Last year was the first year that Thing One played travel soccer. His club had two teams in his age group, between which the best players were divided evenly to keep the teams relatively equal. This year the team division is different, as it will be going forward. There is an A team and a development team.
Thing One is on the development team, as he should be. I am 100% behind that assignment. He has good skills, but is inconsistent and has some focus issues, and I'm sure that some of it is maturity-related. His team plays in a different flight from the A team during the season, which keeps the games fair.
On all teams, there are going to be some kids and parents that make you nuts. The more competitive the team, the more d-bag parents there will be, in particular. Blessedly, the worst parental offenders all have kids on the A team this year, so we rarely see them. Some of their kids are real jerks too, but you look at the parents and understand where it comes from. As an example, one dad (while helping to ref a game last year) deliberately did not blow the whistle to stop play when an opposing player was down because it gave us an advantage. I heard him say something about it afterward. When you are talking about elementary school-aged kids, it is especially egregious...what a dick.
Anyway, like I said, I don't miss hanging out with these people, and am very glad I don't have to this year. We only see them on the odd occasion now, like the extracurricular local tournaments. The last time we went to one of these, Thing One's team got shellacked....the worst of the other three teams there was his club's A team. And we had to listen to the A team kids and parents gloating about how much better they were than us. (Well, duh...that was the idea of the team division, right?)
Anyway, there was supposed to be another one of these tournaments tomorrow evening. To put it mildly, I was not looking forward to it. Himself just let me know that it has been cancelled because another team pulled out at the last minute. Pardon me while I do a quick tap-dance of joy...