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  #1  
Old 10-16-2010, 12:07 PM
Cubsfan Cubsfan is offline
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At what age should kids sports start keeping score?

My son is 7 and plays soccer in the local rec league. He sucks as does misery of the rest of his team. They don't pay attention and screw around most of the time while other teams score all over them. There are some teams that play actual soccer instead of fucking around. This league still doesn't keep formal score and teams are never declared winner. Records aren't kept and everyone gets a trophy. I.think this is unfair to the teams that actually play.the.game to learn and win.

When I was his age playing minor league baseball we kept score and win loss records. We got killed every week and we all survived. My coach could yell at us to stop fucking around and pull kids that wouldn't listen. Coaches can't yell anymore or sit a kid.

I think my son is at the age where he should care about winning and losing. They should keep score and track the teams record and placing. My son doesn't care about winning and losing and I think he should.

What do you think about the pussification of youth sports in the US and when should scores and records be tracked ?
  #2  
Old 10-16-2010, 12:14 PM
SSG Schwartz SSG Schwartz is offline
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If you are old enough to play a game, you should be old enough to know if you won or lost. Otherwise, why even have a goal, goalees, or even an opposing team?

Winning or losing, it ain't like a 5YO gets hung up on this kind of thing unless someone else gets them to care.

SSG (P) Schwartz
  #3  
Old 10-16-2010, 12:29 PM
An Arky An Arky is offline
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Oh, the kids definitely start keeping score before score is formally kept...
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:32 PM
lindsaybluth lindsaybluth is offline
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Boyfriend's little sister (adopted, much younger) is 8 and it really bothers me that they don't keep score in softball. I think she thinks it's all about going out and farting around. Sometimes the kids don't even pitch, but the coach will pitch so they ALL get to hit the ball *smack*. Each kid has something like 4-5 strikes, and the games last FOREEEEEVER.

The trophy thing is bizarre. If you're not going to keep score, don't promote mediocrity. Otherwise they're getting rewards for nothing!
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:50 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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I think they should keep score as soon as they're old enough to understand it. That doesn't mean you have to place a lot of importance on it, and you should still stress having fun over winning and losing, but taking the score out it takes away from the fun, it doesn't enhance it. The same with the softball games where kids are allowed infinite strikes and whatnot. Sports are about competing. That's what makes them fun. Taking away the competitive aspects ruins it.

Kids are not going to be devastated by losing, and they still know who's good and who isn't anyway, so it isn't like ignoring the score conceals anything, and giving them 15 strikes just emabrrasses them more, it doesn't make them feel better.

When I was running a couple of sumer day camps in St. Paul, we used to organize little softball and kickball games. Most of the people who worked with me there at the rec centers were women, and they always wanted to not keep score and let the kids swing until they got hits. They even wanted foul balls to be counted as fair. It was ridiculous. I had to put my foot down about. Started running the games by normal rules, kept score and the kids had a lot more fun. When there aren't any rules at all, there isn't any point.

At risk of sounding sexist, it seemed to me like there was a fundamental disconnect between the way men and women understood how boys feel about competitive activities. Not all women, obviously. Dont flame me, but a lot of them didn't seem to get that boys liked trying to beat each other. They need competition and crave it on almost a molecular level. They are also not emotionally ruined by losing a fair contest, and for the most part the kids don't take it off the field with them. There are kids who are bullies, and kids who gloat too much about winning, but the other kids know those kids are assholes.
  #6  
Old 10-16-2010, 01:16 PM
heathen earthling heathen earthling is offline
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A few boys (well, me, at least) will simply never understand the appeal of competitive sports. Win or lose, it all looks completely pointless to me.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:18 PM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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I used to be a PE teacher and youth sports coach. Got out of it because of a**hole parents, and it just astounds me that we're STILL having this silly debate.

There's nothing wrong with modifying rules to encourage learning. I'm in favor of this, when necessary, up through middle school. The whole point of youth sports is for the kids to learn the game. Keeping score is sometimes fine, and I'm in favor of that when appropriate too. In PE class there times I would have even very little kids would keep score, but in a way designed to teach how and why, and how to do it politely.

I have seen legions of kids who gave up sports because they were neither learning nor having fun. Volleyball is a good example. Hard game to play as a beginner. Unlike soccer and basketball, you can't hide a weak player by having them run around and look busy. Actual skills are necessary for the game to even begin (serving), and continue (using multiple contacts to pass, set and attack). Kids who were just learning those skills and not very good at it, especially serving, would feel terribly when they would fail 80% of the time - with both teams and all spectators watching in silence.

So I advocated playing with modified rules for the learning levels. How about scoring it like a swim meet? You get multiple chances to serve, then your team gets a ten if they use three contacts and send the ball over the net again, thereby encouraging learning of the core elements of the game. This was opposed by the a**hole parents and some a**hole hardcore volleyballers who ran the league who would catch the vapors at the IDEA of changing the rules for educational purposes. So guess what? A lot of those kids quit because they hated serving, and I don't blame them.

Let the kids play. Teach them how to play. Let them know fooling around isn't OK, but that they should try their best. Good players put out their best effort without knowing the score because it's the right thing to do. How about teaching them that?

Last edited by Llama Llogophile; 10-16-2010 at 01:22 PM.
  #8  
Old 10-16-2010, 02:01 PM
Cubsfan Cubsfan is offline
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You didn't answer the question Mach Tuck. When do YOU think scoring is appropriate?
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:43 PM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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You didn't answer the question Mach Tuck. When do YOU think scoring is appropriate?
Yes I did:

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Originally Posted by Me
There's nothing wrong with modifying rules to encourage learning. I'm in favor of this, when necessary, up through middle school.
Middle school generally goes up to grades 8 or 9, depending on where you are in the country. Youth sports (which I consider anything up through middle school) are about learning. High school sports are more competitive. My view was that the Junior Varsity's squad was to support Varsity. Varsity's job was to be competitive and hopefully win. To do that, you need to keep score.

But things get out of proportion at the high school level too. I think it's nice for the community to support their school's teams, but I find it creepy when they invest too much of the town's identity and morale in their performance.

I've also seen coaches do wrong by their athletes in hopes of winning at the varsity level. Another volleyball example...

Against weak-to-medium teams, you'll generally win just by putting the ball over the net, no matter how awkwardly. The other team will screw up handling the ball and give you an easy point. I've seen varsity coaches train their teams to forgo the usual strategy of pass-set-attack in favor of just sending it over on the first or second contact for this reason. It works well until they get into playoffs with teams who actually know how to play, and then they get eaten alive.

But my real problem with that strategy is that it shortchanges the kids. If any of them try to play in college, or even high level recreational ball, they'll have to be re-trained to play properly.
  #10  
Old 10-16-2010, 03:04 PM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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keeping score does not mean the kids will be broken hearted with a loss. If they are young they will just think ,so what. Some kids are competitive and want to win everything. Many of the other catch on later. But it does not scar them for life to lose a game they barely understand how to play. If you play, keep score.
  #11  
Old 10-16-2010, 03:37 PM
Gustav Gustav is offline
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Even as a kid I never understood the point of playing games if you're not keeping score. All that's left is a bunch of idiots running around waving their arms and kicking stuff for no reason.
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:43 PM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
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If you're not keeping score, you're not really playing a game, you're just having a practice or workout. Scorekeeping should begin the very first time the kids face an opposing team.

Last edited by Peremensoe; 10-16-2010 at 03:45 PM.
  #13  
Old 10-16-2010, 03:48 PM
AK84 AK84 is online now
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In life there are winner and losers and failures. I think you are setting kids up to be the last of the three with such stupid ideas as no score and everybody wins.
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:04 PM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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In life there are winner and losers and failures. I think you are setting kids up to be the last of the three with such stupid ideas as no score and everybody wins.
Nothing can be experiential? There's no time for just learning? A soccer game has to be total war to the death with the bodies burned afterward? C'mon.

And it's not about "everybody wins". Good youth sports are about learning, and there are different ways to encourage learning of a sport. Amazing that this remains a controversial idea. It's part of the reason Physical Education has such a bad reputation - the collective thinking in that field is still mired in the 1950's.

And why youth sports? There are plenty of opportunities to learn about competitiveness in life. Why does a 7-year old's soccer game have to be THE critical arena for learning life's lessons?

I was always an athlete, and reached a high level in one of my sports. Part of how I got there was because I never cared about the score. I did my best every time, regardless. And if I were fixated on the score, I might have missed out on a learning opportunity during some losses. I've never understood how so many people insist on such a cutthroat attitude for youth sports. When I was coaching, it often seemed these parents were the ones who knew the least about how to play the sport in question.

There's a time and a place, you know. Let JV and varsity worry about the win loss stats. These are freakin' 7-year old kids we're talking about. Teach them about competitiveness, teach them about keeping score. But have some perspective - it should be about learning the game and developing skills.

Last edited by Llama Llogophile; 10-16-2010 at 04:09 PM.
  #15  
Old 10-16-2010, 04:20 PM
Spoons Spoons is offline
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Do the kids ever play an unorganized pickup game of any kind? Say, a baseball game in the schoolyard at lunch, or a weekend afternoon football game in the park? What do they do then? As I recall my own childhood, we always kept score in such games. Not that it really mattered--teams would change from day to day as the day's captains would select from the available pool of kids who showed up. But it never occurred to us not to keep score.

Certainly in the organized sports I participated in during my childhood, scores were kept. Somebody won and somebody lost. We all wanted to play like the pros we watched on TV did, and that included keeping score. I think we would have refused to play if the adults told us that scores would not be kept, as to us, it would have been pointless.

To more directly address the OP's question, I think scores should be kept at any age. But I don't think it should be for any reason related to "fostering the competitiveness that will be needed as an adult." Rather, I think it's because keeping score is a part of the game. If you're not keeping score, you're not playing the game.

Good question: What do the organizing adults tell the kids who want to keep score?
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:42 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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At what age should kids sports start keeping score?


From day one.
  #17  
Old 10-16-2010, 04:59 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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For sure, not before they have the attention span for it to mean anything. For 5 year olds, the beginning of a soccer game was a million years ago. At that age, anyone who gets the ball in the goal has won that little game, and that win should be celebrating it. Tying it in to some other little game from 35 minutes ago is just pointless. At seven, I would be more in favor of keeping score per quarter than for the game as a whole. Again, they just don't have the attention span to think of an hour as a unit. Better to clean the slate every fifteen minutes.

Personally, I think the answer is going to depend on the kid, and I think it's great that we live in a time and place where many places have multiple leagues using different systems. I think the best thing is to find the thing that is best for your individual kid--and what's best is a system that will lead him to enjoy it--not every minute, but overall--and want to keep at it. Some people are depressed by competition--my husband, for example, hates to win at another person's expense as much as he hates to lose. Others, like myself, are driven by competition. Some kids really like to compete against themselves, not others--these are the kids that are driven to martial arts, gymnastics, running, swimming. A parent's job is to help a kid find what works best for them--not to push them toward what the parent likes.

I do think people ought to abide by the system they've agreed on. If it's an "everyone plays" league, no getting mad if your talented kid gets benched so that someone else can fumble through their moves. On the other hand, if it's a competitive league, no getting upset if your kid doesn't get to play much.
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:22 PM
Otara Otara is offline
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Im honestly not sure either way myself.

Overall my suspicion is that not scoring is more a reflection on how parents behave about sports than anything to do with the children, who would probably survive quite well with either method if thats all that was involved.

Otara
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:33 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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When I was his age playing minor league baseball we kept score and win loss records. We got killed every week and we all survived. My coach could yell at us to stop fucking around and pull kids that wouldn't listen. Coaches can't yell anymore or sit a kid.

I think my son is at the age where he should care about winning and losing. They should keep score and track the teams record and placing. My son doesn't care about winning and losing and I think he should.
The issue here is clearly not whether there's formal score being kept, but that your son's coaches are not asking enough of the kids to pay attention and respect the game. This seems self evident to me because not keeping score is clearly not a problem with the teams your kid's team is playing against. You say THEY'RE trying, but the score isn't being officially kept for them either. Your son's team has the problem, not the league.

When I played youth sports it was expected that I'd bust my ass during PRACTICE, and you don't keep score in practice. So why did I bust my ass? Because I was told to by my coaches and my parents to bust my ass. If I went 0 for 4 and struck out three times I was complimentid if I'd hustled, and my Dad would ask me what I had learned that day or how I thought I could improved. If I dragged my ass and had two hits and three RBI, he'd give me shit for not trying my best.

Overemphasis on winning at that age is the reason they don't keep score, by the way; it may irritate you, but the history of youth sports is rife with cheating and abusive coaches and parents being assholes and kids being relegated to the bench for no good reason. Maybe in the odd case - the odd case - people go too far, but frankly at age 7 I don't think keeping score makes a difference either way.
  #20  
Old 10-16-2010, 05:33 PM
jonesj2205 jonesj2205 is offline
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I don't believe for a minute the kids on the OP's team don't know they're losing. They don't care. And keeping score won't change that they don't care.
Mostly I think the debate on whether to keep score or not is misplaced. Even when I coached 5 year olds the competitive ones knew whether they won or lost.
As did all the adults, but not keeping score tended to help the adults focus on individual accomplishments, which is a good thing (great swing, nice save, wow you caught the ball, etc).
Basic answer once most of the players can keep track of the score anyway (and by 8 they definitely can) you might as well keep score.
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:35 PM
Lamar Mundane Lamar Mundane is offline
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I find it hard to believe that the idea of not keeping score has persisted in any meaningful way to today. I thought it was a silly fad that fell by the wayside long ago. I live in one of the most liberal, touchy-feely kinds of places in the country, but I've raised two kids in youth sports and the idea of not keeping score was never even discussed. Hell, when they're five and six you could quiz them after a game and they'd have no idea what the score was or even if they won or lost anyway. They just don't care at that age, but after that it changes, even in recreational leagues. It's not like they're using scoreboards in those leagues anyway.

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I've also seen coaches do wrong by their athletes in hopes of winning at the varsity level. Another volleyball example...

Against weak-to-medium teams, you'll generally win just by putting the ball over the net, no matter how awkwardly. The other team will screw up handling the ball and give you an easy point. I've seen varsity coaches train their teams to forgo the usual strategy of pass-set-attack in favor of just sending it over on the first or second contact for this reason. It works well until they get into playoffs with teams who actually know how to play, and then they get eaten alive.
This baffles me. My youngest just finished her volleyball season on the freshman team and it was serve, dig, set and spike all the way. A couple of kids who had never played before had trouble serving but by the end of the season they were getting most of them in. Half the kids on JV were doing jump serves. If anyone suggested to these girls that they shouldn't worry about the score or wins and losses they'd mutiny.

Thinking about it, where I live, there's a decent chance that at least one kid on the opposing team has a parent that was in the Olympics, so maybe this is an outlier. No, the Denver kids are the same way.
  #22  
Old 10-16-2010, 05:42 PM
Odesio Odesio is offline
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As a child I can't recall ever playing any kind of game without trying to win. Soccer, baseball, chess, or even tag. My first experience with organized sports was soccer and even at six years of age I tried my best to win. The fundamentals of a particular sport include the various skills (dribbling, passing, etc.) needed to play, an understanding of each position in the field, and the rules of the game. Keeping score is part of the rules of every game I ever played.

I don't think people should be obsessed with score. I certainly don't support parents who scream and shout angrily at a peewee soccer game. Refusing to keep score seems to be the other extreme though. You're not fooling anyone. The kids know what the score is.
  #23  
Old 10-16-2010, 07:20 PM
Cubsfan Cubsfan is offline
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Originally Posted by RickJay
When I played youth sports it was expected that I'd bust my ass during PRACTICE, and you don't keep score in practice. So why did I bust my ass? Because I was told to by my coaches and my parents to bust my ass. If I went 0 for 4 and struck out three times I was complimentid if I'd hustled, and my Dad would ask me what I had learned that day or how I thought I could improved. If I dragged my ass and had two hits and three RBI, he'd give me shit for not trying my best.
No kidding there guy. Read my OP. Times have changed. How it was when you or I were kids is not how it is now. That's the point. No one (at least not me) ever said anything about being good or being star players. I think they should be playing for a reason by this age. A reason other than running around kicking the ball. If that's what they want to do they can do that for free with kids in the neighborhood and save me the $150 we paid for 10wks of organized soccer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manda Jo
At seven, I would be more in favor of keeping score per quarter than for the game as a whole. Again, they just don't have the attention span to think of an hour as a unit. Better to clean the slate every fifteen minutes
You have INCREDIBLY low expectations for a 7 year old. These kids could sit in front of a TV for HOURS playing Halo or Lego Batman. Don't try to convince me they don't have the mental capacity to understand the score of an hour long game of soccer.
  #24  
Old 10-16-2010, 08:13 PM
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Around here for the younger kids, it's a 2-tier system for most sports. Generally, the "recreational" leagues are designed to be as fair to everyone as possible - it's about getting kids into the sport, learning and developing the fundamentals, etc. Scoring and things like penalties (depending on sport) might be done but it's fairly loose and no one really cares (it's the rec league, cmon). It's more like a series of scrimmages, which is reflected in the relatively small number of practices (in my son's rec soccer league, practices to games are 1:1). Barrier to entry is intentionally very low, it's meant to foster and develop the sport in the community.

Then there are various types of "travel" leagues for the kids who want to take it up a notch, and actually be seriously competitive. These leagues are less accessible because they cost more and require more commitment from kids and parents. Much more is demanded of the kids. This is less about developing the sport within the community, and much more about developing talent and teamwork within the individual group - and it can be very competitive.

I think this is a great system. And it works well: the travel kids still tend to play in the rec leagues, but when they're there they have to work on a different set of skills, like sportsmanship, working together with players who aren't quite at their level, playing leadership roles by helping struggling kids with the basics, that sort of thing. Frequently it's a great opportunity for even the better kids to develop certain skills they might not otherwise. (One of the better travel kids on my son's rec soccer team had to play an entire game where he could only shoot on goal with his left foot - which they would never try in a travel league game).

Unfortunately, there are occasional coaches who get over-competitive and basically only ever play their travel kids. But it's not too common.

I think by Jr High age this distinction pretty much vanishes, with the possible exception of Little League (which has it's own complexities...).
  #25  
Old 10-16-2010, 08:19 PM
Otara Otara is offline
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Sounds great - parents get to choose instead of one size fits all.

In ten years or so we can see if civilisation collapses because some 7 year olds didnt keep score.

Otara
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:51 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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We can already see it. It's part of a coddling culture that's resulting in kids still living in their parents' houses at 30, having a ridiculous sense of entitlement from being rewarded for nothing all their lives and having no preparation for life away from mommy. Not keeping score is how you create misfit, maladapted nerds who dress up like pandas and have "girlfriends" they only ever talk to on the internet.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 10-16-2010 at 08:51 PM.
  #27  
Old 10-16-2010, 09:01 PM
Otara Otara is offline
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While keeping score seems to result in people using ridiculous hyperbole.

Decisions decisions.

Otara
  #28  
Old 10-16-2010, 09:17 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Boyfriend's little sister (adopted, much younger) is 8 and it really bothers me that they don't keep score in softball. I think she thinks it's all about going out and farting around. Sometimes the kids don't even pitch, but the coach will pitch so they ALL get to hit the ball *smack*. Each kid has something like 4-5 strikes, and the games last FOREEEEEVER.

The trophy thing is bizarre. If you're not going to keep score, don't promote mediocrity. Otherwise they're getting rewards for nothing!
I sort of see why it's important, but I don't really get why people seem to care so much. Though maybe that's because I never really got into sports. I only did them in gym class and for me it was just about waiting until the forty five minutes or hour or whatever was up. I can be very competitive about other things, but sports just always passed me by, personally.

If the kid's just going out there to go out/fart around, does it really matter? Lots of people as adults join clubs or go to the gym just to socialize or enjoy themselves.

Though again, as I said, I was never big on sports and never played team sports and thus never really cared about scoring. Now hand me my panda suit--it's time for me to sign on AIM and talk to Noriko.
  #29  
Old 10-16-2010, 09:18 PM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
We can already see it. It's part of a coddling culture that's resulting in kids still living in their parents' houses at 30, having a ridiculous sense of entitlement from being rewarded for nothing all their lives and having no preparation for life away from mommy. Not keeping score is how you create misfit, maladapted nerds who dress up like pandas and have "girlfriends" they only ever talk to on the internet.
And the people who don't play sports at all? Well, somebody has to be the radioactive mutants after civilization collapses.
  #30  
Old 10-16-2010, 09:36 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindsaybluth View Post
Boyfriend's little sister (adopted, much younger) is 8 and it really bothers me that they don't keep score in softball. I think she thinks it's all about going out and farting around. Sometimes the kids don't even pitch, but the coach will pitch so they ALL get to hit the ball *smack*. Each kid has something like 4-5 strikes, and the games last FOREEEEEVER.

The trophy thing is bizarre. If you're not going to keep score, don't promote mediocrity. Otherwise they're getting rewards for nothing!
I sort of see why it's important, but I don't really get why people seem to care so much. Though maybe that's because I never really got into sports. I only did them in gym class and for me it was just about waiting until the forty five minutes or hour or whatever was up. I can be very competitive about other things, but sports just always passed me by, personally.

If the kid's just going out there to go out/fart around, does it really matter?
It matters to the other kids who actually like sports. If you don't want to play, don't play, but if you are going to play, don't ask everybody to change the fundamental rules and structure of the activity for you.

It's like wanting to join a chess club but then asking them to change the rules so that your opponent can't take your queen or put you in check. Why would they want to do that? They want to play chess, not move pieces around randomly on the board to humor somebody who "doesn't really get into it." If you're not into it, don't do it, but don't ruin it for the people who are into it.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 10-16-2010 at 09:38 PM.
  #31  
Old 10-16-2010, 09:37 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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We can already see it. It's part of a coddling culture that's resulting in kids still living in their parents' houses at 30, having a ridiculous sense of entitlement from being rewarded for nothing all their lives and having no preparation for life away from mommy. Not keeping score is how you create misfit, maladapted nerds who dress up like pandas and have "girlfriends" they only ever talk to on the internet.
And the people who don't play sports at all? Well, somebody has to be the radioactive mutants after civilization collapses.
They don't have to play sports to be competitive in either ways (and to learn from losing and failure. The best thing that sports does is teach kids how to learn from failure).
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:07 PM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
They don't have to play sports to be competitive in either ways (and to learn from losing and failure. The best thing that sports does is teach kids how to learn from failure).
Again we see why PE and organized sports remain in the dark ages. If we taught math this way, we'd go no further than counting on fingers. Although there's some truth to the old saw of "sports builds character", the precise type of character is highly variable, and it largely depends on the quality of coaching.

You think the Straight Dope's fight against ignorance is taking a long time? Try working with PE teachers and coaches. But thankfully, there are a small number of people in the field who are able to think beyond the traditional. Yet, so many teachers, coaches and parents seem to want only a reincarnation of Vince Lombardi. What is it about sports that brings about these ridiculous attitudes?

Anyway...

It's not about "make every kid feel like a winner" by not keeping score. In my entire career in PE and coaching I never saw that - I'm starting to think it's an urban myth. It's about actually teaching skills and using a variety of tools to do so. Game modifications are one of those tools.

There are times to compete.

There are times to build the skills in order to compete later.

When you are 7 years old, it's mostly the latter. And that means it might be a good idea to focus on process rather than result. For God's sake, why is this so controversial?

Last edited by Llama Llogophile; 10-16-2010 at 10:08 PM.
  #33  
Old 10-16-2010, 10:26 PM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach Tuck View Post
There are times to compete.

There are times to build the skills in order to compete later.

When you are 7 years old, it's mostly the latter. And that means it might be a good idea to focus on process rather than result. For God's sake, why is this so controversial?
Competition is the process, to a great extent. Skill-building comes in attempting to actually play the game.

After the most basic background on the objective and how the pieces work, chess players need to play actual chess games.

It doesn't have to be driven, cutthroat competition, but it can't be a joke.
  #34  
Old 10-16-2010, 10:26 PM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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I think that there can be a lat of value in kids playing sport without scoring. It allows them to learn the skills of a sport without the pressure of being result focussed.

For years I coached kids cricket and never emphasized winning at all. It was all about playing the game. Even from an early age I tried to stay out of the on field tactical decisions and encouraged the kids to work out what to do and what needed doing. I only ensured they didn't break rules. This didn't lead to any fucking around though, the captain for the day would rip in to any players that were slacking.

Luckily I had good parents who obeyed my spectating rules - cheer for both teams, never criticize any player's attempts at stuff, no whining about umpire's decisions, no offering advice during breaks, just generally act like it is a privilege to be watching.

But, even with this kind of attitude, the kids from age 9 wanted to win. For example my method for picking the batting order was, if anyone didn't bat last week they get to choose their spot first; anyone not out last week, chooses next, then the rest choose. In tough games no-one would choose to bat 3 before our star batter even if he was last to choose for the week. Against weak opponents someone would grab the chance.

I can recall when I was about the same age I started playing various competitive sports and we hated it when the coach made a good player sit on the sidelines to give one of the no-hopers a run. But I recall refereeing kids games and doing an under 8 grand final. As we walked off the field one of the kids said to me, "Who won ref," and this in a game where only one team scored.

So I guess about 9 it is futile having a no scoring system but prior to that maybe it isn't so important.
  #35  
Old 10-16-2010, 10:27 PM
friedo friedo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach Tuck View Post
Nothing can be experiential? There's no time for just learning?
That's what practice time is for. If you're at the point where you have actual organized teams and something called a "game" in which one team plays against another, then you keep score. If you just want to "experience" the sport and learn skills, go to practice and don't play on game day. But don't be surprised if your teammates think you're kind of a dick.

Quote:
A soccer game has to be total war to the death with the bodies burned afterward? C'mon.
This is an absurd exaggeration of what people have been saying. It is actually possible to have a real game of soccer without committing murder.

Last edited by friedo; 10-16-2010 at 10:28 PM.
  #36  
Old 10-16-2010, 10:31 PM
Cubsfan Cubsfan is offline
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Mach Tuck, you really need to get off all the PE talk because that's not at issue here. In PE I don't care what the kids do as long as they are running around and getting exercise, which is the point of PE. When I am paying for soccer I expect, well, actual soccer to be played within a reasonable expectation of their age appropriate capabilities.

I think this is an issue with things like TKD and Karate too. They don't really hold any sort of tournaments or anything really anymore for kids in youth martial arts unless you really go looking for them. They just go into class and hop around for a bit, grind out a black belt by 9 years old and go home. My son did TKD for 1 year and every 8 weeks he got a new belt after a ridiculous "test" where you paid $40 for them to get evaluated and get a new belt. I was a yellow belt after like 6 months or so in karate back in the day (80's) There's hardly any sparring in youth martial arts (I realize there are exceptions but I'm specifically referring to the huge number of TKD/daycare/playgrounds in stripmalls through suburbia). I did karate as a kid and was losing in tourneys within the first 6 months. If you aren't training for SOMETHING there is no motivation.

I'm not sure how they would even score a tourny nowadays anyway. No points? No winner? Just good jobs all around?

Last edited by Cubsfan; 10-16-2010 at 10:31 PM.
  #37  
Old 10-16-2010, 10:42 PM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
Competition is the process, to a great extent. Skill-building comes in attempting to actually play the game.
Sorry, but that's just contrary to all good teaching methodology. What you propose is akin to teaching swimming by throwing people into the deep end. And while I'm quite sure there will be proponents of that technique coming along any moment now, thankfully it's largely gone the wayside in teacher preparation. And coaching a sport is a specialized kind of teaching.

Last edited by Llama Llogophile; 10-16-2010 at 10:42 PM.
  #38  
Old 10-16-2010, 10:45 PM
friedo friedo is offline
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I've never actually heard of anyone drowning on a soccer field. Even when it's raining.
  #39  
Old 10-16-2010, 10:47 PM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubsfan View Post
Mach Tuck, you really need to get off all the PE talk because that's not at issue here. In PE I don't care what the kids do as long as they are running around and getting exercise, which is the point of PE. When I am paying for soccer I expect, well, actual soccer to be played within a reasonable expectation of their age appropriate capabilities.

I'm not sure how they would even score a tourny nowadays anyway. No points? No winner? Just good jobs all around?
Didn't see this until my previous post. Sorry, but it's all related. A great deal of youth sports is conducted by PE teachers, and their training as teachers figures into it prominently. As well it should.

You're absolutely right that there is a difference between a sport and PE class. But in the end, coaching is a type of teaching. All the good coaches I've known say that, and make it a point of pride. John Wooden was a great example of that.

I'm not trying to get anyone's goat here. However, I do believe a lot of people need to recalibrate what they think should happen in youth sports. But go back and read my posts before you get to thinking this is about "making everyone a winner", because that's not what I'm selling.

Last edited by Llama Llogophile; 10-16-2010 at 10:49 PM.
  #40  
Old 10-16-2010, 11:16 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubsfan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay
When I played youth sports it was expected that I'd bust my ass during PRACTICE, and you don't keep score in practice. So why did I bust my ass? Because I was told to by my coaches and my parents to bust my ass. If I went 0 for 4 and struck out three times I was complimentid if I'd hustled, and my Dad would ask me what I had learned that day or how I thought I could improved. If I dragged my ass and had two hits and three RBI, he'd give me shit for not trying my best.
No kidding there guy. Read my OP. Times have changed. How it was when you or I were kids is not how it is now. That's the point. No one (at least not me) ever said anything about being good or being star players. I think they should be playing for a reason by this age. A reason other than running around kicking the ball. If that's what they want to do they can do that for free with kids in the neighborhood and save me the $150 we paid for 10wks of organized soccer.
I'm not sure if you're disagreeing or not.

You're concentrating on the issue of whether score is kept when the problem, according to your own description, is with the COACHES, not the league. If the problem was that people don't keep score then why are the other teams playing so much better and hustling and trying their best? Clearly the policy of not keeping score isn't stopping them from being competitive.

I don't think your kid's soccer league would hurt anyone by keeping score, but it seems quite clear to me your kid's team is badly coached as compared to the other teams, and that problem will not go away if someone's reminding the kids how many goals have been scored. I've seen kid's teams that were coached that way in leagues that did keep score and they played just as listlessly. If the kids don't care, then they don't care.
  #41  
Old 10-16-2010, 11:24 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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If they don't care, they shouldn't be playing. If they're going to play, then they actually need to play, not just buzzkill the kids who actually do want to play the sport they signed up for.
  #42  
Old 10-16-2010, 11:31 PM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach Tuck View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
Competition is the process, to a great extent. Skill-building comes in attempting to actually play the game.
Sorry, but that's just contrary to all good teaching methodology. What you propose is akin to teaching swimming by throwing people into the deep end.
Not at all. I'm not saying competitive games are all that needs to happen. There are practices, drills, whatever. But playing the real games identifies the skills that need work, and gives focus to the whole endeavour. Also, it's not just about each kid's individual abilities; there's also learning teamwork and sharing challenges.
  #43  
Old 10-16-2010, 11:45 PM
etv78 etv78 is offline
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I have no problem with not keeping score for grade schoolers, let them enjoy their childhood. But once they get Jr. High/Middle School, they're being prepared for "the real world" and "the real world" involves keeping score, and not just in sports. I'm suprised nobody's channel Herm Edwards yet,"You PLAY to WIN the game, HELLO!"

Last edited by etv78; 10-16-2010 at 11:47 PM.
  #44  
Old 10-17-2010, 12:01 AM
Ponch8 Ponch8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach Tuck View Post

Nothing can be experiential? There's no time for just learning? A soccer game has to be total war to the death with the bodies burned afterward? C'mon.
Now this would get me interested in watching youth sports.
  #45  
Old 10-17-2010, 01:15 AM
NinjaChick NinjaChick is offline
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I think through elementary school, kids shouldn't be playing to win - they should be playing because it's fun and good for them and they like it - but they should be keeping score. There's no reason not to, and if you're not keeping score in a soccer or baseball or basketball game, then you're just eternally practicing with none of the payoff. I was horrid at softball, but loved the 'being on a team' aspect of it and played all through elementary school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubsfan View Post
I think this is an issue with things like TKD and Karate too. They don't really hold any sort of tournaments or anything really anymore for kids in youth martial arts unless you really go looking for them. They just go into class and hop around for a bit, grind out a black belt by 9 years old and go home. My son did TKD for 1 year and every 8 weeks he got a new belt after a ridiculous "test" where you paid $40 for them to get evaluated and get a new belt. I was a yellow belt after like 6 months or so in karate back in the day (80's) There's hardly any sparring in youth martial arts (I realize there are exceptions but I'm specifically referring to the huge number of TKD/daycare/playgrounds in stripmalls through suburbia). I did karate as a kid and was losing in tourneys within the first 6 months. If you aren't training for SOMETHING there is no motivation.

I'm not sure how they would even score a tourny nowadays anyway. No points? No winner? Just good jobs all around?
<Martial arts hijack>
I think that's kind of a different problem. A decent MA class, regardless of the age group or style, will be led by an instructor who can give his students plenty of motivation even just to meet training goals for the sake of improving their martial arts skills (e.g., learn this new technique/pattern so you can do it smoothly. Beat that other guy in an in-class sparring match. Keep working on that pattern until you can teach it to someone else/spot their errors. etc). The problem you're getting at, I think, is that there's an ungodly number of martial arts "instructors" who either don't know or don't care how to do it right, and parents who are too dumb to see or care about the difference. (I'm, luckily, the product of both a teacher and parents who did care. 8 years of TKD from the age of 10, still drop in on a class when I'm visiting my parents. Never entered a single tournament.)
  #46  
Old 10-17-2010, 01:38 AM
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I just don't get why you would bother trying to, say, get the ball into the hoop if there's no reward for doing so. That's what scoring is. You get to keep track of how well you are doing.

You need the reward system. You need something to motivate you. Without it, it's only the natural athletes that ever bother to actually play. It's stupid to make the coaches have to be the sole motivators.

You know how my coaches motivated us? By keeping score and telling us what we did wrong, so that we could improve ourselves. And I've never seen a group of parents who didn't keep score.
  #47  
Old 10-17-2010, 01:42 AM
Grumman Grumman is offline
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Originally Posted by friedo View Post
It is actually possible to have a real game of soccer without committing murder.
Now ice hockey, on the other hand...
  #48  
Old 10-17-2010, 08:30 AM
Acid Lamp Acid Lamp is offline
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Six or seven is the right time to begin keeping score. By that time everyone has the counting and basic math to do so and it is time to make it an aspect of the game. The problem is that all to often sports culture becomes far too focused on winning and loses sight of the original concept of a friendly game played for enjoyment, exercise, and camaraderie. When this happens people are driven away, feelings get hurt, bullying and excessive aggression is praised, etc.. Not keeping score was a rather misguided attempt at nipping that in the bud; but it does ruin the game and removes the point of it. Score should be kept, but not focused on seriously until middle school. There should be winners and losers, and trophies should be reserved for teams to hold collectively, not individuals. The team won the season that you were a part of. That drives home the lesson to the superstars as well as the shabbiest member of the team.
  #49  
Old 10-17-2010, 09:16 AM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
I just don't get why you would bother trying to, say, get the ball into the hoop if there's no reward for doing so. That's what scoring is. You get to keep track of how well you are doing.

You need the reward system. You need something to motivate you. Without it, it's only the natural athletes that ever bother to actually play. It's stupid to make the coaches have to be the sole motivators.

You know how my coaches motivated us? By keeping score and telling us what we did wrong, so that we could improve ourselves. And I've never seen a group of parents who didn't keep score.
You bother to get the ball in the hoop because it's so obviously better than not getting the ball in the hoop. And you know what keeping score does? It makes weaker players afraid to touch the fucking ball, because now everybody has a legitimate reason to hate them for not getting the ball in the hoop.

What coaches SHOULD be doing is coaching -- telling kids HOW to do what they don't know how to do -- but they're not really any good at that. Which is why this kid didn't learn that batting had anything do with his goddamn LEGS until he was thirty.
  #50  
Old 10-17-2010, 09:38 AM
SSG Schwartz SSG Schwartz is offline
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It makes weaker players afraid to touch the fucking ball, because now everybody has a legitimate reason to hate them for not getting the ball in the hoop.
Are you sure that not being good at sports is a legitimate reason for hating a classmate? There is always the fat kid to hate, or the dumb one, or the poor one, etc.

SSG (P) Schwartz
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