A new Northern California Federation Youth football league’s “mercy rule” has many parents and players upset. Under the new rule coaches are fined $200 and tossed a one-week suspension for running up the scoreboard by 35 points or more on losing teams.
Parents like Kelly McHugh told NBC affiliate KCRA that the rule hurts player development and increases the risk of injury.
“They’re afraid their coaches are going to get suspended and they are not going to have a coach to come out here and play football.”
Robert Rochin, the deputy commissioner for the league see’s things differently:
“It’s not hurting the kids,” “It’s teaching them sportsmanship.”
Let me tell you something: This rule is ridiculous for one—because it teaches kids to think that there is something wrong with winning; and for two—because it teaches that when the world beats you down somebody will be there to feel sorry for you and let you back in the game.
In the words of the great Ricky Bobby’s father:
“If you ain’t first—you’re last”.