Having played sports all my life and having been involved in sporting events with my kids, I’m a big believer in practicing and teaching sportsmanship. Simply stated, you ease up on a team once you have a big lead. But sportsmanship, like other virtues, is not something that should be imposed – especially when the goal is to foster a false sense of self esteem. That’s why the new rules from a Canadian soccer league turning big victories into defaults are so absurd. Here’s a blurb from the National Post:
In yet another nod to the protection of fledgling self-esteem, an Ottawa children’s soccer league has introduced a rule that says any team that wins a game by more than five points will lose by default. …Kevin Cappon said…the league’s new rule will coddle sore losers. …Kevin’s father, Bruce Cappon, called the rule ludicrous. “I couldn’t find anywhere in the world, even in a communist country, where that rule is enforced,” he said. …“Everybody wants a close game, nobody wants blowouts, but we don’t want to go by those farcical rules that they come up with,” he said. “Heaven forbid when these kids get into the real world. They won’t be prepared to deal with the competition out there.” Paul Cholmsky, whose four- and six-year-old boys play in the league, said the intended goal of a default-lose rule might backfire in teaching life skills. “If there’s one team that’s consistenly dominant and one team that’s not, well, that’s life,” he said. …Mr. Cale said the league’s 12-person board of directors is not trying to take the fun out of the game, they are simply trying to make it fair. The new rule, suggested by “involved parents,” is a temporary measure that will be replaced by a pre-season skill assessment to make fair teams.