-0.
"It's clear to everyone that they basically threw the game," Chris Chadd, president of Central Iowa Little League, told the Des Moines Register, blaming the Snohomish coaches, not the players, saying they should be disqualified.
Why would they do such a thing though? Chadd told the newspaper he thinks it was to avoid a rematch with his team. If the Snohomish team won or scored at least a few runs, the Iowa team would advance automatically to the semifinals, but if the Snohomish team lost, the Iowa team would drop out of the tournament all together.
"It was very evident when they did the starting lineups, their four best players were on the bench," Central Iowa coach Charlie Husak told WHO-TV. "Their top four hitters were their subs the previous night when we played them. It was very evident right away what was going on."
Husak added that as a coach he tried to keep the prospect of what was happening from his players, but he told the news station they figured it out.
"[...] you could see when they caught on that the tears started to pile up. It was pretty emotional," he told WHO.
The Central Iowans filed a protest and the league's governing body on Tuesday ruled a "tie-breaker game be played between the two affected teams – South Snohomish Little League and Central Iowa Little League."
With what he called a "chip on their shoulders," Husak told WHO his players were "going to fight for everything they have."
And they did.
Central Iowa defeated the South Snohomish team 3-2.
This win, the Des Moines Register reported, advances the Iowa team out of its pool and into the semifinals.
Watch KCCI-TV's report:
Front page image via Shutterstock.