With no soccer ball, every child ‘wins’

According to the Soccer Association of Midlake, kids imaginations are runnign wild. (Steve DePolo/FLICKR)

According to the Soccer Association of Midlake, kids imaginations are running wild. (Steve DePolo/FLICKR)

Worried about too much competition, many Canadian youth soccer associations no longer keep score, reports This is That, a CBC radio show. Removing the soccer ball is even better, according to the Soccer Association of Midlake, Ontario.

Without a ball, “it’s absolutely impossible to say ‘this team won’ and ‘this team lost’ or ‘this child is better at soccer than that child,’” said Helen Dabney-Coyle. “We want our children to grow up learning that sport is not about competition, rather it’s about using your imagination. If you imagine you’re good at soccer, then, you are.”

Is this for real? No, it’s satire. But it’s eerily close to plausible.

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Comments

  1. “Who would like to pretend to have to the ball first?”

    Not bad and, sadly, believable.

  2. The kids that actually *want* to play *want* a score to be kept, *want* the competiton, so they might as well keep score officially. The trick is not to *force* kids who don’t want to play soccer to go out there and play soccer… Simple, isn’t it?

  3. When I was a kid many, many years ago we played a lot of ball games with all kinds of rules we made up. If we attempted to keep score we almost always lost track of the exact score though we might have a vague idea of one side being ahead. The teams involved exchanged playes fairly frequently so almost everybody might be on the “winning team” for part of the game. There was competition involved but it wasn’t terribly intense. Some kids were clearly better athletes than others but we all stayed good friends.

  4. Stacy in NJ says:

    This is satire, not real.

  5. Yes, I know. I’m just making the point that the normal competition among kids in informal sports has no traumatic effects. It might be different when parents get involved as in say Little League. I hear of kids getting injured in organized sports like Little League. In all the games I played in as a child I don’t recall anything worse that a scraped knee. Just keep the parents out of it and let the kids play at their own “disorganized sports” and they will be little in the way of any physical or mental harm.

  6. Also considering the obesity problem we have now even in children more physical sports for youngsters would be a good thing. Only adults shouldn’t organize them. Kids playing disorganized sports on their own is best.

    • They should be playing Calvinball. My kids love it and would letter in it if they could. Though a Calvinball league isn’t likely to spring up.

  7. WTH are you doing to the KIDS?? says:

    Seriously – every kid now a days gets a trophy or medal for showing up. What is that? Where is the competition? The drive internally to make the team next year or be the best player on the field. Idiot parents are the issue – yelling and screaming on the sidelines – taking the competition out of the game is idiotic.

    • “Seriously – every kid now a days gets a trophy or medal for showing up. What is that? Where is the competition?”

       

      The competition is that the participation trophies are not valued by the kids after about age 8. The ones that say something like “2013 Champion” are.

       

      And I’d really like someone to provide a link to an organized sports league for kids 10 and older where (a) score wasn’t kept, or (b) everyone got the SAME trophies.

       

      I suspect this will be difficult.

       

      What I see in my local Little League is this:

       

      T-Ball (ages 5 and 6, usually): No score is kept. Everyone bats every inning (usually two or three per game) and everyone gets on base with a single every time, except the last batter of the inning clears the bases. Everyone plays in the field (so no one sits on the bench). No “playoffs”.

       

      Pioneer (7 and 8): Score kept per inning, but not per-game. Each inning goes 3 outs or five runs, whichever comes first. Everyone plays in the field (so no one sits on the bench) and everyone bats in order, but because outs count some kids may get one more at-bat in a game than other kids. No “playoffs.”

       

      Minors: (9 and 10): Score is kept per game (so you have a winner), but no team standings are kept. Playing time is now not quite as uniform as the levels above and some kids have to sit on the bench each inning (most teams have more than the minimum number of kids). Everyone make the playoffs, but seeding is random. There is a champion team (and a trophy for each kid on that team).

       

      Majors: Score is kept for each game and standings are kept as well. As in minors, playing time is not quite as uniform as the earlier levels and some kids have to sit on the bench each inning (most teams have more than the minimum number of kids). Playoff seeding is based on league standings. The players on the team that wins the playoffs get championship trophies.

       

      I have a hard time getting upset about this. As the kids get older, the game gets more “serious” and winning/losing start to matter. Do we really want 5 and 6 year olds to have playoffs? It isn’t like the kids this age really care … and in fact, were I in charge, I’d probably go with “everybody bats” even at the higher levels. It can get boring when you sit for half the game, but if you know that you will bat no matter what, that helps keep the kids engaged (and actually makes substitutions MUCH easier for the coaches). The kids don’t sign up to sit on the bench and watch, after all.

  8. Kirk Parker says:

    I predict The Onion will be going out of business soon.

  9. Let Me Fail says:

    Whether this is real or not it will likely give some moonbat an idea. The path to success involves many things, but the most important is failure and being allowed to fail. The problem with youth sports these days are the parents. Just let the kids do what they do best, play.

  10. Yes, nothing prepares the children for a competitive world like playing sports with no score, and no ball. Perhaps we could also considering grading them in school with a generic ‘meets expectations’ rather than rewarding kids for hard work with A’s, B’s, etc. Oh wait, they already do that.