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HumnHilghtFreel
08-10-2006, 01:15 PM
I'm not sure if this is the right section of the fora to talk about this, so feel free to move it if it isn't.

I didn't want to derail the thread about the article on the kid with cancer being picked on in a little league game, so I started this topic.

What age do you think it is appropriate to start keeping score at children's sporting events?

I understand that a lot of people these days think it's a good thing to protect the kids and let them just play for fun, which I have no problems with that, but I think that it's often carried on for a little too long.

I started playing baseball competitively when I was in kindergarten in a coach-pitch league and I feel that it taught me a lot of life lessons, namely, that you're going to lose some battles throughout life, but you're also going to win a lot if you try hard enough. I HATED losing, but you learn a lot more from dissapointment than you do from just playing for fun all the time.

I think that somewhere around 7 or 8 years old is just about the right time to start playing games competitively. How about you?

dabvu2498
08-10-2006, 01:17 PM
11-12

Razor Shines
08-10-2006, 01:28 PM
All of them.

KalDanielsfan
08-10-2006, 01:29 PM
always keep score. even at playing whiffle ball with my freinds at age 8 we always kept score. games are for competition. without a score, what are you competing against??

you learn how to win and how to lose. thats life.

steig
08-10-2006, 01:31 PM
I think 8 - 9 is a good age to start playing competitively. I worked in youth sports for 8 years and was also an official. 1st and 2nd graders really won't care about the score in general. they are to busy running around and having pure fun. It's not always true but for the most part. After that kids care about the score and want to win. it's good to teach kids how to win and loose and i never had a problem with a kid due to competition. the problem is almost always with the parents. i threw more parents out of basketball games for cursing, yelling at officials, or sometime i would threaten them for yelling at the kids (not just coaches but fans also). It seemed coaches and parents put the most stress to win on the kids with bribes or just intimidation. If i was to clean up any youth sports league i would start with the parents and coaches and have a no tolerance policy for bad behavior. then let the kids take care of themselves in terms of developing competition.

Ltlabner
08-10-2006, 03:37 PM
Not sure what age but prob pretty young. 6 or 7. You definatley want the kids to have fun and not get sucked into being competitive in an unhealthy way. But winning and loosing is part of the beauty of playing sports - it teaches your a lot about you charicter or lack there of. The sooner they start to incorporate those lessons into the joy of playing baseball, the better.

Not keeping score doesn't "protect" the children, it harms them, IMO. Children aren't as "egg shell" as is trendy to think right now.

terminator
08-10-2006, 04:17 PM
While I'm older than most of the crowd here, I never played in any sport league that didn't keep score. I never played a neighborhood pickup game that didn't keep score. I'm glad as I can't imagine anything more boring than playing in a game that didn't count. It sounds like glorified practice to me.

If all you are going to do is practice and run around for fun, then there's little point in having an organized league -- just get together with your friends/neighbors and shoot some hoops, toss a ball or play pickle.

Johnny Footstool
08-10-2006, 04:31 PM
Keeping score gives structure to game. Otherwise, it's just a group of 8 year olds running around.

If they're playing in one of those "everyone bats once each inning" leagues, then keeping score is not such a big deal. But if they keep track of outs, they need to keep track of runs as well.

pahster
08-10-2006, 04:41 PM
When do they usually stop using runs per innings limits?

RedFanAlways1966
08-10-2006, 04:42 PM
Years ago... everyone kept score. Didn't matter your age. You were playing a game in which one team won and one team lost. Part of playing an athletic game was the winning and losing part (soccer excluded of course). Somehow kids got through it. Some could not accept losing like others. Some had parents who helped teach them the right way to accept losing... and the right way to accept winning. It was called sportsmanship and good parents & coaches taught this part of the game as much as things like throwing/hitting/fielding. It even helped kids learn that you do not win everytime you do something.
Nowadays... some leagues do not keep score. Sportsmanship might still be taught, but not the kind about accepting a loss in the proper way. Somewhere, after keeping score in these games since the games were invented, people decided that a score was not a part of an athletic event. They decided that a sport should not include non-important things like winning and losing. Scoring points or runs is not a part of a game anymore. It is important that little Johnny and/or Jane come home like they won everytime they finish a "game".

Years ago... most parents were much more involved in their own kids lives. They taught them how to deal with losing and sportsmanship. If their kid was a bad sport, he/she was punished at home and hopefully learned a valuable lesson from Mom & Dad.
Nowadays... some parents do not have much to do with their own kids. They provide them with little or no support. Have never taught them anything about being a good sport and are a terrible example to the kids with their own actions (if they are involved with their own kids at all).

Years ago... it was the parents job to teach their kids important life qualities.
Nowadays... ????

RedsManRick
08-10-2006, 05:00 PM
If score is not kept, then what exactly is the object of the game? If at any time there is a structure of team A vs. team B, without direct non-player invention, score should be kept. Otherwise, why not just call it a practice and give up the farse of it being a game.

There's nothing wrong of course with having practice involving mutliple teams. But there should be a dileniation between what is competition and what is not. While certainly the phsyical activity is fun, the competition is also fun. Perhaps at a very young age, before the players can play the game independant of direct intervention, it makes little sense to keep score. But ignoring scoring when that is the ultimate purpose of the game just seems stupid.

solo-baric
08-10-2006, 07:03 PM
I'd keep score for every game! Big deal if lose! You can't be a winner every day. That's the problem with today. Now the way the have it set up you can't do that. But anything after tball you need. Just to show the kids life. And don't give them a trophy when they finish last. That's not life. Teach them to win gracefully and and lose the say way.

knuckler
08-10-2006, 07:27 PM
I'm coaching 8-9 year olds in the Reds Rookie Success League, the 8-11 year-old league the Reds Community Fund runs. We don't keep score on game days, but the kids do, and that seems to work well. The kids get their competitive edge, while we coaches can instead focus on giving them feedback on how well they execute hitting and fielding.

Also, it's somewhat a function of the teams. In the RRSL we have a real mix -- kids that can really pick it on the field with kids who ask me "where is the outfield"? So if we emphasize the score too much it turns into a beating session for the latter kids. George Foster sponsors a competitive league one day a week where the talent pool is more uniform, and I think they keep score in it.

BTW, Bronson Arroyo was pitching to the kids Wednesday, and he had much better success at getting ground balls than he did at GABP Thursday. The kids even turned a DP behind him! And Freel came out again, all bruised and battered from sliding on the warning track the night before, and was really good with all the kids as usual. He is by far the best Red about coming out to see the kids.

IslandRed
08-10-2006, 07:31 PM
Rule of thumb with anything child-related: Give it to them when they're old enough to deal with it.

By and large, I think most kids from grade school on up should be fine with the notion of winning and losing a game, and it's up to the adults to give them the proper perspective. Below that, with preschoolers playing soccer (which is my frame of reference), they don't care. They have a vague notion of whether they scored more goals than the other team but none of them are keeping track. They play to have fun and try to score goals and make their parents clap. Winning's not on the radar yet. At that age, as a coach, I really have one objective that overrides everything else -- for them to like playing enough to keep playing.

As they move up, they definitely need to learn how to compete and how to handle winning and losing. My only long-term concern is that we don't stigmatize losing to the point where kids conclude it's better to not play rather than risk failure.

Johnny Footstool
08-11-2006, 12:33 AM
Rule of thumb with anything child-related: Give it to them when they're old enough to deal with it.

By and large, I think most kids from grade school on up should be fine with the notion of winning and losing a game, and it's up to the adults to give them the proper perspective. Below that, with preschoolers playing soccer (which is my frame of reference), they don't care. They have a vague notion of whether they scored more goals than the other team but none of them are keeping track. They play to have fun and try to score goals and make their parents clap. Winning's not on the radar yet. At that age, as a coach, I really have one objective that overrides everything else -- for them to like playing enough to keep playing.

As they move up, they definitely need to learn how to compete and how to handle winning and losing. My only long-term concern is that we don't stigmatize losing to the point where kids conclude it's better to not play rather than risk failure.

I agree.

I remember playing tee-ball when I was a kid. We had no real concept of the game as a whole -- it was just "I did good that time" or "I did bad that time" for each play. The coaches had to tell us when the innings were over, when the game was over, and who won.

We didn't really start keeping track of winning and losing until second or third grade.

danwl
08-11-2006, 02:02 AM
Our league keeps score (and has an end of year tournament) in machine pitch for 7-8 year olds. I still had a number of kids, typically the 7 year olds, who would ask me who was winning even when we were getting smoked or blowing somebody out. No serious idea of what was going on, so 7 might be early.

On the other hand, we don't keep score in tball, but a lot of the kids asked me "did we win" after the game. My response, was always, well, who had the most fun? They'd yell that they did, so I would say, well, then you won. Usually this was because I had no idea who had more runs. Most were satisfied with this answer; I did have one or two six year olds every year (four years, count 'em - 4) who kept on me about who scored more runs. If they were persistent and asked the right questions, I'd tell 'em, and generally neither answer affected their mood - they just wanted to know.

dougdirt
08-11-2006, 02:48 AM
We started keeping score when I turned 6 in our league. We had tee-ball, then pitch and tee. We kept score in pitch and tee at age 6. Kept score every year from then on out.