July 17, 2021 Update
Based on clarifying information from District 30, Little League’s International Tournament Committee ruled to allow two of the three coaches reinstated. One coach remains suspended indefinitely and may not be in attendance at the game site during the course of the suspension. This includes practices, pregame and postgame activities. Additionally, VPLL is not be permitted to replace the suspended coach and will only be permitted to have two coaches for the duration of the International Tournament.
Villa Park continues to protest the third suspension but it is difficult because District 30 will not say why any of the coaches were suspended. District 30 continues to refuse VPLL access to the incident report which led to the suspensions.
The Tournament Committee has also warned that they will remove personnel from VPLL in any division if, in its judgement, any player, manager, or coach displays any unsportsmanlike actions throughout the remainder of the Little League International Tournament. Thus, even the 10U coaches were put on notice. It is unknown if TWLL received the same warning for their divisions still in play.
July 16, 2021
Villa Park Little League will be without all their coaches when it begins the SoCal Section 5 tournament and right to advance to the state finals and ultimately the Little League World Series.
Little League International indefinitely suspended all six coaches from the District 30 championship game which includes three coaches each from Villa Park and Tustin Western Little Leagues. For Tustin Western this means very little this year as they have been eliminated from Little League competition. For Villa Park, this decision is highly punitive for the twelve year old kids, who now have no coaches, on the eve of their next game and moving forward.
At First District 30 Took No Action
While there were a couple of incidents that took place during the game, District 30 took no immediate action to discipline or review. This includes a Tustin Western coach who shoved an umpire while trying to go after a Villa Park coach. However, Tustin Western protested the game which led to Little League International’s involvement and decision to suspend all six coaches.
Notably, District 30 officials, including the President of District 30, Denny Curran, were present at the game and took no action against the Villa Park coaches. However, they were quick to intervene to reverse an ejection of one of Tustin Western’s best players in the first inning.
Tustin Western’s Revenge
Given Tustin Western had no chance of overturning the results from what actually took place on the field, this played perfectly for them. Villa Park loses their coaches going forward and Tustin Western incurs meaningless suspensions. The Villa Park players, who many stayed in Little League just for this moment, are hurt the most. The Tustin Western coach who shoved an umpire receives equal discipline to the Villa Park coaches who had no involvement in any of the incidents.
No Due Process, No Review of Video
Little League International made this decision based solely on a written writeup and discussions of the incidents from District 30‘s Denny Curran. Unfortunately, this process included no due process, review of the video incidents and was factually incorrect based on video evidence and eyewitness testimony.
District 30 took the faulty process even further by clandestinely reviewing Villa Park on this matter without speaking or gathering any information from them. Tustin Western was involved in the process and gave their version of what occurred.
Villa Park Little League found out 4 days later through leaks from the Tustin Western side and quickly addressed the matter directly with District 30. By that time the report and the decision was in the hands of Little League International. The videos of the incidents below were NOT reviewed by District 30. Villa Park did not provide them as they did not know they were being investigated by their own District.
As of Friday evening July 16, District 30 still has not provided Villa Park Little League with the report that got the coaches suspended and will not say why.
District 30 Washes Their Hands of These Suspensions
Conveniently, District 30 has pointed to this being a Little League International decision that is out of their hands. That may be true but Little League International’s decision was made entirely based on District 30‘s incident report, which they now refuse to re-examine based on video and eyewitness accounts of the events. To District 30, it matters very little that some coaches weren’t even involved in the incidents or that their facts might be wrong in the incident report.
Villa Park Little League next plays Saturday, July 17th at 10:00 am at Tustin Western of all places. Come out and cheer them on.
See The Plays
During this first inning play a Tustin Western Little League player shoves a Villa Park player. The umpires ejected the player from the game. District 30‘s Denny Curran intervened on the ejection and re-instated the players for fear of the player missing sectionals if he was ejected. No coaches were ejected over this incident that District 30 now cites for one of the causes of the suspensions. Both sides were warned over the Tustin Western shoving.
Potentially District 30 cites this second incident for the suspension but this is uncertain because District 30 say. A Tustin Western player walks by from third base and taunts the Villa Park players. A Tustin Western coach and the father of the taunting player then charges after a Villa Park coach and shoves an umpire in the process. The Tustin Western coach was ejected from the game that just ended.