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.
The Gloucester Dragons Recreational Soccer league’s newly implemented edict is intended to dissuade a runaway game in favour of sportsmanship. The rule replaces its five-point mercy regulation, whereby any points scored beyond a five-point differential would not be registered.
According to the league’s new rules, coaches of stronger teams are encouraged to deter runaway games by rotating players out of their usual positions, ensuring players pass the ball around, asking players to kick with the weaker foot, taking players off the field and encouraging players to score from farther away.
I haven't been a coach of youth teams yet, so I don't have that perspective on this. But, the point of youth sports when really young is not winning, otherwise you'd have very different tactics. You would rarely play your crappy players if all that counted was winning at age 8. Heck, you'd probably have kids start specializing early if that's all that counted. You don't want to lose sight of the fact that winning and losing is what the sport is about, but you're developing athletes at this point, not earning the big bucks. Still, losing the game for rocking it too hard is a bit much.