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Old 06-08-2010, 07:10 AM   #1
Geoffrey Thompson
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Default Win a soccer game by more than five points and you lose

http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/06...a-league-says/

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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.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:45 AM   #2
Gant Grimes
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You can't even start to teach strategy until the kids are at least nine (some smart ones may pick it up a little earlier). For young kids, anything other than "take the ball from the other kid and go score" is impeding fundamental development. There are some things a coach can do like play his better players on defense, don't attack the ball until the other team crosses midfield, etc., but this usually leads to a spread field and an easy shot on goal. Five goals is nothing in a youth soccer game.

If I was a coach in this league, my goal would be to incur a forfeit every game. I don't coach or care about winning; I care about defense, takeaways, and shots on goal. Do those well, and the wins take care of themselves.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:10 AM   #3
Arien Malec
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What Gant says. In the league my daughter plays in, any goal differential over 4 leads to a player pulled from the field, which levels out the game relatively quickly but keeps the skill development alive. There is nothing more frustrating to an overmatched team than having the opponent start to play keep away. Does nothing for skill development, and is frankly worse from a "self esteem" perspective.

I personally think full side games are sort of pointless at this age. I'd rather see lots of short 4v4 or 6v6 games. It's really the parents who like to see the full side games. For the kids, it descends into mob play around the ball really quickly.
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:13 AM   #4
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for the love of god just let the little rugburners play. some will cry, some will be dicks, and most will turn out just fine. fuuuuck.
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:17 PM   #5
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Greg's is probably the best response. I remember elementary school at recess. 3 15 minute recesses. Teams chosen during the first recess. Same teams all day, maybe even longer. No adult intervention unless people were hitting or something. No stupid rules about being up more than 5 points. Probably turned out a lot more fun than these league games. I wouldn't know, though, I didn't like soccer so I played something else.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:17 PM   #6
Derek Weaver
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Rules like this make me crazy. I was on the wrong team more than once when playing Little League, basketball, rugby, and even got beat up pretty bad with a few black eyes and bloody noses just sparring when I got into combat sports.

I think I've turned out okay.

Someone has to lose in sports, and not every game is going to be competitive. It doesn't help anyone to force a team to lose if they win by more than 5 goals. All it does is punish the teams that are well coached, have fun, and also have budding athletes at a whopping 5 years old or whatever it is.

Last I heard, there weren't any crazy stories of kids losing it because they were beat handily in a little league game. Or in this case soccer.

Maybe it's soccer that's the problem, not the kids losing.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:29 AM   #7
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"Winning isn't everything" I mean I've heard this phrase for as long as I was a part of any youth sport. It looks like the parents of whoever is implementing these rules failed them. People don't build self esteem and confidence by getting things handed to them on a platter.

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Old 06-09-2010, 08:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Derek Weaver View Post
Maybe it's soccer that's the problem, not the kids losing.
Soccer parents are the problem.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gant Grimes View Post
Soccer parents are the problem.
Amen.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Arien Malec View Post
I personally think full side games are sort of pointless at this age. I'd rather see lots of short 4v4 or 6v6 games.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...ion/index.html

German system starts U9 on 4v4 games.
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