Concerns about sportsmanship in high school blowout unfounded
November 20, 2012By Solomon Alexander of Sportsmanship
Little Rock (Ark.) high schools Hall and Fair met in a season-opening girls basketball game last week. The game remained competitive until just after the National Anthem. Hall sprinted out to a 28-0 lead in the first four minutes. Sensing the game was getting out of hand, Hall coach Selita Farr pulled her starters and decided against using pressure defenses the rest of the way. The strategy didn't help. Hall defeated Fair by a score of 88-0. Basketball games aren't supposed to end in shut-outs. Watch the THV story below to find out how this game got so far out-of-hand (email or iHigh subscribers click here).
Basketball is intentionally fast-paced and teams have too many opportunities to score. Someone will almost always hit a lucky shot. What happened to Fair High is the result of poor preparation. When your team is on the wrong end of an 88-0 score after the other team has essentially given up, then your kids weren't prepared. That responsibility falls squarely on the coaches. While it's important for every kid to get the chance to participate in sports, it's also important for them to be prepared. The situation is similar to playing a game for the first time as a little kid. Everyone else may know how to play, but the new kid doesn't - and it's not much fun for him. We owe it to our kids to make the game as competitive as possible.
Think about the girls on the Hall and Fair teams. Hall's starters got to play all of four minutes and had to sit the remainder of the game as if they got into trouble. Fair's girls could clearly see their opponents were just going through the motions and they still couldn't stop them or score on them. What kind of experience was this? Every team has a bad game and someone will always be last in the standings, but every team should be ready to play. Fair's coaching staff really needs to examine what they're doing and make sure their girls are in the best position to succeed in the future. Success occurs when preparation meets opportunity. Seizing opportunities without being prepared is like...well... my 9-year-old seizing the opportunity to drive my car. Yeah, it's going to end badly. Until next time...
Be a Good Sport!