Auskick has extended their scoring ban to the under 10s age group and removed the Best and Fairest Player award as the push for mediocrity continues.
It’s pass-the-parcel all over again but instead of every child winning a prize to soothe hurt feelings before they’re even injured, every child is now expected to simply ‘participate’ on the football field with no thrill of competition. Well, enough is enough, I say.
We’re raising this latest generation to never experience the crush of failure, the stomach-clench of disappointment or the hot flush of feeling left out. Are they going to be well-adjusted and supported young adults, or are they going to be self-indulgent crybabies who can’t face not being good enough when they’re rejected from dream jobs, don’t get into their desired course at uni or fail their driver’s licence three times?
I wasn’t exactly the most active kid; I might never have sprinted on the basketball court at all if it wasn’t for the desperation of trying to win a close game. You might participate in a game for the fun of it, but the push of competition makes players excel. The desire to win makes you dig deeper than you ever thought possible, run harder than you ever have before and then when that’s still not good enough, you train harder to be better next time.
We know simple participation doesn’t create this drive, because how hard did you try as a kid when your team was already winning by over 50 points? Not very hard at all. In fact you were already thinking about the post-game ice block, weren’t you?
We want to instill in our children the behaviour that is fostered by competition. We don’t want to be constantly telling them that whatever they produce is perfect, because it’s not, and if they don’t learn to strive for higher heights now, when will they?
Competition fosters teamwork and a hunger to succeed, so getting rid of scoring should be the least of our concerns. Instead, how about banning those parents who holler abuse at refs and players from the sideline, or that bully kid who plays more viciously than anyone on the field, or we abolish team fees so that every child is able to join a sport?
Now, I know the rules have only changed slightly to include another age group in the scoring ban (groups younger than under 10s have been without scoring for a while), but my question is where will it end? How long must we wait before we introduce children to the true nature of our society – competitiveness?
Not to mention that children can still count, and we’re fooling ourselves if we think every player on that field won’t be keeping mental track of the score. And that’s probably the most twisted thing about these rules – they’re not really for the children who are playing, but for the parents who want to feel they’re being supportive, loving and kind to their offspring. It’s guilt-alleviation and won’t really work.