Due to a glitch in paperwork, Lincoln Little League players from Boothbay and Wiscasset have been ruled ineligible by Maine Little League to play in the District 2 and state playoffs. Wiscasset has been a part of Lincoln Little League for three years, and Boothbay for two.
When the district was redrawn, for some unknown reason Wiscasset and Boothbay were overlooked. Wiscasset and Boothbay “were not put on the map, which made them ineligible for tournaments,” District 2 Adminsitrator Dana Verge said.
When asked who dropped the ball, Verge responded, “I am the district administrator. I’ll take the blame. People in their league probably did know it had to be done.
“New people came on board (at Lincoln Little League), but I do not want to blame anyone else; they are new people and they are all volunteers. The ball just got dropped. We just didn’t get the thing done. For another year we know what the problem is and will draw the map.
“You cannot add players to a map during the season. Wiscasset played for three years and never got drawn on the map, and it is the second year for Boothbay. Nobody questioned it the last two years,” Verge said.
When Lincoln Little League 11&12 softball all-stars won the D2 title last week, the state committee, while reviewing eligibility, discovered the glitch. “The states checked the map and it showed these kids were not on the map,” Verge said.
Lincoln County now has to remove the Wiscasset and Boothbay players from their all-star rosters and can replace them with other players who are eligible.
To be eligible for tournament play, players must provide a birth certificate, three proofs of residency, must play in the league, and must be approved by the district administrator.
“It is unfortunate for these kids, but it will be fixed for next year. As soon as the season is over we will be having meetings with Damariscotta, Wiscasset, Boothbay, Jefferson, and anybody in that league that is not signed in and sign them up. We will submit it to (Little League headquarters) in Bristol, Conn. and hopefully solve the problem. Every league will get a map to show who can play,” Verge said.
“I’ve been going at this for 28 years and never had anything like this happen in my life. The kids are getting hurt by not being allowed to play. I am terribly sorry. I feel bad for the kids and the people of Lincoln who have followed their kids for 14 ball games and now they can’t play. I hope I can right the ship, and do what we can to straighten things up,” Verge said.
Medomak girls concede D2 title to Lincoln County
After learning that Lincoln County 11&12 Little League softball had ineligible players, Medomak Little League conceded the championship to Lincoln County. Both Medomak coaches and Medomak Little League President Bill Post conceded the game, according to Verge.
But things are not that simple, as Little League rules forbid a forfeit, and it was decided the game had to be replayed. Medomak has said they will not play, but concede the title to Lincoln.
“We are not allowed to call a forfeit. I am going to call Bristol, (Conn.) Tuesday, and hopefully they will allow Lincoln County to be the champs,” Verge said.
Medomak Little League coach Chris Jameson confirmed on Tuesday that Medomak will be allowed to concede the District 2 title to Lincoln County, saying he just had to fill out the paper work and submit it.
Houghton pitch ruled legal
Players and parents in Little League are confusing two different issues, according to Verge. During the District 2 championship game, Medomak asked for a ruling on Lincoln County pitcher Grace Houghton, who they thought had an illegal pitch.
The game was stopped, Bristol, Conn. was called, and they made a ruling on the spot. “The pitching had nothing to do with the ineligible players and the possibility of playing another D2 championship game,” Verge said.
“In Little League, if you have what you think is a problem, you stop the game and call Bristol. They ruled right on the spot that the pitcher was legal. (Medomak) and Lincoln coaches were both there when they ruled that the girl was perfectly legal to pitch. Bristol ruled as long as her heel was still touching the rubber, it was a legal pitch,” Verge said.