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Debate Rages About High-Scoring Team’s Motives

By TOM KUYPER, Kids and Sports

Recently I wrote an article about the Yates High School basketball team and their dominant run to beat down their opponents by pressing and running up the score. My question to my readers was if you thought it was OK to pour on the score.

Here were a few of your responses:

1. I witnessed the Yates HS team on television one night. As a coach who has had success at all levels (middle, high and AAU). I'm very disappointed with the integrity of the coaching staff. It's not enough that the Yates team is superior over everyone else but the program is trying to embarrass them and make more of a name at the expense of others which I think is totally disgraceful. My biggest question to them is why isn't being dominant enough; why do they need records?

2. I had great experiences winning in all sports and never experienced a losing season until college baseball. Give Greg Wise and his team the credit they deserve. They obviously have great talent at the school from each grade level or is it that the other schools are that bad? He continues to run an outstanding program simply because each year's team knows that the talent level is high and they continue to improve by playing hard every time they get the opportunity. You should never tell a young adult to not give their all in any sport. I believe that success is based on desire. No matter how many, if any, records they break during the season and if they win another title these young men will always remember their high school days as a great experience. Keep in mind very few will play in college or even pros for that matter so give them the life-long memory. I do think if the other teams gave up Greg would back down. If this is what it comes down to then a mercy rule should be in effect to stop such blowouts. In that case some players who set records would not due to not playing complete games.

Response: @

No. 1, thank you for that insight.

No. 2, are you kidding me?

What do you mean give him the credit he deserves? He is totally teaching the wrong thing. He is giving the wrong message.

First of all, I do recognize that he must be a very good coach and that he has poured his heart into this program and it is obviously paying off in terms of his win/loss record.

But, come on, there are unwritten rules that come into play when blowouts happen. I think it lacks integrity to full-court press all game long (even if it is with your reserve players) when you are up by 100 points or so.

It doesn't matter if you are the coach of a kindergarten team or a professional team, blowouts are treated with those unwritten rules. (By the way, asking your kids to not play hard is not one of them. Kids should always be encouraged to play their best).

In baseball for example, you stop stealing bases when you are up by a ton of runs.

In football you stop running the double-reverse play with the long bomb touchdown pass.

In hockey you wouldn't pull your goalie to add on more points when it is a blowout.

In basketball it is unbelievable that a coach would full-court press when up by 100 points.

You don't need a mercy rule; you just need a coach who understands the concept of ethics and mercy!

1 Responses »

  1. I have seen Yates on TV also. And, I buy the Coaches explanation that "all" the kids play and practice hard and that they play real games like they practice. I don't believe it is the Coach's intentions to embarrass anyone, I believe he is just doing what he thinks is fair and just rewards for his kids dedication and hard work. Most of the lopsided games they play, they play all 15 of their players and the only real way to keep the score down is to play a different brand of basketball than the one they practice or deliberately stop scoring...either way is a betrayal the the program they have developed. Winning by a lopsided margin is a statement that they are good, they play hard, and you better be ready or you will get run out of the gym.