Football mercy rule

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AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560
Football mercy rule

Y! SPORTS

http://news.yahoo.com/video/mercy-rule-causing-outrage-youth-061923864.html

What do you think? Are mercy rules good or bad? Are these punishments too strict?

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I couldn't get the video to play so I looked up an article.

From what I gather (and from what little I know of football) this seems stupid. So, the team can't score more than 35 points higher than the other team? That's insane.

These no score/tried to prevent scores is really hurting this generation. Healthy competition is necessary.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

Our high school football team used to always win with scores like 97 to 0. I remember at the time people being mad at the coach for it. Other teams though like track or wrestling always lost by a lot. It is hard to loose by such an overwhelming amount, but I do think it teaches valuable life lessons to deal with failure.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3309

I think some social pressure on the coaches to not be asses would be better than hard line rules. Just like in the video....instead of sending in the second string...they just try to manipulate how close they get to the mercy rule cut offs.

If you dont' teach coaches to be classier...they are still going to act stupid, mercy rule or no mercy rule.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"KimPossible" wrote:

I think some social pressure on the coaches to not be asses would be better than hard line rules. Just like in the video....instead of sending in the second string...they just try to manipulate how close they get to the mercy rule cut offs.

If you dont' teach coaches to be classier...they are still going to act stupid, mercy rule or no mercy rule.

I also can't get the video to load but I have to agree with this. I was reading some of the comments that were saying the coach tells the kids to stop & drop a knee at the 1-yard line so they don't actually make the touchdown but everyone knows they *should* have. Or then they take the field goal for 3 points so they're only 34 points behind. WTF??? Basically they're teaching the kids not to play the game as well as they can, but as well as they can for a while and then to only play half-assed until the clock ticks down.

In our recreational soccer league, if a team gets ahead by four points, you have to take your strongest player off the field, and if you get ahead by six points, you lose your goalie. I think that's a much better system. Both teams are still playing as well as they can, but the stronger team gets handicapped a bit to keep it interesting & challenging for the players who remain. At the competitive level I'm not sure if teams lose a player at any point, but no matter how many points a team is ahead, only four points difference can count for standings. I like that better, too. Basically I think I like anything except what it sounds like this league in Sacramento is doing!

I found a print article:
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mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1534

Not a fan of Mercy rules, I have been on both sides of them when I was playing softball. On both sides the teams knew the score would have been much worse if we were allowed to play the way we were able to

Joined: 05/13/02
Posts: 414

I can see mercy rules when the kids are really young, and just learning the game - whatever it might be. But I remember a couple of games when the boys played basketball where my kids were on the losing side of the mercy rule...it was actually very defeating for them to know they were ending an inning because too many runs were scored by the other team.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

I like the mercy rule. I played softball for 2 years (5th & 6th grade). The first year we were really bad; like last place bad. Many games that year were called on account of the mercy rule. The second year we came in first place. I can honestly say I had just as much fun being on the losing team as I did the winning team. There's just no point in continuing a game inning after inning to see how many you can win/lose by. Maybe that's just the nature of the game? In major league baseball the home team doesn't take its last at bat if they've already won. If it's rained out after 5 innings, it can be deemed an official game.

The coach and players make a good point as to how this has changed the gameplay. The coach will be suspended from the following week's game and they can be fined $200. The intent of the mercy rule is that those who lose by too many points will lose interest in the game. Yeah...I can see that to a point. But at the same time, what about a team that can't play to its full potential? If they are in the same league, they should be fairly balanced teams. No team should be winning by 35 points week after week after week. Talent should be spread around.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3309

I don't see how losing every game with an enforcing of a mercy rule is really that less defeating than losing it by even more. Both are an indicator that you lost by 'a ton'...kids aren't stupid, especially as they get older. I mean really...kids who lose by 40 or 90 points in football every game feel defeated and lose interest, but kids who know darn well that a mercy rule was in place and went into effect every game they play don't feel that way? I find that really hard to believe.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3309

Going to go with a new theme since this hasn't happened to me in a while. Star Trek Alien Races

Vulcans

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

I don't agree with it, but then again I aslo don't agree with not scoring in the younger age levels either. My DS started soccer this year in quirts, where basically they just 'train' because they are too young for the youngest division, but while being in the club I heard that they do not start keeping score for the kids or playing finals etc until they are around 12. There are whole lessons around being sportsmanship and how to be both a good winner and loser that are getting missed.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"ange84" wrote:

I don't agree with it, but then again I aslo don't agree with not scoring in the younger age levels either. My DS started soccer this year in quirts, where basically they just 'train' because they are too young for the youngest division, but while being in the club I heard that they do not start keeping score for the kids or playing finals etc until they are around 12. There are whole lessons around being sportsmanship and how to be both a good winner and loser that are getting missed.

How old is your son? Usually in developmental leagues they phase in things year to year because there are a lot of skills involved in the game that need to be learned & you just can't throw out 6-year-olds into an 11-on-11 match with offsides. And in the younger ages, it *should* be more about having fun than about winning & losing, there's plenty of time for competition as they get older. For us, if you start at the beginning, first year (U5) there's no goalie, then they add a goalie but still don't keep score, then in U7 & U8 they have more players on a larger field & keep score but no playoffs, and U9 they add in the offside rule. At U10 they start having playoffs in each 8-team division and U10 is also when the competitive league starts so some of the really good players and teams move to competitive play while some stay in recreational. If you come in at any year, you're pretty much at a place where you can pick up the game easily, it's at your physical & developmental place for your age. I think that's good.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

The squirts he plays for are the babies 3-5 year olds which I am fine with no real games and scoring. Even when they do practice matches the kids count how many goals though. , One they reach 5 they play for under sixes which are real games and training every week, they just don't count scores or have finals until they are 12. The kids count how many goals though but aren't always taught the skills of being a good sport about winning and losing which I think is wrong. There were kids on DS's team who needed some real lessons in sportsmanship and they didn't get it, apparently calling kids on your team stupid, a baby, useless and various other names as well as not sharing the ball or including the team are things that are tolerated just because they are young. I am pretty anti 'everyone wins, there are no losers' movement I personally think kids are losing out on learning very important skills and when they are introduced it's too late

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I'm not sure why you equate not keeping score with creating a bunch of whiny sore-loser brats. That sounds like a big problem with the kind of coaches the league is hiring, and not so much a problem with the rules. Coaches *should* be teaching team spirit, sportsmanship, being a good loser, etc. along with the game skills. Not keeping score from ages 8-12 is ridiculous.