Saturday, November 1, 2008

“Running Up The Score” Not Sportsmanlike

No matter what the level, “running up the score” is just plain unsportsmanlike.

I used to cringe at quotes from the legendary Ohio State football coach, Woody Hayes. In a 1968 game, already up 42-14, Ohio State scored another touchdown. Hayes called for a two-point conversion and they converted. When asked why he did it, Coach Hayes said, "Because the rules won't let you go for three.”

So, let’s say Ohio State clobbers Michigan 63-3. Coach, if you think somewhere down the road when they have the opportunity to embarrass you, you can be rest assured they will.

In youth sports, “running up the score,” is particularly unnerving. In the pre-high school and high school sports’ levels, “mercy rules” have their place. These rules ensure a quick finish to games that accomplish nothing, but to demoralize those teams on the receiving end of a drubbing. There can often be such great disparity among teams at this level, a “mercy rule” really makes sense.

While there is really no place for “mercy rules” at the collegiate and professional levels, it doesn’t mean you need to show a lack of class by running up the score on your opponent. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to see their team win big. However, paybacks can be tough and all sports fans remember class when they see it.

No comments: