Soccer, an anti-competition mentality and entitlement

I started writing this blog a few weeks ago but got sidetracked. However the story seems to have legs so I will continue with my 2 cents worth.

The story is simple.  A children’s soccer league in Ottawa has a rule saying that any team that  wins a game by more than 5 points, automatically loses the game by default. (Although as I now understand it , with all of the unfavourable publicity they have now modified that rule).

In yet another nod to the protection of fledgling self-esteem, an Ottawa children’s soccer league has introduced a rule that says any team that wins a game by more than five points will lose by default.

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.

Although this story seems to have caught the eye of the media – for a brief instant, at least – it’ is just a further extension of the philosophy that competition is damaging to the psyche of children.

We have seen this philosophy at work in schools over the years, where  no one should fail and students get promoted up through the grades even though they have not completed the curriculum.

I have a hard time believing that we are doing children any favours by removing the competitive element. Not everyone can be a top class athlete and not everyone is going to be a brilliant academic. But does this mean that to soothe those fragile egos, those high achievers must be held back? The only way you hone your skills is by competing with others. And by that I mean real, honest competition.

It seems to me that those who rail against the competetive instinct – the teachers, the adminstrators, the parents and the social activists – are doing nothing but promoting mediocrity.

One of the ongoing complaints that I hear about today’s youth is that they expect to get rewards without showing any inclination to deliver on performance. It is the mentality of entitlement.

I wonder if, in part, that that feeling of entitlement has been driven by the attitude that it is enough if you just show up.

There is a much more rigorous analysis of the situation at Zomblog who takes it way further than a mere soccer league ruling.

Now I’m really depressed.


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One Response to “Soccer, an anti-competition mentality and entitlement”

  1. Loyola Law School: Improving the GPA « Totalrecoil Says:

    […] Law School: Improving the GPA By totalrecoil This story may not be an exact fit with the social trend to massage everyone sense of self worth and may in fact be as much about University politics as […]

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