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New Kids' Soccer Rule: If You Win, You Lose!

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The latest "everybody wins!" sporting rule isn't scoring high with parents ... or kids.


Imagine this: Your kid is playing in a soccer league, and his team just scored their fifth goal -- putting them five goals ahead of their competition. Smells like victory, right? Not so fast. In a new rule enacted by a Canadian youth soccer league, if your kid's team makes another goal, THEY LOSE.

It's true: Reps from the youth league in Ottawa say the five-goals-ahead limit is intended to prevent blowout victories. (Other measures include asking stronger players to kick with the weaker foot.) WTH?!

Kevin Cappon, 17, says the rules are "just dumb." In a game last month, when Cappon's team had scored their "allowed maximum" of five goals more than their opponents, the players just kicked the ball around aimlessly for the rest of the game so they wouldn't lose. (Yep, that sounds kind of dumb.) Cappon's father sides with his son, saying that the new rules will render kids unable "to deal with the competition out there."

But league director Sean Cale defends the new rules, saying the league is only trying to make the game fair.

What do you think? Is this rule good for team morale ... or does it unnecessarily shield kids from the agony of defeat?

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24 comments so far | Post a comment now
Matt June 3, 2010, 4:54 PM

WTF is this. Some kids are better than others at stuff, it is that simple, you don’t need to make every kid feel like a winner. What the hell did they do when we were kids? If you won, you won, if you lost you lost none of us had any psychological damage. This kind of stuff needs to stop.

Wes June 3, 2010, 4:59 PM

It’s actually quite a professional approach that can be used to teach kids the importance of maintaining possession as a tactic for killing off games and strangling the life out of your opponent. I know it sounds like they’re being killjoys and protecting the losers from heartbreak, but there is a positive side…and 5-0 is still a thrashing.

Anonymous June 3, 2010, 5:33 PM

I think this is crazy! Kids need to learn how to lose because you don’t always win in everything you do. Life is rough out there and when they grow up in are out in the big bad world, they’re going to have a harsh reality check.

ambur June 3, 2010, 7:36 PM

Oh wow. They’re dumb. For the losing team they’re teaching them that everything is fair and in the end u don’t really lose and in the real world u can get eaten and spit out alive not cool. Everyone loses at some point they need to learn to deal and get back up and try again. As for the winning team they’re teaching them that if ur too good at something or win too much abd strive to go too far u ended up really losing in the long run. Making them want to hold back from reaching their full potential and doing something and being someone truly amazing. Tsk tsk new rule should be thrown out!!

friend June 4, 2010, 9:35 AM

i think it’s ingenious! it teaches winners to be good sports as well as control because it’s not always about winning. i don’t understand why most people think it’s shielding losers from humiliation… they KNOW they lost and how. and if they didn’t have that threshold, they know how much they would lose by as well. on the other hand, this 5 point difference keeps the game interesting because if the winning team makes a mistake by being too cocky, or are just nice to let the other team score once in a while, or the losing team learned something during the game, they can close this gap more quickly.

friend June 4, 2010, 9:43 AM

nowadays, parents let their kids off commitments too easily. it’s all about instant gratification. the losing team that’s trailing behind by lots of points may give up early in the game without trying or enjoying the sport. the limited point gap may help them in learning to have hope and continue to strive for success.

Saul June 4, 2010, 12:34 PM

Changing the rules is not the way to improve soccer level in Canada.

Oskar June 4, 2010, 5:16 PM

Look friend,

A game is a game, but if you are changing the rules for effect, it leads to changing the rules and a poor moral compass for the rest of your experience. If you have a Good team and a Bad team in terms of ability, that’s just life. Life is not fair, it just is. Your response to it is what makes the difference. Gaming the system by manipulating the rules is unfair. If you want equity, don’t let the teams choose themselves. Put all the sign-ups in a hat, and choose the teams randomly. COACH an obviously better team in sportsmanship, don’t legislate it.

Lindy June 5, 2010, 11:30 AM

I agree with Anonymous. Kids today can’t handle any type of loss or rejection because of the way parents and teachers baby these kids.

Jay June 7, 2010, 10:35 PM

What if the losing team kicks the ball in their own goal? Wouldn’t that be 6-0 and cause the team up 6 to lose?

Jimmy July 4, 2010, 10:02 PM

soccer is gay

Tom's Dad July 5, 2010, 1:05 AM

Why is it that we seem to fall over ourselves to sheild our kids from failure? Learning to deal with failure and losing are important life skills and when we stop kids from experienceing little disappointments, what is going to happen when they experience it in the real world?

Let our kids learn how to deal with, and learn from failure, because when your 17-18 year old precious little darlings haven’t, and they experience adult for the first time, how do they deal with it?

KnotTubeRight July 22, 2010, 4:44 PM

I can see both sides of the argument.Why not just call it a victory when your team obtains an insurmountable lead? That’s what we did back in the day. Called it “the blowout rule”. Even in boxing or MMA, the ref can step in and stop a contest if one opponent is losing badly.
Let the victor enjoy a win and the loser should take his loss and learn from it.
On the other hand, in some children league sports their is a huge disparity between teams. Some teams have played together for several seasons, with a savvy coaching staff, while others are a rag-tag bunch who have never played before, and may not have the best coach.
The whole idea behind sports is competition after all. May the best team win, and may the losers learn to be a good sport.

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