Originally Posted by Misterbill
In youth baseball there are lots of discussions about a variety of issues. But despite the fact that only an infinitesimally small fraction of young baseball players get to experience national competition based on ability and merit, you don't hear complaints about "opportunities being denied" or "we used to enjoy going to Williamsport or Aberdeen so much" that you hear about on this board in the context of tennis.
If you had a system in baseball where any group of rich parents could get their local team into a 256-draw or 512-draw "Little League World Series," and after a generation of that system, you proposed replacing it with a local->state->regional->national funnel that produced only four American teams and four foreign teams for the final tournament, you would probably hear a lot of the same complaints. People would get used to bragging that "my kid played in the Little League World Series" and then that rug would be pulled out from under them, and you would hear plenty.
That said, there are other aspects of the proposed USTA changes that have no analogue in baseball, and people could very well be complaining for good reason. There is no question that in Little League, if you win the local tourney, you move on to the next level tourney. Win that, you go to the state tourney. Finish in the top 2 in the state tourney, you go to regionals, etc. People seem to have legitimate concerns about the new funnel being set up by USTA. I hope to spend some time reading and understanding the new funnel, but have to work non-stop today starting now. Interesting and informative discussion.