In another effort to protect the self-esteem of the precious snowflakes of the world, an Ottawa youth soccer league has a new rule that states that any team that loses by five goals is actually the winner by default.
This is the opposite of the Mercy Rule. It's the Wussy Rule.
I hate to get all Grandpa Gooch on you, but I was always taught that you could learn more by losing than you could by winning and trophies were more meaningful when they were earned (not awarded for just showing up and trying).
Handing out meaningless trophies for just showing up makes kids entitled. Teaching kids that winning and being talented makes you a loser has that same effect. (It could have a more disastrous effect: Turning talented kids off the sport and into more traditional avenues.)
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.
Thankfully, there are voices of reason.
Paul Cholmsky, whose four- and six-year-old boys play in the league, said the intended goal of a default-lose rule might backfire in teaching life skills.
“If there’s one team that’s consistenly dominant and one team that’s not, well, that’s life,” he said.
If this is the direction we keep going in this world, I propose we find a new name for "youth soccer" leagues that enforce rules like this or hand out participation trophies. Perhaps we call it "Everyone's a Winner and We Love You Because You're a Precious Snowflake Ball." Something like that. It would divide the sport into the beautiful game and the game that kids play.
Which is a change that's good for everyone. Well, except for the talented kids who are stuck playing in these kind of leagues and get bored and go play basketball or football.