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SCShamrock 
Posted: 14-Jul-2006, 08:36 PM
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We're getting ready to sign up my kid (8 yrs. old) for junior league football. Here's one of the rules:

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30 point rule - If a team is 30 points or more ahead of the other team, the team in the lead will remain on defense until the other team scores enough points to make the difference less than 30 points.


Honestly, I know why such a rule is in effect...they don't want the kids becoming discouraged (I'm sure they'd say demoralized). However, I personally don't understand protecting our children from every conceivable, uncomfortable situation. Life is not lived in the comfort zone, so why can't we allow our kids to understand upset and disappointment--even devastating loss on a football field? Am I being neurotic here?


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marti64 
Posted: 14-Jul-2006, 09:37 PM
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No, SC. i would not say you were being neurotic, just logical! I don't understand why all of the "babyboomers"... of which I would probably be one if I had kids of my own.....have to protect their kids from everything that ther outside world throws at them.

I was taught that it doesn't matter who wins or who loses. Nowadays, there are these strange rules that don't let kids be kids. I think these rules are made for the parents, so they will not have to explain the hardship of losing to an entire generation!

Just my five cents!!! Marti


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Monarchs Own 
Posted: 15-Jul-2006, 10:04 AM
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I have to agree. In my opinion it shows that if you loose you have to try harder. My son is in his third year of Tackle Football and he loves it. We usually get pretty far but when we loose a game we usually know why. The kids are sad but they try harder the next time.

We also have the rule that if one team scores to a certain point they stop counting and let it go at that, so if the other team doesn't score at all or maybe one touchdown it doesn't looks so bad. I don't know what rules they came up with this year. I hope better ones then last years. Our first year was great. We had like 14 games and more and played every team in the league twice. Last year they changed that. We only had 7 games and two of them didn't count, so that we lost our championship. We played the same team twice. They won the second game and advanced. We won the first one and it wasn't counted because it was a "preseason game". What preseason? We only played seven weeks. This year they want to lift the weightban from what I heard through the grapevine. That will be really unfair. In the NFL you can't play over a certain weight. Here you usually move up on league. Now we have 11 year olds with 115lbs and more pounce on 9 year olds which are 60 lbs and less. A lot of kids will be discouraged is my guess. Oh well, I guess we will find out exactly what happens.


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Shadows 
Posted: 15-Jul-2006, 10:16 AM
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I agree and also disagree!

My kids are all grown and don't play in the "Kids " games any more.

When they did thay played their best ( that was all that could be asked of them ), but when a team of those who where considered loosers took 1st place it was contested by those leaders and parents that thought their sports prodogies could never loose that it upset me!

One of my sons was on a team of kids ( baseball ) that no one else wanted on their teams. They formed a team just for them and guess what? They out scored, outplayed and leaglly won the title, but because of the stink raised by the parnents and coaches of the other teams the title was removed from them because they were not supposed to be playing . They had been cut from the other teams and therefore were not considered a part of the league! EVEN THOUGHT IT WAS THE LEAGUE THAT SANCTIONED THE " LOOSERS" team!

Where is the correctness in this?

Sports can teach good things, but most of the time it has the opposite effect on kids who do not fit the mold!


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ballydun 
Posted: 15-Jul-2006, 12:07 PM
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It is sad that we aare trying to raise kids to be OK with being mediocre. You see it in sports all the time, like the examples you all have given, but you also see it in school, jobs and everything else we do. They are not being held responsible for anything...like losing a game, failing a class, poor work evaluations, etc. Beack in le old days( OK not THAT long ago) if we lost a softball game, we were taught to work harder and learn from our mistakes. It seem now that if they lose a game they will protest the umpire's calls, look for inelligable players on the other team, blame the guy who cuts the grass 'cuz it was too long, whatever they can find to take the responsibility off of themselves.
How sad it is!


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SCShamrock 
Posted: 17-Jul-2006, 01:47 AM
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I was hoping to get some input from some of our more "progressive" members here about the rules. I have a feeling that someone is thinking

"if they are losing that badly, then their defense will be getting all the play and the offense will keep the bench warm".............or.......

"if they are allowed to lose by such a large number, it will demoralize them, and the point is for them to have fun."

I would love to hear the explanations, but I can quickly refute them I think. Other than the two possible reasons above, I cannot for the life of me think why such a rule would be instituted. It's as if we want to simultaneously suppress greatness, and promote mediocrity. Let's just have them all be equal...regardless of their talent, hard work, commitment, or lack thereof.
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Elspeth 
Posted: 17-Jul-2006, 09:07 AM
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First, if kids are playing on a full field, thirty points is a heck of a lot of points to be ahead. I've never seen a youth football game where one team is ahead by 30 points.

Having kids participate from the 5 year old t-ball and 8 year old football up to the 15-18 yr. old baseball and jv football, plus wrestling, softball, soccer and cheerleading, yeah I've got some thoughts. (and yes, the cheerleaders do compete and it isn't pretty... )

When they are little and learning the games, the way it works here in the parks & rec or Y baseball leagues is that it is all about playing. Learning to the fundamentals in a non-threatening environment. Then when they get to the kid pitch age, about 9 or so, the scores count. Though there are still run limits per inning. I favor the run limits for oh so many reasons. At the young age, they need to develop the ability to field and throw to the bases. In girl's fast pich, the kids can steal bases. If there were no run limits it would quickly get demoralizing and boring. It's boring enough watching 8 kids walked on six pitchs every inning while the girls are learning to throw strikes. Kids lose interest, parents lose interest...

It is just a sport afterall, life isn't all about 'winning'. It is about how you play the game. Kids need to learn to play the game before they should be caught up in 'winning'.

Once they are ten to twelve, the run limits are gone. Strick baseball rules. Though, the games, even the 15-18, have the mercy rule. If a team is ahead after the 5th innning of a 7 inning game by ten or more runs, the game is over. Just a different rule. The losing team still lost.

Football is football and there is no mercy there. Our kids play on a full field, 4 quarters, rules just like high school and college. Our teams aren't very good, unfortuantely and we have seasons where we dont' win a game or only a couple. The kids are ok with that. Though they'd like to win. They learn the sport in the playing. They also go through a month long conditioning and practice before the season starts so they have pleanty of opportunity to get the feel of the sport. A friend told me their youth football teams play on a half-sized field so the kids get to score and dont' get discouraged. Since we play on a full field, that is weird to me. We still get scoring in our games.

So, as to the question of kids being over protected.

Personally, I think it's good for kids to be able to learn the sport in a non-threatening environment. Lots of kids young get a taste of a sport who won't stay with it, but they did get the experience to learn.

It's like babysteps. Learn the basics in a fun atmosphere and then keep progressing. By the time these kids are 10 or 12 there is no protecting them from competition even if parents wanted to. They are ready to compete.

And even if there are rules like no scores are kept, or teams are given a chance to catch up, do you think the kids themselves don't keep score? Mine do. They know perfectly well who won and who lost.

The biggest problem in kid's sports isn't overprotecting kids - it's the parents. I could write volumes on this. I thought I'd left high school behind until I had kids and they started being baseball players, footabll players, cheerleaders and I discovered those kids I stayed away from in high school have kids and are now running the leagues or bellowing from the sidelines. Reliving their glory days vicariously through their kids, whether the kids want it or not. It isn't a pretty sight.

Our area has had such ugly parental behavior the last couple of years.... Adreneline gets pumping when it's your kid out there. We've had Dad's getting way too worked up. Verbal and physical fights ensuing with umpires ... One man was killed in a parking lot brawl over the cost of parking...

I've heard kids in the 15-18 baseball league threaten umpires right in front of their parents and coaches and not be reigned in or repremanded. It scares me. These are BIG kids.

So, if leagues try to keep it kinder and gentler in the younger divisions, I have to believe that is so kids have an opportunity to learn the sport before the all the ugliness sets in and by mandating a more 'for fun' atmosphere, to try and keep the adults from being a-holes.


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Senara 
Posted: 17-Jul-2006, 10:13 AM
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I think Elspeth covered everything that was going through my mind. I think most youth programs right now are instituting these rules just to keep the parents in check. There's enough time for competition once the kids reach junior high. Let them gather the basics first and let the games be fun. There's nothing worse than watching some of the proud parents at the end of a game venting off at their loser 7 year old.

It's a game. Yet no one remembers what a game is any more. They only remember if you won or lost.


When I was playing softball in High School we also played the 5th inning 10 run mercy rule. By the time the 5th inning came around and we were down by 10 runs it just didn't matter anymore. The both teams already subed in the benchwarmers so they'd see some playing time. Besides the fact that you were likely at times a 3.5 hr bus ride away from school competing meant that you weren't on the roads at midnight just heading home from the game.


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CelticCoalition 
Posted: 17-Jul-2006, 10:47 AM
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I think it's a fine rule. Here's why: Parents of kids who play sports suck. Half the time the kid is only out there playing because of the parent anyway. If it was up to the kid they'd be out goofing off rather than trying to figure out the complexities of sports under the hawks eye of crazed parents who don't care about anything but THEIR kid getting out there and being the hero of the game. That these parents many times are living vicariously through their kids is also often times the case.

Frankly, whether they have the rule or not I'm not a big fan of kids sports. I mean they are kids for goodness sakes. Holding them to the same standards as professional athletes when they are 4 or 5 seems ridiculous to me.

As for other "fair play" rules, I say these rules are more for the parents than the kids. Would you really want to sit through a 10 hour long baseball game where one team kept scoring and the other couldn't get them off the field? Or how bout a football game where one team scores 200 points and the other team doesn't score at all? That's really an exciting game there. Not only this, but how are the kids supposed to feel on that losing team? After 100 points I'd feel like I was wasting my time.


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SCShamrock 
Posted: 17-Jul-2006, 11:57 AM
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There have been some interesting points made, and I appreciate all the input. I understand how many parents behave over their children who are in sports. I personally am not this way. My wife and I just finished 4 years of intense cheerleading with our daughter. Sure, I see some of the parents who don't deserve to even have children--laughing and cheering when an opposing squad's stunt group collapses. It's chaotic and immature.

However, if it is just for the kids getting a "feel" for the game, then why do you suppose they have a season set up where there is competition? Kids learn a lot about structured training from school....and this is not a school-sponsored league I'm talking about. My son, who came to me wanting to play football, is soon to turn 9. I explained the mercy rule, and he honestly didn't understand. "Dad, couldn't we just forfeit?" Out of the mouth of babes. What can I say to that? So, if one team does score 30 points, and then has to go on defense, how is it helping the players to keep both sides on the field for God-knows-how-long? Realistically, this could be an entire half. Talk about demoralizing. And this in the sweltering South Carolina heat. I think it's stupid. And no, winning is not important to me, but competition is important to my son, as well as most other kids I would say. Do you really think that they show up, slam their bodies into on another, an suffer the heat not caring who wins or loses? No, they all want to win. But now the message, regardless of what the child hears, is "don't win too big", and "we won't let them beat you too bad." Oh, I could draw some comparisons to this mentality to recent events., i.e. Microsoft, Iraq, etc. But I digress.

Now do understand that I'm not advocating a free-for-all, all-out bloodfest, where kids who can easily mow over another team are allowed to do so at the expense of the spirit of the other team. But this rule I mentioned is ridiculous. They do have a rule requiring all players to participate in at least 6 plays in the game, which can be countered only as punishment for misbehavior. I think that's fine. Here's what sounds better to me than the 30 point rule, and I would like to hear other viable alternatives as well:

Game is 60 minutes long.
4--15 minute quarters.
Clock does not stop except when changing possession or time outs.
2 minute break between quarters
15 minute half time
7 minute time-of-possession limit.


This way, the kids move at a pace that is more appropriate for kids. They compete against each other and the clock. I could even see a rule disallowing turnovers except by interception. There are many creative ways, IMO, to even the playing field a bit without penalizing children for doing well.
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Elspeth 
Posted: 17-Jul-2006, 03:33 PM
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realisticaly, how many times is a game up by 30 points? If it happens with any frequency, then there is something wrong with how the teams are being set up. That is a huge point spread.

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stoirmeil 
Posted: 17-Jul-2006, 03:47 PM
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Well -- ultimately kids come together to do the best they can, and sometimes one team is really too much better than the other to be well matched. I think the issue for the parents, if there's so much concern, could be more careful planning and matching, rather than jimmying the point system -- that's why there are leagues, and being "out of one's league," and all that.

On the other hand, if we did do that kind of scrupulous matching to keep kids from getting hurt, what would become of the great American romance with underdogs who come up out of nowhere against all odds? smile.gif Would you really miss out on Chicken Little singing "We Are The Champions"?
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 17-Jul-2006, 03:51 PM
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QUOTE (SCShamrock @ 17-Jul-2006, 01:47 AM)
I was hoping to get some input from some of our more "progressive" members here about the rules.

Looking for "progressive" input, for the opportunity to refute . . .? You mean you were looking for a fight? smile.gif Sorry -- I think if anyone is that concerned with deeply disappointing experiences not scarring children, they should just drop the kids off and not watch the game. In my experience, the parents are sometimes waaaaaay too invested in the outcomes.
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SCShamrock 
Posted: 17-Jul-2006, 04:54 PM
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QUOTE (Stoirmeil)
Looking for "progressive" input, for the opportunity to refute . . .? You mean you were looking for a fight?


No, oh misanthropic one. I was just a bit disappointed in the answers, and wanted to hear from the usual bleeding hearts, as it is that very mindset I believe created these "vanilla" rules in the first place.

Thanks for your thoughts too, btw. I personally am only interested in one outcome....that my son realizes what he either likes or dislikes about competitive football. See, I'm of the belief that competitive sports really can be a life lesson. Life will kick your ass, we all know this. No sense pretending that it will not happen. For the same reason I believe it is wrong to bail our kids out of the consequences of their wrong actions, I also believe it is wrong to paint a rosy picture of defeat. Sometimes, life kicks your ass, and kicks it good. Learning how to cope with defeat, and yet persevere is, in my mind at least, necessary for good development. I remember as a kid, watching "Wide World of Sports", and hearing the narrator talk about the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat, just as that poor olympic ski jumper crashed off the jump ramp. It is true, victory is thrilling. And again it is true, defeat is agonizing. You invest a great deal of yourself into the drive to win, and it is this drive that fuels competitive sport. Children, by the way, are natural-born competitors. It is a behavior that begins very early. Since we do live in a society, nay, a world where competition exists in many forms, I think it is important for people to begin understanding the reality of either outcome of competition and how to deal with it. Even when this lesson begins very early.

Ok, enough for now. My boy begins training in 39 minutes, so I must go cheer him on. I'll check back in when I return.
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Dogshirt 
Posted: 17-Jul-2006, 05:51 PM
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Since we live "out" quite a ways, my wife and I told our son no sports when he was younger. We did Scouts as a family thing, but could not co-ordinate our schedules for an every night thing.
When he got into High School he did 3 sports a year and did okay at them. He got his letter for Cross Country his Freshman year, as well as the Coach's Award in Track. But Wrestling was harder. He was small and hadn't had any experience before High School. He did okay, but did not letter OR bring home medals from the tournaments. I sat on hard bleachers for 3 years to be there for him, watching him win some and lose more.
In their 4th year the coach awards them their letter for 4 years of hard work. I told Jake " I know you will get your letter this year, but I'd LIKE to see you earn it, not just take a free ride." Well, his experience finally caught up to his determination, and he not only earned his letter with points to spare, but ALSO brought home several silver and gold medals from the tourneys. The ONLY time I ever saw him get discouraged was when he went to Districts and had injured his knee! Still went< still competed< but he was REALLY BUMMED that the knee would not hold up to the level of competition that he would need to continue!

My point is that defeat does not harm kids< they just need to SEE through it>
And it is our job as parents to explain this and guide them through it<

SORRY FOR THE <<>> THINGS MY KEYBOARD IS ACTING UP ( Also the shift is not working right that"s why all the caps in places)


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