The first thing that comes to my mind when reading this article is the number of times it mentions how not keeping score is supported by research, yet not one research study is cited. I can’t help being suspicious of research that is not good enough to be mentioned when soccer without scoring is being proposed. I think that it truly is contrary to common sense to take scoring away from a competitive sport, especially when scoring is being removed from a youth soccer league, where it is needed most. Young people need competition to teach them how to be magnanimous when they win. They also need to learn how to be good losers and persevere when they don’t have a victory.
No one wants to see rabid parents and coaches screaming at children to win, but to completely remove the idea of competition in the name of making the game more fun and honing players’ skills is a bad idea. It’s a bad idea because not only sports are competitive. Life is competitive, yet children today are raised with participation trophies that they get simply for showing up. Such trophies are not valued because they were not earned, just as soccer games with no scores will produce players who have not earned a good standing to compete at higher levels.
A person is not automatically going to succeed in everything they attempt and they are not going to have the mental toughness to handle setbacks if they have never experienced any setbacks. A soccer league that doesn’t keep score will make every player equally mediocre. At its best, competition teaches good sportsmanship and to be gracious in victory as well as defeat. It’s a lesson that can benefit anyone, but it’s a lesson that will not be taught in Ontario Youth Soccer.
- Kennedy, Brendan. “Ontario youth soccer to stop keeping score, standings.” Thestar.com, 16 Feb. 2013, www.thestar.com/sports/soccer/