Controversy over youth football leage "mercy rule"

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by thisnumbersdisconnected, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    My personal take on this stems from a game we played in high school when I was a freshman. We were a 3A small-town school district, and most 3A schools in Missouri were in the city. Our high school had originally been a big 2A, but the closing of three even smaller districts and their merger into our school system made us a mid-sized 3A. We played schools from St. Joseph, and some of the bigger towns in North Missouri, to fill our schedule and qualify for state playoffs. One of the St. Joseph schools beat us in our home opener 62-7 that year.

    It was embarrassing. We felt like losers. But we also vowed that we weren't going to ever let that happen again. We worked hard, pulled together as a team, improved our play, and finished 6-4 that year, and by the time I finished my senior year, we had won two state basketball championships and the Missouri 3A title in football. We also competed effectively in wrestling and track at the 3A level. We didn't have baseball in high school. North Missouri is too cold and wet in March and April to have a decent season, but our American Legion team won the state tournament the summer after my senior year and lost a 17-inning, 1-0 heart-breaker to the Illinois champion (out of Chicago) in the Midwest regional tournament (don't even know if they still have those).

    If there had been a mercy rule of a continuous clock (which has been instituted in Missouri and Kansas for games in which the score exceeds a 28-point deficit) and a 40-point deficit scoring limit (thankfully they haven't instituted that rule in either state, but some states have) we would probably not have been so incensed, so hurt, so mad as to get better.

    I think the rule stinks for high school. Perhaps in youth league, it serves a good purpose, given there is a "no-cut" rule, though that too is stupid. It removes the incentive to get better, to play competitively, to exceed expectations. We make excuses for kids today and give them a place at the table even when they "don't know how to eat." It's sickening. There is nothing wrong with kids getting life lessons on the losing end of a lop-sided score. Sometimes it inspires them to exceptional heights, and even if it doesn't, without those disappointments during our youth, life is a shock when we discover there isn't anyone out there "speeding up the clock" for us.
     
    #1 thisnumbersdisconnected, Sep 24, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2013
  2. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    I agree with you. My sport is baseball and there is a 10 run mercy rule in youth leagues in the home team is leading after 4 1/2 innings are played (these are for 7 inning games). In baseball the rule is mostly for time purposes. Typically there are other games scheduled after your game or else because of the high number of runs scored the game would run up against darkness.

    The article was about youth football and I agree the mercy rule makes sense here but not at the high school level. I would think the overriding concern would be injury. I suppose the no-cut rule is in effect because some smaller schools find it hard to field a roster with enough guys. Sometimes you just have to get your butt-whupped in order to dig down deep and respond.
     
  3. Winman

    Winman
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    My dad was a very successful baseball coach for many years, and I coached several years myself, so I think I can speak a little on the subject.

    When it is obvious that you are overwhelming a team, that is the time to put your second string in. Even it out a little, and give those players who often warm the bench some playing time. But let them play.

    In football, when you have a huge lead it is best just to run the clock out. It is rather poor sportsmanship to run up a big score and embarrass your opponent. Again, a good time to give your second string some playing experience as well.

    But you will always have a few jerks who run up the score, that is just the way it is. I don't think a person should be fined for it. But a good coach should know better.
     
  4. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    A great big AMEN to this concept!!!!!:thumbsup:
     

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