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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Winning is a bad thing?

Discussed at the Volokh Conspiracy and elsewhere, Connecticut high school sports authorities want to stop embarrassing scoring margins in high school football games. Winning by more than 50 points is deemed to be "unsportsmanlike," and can result in suspensions for the coach.

That's a lousy approach. If you want to shut down the game, institute a mercy rule. But don't force people to, basically, throw the game. When the margin gets that big, the winning team brings in its second and third string. These players should have the opportunity to play solid football in a real game situation, even if it means they score more points. These players probably want the play experience, and the younger players want to become good enough to earn a starting role. Having them go through the motions, under penalty for playing, isn't going to help them.


At 10:12 AM, Blogger Joel said...

I've got to agree with you here: this is just ridiculous. And you're right to note that the correct response is a mercy rule. If one team is ahead by some outrageous score in high school football (like 50 points) at the start of the fourth quarter, the game should be called and everyone sent home to get some extra rest, instead of having one side go through the motions for 12 minutes.

What happens if a player tackles the opposing QB in the endzone and incidentally scores a safety? Are we supposed to discourage players from tackling now? How silly.


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