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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Trophies are for winners

Trophies are for winners, a Maryland youth baseball league has decided. “For years, Reisterstown Baseball has given trophies to its youngest players — those aged 4 through 8 —for showing up,” reports Jeff Barker in the Baltimore Sun.

The league has decided to reserve trophies for winners. Everyone else will get a certificate of participation.

“At some point you’ve got to brush your teeth without getting a gold star,” said Ryan Mihalic, a coach with Reisterstown Baseball.

Ashley Merryman, author of Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, blames the self-esteem movement of the ’80s for the popularity of participation trophies and medals.

“. . . we need to learn that mistakes and failures are okay. We don’t have to actually pretend that every time we go out, we win,” she said. “Over time, this is giving the message that nothing is worth doing unless you get acclaim and recognition.”

In a 2014 poll, 57 percent said trophies should be reserved for winners. More affluent, educated and Republican/libertarian respondents were most opposed to participation trophies.

A New Jersey high school has eliminated tryouts for the cheerleading squad, after a mother complained her daughter didn’t make the team.  Now everyone’s on the cheer squad.

The school claims it wants to make cheerleading more “inclusive.”

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