It’s unfortunate that everyone can’t be the winner in any particular sporting event, but you can’t make things better by punishing those that do win:

In yet another nod to the protection of fledging 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.

Even from a very young age kids know enough to play to win, and even if adults pretend differently, the kids know the truth. They can count. And we certainly don’t improve their self-confidence by lying to them.

It surprises me that Canadians, competitive to the death where hockey is concerned, would introduce such a stupid rule. What happens in ten or fifteen years when we’ve taught these kids to expect that the loser suddenly is the winner? We’ve given them no incentive to win; in fact we’ve taught them to lose.