Texas softball coach on probation, girl can’t play because of error on form

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VAN ALSTYNE, Texas (KXII) A Texas little league softball coach is on probation and an 8-year-old girl won't get to play in her team's big tournament, all because of an incorrect form.

The coach claims he didn't know it was wrong and this is all a mistake.

Robert Barrett is the head coach of one of the 6-and-under girls’ softball teams in Van Alstyne.

He said the trouble goes back to the draft at the beginning of the year.

That's when the coaches are given a list with the girls’ names and ages, but no birthdays.

But he said one girl's birth year was listed incorrectly and that he didn't know she was too old for that league.

"To me this is an immediate issue because it affects my name and my reputation," Barrett said.

Barrett said he wants to clear his name.

He has to step down as head coach for a season for violating conduct rules, according to Red River Softball Association President Jayme Little.

Little said Barrett's little league team won all 10 regular season games, along with three tournament games, with a girl on the team who is two years older than the other girls.

"She should have been based on her age at the time, should have been 8U, not 6U," Barrett said.

The 6U league only allows girls who are ages 4 to 6 as of Jan. 1.

Little said she turned 8 this year, meaning she should have played in the 8U league.

It all came out when Barrett had to register girls for the All-Star team.

They're required to provide names and birthdays.

And one birthday didn't match up with the original registry.

"Behind all of this there's a little girl that I've gotten to coach this year that's amazing, and she's already had her dream shattered," Barrett said.

Now she's not allowed to play in the All-Star tournament due to her age, even though she qualified for the team, and Barrett's not allowed to coach.

"They'll still get to play in the All-Star tournament, but it will be minus one that we wanted to take," Barrett said.

He said it's all a mistake and that he didn't know she was older than the other girls.

Little said it's the coach's responsibility to know their ages.

"I've never once felt even a desire or need to cheat, it's not even a word in my vocabulary," Barrett said.

Barrett said the 8-year-old's grandfather registered her and simply put down the wrong birth year.

Little said the Van Alstyne Sports Authority Softball Commissioner Kristy Duncan, who registers the birthdays, is also on probation for one season.

She declined to comment.