11-year-old football star told not to score too many touchdowns

posted at 8:02 pm on September 29, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Demias Jimerson of Malvern, Ark., is 11 years old — and he’s so good at football that “he’s going to score almost every time he touches the ball,” according to his intermediate school principal, Terri Bryant.

In other words, he’s so good he must be stopped. Because Jimerson runs circles around the other kids on the field, Bryant has decided he’s not allowed to score more than three touchdowns, provided his team has at least a 14-point lead.

In Malvern, they call that “the Madre Hill” rule, after Razorback great Madre Hill, who, like Jimerson, grew up in the tiny Arkansas town and breezed by his competitors at mind-boggling speed.

According to Bryant, she’s re-invoking the rule not to punish Jimerson but to provide his competitors with a chance to develop as players, too.

It’s easy to see the temptation she faces. It’s only natural that the other kids become discouraged when they find they can’t quite compete with Jimerson. But I also know what my dad would say (sheesh, quotin’ him two posts in a row — he’s gonna get cocky!): If you want to be the best, you have to compete with the best. He’d pump my head so full of confidence — and encourage me to practice and push myself so relentlessly — that I’d tackle Jimerson or pass out trying to catch him. (Not healthy, you say? Maybe you’re right. I know burn-out is a real phenomenon — but I also think there’s something to it.)

Doesn’t the principal see? Running with Jimerson does develop the other players. Maybe they’re not immediately able to discern the ways they’ve improved. But, for every time a kid comes only oh-so-close to tackling Jimerson, he’s going to tackle some other less-speedy quarterback with greater ease. In other words, Bryant and the parents of the other children are missing a prime opportunity to encourage their kids to keep pushing and to teach them all that they can do is their best but that, eventually, their best will pay off — if not on the football field, then in the increased disciplined and irrepressible optimism they cultivated while competing with Jimerson.

Reminds me a little of the whole Tiger Mother debate: Might we be doing children a disservice by allowing them to get up from the piano before they’ve conquered the most difficult passage of “The Little Donkey”?

For what it’s worth, Jimerson seems pretty unaffected by the shackles the school has put on his prodigious talent:

“I got, kinda got shocked because I didn’t know that was gonna happen, but it did,” said Jimerson. Adding, “I’m ok with it.” …

But the Madre Hill rule is only for fifth and sixth grades. Next year, Jimerson goes to seventh grade.

“I’m gonna run hard and bring our team to victory,” said Jimerson. Then he added, “but God always comes first, before anything, and grades second.”

God, grades, then touchdowns — Madre Hill Rule or not.

Sounds like a pretty good kid to me. Here’s hoping he follows in Madre Hill’s footsteps all the way to the University of Arkansas!


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I hope his grades aren’t too good. He might be told he has to stop making all those A’s so the other kids have a chance to compete.

malclave on September 29, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Okay in principle, but I dunno about the Tiger Mother thing. Did your father call you “garbage” and refuse to let you pee?

Seth Halpern on September 29, 2011 at 8:10 PM

11-year-old football star told not to score too many touchdowns
=================================================================

Welcome to the Era of the Obama Doctrine!
(sarc).

canopfor on September 29, 2011 at 8:12 PM

The object of any game is not to win

Kini on September 29, 2011 at 8:12 PM

I would never tell anyone to do less than their best effort no matter their age. Ridiculous.

I hope that kid dominates next year.

YoungAmerican on September 29, 2011 at 8:13 PM

I don’t understand the mentality that goes behind this sort of thinking. When I competed in athletics, whether it was soccer, wrestling, running or whatever I wanted to compete against the best to make me better. If I thought for one second that some guy wasn’t giving it his all when going against me I would try to give him a reason to do just that. If I got beat I got beat but like Tina’s dad says it made me better.

That same sort of thinking leads people to excel in other areas also. We all know nerds who weren’t merely content with acing tests, they wanted to bend the grading curve so impossibly upward that if your did grade on curve it had better be one where it was like Olympic judging where you threw out the high and threw out the low.

How many people think Microsoft or Apple would be the dominant forces they are if Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn’t set out to be the best every day and every time.

Just A Grunt on September 29, 2011 at 8:17 PM

At that age, when the overall skill sets of the blockers and tacklers aren’t really developed, there are always phenoms who due to their speed and/or size can run the ball through everyone. But a lot of times, these things tend to even themselves out a few years down the line without any administrative help, since kids at that age also tend to physically develop at different times. Just let it play out, and if the players are split up within the school for the games, do what the NFL does and put the next best players on the other teams to balance the talent levels out as much as possible.

jon1979 on September 29, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Utterly dumb

SouthernGent on September 29, 2011 at 8:17 PM

That’s the stunning thing. Nobody tells kids these days to compete hard. Level the playing field is so much BS.

antisocial on September 29, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Years and years ago I was reading Sports Illustrated about some kid playing hockey who was scoring 6, 7, 8 goals a game. So some moron opposing coach tells his kids to start taunting him in warm ups. The kids coach tells him to go nuts. The kid scored 16.

Last time he was taunted.

AndrewsDad on September 29, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Don`t score too many touchdowns, prep for at some point, you`ve made too much money.

ThePrez on September 29, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Bless his heart. He is just wanting to do his best and he is kept down from doing so. Isn’t that what is happening to almost of us here in America now? Why should he or any others want to do good in whatever they are doing? Sorta makes you sick doesn’t it?
L

letget on September 29, 2011 at 8:22 PM

Kids develop at different rates… one of the most annoying things about middle school sports(which doesn’t seem to be the case here though) is the fact that some parents purposely hold their child back a year so they’d have a physical advantage.

All middle school sports should have rules like this… where those who have the rule applied to them sent to special camps to further develop their skills.

ninjapirate on September 29, 2011 at 8:22 PM

Ugh. I thought the “don’t score” rule was limited to sissy soccer.

whatcat on September 29, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Obviously time to watch The Incredibles again.

Some lessons just don’t stick.

Axe on September 29, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Does Tina’s Dad read the comments?

Fezzik on September 29, 2011 at 8:26 PM

God, grades, then touchdowns — Madre Hill Rule or not.

I like his priorities.

canopfor on September 29, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Lame. Quit your crying and just play better defense.

SoulGlo on September 29, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

You don’t tell the kid he’s not allowed to score over a limit.

If you absolutely must prevent total humiliation to other teams, you simply work with the coach to keep him off the field when you have a comfortable lead, and keep your friggin’ mouth shut.

Saltysam on September 29, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Razorbacks? Heck no. If he’s that talented, he’ll play for Nick Saban. Roll Tide Roll!!

Doug from Clovis on September 29, 2011 at 8:30 PM

And that’s America today. They’ll tell him not to score too many touchdowns today, then tell him it’s a swell idea to quit school and turn pro.

Scott P on September 29, 2011 at 8:32 PM

When I coached Little League ball we had a five run mercy limit per inning. Experiencing lopsided match ups from both positions, it was a merciful thing indeed. It makes for a terribly long game when one side cannot get the other out with any grace and losing 30 to 0 is proof enough of victory and loss.

BL@KBIRD on September 29, 2011 at 8:35 PM

[malclave on September 29, 2011 at 8:09 PM]

Don’t be too good a sportsman, either. If you’re better at that than the other kids they’ll give up trying to be good sportsmen, too.

Dusty on September 29, 2011 at 8:35 PM

Obviously time to watch The Incredibles again.

Some lessons just don’t stick.

Axe on September 29, 2011 at 8:25 PM

:)

INC on September 29, 2011 at 8:36 PM

They shoulda told LeBron James to keep his scoring average in high school to around 14.3. No tellin’ how many kids he intimidated right outta the NBA.

ex Dem from Miami on September 29, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Razorbacks? Heck no. If he’s that talented, he’ll play for Nick Saban. Roll Tide Roll!!
Doug from Clovis on September 29, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Screw Saban. Dolphins EPIC FAIL.

ex Dem from Miami on September 29, 2011 at 8:41 PM

The rule is so short sighted. I’m sure most here agree.

But there’s nothing to the rule that says he can’t just step out at the 1 yard line. I’m sure he’ll get the ball just as much.

BVM on September 29, 2011 at 8:42 PM

According to Bryant, she’s re-invoking the rule not to punish Jimerson but to provide his competitors with a chance to develop as players, too.

Impossible. You’ve just stopped them from developing as players when they’re not allowed to compete against anyone better than themselves.
And then, if somehow they do get better, you’re going to stop them just like you stopped this kid!

This is where I want to freaking scream and tear my eyeballs out! The freaking insanity of it all! The freaking morons who are instructing our children!
Hey Principle… you are not just robbing Demias, you are robbing these other kids of an incredible opportunity to play against a superstar! When you play against a superstar, you have to make yourself better! You rise to new levels!

Maybe this principle needs to be told she’s too good to be a principle anymore.. gotta let the janitor do it from now on or someone in the kitchen!! Give someone else a chance! Everyday she sits in that chair, someone else isn’t! It just ain’t fair! So what if she thinks she’s qualified for the job! That proves she stole that job from the other person who was less qualified than her! She needs to quit now and let someone else less qualified do it!

JellyToast on September 29, 2011 at 8:44 PM

They shoulda told LeBron James to keep his scoring average in high school to around 14.3. No tellin’ how many kids he intimidated right outta the NBA.

ex Dem from Miami on September 29, 2011 at 8:38 PM

They didn’t need to tell Lebron that. They had a 4th qtr that already limited his scoring.

The Notorious G.O.P on September 29, 2011 at 8:45 PM

At some point, you’ve made enough touchdowns.

At some point, you’ve made enough money.

Liberalism is a disease.

IrishEi on September 29, 2011 at 8:46 PM

They didn’t need to tell Lebron that. They had a 4th qtr that already limited his scoring.
The Notorious G.O.P on September 29, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Heh. Wait till next year. Or next, next year….or whenever the NBA plays again.

ex Dem from Miami on September 29, 2011 at 8:51 PM

I don’t understand Tina’s blog post. What’s wrong with teaching good sportsmanship?

eforhan on September 29, 2011 at 8:55 PM

So wrong.

Plus one kid on the defense tracked him down from behind. Looked to be as fast or faster.

derft on September 29, 2011 at 8:56 PM

At some point, you’ve made enough touchdowns.

At some point, you’ve made enough money.

Liberalism is a disease.

IrishEi on September 29, 2011 at 8:46 PM

You said that so well! Perfect!

JellyToast on September 29, 2011 at 8:59 PM

It’s not whether you win or lose.

It’s how your opponent feels after the game.

darwin-t on September 29, 2011 at 9:02 PM

According to Bryant, she’s re-invoking the rule not to punish Jimerson but to provide his competitors with a chance to develop as players, too.

His competitors? They have a much better chance developing as players against Jimerson than they do against his understudy. I would think, if it were done at all, it would be for the sake of other players on his team.

As adults have become adolescent, so adolescents are being forced to become infantile. 11 is not 6. It’s far too old to be protected from the reality of your limitations.

I wasn’t even allowed on the football team when I was 11: I was too fat for my age group in weight ball. I couldn’t play football at all until I went to a Catholic high school. Compare that situation to this.

HitNRun on September 29, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Just tell him to take a knee at the one.

Knott Buyinit on September 29, 2011 at 9:02 PM

If everybody’s special, nobody is.

This principal definitely needs to watch The Incredibles again. Fantastic movie, as a kids movie and as a adult’s movie too.

jamesrileyjr on September 29, 2011 at 9:06 PM

He’s the quarterback, right? A better lesson might be – “After 3 TDs you can only score with a pass.”

TubbyHubby on September 29, 2011 at 9:06 PM

I took over the distance running program at a High School I taught in. The first couple of years we got our clocks handed to us on a platter in the distance races. The kids were complaining about the other team poring it on. I patiently explained that it took 68 points to win a meet and I didn’t blame the other coach for trying to get 27 points (maximum) in the 3 middle distance/distance races. I told them if they didn’t like the results they could do one of two things quit or start listening and out work the other team. Fortunately they trusted me and opted for the hard work. Two years later the other team came to the meet favored to win and as a result win the league title. We surprised them in the mile, first individual running event, by sweeping and our entire team upped their game. We swept every race except the two miles, last individual running event, and ran up over 100 points out of 136 against them. The kids learned a valuable lesson about work ethic in sports. They had the talent but weren’t maximizing it in the first two years.

chemman on September 29, 2011 at 9:07 PM

I’m fairly sure I’ve read this story before. It was called “Harrison Bergeron.” Kurt Vonnegut was prescient.

SailorDave on September 29, 2011 at 9:08 PM

And furthermore, three touchdowns is the limit? 21 points?

We’re talking about football. Foot-ball. A highly compartmentalized sport where every player has a very different role.

11 year olds can’t exactly run the spread offense. At that age, they’re lucky to complete 1/3 of their passes. That means there are probably two players – three, tops – on the entire team who can actually be expected to score, including Jimerson.

21 points isn’t exactly a blowout. What if the other team is scoring, too? How is Jimerson’s team supposed to compete? How much more of a metaphor for liberalism can this possibly be?

HitNRun on September 29, 2011 at 9:08 PM

All middle school sports should have rules like this… where those who have the rule applied to them sent to special camps to further develop their skills.

ninjapirate on September 29, 2011 at 8:22 PM

Middle school special camps?
Who else, dear?

katy the mean old lady on September 29, 2011 at 9:12 PM

They shoulda told LeBron James to keep his scoring average in high school to around 14.3. No tellin’ how many kids he intimidated right outta the NBA.

ex Dem from Miami on September 29, 2011 at 8:38 PM

This seems like some variation of not running up the score. Even pro teams will do that.

At least LeBron was able to turn pro without being forced to sit through a meaningless year of college.

If this kid becomes as good at his sport as LeBron, he should be able to turn pro whenever his skills allow.

dedalus on September 29, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Wow!
I love my three beautiful daughters and if I were to have a son I’d love him to be like this kid.

Talented, smart and putting G_D first.

Brings a tear to my eye.

“G_D, grades and football.”

Awesome.

MT

PS: Now if only I could emulate his priorities better.
Kinda puts me to shame…but the good kind that causes me to want to be better.

Demias is gonna rock Gr 7 football!

Mistahtibbs on September 29, 2011 at 9:17 PM

When everybody is a star, nobody is.

Cicero43 on September 29, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Learn how to tackle.

John the Libertarian on September 29, 2011 at 9:18 PM

So, you have a problem with position weight limits?

Why should a really big kid not be allowed to play QB, RB, TE, WR…and have to take a knee whenever he gets the ball?

It’s not fair.

Christien on September 29, 2011 at 9:20 PM

When I coached soccer, there were two “sad sack” teams that didn’t belong in the division. My team could have beat them 15-0, but what does that accomplish?

Second-stringers played the entire second half (which made their parents very happy). When the game started getting out of hand, I put in the five pass rule.

Beating a hapless youth team senseless makes absolutely no sense.

bw222 on September 29, 2011 at 9:27 PM

I don’t understand Tina’s blog post. What’s wrong with teaching good sportsmanship?

eforhan on September 29, 2011 at 8:55 PM

How is telling a kid how many touchdowns he can score “good sportsmanship”? Good sportsmanship is calling dive plays and not going for 2 when you are up by 40, not artificially limiting a kid’s ability to play the game.

Doug from Clovis on September 29, 2011 at 9:30 PM

uddercha0s on September 29, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Am I missing something here? Why not just have him take his turn on the bench? If it’s a 14 point lead rule, why not do what most other teams do when they’re way ahead, send in the second string?

And most of the towns I’ve lived in the schools don’t have competitive teams at grade school level. The kids play in the summer, city recreation or other baseball and soccer and then in late summer and early fall footballin sort of Pop Warner leagues. Then in the winter they have sponsored basketball and hockey but they’re not school teams. Seems to work out pretty well.

The teams at the grade school level are required to allow everyone to play so many minutes, plays, etc. It’s supposed to be a learning and training experience. The ones with talent sometimes, and I stress sometimes, go on to greater glory but not always. I’ve seen so-called superstars at 9 or 10 who never get big enough, lose interest, get permanent injuries, etc. by the time they reach high school

I don’t agree with the principal but I also don’t agree with so many of the parents and coaches I’ve seen who are living their own fantasies throught their kids. And no, “Tiger Parenting” doesn’t work. The greatest athletes, musicians, dancers, etc. got there because they wanted it. No matter how good they may be technically without the heart and the love for it they aren’t really great.

Deanna on September 29, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Good sportsmanship is calling dive plays and not going for 2 when you are up by 40, not artificially limiting a kid’s ability to play the game.

Doug from Clovis on September 29, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Exactly. If you want to give other kids a chance. That’s youth sports. But to tell him to do less than his best to spare the opponent’s feelings, or to set an arbitrary limit – particularly from the principal’s office – is despicable. It chastises success, coddles failure, and shelters students from growth and reality.

Again: what if the other team has a good offense?

HitNRun on September 29, 2011 at 9:41 PM

OK that didn’t work…The Bus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P308JIRq42Y

uddercha0s on September 29, 2011 at 9:41 PM

There is no “I” in team, Demias.

Christien on September 29, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Y’all should be thanking the principal for giving Demias very good PR.

Christien on September 29, 2011 at 9:49 PM

There is no “I” in team, Demias.

To quote Dr. House, there is a me, you just have to rearrange the letters some.

uddercha0s on September 29, 2011 at 9:51 PM

If I was the coach, I would use this as an opportunity to give lesser players more playing tie, making Jimerson into a great blocker and pass catcher, and having him spend some time playing defense. At that age, winning is important, but so is fostering good sportsmanship. The principal should have looked at this as an opportunity rather than a problem.

huckleberryfriend on September 29, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Doug from Clovis on September 29, 2011 at 9:30 PM

How is it good sportsmanship to keep scoring like crazy when you’re “40 points ahead”?

It’s not. Give the other kids a chance to play. Teach this kid a little humility.

eforhan on September 29, 2011 at 9:58 PM

uddercha0s on September 29, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Heh. Actually, I re-read and saw him say he’s OK with the decision. Good for him.

Christien on September 29, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Middle school special camps?
Who else, dear?

katy the mean old lady on September 29, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Dear old lady, you apparently have never heard of sports camps…

ninjapirate on September 29, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Back in 1977 I was kicked out of my house league hockey league for the same reason. My dad was told I needed to play on the travel team (where the better kids play) but we couldn’t afford it so the compromise was that at 12 years old I ended up playing with 15 and 16 year olds in their house league. This has been going on for a lot longer than some might think.

Capitalist Infidel on September 29, 2011 at 10:03 PM

The redistribution of touchdowns. You see, the left is concerned about the growing disparity between the touchdown-rich and the touchdown-poor. It just isn’t right that some have that many more touchdowns. Social justice demands that this inequality be addressed. And since it is impossible to transfer some of his touchdowns to the other team, which would be the ideal solution his greed, the only thing they can do is stop him from earning more money – scoring more touchdowns.

keep the change on September 29, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Capitalist Infidel on September 29, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Serves you right for running for too many touchdowns during your hockey games.

/

Christien on September 29, 2011 at 10:38 PM

How is it good sportsmanship to keep scoring like crazy when you’re “40 points ahead”?

It’s not. Give the other kids a chance to play. Teach this kid a little humility.

eforhan on September 29, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Who says the other kids aren’t getting a chance to play? And no one said anything about ‘scoring like crazy’ when they are up by 40. Like I said, in that situation you run it into the middle on every play. What do you suggest? Taking a knee every play?

And honestly, it doesn’t sound like this kid lacks humility. But is certainly humiliating to be told that you are ‘too good’ to play.

Doug from Clovis on September 29, 2011 at 10:39 PM

malclave, the phrase his peers will use is “actin’ white”.

SDN on September 29, 2011 at 10:59 PM

I hope he doesn’t marry a redhead!
/al bundy

andycanuck on September 29, 2011 at 11:05 PM

His stride is breathtaking. What a stunning young athlete.

Jaibones on September 29, 2011 at 11:10 PM

He’ll become an NFL star, make a bazillion dollars. Then he’ll be surprised when 1/2 of it goes to the govt. Maybe then he’ll put 2 and 2 together, why liberalism is idiotic.

angryed on September 29, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Great parenting first and great talent second.

AH_C on September 29, 2011 at 11:21 PM

Deanna on September 29, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Deanna, you must not be from the south. In Oklahoma, the kids start full tackle football in the 3rd grade and if a second grader can make the cut, he can play the 3rd grade team twice as his peers catch up. They also have the rest of school sports to include wrestling, basketball and baseball. And the cheerleaders to go with basketball and football. Unfortunately, soccer is still a city league sport. The only thing I disapprove of, is the temptation of some parents to hold their kid back a year or two to give the kid a size/skill advantage. Seems like there’s slays two or three kids held back at a lot of schools.

AH_C on September 29, 2011 at 11:32 PM

Awesome!! Another Razorback star running back in the making!! Maybe we should have told the Razorback Track and Field Program they shouldn’t win so many national championships because it demoralizes the other schools.

This is ridiculous liberal thinking at its worst. Your dad was absolutely right. To grow and improve, you have to play against players who are better than you.

Run, Demias, run, and don’t look back.

From a lifelong Arkansas Razorback, Class of 1985.

stevelockridge on September 30, 2011 at 12:08 AM

I noticed some of you don’t understand this situation. Let me put it into a context you might understand more easily.

Let’s say Company A makes widgets. Company B makes a widget that is very similar to Company A’s widget. Company A sells 90% of the widgets in America because they are better quality. The federal government steps in and says, “It isn’t fair that Company A is dominating the widget market. We will devise regulations that will restrict Company A and remove some of their advantage over Company B.”

Or how about two salespeople at the same company. Salesperson A is a go-getter and is far outselling everyone. Do you think the company should (or would) tell that salesperson to hold back because his/her success is demoralizing the other salespeople? Preposterous!!

Liberalism is a mental disease. Competition is not bad. It is good – for all involved, not just the leaders.

Sheesh! I can’t believe we’re even having this discussion.

stevelockridge on September 30, 2011 at 12:44 AM

Glad to see none of y’all condemning this decisions have the slightest problem with weight limits for certain positions.

Can’t handle THAT competition–so just ban them outright.

Christien on September 30, 2011 at 1:10 AM

Call it whatever you want, it called socialism.

They do not want to damage a young child’s self-esteem. Failure is not allowed as it might cause a child to believe they are not as good as another child. Feeling might get hurt.

The socialist way of insuring that everyone is equal is to do away with the rules and let the children do it whatever way seems right to them. Writing is a good example when the rules of grammar and phonics are tossed out. As long as the composition can be understood, then it is acceptable. The idea is that they are writing and not burdened with rules that they will somehow figure out on their own later, or in reality try to unlearn what they came up with and replace it with what they needed to have learned in the first place.

The predictable results arrived in my classroom every year; students that believed if I liked them, I would “give” them passing grades and if I “gave” them, it was because I did not like them.

I had my daughter tested for the Gifted program in kindergarten. That meant she was not main stream and challenged to learn in a competitive classroom setting. How did that work out? When my daughter went off to college she was shocked at how unprepared her fellow students were to write even a simple paper, take notes, or understand the basics of setting up a mathematical problem. Most were spending their first year trying to learn enough in remedial classes to be allowed to proceed towards a degree. These of course are the socially adjusted students facing the reality of life for the first time.

The next step is the communist way where everyone colors the flower with the same color crayon at the time with no deviations allowed. Those that can, might get to go onto see if they can be more usefully educated for the benefit of the government. Those who cannot, at the sixth grade get their work passbook and assigned to a factory, an apprenticeship, or some other assignment or job suitable to the governments needs.

If I recall there was recently something said by a Democrat a long the lines of the goverment should give everyone a job..

Franklyn on September 30, 2011 at 1:28 AM

Nobody likes a ballhog, even a really talented one. It is corrosive to team morale, and other players on the team don’t get a fair shot at competing. Plus, if you try to walk the dog every time, you run a greater risk of hurting your own development in other areas of the game.

Good call, plus the boy gets great exposure because of the decision.

Christien on September 30, 2011 at 2:06 AM

I don’t understand Tina’s blog post. What’s wrong with teaching good sportsmanship?

eforhan on September 29, 2011 at 8:55 PM

It’s all about politicizing every little thing in our lives, sportsmanship be damned.

Christien on September 30, 2011 at 2:36 AM

Seems to me, that he has some actual parents.

Very refreshing. He should do well in whatever he choses.

98ZJUSMC on September 30, 2011 at 3:13 AM

Good sportsmanship is picking the guy up after you run over him, NOT laying down to avoid embarrassing him.

Ugh. I thought the “don’t score” rule was limited to sissy soccer.

whatcat on September 29, 2011 at 8:24 PM

FIFY, it was redundant.

Of course in soccer the real shocker is that anyone scores at all, so not keeping score isn’t some big deal.

Adjoran on September 30, 2011 at 5:00 AM

University of Arkansas? Why would you want to hold the kid back, Tina?

Extrafishy on September 30, 2011 at 6:29 AM

He should score as many TDs as possible, and then redistribute the points to the other team to make it more “fair.”

Good Lt on September 30, 2011 at 8:05 AM

GO HOGS!

ProudPalinFan on September 30, 2011 at 8:29 AM

The obvious answer would be to move him up a grade or 2, until he’s challenged again. It happens in academics, why not pee wee sports?

MNHawk on September 30, 2011 at 8:30 AM

I don’t agree with the ruling…but the other side teaches the child that life isn’t “fair”, that people who excel have a target on their back and he, if he continues to excel, will have to face criticism from all kinds of “reasoning”.
He sounds like he re-focused, understands the strange ruling, and maybe he is just beginning to realize, if he is really good at something, this is just the beginning of greatness, and unbridled jealousy.
This is a lesson, perhaps, better learned, than how it feels to score 6 or eight touchdowns in a game.

right2bright on September 30, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Maybe I’m the odd man out too but I don’t see the big problem with basically having a mercy rule. Would people prefer that the boy be forced up the ladder to play with kids performing at his skill level? Middle school sports is supposed to be where ALL the kids learn the rules & mechanics of the game and one of those rules involves sportsmanship. Only in a sports parents dream is a middle school team Little Johnnie’s star vehicle. I don’t recall middle school being a farm system for the professional teams.

katiejane on September 30, 2011 at 9:49 AM

The obvious answer would be to move him up a grade or 2, until he’s challenged again. It happens in academics, why not pee wee sports?

MNHawk on September 30, 2011 at 8:30 AM

I’m not sure that’s a viable alternative; the size and development difference between “typical” sixth & eighth graders is significant (which is why a lot of schools separate them at that age). About the only thing that might be accomplished there is getting the kid hurt.

pain train on September 30, 2011 at 11:04 AM

11-year-old football star told not to score too many touchdowns

This is just so wrong and is not the message we want to send to youngsters. He should be allowed to score all the touchdowns he can but every other one he scores should simply be redistributed to the opponent’s score. What could go wrong?

EconomicNeocon on September 30, 2011 at 11:13 AM

I’ve coached and officiated youth sports, and this kind of disparity in skill and talent (either on a team or individual basis) is more common at this level (age 10-12) than at higher or lower levels.

The good thing is that this is also a developmental stage in kids learning and playing a sport. The appropriate response for a coach in this situation is to rotate the star in and out like everyone else, and encourage him to develop blocking, defense, and other skills after he’s scored a few TDs.

Glenside on September 30, 2011 at 11:14 AM

You’re off base with this one, The kid has it right. If he’s still helping the team win, what’s the problem?

Mercy rules exist at all levels of recreational sports, from T-ball to Senior softball, in spite of some pseudo-athletes’ beliefs that mercy prevents them from showing off their “skills” in a non-competitive environment.

The thirst for unrestricted scoring is mostly fed by fans and parents who crave the glory of the highlight reel but don’t appreciate either the game itself nor the kids whose hard work doesn’t result in highlight-reel plays.

For the good of the kids and the game, you always expect kids to do their best. It is up to league administrators to create mercy rules, and it is up to coaches and officials to make decisions that exercise mercy as the situation requires. It is not up to players to be merciful, just good sports.

This is not a conservative/liberal issue at this point. Nor should rec sports be treated the same as professional sports, where no excuses should exist. But at the rec level, good sportsmanship is always a higher priority than unfettered statistics.

rwenger43 on September 30, 2011 at 11:21 AM

This is not a conservative/liberal issue at this point. Nor should rec sports be treated the same as professional sports, where no excuses should exist. But at the rec level, good sportsmanship is always a higher priority than unfettered statistics.

rwenger43 on September 30, 2011 at 11:21 AM

A well stated post…

right2bright on September 30, 2011 at 11:28 AM

The obvious answer would be to move him up a grade or 2, until he’s challenged again. It happens in academics, why not pee wee sports?

MNHawk on September 30, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Size matters…

right2bright on September 30, 2011 at 11:30 AM

When I coached soccer, there were two “sad sack” teams that didn’t belong in the division. My team could have beat them 15-0, but what does that accomplish?

Second-stringers played the entire second half (which made their parents very happy). When the game started getting out of hand, I put in the five pass rule.

Beating a hapless youth team senseless makes absolutely no sense.

bw222 on September 29, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Exactly.

Why isn’t this kid just rotated out so other kids get a chance to develop some skills? My daughters were on a soccer team that absolutely demolished all the local competition for two years straight so at halftime the defense and offense would switch and if we had any subs that day, (we only had 2 extras on the team) they played the rest of the game. This gave our girls a chance to hone other skills and the other team had a chance to make the score more even. Our coaches rule was if you were a defensive player you could take a shot at the goal anytime you were open but if you were one of the forwards, you had to pass the ball at least 3 times before you could take the shot. It really helped our passing ability when we played more difficult teams. Just telling our hotshot forwards they couldn’t score wouldn’t have helped anyone.

Lily on September 30, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Beating a hapless youth team senseless makes absolutely no sense.

bw222 on September 29, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Maybe at that age. My high school was in a rural part of West Virginia (as opposed to the other .0001 of the state). We had no pee-wee football and it was before cable, so TV football games were few and far between.

My freshman year of high school we had a team. There was also JV & Varsity. 18 of us were on the freshman team. We really had little clue as to what we were doing on the field beside running in summer heat and occasionally hurling.

We only had 4 games that year, and as it turned out, none of our opponents had freshman teams. We played their JV team in all 4. We got beat 19-0, 26-0, 35-0 and the grand finale 44-0. In the last game you could hear a coach on the other side yelling at their DBs, “Let him catch it!” Our guy dropped wide open catches.

Anyway, this reminiscing made me want some salt tablets and Cramer-gesic. I was so awful at Center that I was only allowed to play defense. Almost everyone else played both sides. The lesson I learned is simple:

Sometimes life is going to kick the crap out of you to the point where you aren’t having much fun and there is no sign of it ever getting better. But if you stay with it and line up each time, you’ll make it to the end and you won’t be a quitter. And not being a quitter makes you a winner by default.

So did I go out for JV the next year….heck no!! I was 4’11, 180 lbs and wore glasses. I got my butt kicked enough that first year to last until graduation. I did become manager for the Varsity team so I could go to the away games for free and ride the bus with the cheerleaders!

TugboatPhil on September 30, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Breaking:

Dallas Cowboys invite Demias Jimerson to tryout for starting position; Jerry Jones said “We need to establish a running game, we think Demias could fill that need”.

Full disclosure: I am a fanatic ‘Boys fan.

BobMbx on September 30, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Organized team sports have ruined more kids than they have helped. This child of God’s greatest blessings are his good parents, far more than his athleticism.

borntoraisehogs on September 30, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Obviously time to watch The Incredibles again.

Some lessons just don’t stick.

Axe on September 29, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Or:

Bob: It’s not a graduation. He is moving from the 4th grade to the 5th grade.
Helen: It’s a ceremony!
Bob: It’s psychotic! They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity, but if someone is genuinely exceptional…

Or:

…and when everyone’s super….no one will be.

RDuke on September 30, 2011 at 5:50 PM

No one likes a ballhog.

Christien on September 30, 2011 at 6:03 PM

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