Ontario Soccer Association: Our Kids Play Soccer Without The Soccer Ball

This is just bizarre:

With the growing concern over the effects of competition in youth sports programs this summer, many Canadian soccer associations eliminated the concept of keeping score. The Soccer Association of Midlake, Ontario, however, has taken this idea one step further, and have completely removed the ball from all youth soccer games and practices.

According to Association spokesperson, Helen Dabney-Coyle, “By removing the ball, it’s absolutely impossible to say ‘this team won’ and ‘this team lost’ or ‘this child is better at soccer than that child.'”

“We want our children to grow up learning that sport is not about competition, rather it’s about using your imagination. If you imagine you’re good at soccer, then, you are.”

I am truly without words.

Update:  It’s being suggested that this is a satirical piece. If so, my apologies.

FILED UNDER: Education, Quick Takes, Sports
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. beth says:

    “We want our children to grow up learning that sport is not about competition, rather it’s about using your imagination. If you imagine you’re good at soccer, then, you are.”

    Hell, why not just have the kids stay home and imagine they played soccer? Hopefully there are some intelligent adults or kids involved who can stop this nonsense.

  2. Nicholas says:

    Doug,

    While it’s not common for the CBC to run hoax news items, it’s not unheard of either. I live in Ontario and I’ve never heard of “Midlake”, and Google only comes up with links to the CBC and other sites that have picked it up from there.

    It’s weird enough to be almost believable, but I still think it’s a hoax.

  3. Wait a minute. So an area where children leave home to play professional hockey at 15 years old is all of a sudden intimately concerned about competition, and is instead having kids play soccer without a ball? I’m with Nicholas in calling BS on this.

  4. JKB says:

    @Nicholas:

    The really telling part is, it is believable.

    Hey kids, imagine you lived in a place where the adults in your life weren’t loons.

  5. John Peabody says:

    Yeah, even if it is a fake, you have to admit that it _could_ be true.

  6. rodney dill says:

    Hmf… It’s Soccer…Won’t change the scoring much.

  7. rodney dill says:

    Andres Cantor Response: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”

  8. Mikey says:

    It’s satire. I checked out the link–it’s not a news story, it’s a blog post, from the guys at CBC’s “This and That” show, which is described thusly:

    This Is That is a current affairs program that doesn’t just talk about the issues, it fabricates them. Nothing is off limits–politics, business, culture, justice, science, religion–if it is relevant to Canadians, we’ll find out the “This” and the “That” of the story.

    Each week, hosts Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring introduce you to the voices and stories that give this country character in this 100% improvised, satirical send-up of public radio.

    Essentially the Canadian version of The Onion.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    Didn’t pass the sniff test, so am not surprised to find out it was satire. Nevertheless have to give kudos to Rodney for his “score” comment. Well played.

  10. Scott O says:

    Update: It’s being suggested that this is a satirical piece. If so, my apologies.

    I’m just amazed that that wasn’t your first assumption.

  11. JKB says:

    @Scott O:

    These days, you can’t really tell if it is satire by looking at the absurdity of the report. While surprising, the idea was not beyond expectation

  12. Pete S says:

    That makes it good satire, because it could be true. My 9 year old daughter plays house league soccer in Ontario, becasue they use the full field with full rules and keep score. They even have standings and championships. Rep soccer does not start these things until age 12!
    Keeping competition in perspective is a great lesson for kids. They are not learing that without competition! Learning to win and lose with grace, and to have fun while trying your best, are important lessons too.

  13. al-Ameda says:

    The Soccer Association of Midlake, Ontario, however, has taken this idea one step further, and have completely removed the ball from all youth soccer games and practices.

    According to Association spokesperson, Helen Dabney-Coyle, “By removing the ball, it’s absolutely impossible to say ‘this team won’ and ‘this team lost’ or ‘this child is better at soccer than that child.’”

    And I always thought that Canadians were smarter than this.
    No wonder Canada is not a soccer power.

  14. Rafer Janders says:

    Satire detector broken, Doug?

    Still, I think it’s telling that you fell for this, since we often believe what we want to believe — and Doug, deep down, wants to believe that liberals are silly. So when something seems to confirm his pre-conceived notions he jumps at it without wasting time on rational analysis.

  15. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    The really telling part is, it is believable.

    Yeah, the one thing hockey-obsessed Canada — where many children learn to skate as soon as they can walk — doesn’t believe in is athletic competition….

    I mean, c’mon, you have to be an idiot to think this is remotely believable.

  16. al-Ameda says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I mean, c’mon, you have to be an idiot to think this is remotely believable.

    Okay, I’m jaded, I plead guilty – these days it’s all believable, although I have to admit in the case of Canadians it’s less believable than in the case of Americans.

  17. george says:

    “This is That” is actually pretty hilarious, a lot of folks in Canada listen to it. Google it to get a list of some of the ‘reports’ theyve done in the past, they’re at least as good as The Onion.

  18. Scott O says:
  19. @Scott O: I’m not. Deal with hockey parents long enough. You’ll never assume anything again. Half of the time, they’re foam-at-the-mouth idiots hell-bent on destroying all in their path. The other half, they’re hippies fresh from burning man who think that the puck should be softened because someone could be hurt.

  20. pylon says:

    The actual minor hockey rule where my kid plays is that they keep score, but they don’t put a difference bigger than 5 goals on the scoreboard (they still keep the paper record).

    And soccer here is even more competitive. The teams aren’t community based – they are like real clubs who recruit all over the city.

  21. dustin says:

    This is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard of. Very poor decision. you are setting those children up for failure. you can not “imagine” to be good at somthi8ng and it happens. i suck at math. i cant simply “imagine” myself being better at it then i am. Sports are all about being competitive and having fun. what fun is it to “imagine” a fake ball? stupid. very stupid. i have played soccer for 16 years. this is a very sad day in america.

  22. Ewan says:

    It’s not the competition that is the problem. It’s the adults that drive the competition that is the real problem. One of my friends used to say, ” There is nothing wrong with the world. It’s the people in it that ruin everything.”
    Winning or “losing” are life lessons. There are so many young people who do not have the skill to deal with life’s conflict. Adults keep taking the opportunities away.
    Competitions have been around since the beginning of time. Take competition away is like taking the whole core of civilization.