The day before the team was supposed to leave for the regional tournament, the president of Peachtree City Little League received an e-mail that dashed the team's dream of playing in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.
"It was nothing but broken hearts and sadness," Brandon Taylor, president of Little League Peachtree City said. "There have been a lot of tears shed over this."
Taylor had to call the team's coach Thursday night at a pep-rally. The team was leaving that Friday for Warner Robbins to play in the Southeast Region Tournament. Because of bad paperwork, and multiple violations, the team Peachtree City beat advanced to the tournament.
"As the president of this league, it's on me," Taylor said. "If we make an error, I am standing here telling you I did. I own that. But, it is not fair to punish these kids to let them win a district championship, and a state championship, and then pull the rug out when three levels of Little League officials missed it, just like we did."
Taylor said Little League officials had all their paperwork from the start of the tournament and never mentioned any of the infractions the team committed until two days before the tournament started on Aug. 2.
Taylor said the way the players handled the news that they would not be playing and lose their title as state champions showed just how good their sportsmanship is.
"They have not said a bad word about anybody," Taylor said. "They just wanted to play ball. They had a dream. A little league dream. They had it and it was pulled out from under them, literally the night before they headed to the tournament."
CBS46 News tried to contact officials at Little League Baseball Inc. for comment but have not heard back.
According to an e-mail sent to Taylor regarding their violations, the league was considered not in compliance with the rules and regulations and policies. The e-mail stated, "It appears that the league did not conduct a balanced draft.
"The league was in violation of Regulation III(c) as it pertains to the number of league age 12 year olds permitted per major team, which is a maximum of eight. Twelve of 14 players on National major team were league age 12, two were 11."
This rule violation among other clerical errors is what Taylor believes cost them the season.
"We don't know what we are going to do moving forward," Taylor said. "The grown-ups made the mistakes here not the kids. And the folks that are suffering are these players."
Below is the official statement from Little League on the disqualification:
"Upon the review of the Peachtree City National Little League's affidavit, the Little League Tournament Committee, in conjunction with the Southeast Regional Office, found that Peachtree City National Little League had violated Little League regulations, which led to the disqualification of their Little League tournament team. In an unfortunate situation like this, the policy of Little League Baseball is to offer the opportunity for the second place team to advance and will not make alternative exceptions in this case. Thus, the Tournament Committee has declared the final game in the Georgia State Little League Baseball Tournament a forfeit and named Columbus Northern Little League, from Columbus, Ga., as the George State Champion, advancing them to the Southeast Region Tournament," Brian McClintock a representative with Little League said.
Peachtree City is about 30 miles southwest of Atlanta.
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