The Canadian youth soccer league has ruled if a team wins by more than five points it loses by default. Yes, you read it right. The officials feel this will promote sportsmanship. Sorry, you can’t force someone to learn a virtue. And what about fun?
This reminds me of a situation when our kids were young. We moved to a town in Ft. Lauderdale that didn’t have a soccer league. David and I got together with some of the neighbors to see if there was an interest. There was. We talked to city officials and got permission to use the local park; I spoke with my boss at work and he sponsored the uniforms.
One thing that didn’t set well with me was the distribution of trophies. Win or lose every player got a trophy, only the winners got a bigger trophy.
Should the winning team have to share the spotlight? Why should losing players get a trophy? If everyone gets a trophy there is no clear winner. This system takes away the spirit of competition. Healthy competition is what makes one strive to do their best.
In New England, scores in little league baseball aren’t kept until it’s time for the playoffs. How can a fair winner be chosen with this system?
Kids learn fair competition from playing sports: showing up on time for practice, giving it their all, being part of a team, having fun while learning self-control, etc. These are the things that teach values and principles; it prepares them for the real world. Without competition there is no reason to play. When adults change the rules who does it hurt? Where is the benefit?
Most of all, the kids know. They know what they’re supposed to do; know that only the winner is supposed to get a trophy; know that rules are not made to be broken. What they don’t know is … this is a set up for failure.
What happens when they hire on with a company? Will they do their best or be afraid to compete? Will they decide they have too much already? Or will they feel entitled? Believe they deserve a raise without really trying? And so on.
May Your Glass Always Be Half Full
What’s goin’ on at Maxi’s house? Find out at: