NY State Dept. of Health vs. Wiffle Ball

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Sports

(Disclaimer – I realize that someone has come to their senses and this proposal has been rejected, I am however leaving every word simply because they are idiots for even thinking along these lines)

Dear New York Health Officials,

What the hell is wrong with you? I read today where you are trying to “legislate fun” and are proposing new regulations on kid’s games such as tag, kick ball, and Wiffle ball at NY day camps. Apparently lawmakers in Albany have decided that such classic kids games “pose a threat for significant injury.” So again I must ask, “what in the blue hell is wrong with you?” A better question perhaps would be to ask how you became officials. Apparently someone very close to the head of the NY State Department of Health died from being tagged. I am confused and I’m going to require an explanation.

Let me make sure I have this right. Any program that has two or more recreational activities – and at least one of them is on the “risky” list – is subject to state regulation because it is deemed a summer camp. You say the games are not banned at these camps, BUT if a camp allows these games to be played, they must pay a $200 registration fee and have medical staff at hand.So, from what I am reading, there are approximately 2,300 regulated camps in New Yorkthat are required to be under permit. Pocket change for the state. Of course then these camps have to pay for a medical staff to be present in case some clumsy 8 year old kid doesn’t dodge a ball in time and suffers an internal injury. When did shotputs replace the classic dodge ball? It has been a while since I’ve played. I hope you have a fleet of ambulances and troops of paramedics on stand-by in Central Park when some little cute girl in her taffeta and lace Easter dress this Sunday gets her little hand blown off from the ever so dangerous purple egg hiding in the bushes. “No Suzi, nooooo!!! Wait for the bomb squad to investigate!” God forbid little Suzi put an oval-shaped, lavender colored grenade in her bunny basket.

Let’s talk about this “warning list”, shall we? There’s the tag games: Capture the Flag, Flag Tag, and as the list reads – Tag (all versions). Wow, I can see the danger there. Babu grabs the flag of Israel and David gets pissed off and plants mines near the pyramids where Babu’s Egyptian flag flies. I’m sure this happens on a regular basis in the schoolyards and parks. Let’s not overlook the extreme danger of just plain, old fashioned Tag. I suppose I can see potential injury there also – if little Freddie Krueger or Eddie Scissorhands tags someone.

Then there’s Flag Football. Sorry kids, we can’t play flag football anymore because the Department of Health FINALLY figured out that the “flags” we are using arent really old rags or velcroed strips of cloth, but instead fiberglass insulation and it can be a little rough on the hands. We need to make sure we keep those hands in good shape so they can work the Xbox controller with finesse.

Steal the Bacon is on the list. I guess this is another form of tag, but it also requires some speed and listening skills. Maybe you prefer a slab of real bacon in the middle and the kids sit around a fake campfire in a big room somewhere and cook the bacon and use the grease to drip it on their extra large tub of movie theater buttered popcorn they can enjoy while watching a dvd. Of course I don’t expect you to waste the cooked bacon. That can be the side item to the delicious popcorn. Duh.

Ahhhh the classic Red Rover. This one is easy. This IS a full contact sport afer all. And it is played without pads and helmets. Say it isn’t so. The data from all the Red Rover concussions has finally come to light to the Department of Health and you have made the intelligent decision to save our childrens brains and add this vicious game to this list. It’s about damn time. Not to mention that this game is played without latex gloves and there are pre-teen children holding hands. Red Rover Red Rover let an STD come over! And with that being said, the fact that Crab Soccer is on the list is no surprise. The name speaks for itself. Good call, guys. Why isn’t a public service announcement in production right now citing the dangers of Crab Soccer without a condom? “Crab Soccer…..it’s an itch near the ass!” You may borrow the slogan, I don’t mind. Anything for the health of our future.

Obviously kickball and dodgeball are included on this list. Well, that must be because there is way too much running involved and it requires some kind of coordination. We musn’t have our young children running around making foot to ball contact and take the chance of getting the Nike swoosh grass stained. That would be tragic. And of course as I said before, playing dodgeball with shotputs is way too dangerous. The more I write, the more I should be thanking you. If it weren’t for your concern, our kids would be outside moving and playing and getting some excercise. This scares me because then what would happen to the hours of video game time parents have set aside for their children? I can see chaos in family schedules everywhere.

There are two on the list that I am not familiar with at all. Nuk-em and Ga-Ga. Well HELLO, if those don’t scream EXTREME DANGER, I don’t know what does. Obviously Nuk-em has to be a game derived from water balloons, BUT these balloons are filled with radio-active material instead, and thrown and/or dropped directly on the enemy. Ga-Ga….really? This must be where the kids build a cage and throw a very large, very hungry rotweiller or two in it. The kid that draws the shortest straw must be dressed in a meat dress and thrown into the pits of canine hell. These two games are outrageous and any daycamp that offers such activities should have the doors bolted immediately. I am so outraged by the thought of this I can’t even go on and voice my concern over Wiffle Ball. I will say, that no child or parent should ever be subjected to the threat of “Death by Wiffle Ball.” This act of violence was shown in a gripping, nail biting episode of South Park where Cartman tried to kill Kyle with a wiffle bat and I want no part of it. I may have post traunatic syndrome after viewing it.

Things have changed since I was a kid. I remember riding bikes for hours, never getting enough of splashing around in the pool until I was forced to get out by my mom or dad and playing “baseball” with a large rubber ball in the street with the neighborhood kids. I recall a certain game when i hit the ball, threw the bat behind me to run to first base and nailing the kid who was playing catcher in the side of the head. So there was some swelling and blood coming from his ear; you think that stopped us? Well, it did for a few minutes while his mom was screaming at us when putting him in the car to take him to the emergency room, but once the tailights were no longer visible, it was game on. The kid was ok, by the way. We had to talk into his right ear for a few weeks, but no big deal.

I am confused however by this action of so called “health officials.” Are there not statistics proving that the United States is not one of, if not the number one country in the world with childhood obesity issues? Isn’t being active one of the first steps of teaching a healthy lifestyle to a child? Sitting in front of a flat screen HDTV with a controller in a hand is an epidemic – NOT classic childhood games. These regulations you are trying to impose are adding to the pussification of our youth. You want to charge a daycamp $200 for having more than one of these classic childhood games plus the added expense of a medical staff? This will only raise the camp fees for the parents leaving them no choice but to leave their kids locked up in the house all day in front of a tv, computer, or video games. Can they send you the bill for carpal tunnel syndrome? Let kids be kids. Allow them to get a scraped knee or busted lip – that’s what bandaids and peroxide are for. I envision the boys of New York all looking like that fat baby from Indonesia that chain smokes like 40 cigarettes a day. (http://ktagclothingnyc.com/blog/?m=20100902 2nd picture on page) I see them sitting on the stoop in a wife beater with a ciggy hanging from their mouths and when the cute, chubby neighborhood girls stroll by like a gang of Weebel Wobbles, the lazy, fat ass boys say in their best Joey Tribiani voice, “How YOU doin?”

Hey New York State Department of Health….TAG, you’re IT!

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER:  @soonerleesa





  1. aj says:

    Well at least they didn’t get the all time favorite, hide & go get it with the neighborhood girls! Everybody wins in that one!!!! LOL!!!!!

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