Saturday, November 6, 2010

Youth Football: Undefeated Team Banned from Playoffs

Fox News reported that a Seladia, Missouri 5th grade football team was banned from the playoffs for being too good.

Crazy Youth Sports Parents Series

The Outlaws, 6-0 team, dominated the recreational league and were looking forward to winning a championship. The other teams in the recreational league decided that they could not compete with the Outlaws, so convinced the league officials to give the Outlaws an honorary championship and ban them from the playoffs.

I am scratching my head trying to figure out who wins in this situation.

Let's say that the Outlaws followed the rules of the recreational league and recruited players in a manner that was ethical, (Some are questioning the make-up of the team.) who wins?

The innocent Outlaw 10 year old players lose out on a memorable experience. The Outlaw players learned that no matter how hard you work some regulator can take it away. They could be demotivated from working hard in the future. The players on the eventual championship team lose because they received a tainted trophy they did not earn. These players learned that they do not need to work hard to reap rewards. They could be demotivated from working hard in the future. The league officials lose too. They lost credibility because they handled the situation so poorly.

Let's say that the Outlaws did not follow the rules of the recreational league and stacked the team, who wins and loses here. Again, nobody wins and everyone loses. The coaching staff loses credibility for breaking the rules. The league officials lose credibility for not policing the situation from the very beginning. The innocent 10 year old Outlaw players lose because they are looked upon by other teams as cheaters. The other league players lose because they did not get a chance to compete on an even playing field for a chance to experience a memorable achievement.

The Main Point

When coaches do not follow the rules everyone loses. When league officials make up rules so that little Johnny does not get his feeling hurt when he loses, everyone loses.

Parents, your kids are going to lose sometimes get over it. Your kids will actually grow from the experience. Coaches you will be always be a loser if you cheat to win. League officials be proactive and try to mitigate bad situations and don't be influenced by over sensitive parents.

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