Should kid sports be unfair?

how-to-kick-a-soccer-ballJust back from coaching an eleven-year-old boys’ football team. Everyone wants to be the quarterback but few can throw accurately and even less than catch. Once play settles down and players get comfortable with being either offensive or defensive squads everyone has fun, even when competing with other schools.
I was at a U-18 league team soccer game on Sunday and after one team went ahead six goals to nil I had to wonder who looked at the registration and put the teams together. Being familiar with a Nanaimo representative team that made it through to the BC Provincial Finals as U-12’s, U13’s, U15’s and U’16’s, and actually won the title as U-13’s, I remembered how frustrated and disappointed the boys were when the Nanaimo Youth Soccer Club dropped their support for them – meaning U-17 and U18 teams had to disband after all those many years of development.
To get back to the league game, four or five of the players on the winning team were from the disbanded rep. team, while only one was playing on the losing team. Furthermore, the winning team had three experienced goalies while the losing side had none and had to play rocks-paper-scissors to see who would go between the posts. Were all players having fun? No. Was the winning side satisfied with six goals? No. Was the lone rep. player on the losing side subjected to targeting and taunting? Yes.
So I’m thinking, whose responsible for this inequality, and does anyone care, other than myself?

Should kid sports be unfair?


3 thoughts on “Should kid sports be unfair?

  1. When I was a kid in Duncan, there were 3 soccer teams for my age group. The 3 teams were in different divisions: A,B, and D and played against teams from Victoria/Gulf Islands in those divisions.
    I played on the “B” division team with the same core group of teammates for 10 years. We started out in “C”, but moved up.

    The “A” division team was formed when I was about 12 years old and consisted of good elementary school team players that were encouraged to join the city team.
    (the “A” coach tried to cherrypick 3 or 4 members from my team, but no one went)

    The “D” division team was mostly made up of players who joined at 10 or 11 years old and couldn’t join the “B” division team because it was full, or couldn’t join the “A” division team because they were considered as not having the skills to compete at that level.

    We all played against each other once or twice a year. Overall, the “B” team beat both the “A” and “D” teams usually. We lost to the “D” team a few times once they’d been together for a few years, but I don’t think we ever lost to the “A” team.

    I believe players at a young age need to stay on the same team, with the same group of teammates, and learn to grow and improve as a team.

    There were no rep. teams in Duncan when I was growing up; some players eventually tried out for the Victoria rep. teams though.

    note: I was nominated for soccer boy of the year once … along with a teammate, but we lost out to Nick Gilbert who played with the kids a year younger than us. I don’t feel so bad about that now.

  2. I think if it’s not rep league, then the teams should be created fairly. For a lot of kids, they are playing for the fun of the game. Being on a team that dominates or a team that loses badly, isn’t really “fun”. Close games with nail biting finishes is a lot more exciting. But there are a lot of parents out there that only see as far as their own child and could care less about the rest. In the end though, that kind of thinking doesn’t develop team play.

  3. Unfortunately Brian most people don’t get it. Brad and I had the very same problems when our boys were involved in sports there and here in Australia. No-one cares other than you and me. Unfortunately, this type of unfairness starts small and those who don’t support it drop out. The end result is that these unfair attitudes and behaviours are then idolised and rise to the top and infiltrate society amass and the rest of us end up serving them. Hence, the unfair world that we live in – competitive, uncaring, dog-eat-dog and we either have to accept it or try to compete, which is a waste of time when you don’t have those unscrupulous instincts.

    None of my boys play competitive sports because of this type of unfairness. It turned them off for life. Me too and I don’t ever see it changing.

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