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savafan
05-28-2006, 10:16 PM
http://news.newstimeslive.com/story.php?id=84794&category=Regional

By DONNA TOMMELLEO AP Sports Writer

HARTFORD (AP) - Any Connecticut high school football coach who runs up the score in a game now runs the risk of being suspended.

The football committee of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the state board that governs high school sports, has adopted a "score management" policy to keep teams from winning by more than 50 points.

The rout is considered an unsportsmanlike infraction and, beginning this fall, the head coach of the offending team will be disqualified from coaching the next game, said Tony Mosa, assistant executive director of the Cheshire-based CIAC.

"We were concerned with any coach running up the game. There's no need for it," Mosa said Wednesday. "This is something that we really have been discussing for the last couple of years. There were a number of games that were played where the difference of scores were 60 points or more. It's not focused on any one particular person."

Still, some around the state have dubbed it the "Jack Cochran rule," after the New London coach of the same name.

During halftime of New London's 60-0 rout of Tourtelotte/Ellis Tech last season, opposing coach Tim Panteleakos was arrested on breach of peace charges. With his team sitting on a huge lead, Cochran called a timeout just before the half, and that apparently riled Panteleakos.

He allegedly hit a New London security officer and tried to hit a New London assistant coach.

Cochran's teams logged four wins of more than 50 points last year.

"It's basically the Jack (Cochran) rule," Hyde Leadership-New Haven football coach John Acquavita told the New Haven Register. "For one guy, you're putting the stress on the entire state. It's the most asinine, insane thing I've ever heard of in my life."

Leo Facchini, New London's athletic director, called it unfair to single out his coach or the sport of football.

"He's not the only person that's had big scores. Score management is not only an issue in football. It's an issue in sports across the board," Facchini said. "There needs to be some remedy."

Facchini said he and Cochran tried to pull in the reins during New London's 90-0 drubbing of Griswold last season by trying to get both sides and the timekeeper to agree to run a continuous clock.

"We were told no. As the second half started, I radioed up to the timekeeper three times to run the clock," Facchini said. "Trying to defend a 90-to-nothing game is going to make me look like an idiot. We did try to remedy it."

The CIAC's Mosa said the football committee unanimously approved the policy last month after "considerable discussion and debate."

The state already has a 15-run mercy rule in softball. If a team is ahead by at least that much, the game is stopped after five innings.

For football, the committee looked at various options on the issue, including using the continuous clock used by other states. In Iowa, for example, if a team is ahead by 35 points in the second half, the game clock runs continuously until the game is over.

Facchini favors running out the clock in routs, and said he plans to use it if necesssary at New London home games this fall.

"We're going to run the clock if we feel the score's out of hand," Facchini said.

But Mosa said committee members believed the clock rule would be unfair to junior varsity players who likely would be on the field during lopsided games.

"They should be able to participate (rather) than to simply run out the clock," Mosa said.

Football committee chairman Leroy Williams agreed.

"It was felt that the J-V parents pay to come to the game and that should not be taken away from them," Williams said.

Williams, now a middle school principal in New Haven, formerly coached high school in the city and remembers well the beatings his teams were handed. He recalls being down by 54 points in one game and having the opposing team line up for an onside kick after scoring.

"Try to explain that to kids," Williams said. "When you get someone down, you don't have to kick them. The key thing to remember is, it's about the quality of the game. It's about teaching kids right from wrong. It's about the game of life and that's how we had to look about it."

dabvu2498
05-30-2006, 09:49 AM
Stupid.

flyer85
05-30-2006, 11:55 AM
more PC run amok.

puca
05-30-2006, 12:27 PM
I'm all for it. It should be extended to academics. I've always thought it was unsportsmanlike to bust perfectly good curves. Those really smart kids need to be encouraged to miss a few questions so normal kids don't feel so bad.

RANDY IN INDY
05-30-2006, 01:14 PM
:beerme:
more PC run amok.

savafan
05-30-2006, 02:00 PM
I think this hurts the players more than anything. Especially those who are fighting for a college scholarship, and those 2nd and 3rd string players fighting for playing time.

If there is a rout going on, and the reserves are in, this is their chance to shine. Asking them to fall down at the goal line or not run hard up the middle or take a knee after a great break just because the score is about to go 50+ points ahead, it isn't fair.

Roy Tucker
05-30-2006, 02:21 PM
I think the suspensions and punishments and all the punitive part of it is stupid. This seems to reek of unintended consequences.

But I don't see anything wrong with some of the mercy rules part of it (running the clock continuously, run rule, etc.). I've seen my share of games where one team completely and utterly outclasses the other and it's no fun.

You can talk about playing time for JV kids all you want, but when you're getting completely blasted by 80 points, you just want to get the heck out of the gym.

KronoRed
05-30-2006, 02:29 PM
It's the other teams job to stop run up scores, now the running up team should put in backups at least :D

flyer85
05-30-2006, 02:39 PM
Hopefully no ones feelings will get hurt and both teams can celebrate the end of the game with a group hug. :luvu:

Johnny Footstool
05-30-2006, 03:00 PM
more PC run amok.

Are you in favor of 60-point spreads?

flyer85
05-30-2006, 03:07 PM
Are you in favor of 60-point spreads?I don't care what the spread is, play the game. I certainly am not in favor of telling 2nd/3rd string players to lay down and not play the game the way it is supposed to be played. I suggest the losing team use the experience as an opportunity to learn and get better.

I know in the real world the competition generally let's up on their opponents when they have them down. :rolleyes:

dabvu2498
05-30-2006, 03:11 PM
There are ways to stop this sort of thing other than fining coaches.

For example: I coached a 9th grade basketball team when I was in college. We went 0-18. (My have been the hardest working team I ever coached, BTW.) We were down 35 or so in the 4th quarter and they were still pressing. The officials sensed my frustration and everytime one of their defenders breathed on my PG, he called a foul. He hit enough freethrows in 2 mintues to get it down to a 25 point game. The opposing coach finally realized what was going on and called off the dogs.

So... the threat of a fine is not such a bad thing, but there can be ways of policing that sort of thing before it gets to that level.

flyer85
05-30-2006, 03:18 PM
The best way to handle it is to use it as an opportunity to improve and maybe pay 'em back the next time. Having been on the losing side of some routs in baseball and basketball, I know that only losing by X amount instead of Y doesn't change anything. You know you got your butt kicked and you know the difference between only losing by 49 or by 63 doesn't mean squat. You got killed and everyone knows it. I sure hope nobody walks away saying "Wow, we feel better because we only lost by 49".

Johnny Footstool
05-30-2006, 03:56 PM
When you're shaping and molding young athletes, is it really important to let them get shelled by 60 points? Are they going to learn an extra lesson they wouldn't have learned if they had only lost by 45?

Would it be "character-building" for a second- or third-string kid to get hurt in a blowout because the coaches wouldn't call off the dogs?

puca
05-30-2006, 04:33 PM
Which is more humiliating, losing by 60 points or losing by 49 and knowing the other team wasn't allowed to try at the end? Ultimately it should be up to the coaches to show good sportsmanship by not intentionally running up the score. Coaches that continually show poor sportsmanship should be fired, however think it is a mistake to judge a coaches behavior by the final score. In my opinion one of the worst things you can ask a kid to do is to stop trying.

By all means use a running clock, and make sure the reserves are playing when the game is out of hand, but most of all encourage creative coaching. Challange coaches to find ways to allow both sides to play hard without making the game a joke. For example in hockey there are games where only our defensemen are allowed to shoot the puck. Other times our players must make 6 passes before a shot is taken. Still other times we work on cycling the puck for an entire period. Coaches are the only ones that can make it work.

flyer85
05-30-2006, 05:03 PM
Just because you win by 50 doesn't mean that you ran up the score. Sometimes there is just a disparity of talent and a team can win by a huge margin.

There certainly are coaches who run up the score, I can think of Billy Tubbs and Steve Spurrier as two who did it routinely at the collegiate level. Hopefully true sportsmanship will exhibit itself and coaches don't intentionally try to win be as much as possible, but trying to control it by mandating some outcome(< 50) is absurd. One coach could win by 40 and be running up the score and another coach could win by 50 without trying to run up the score.

Johnny Footstool
05-30-2006, 05:06 PM
Coaches that continually show poor sportsmanship should be fired, however think it is a mistake to judge a coaches behavior by the final score. In my opinion one of the worst things you can ask a kid to do is to stop trying.

It's also not good to ask or expect a kid to give maximum effort for a lost cause.

It's more humiliating to be down 45 points and not be able to stop the other team from scoring again and again. A team being humiliated like that is likely to retaliate by trying to hurt their opponents with late hits, chop blocks, etc.

I do agree that if a coach is letting his team run up the score, he needs to be disciplined.

dsmith421
05-30-2006, 05:46 PM
It's the other teams job to stop run up scores, now the running up team should put in backups at least.

One thing to keep in mind is that in smaller states you often see games scheduled out of necessity that are such abominable mismatches that there is no practical way to avoid it besides a "mercy rule." In Nevada, for example, if a team goes up 45 points, the game is over. This may be part of the problem Connecticut is running into.

dsmith421
05-30-2006, 05:49 PM
I know in the real world the competition generally let's up on their opponents when they have them down.

High school sports are exactly the same as unfettered capitalism, therefore we should permit 15-18 year old kids to get humiliated in front of their parents and peers. Right.

IslandRed
05-30-2006, 06:01 PM
One thing to keep in mind is that in smaller states you often see games scheduled out of necessity that are such abominable mismatches that there is no practical way to avoid it besides a "mercy rule." In Nevada, for example, if a team goes up 45 points, the game is over. This may be part of the problem Connecticut is running into.

I was thinking the same thing. This is Connecticut, after all. It sounds like there are only 22 good players in the whole state and they all play for the same team. :D This is not a problem in more competitive locales.

GAC
05-30-2006, 06:26 PM
Gee- maybe they should do like in various baseball/softball leagues and stop the game after a run spread?

If you're down by 50 after the 3rd quarter the game is called.

Why risk getting an athlete hurt?

And what happens if a coach does take steps to keep from running the score up, yet his team continues to score because the other team is just that bad?

But fining coaches is ridicoulous IMO.

RANDY IN INDY
05-31-2006, 08:24 AM
This season in my son's little league, we won our first game, 18-2. There is a five run rule per inning and a mercy rule after 5 innings. We do not ask our kids to "lay down" or "take it easy" just because the other team has been taught that it is not about being good but having fun, not to mention that they had not been coached to play baseball. I don't even think they used their practice times. My kids were there to perform what they had practiced. The opposing coach, who was a woman, made disparaging comments to my son and some of the other better players on our team during the game. The next day, we were told by our league commissioner that she had written a 5 page letter, complaining that we had run up the score and were much too "competitive." The next game, the opposition beat them worse than we did.

I will say that after we won the league championship, she did write us an e-mail stating that "your kids really know how to play ball."

The truth is, that there are more kids out there that want to learn to play the game the right way, and to try and win, as there are kids and parents that don't want to keep score. The PC stuff really bothers me. The lesson for me, when I was beaten soundly, was to go out and work harder.




"As long as you try your best, you are never a failure. That is, unless you blame others."

John Wooden

Johnny Footstool
05-31-2006, 04:33 PM
This season in my son's little league, we won our first game, 18-2. There is a five run rule per inning and a mercy rule after 5 innings. We do not ask our kids to "lay down" or "take it easy" just because the other team has been taught that it is not about being good but having fun, not to mention that they had not been coached to play baseball. I don't even think they used their practice times. My kids were there to perform what they had practiced.


The league has a mercy rule, so your kids shouldn't have to worry about "calling off the dogs." If they outperform the other team to a certain degree (5 runs/inning, 5 inning mercy rule), they win. There's nothing unreasonable about that.

Don't you think it would be unreasonable if there was no mercy rule and your team was allowed to keep scoring and scoring against a clearly inferior opponent? You have to draw the line somewhere.

dsmith421
05-31-2006, 05:54 PM
The truth is, that there are more kids out there that want to learn to play the game the right way, and to try and win, as there are kids and parents that don't want to keep score. The PC stuff really bothers me. The lesson for me, when I was beaten soundly, was to go out and work harder.

Then I would tell you to consider forming a "traveling" or "select" team. That way you would guarantee competition as serious and dedicated to the game as you apparently are.

Playing in municipal little league, there is a huge gulf in talent, experience, commitment, and coaching ability. Personally, I don't think it's "PC run amuck"--whatever that means--to try to ensure that preadolescent kids don't get unduly humiliated in front of their parents or peers. That's just me, though, I guess I'm a bleeding heart.

To me, up until you're about 14-15 sports should be about, in order, 1. participation and fun, 2. learning the skills of the game, and 3. winning. One of my pet hypotheses is that the "win at all costs" mentality has trickled down into youth sports and is driving kids away in droves. Maybe if we reassess what the point of athletic participation is at that age, we could avoid some of the problems (obesity, depression, etc.) that plague youngsters today.

RANDY IN INDY
06-01-2006, 02:49 AM
We do the traveling, select thing, as well. It is based on the better players from the rec league.

I guess I am not a fan of the "lets not keep score" crowd. And, from the previous post, Johnny, I think the 5 run rule and mercy rule are good things and do exactly what they are meant to do.

Johnny Footstool
06-01-2006, 10:10 AM
I guess I am not a fan of the "lets not keep score" crowd. And, from the previous post, Johnny, I think the 5 run rule and mercy rule are good things and do exactly what they are meant to do.

I'm not a fan of the "let's not keep score" crowd, either. They're way too overprotective and insecure. I think you learn more from losing than from winning, and I think it's good for kids to lose some games so they can learn that life goes on.

Roy Tucker
06-01-2006, 10:37 AM
From my observations, coaches generally do a good job of working around this kind of thing, e.g.

The HS my kids go to is rapidly outgrowing their league. There are a couple schools that are 25% the size of ours. I've seen football games were we have a 28-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. Our coach then empties the bench and gives extended time to all the JV kids and the final ends up 28-7 or something. And yes, they are trying very hard to move to a big school league.

My daughters soccer team has a couple times gotten matched up with a top-10 in the country super premier team and gotten drilled. The opposing coach called off the dogs after the score was 10-0 and played players at different positions (defenders play wing, etc.), instituted an 8-pass before scoring rule, etc etc.

I think this is a case where 99 coaches out of a 100 handle the situation well, but all it takes is 1 idiot out of the 100 to screw it up for everyone. I've seen this phenomena in not only sports but all kinds of situations.

RANDY IN INDY
06-01-2006, 04:28 PM
My team was once beaten very badly in a little league football game when I was 11 years old. The team we were playing started missing tackles on purpose and slipping down when they were carrying the football. It was without a doubt, the most humiliating thing that I have ever experienced in athletics. I would have much rather been beaten worse than to have them do that. And when an opposing coach empties his bench in the 2nd quarter, that in itself is pretty humiliating.