Crusaders Criticized For Crushing Victory: Girls Basketball Score Leading To Calls for Reform — To Force Closer Scores

Utah school officials are in deep debate over a shocking development at the girls basketball game between Christian Heritage High and West Ridge Academy. Drugs? Violence? No, the score. After Christian Heritage High won 108-3, many are crying foul and demanding to know why the CHH coach did not slow his “Crusaders” down and force them to give up points.

The one-sided game was obvious from the start: Christian Heritage scored 28 points per quarter for the first three periods and 24 in the fourth.

Jamie Keefer, West Ridge’s athletic director and a coach for the girls’ team insisted “I don’t know why the score was that high, or what the point was. I don’t think it would’ve happened that way if it were the other way around.” Well, I would suggest it is because one team was a lot better. However, I do not subscribe to the idea that kids should play to lose points. Sometimes you are up against a better team and you lose. That is what happens in sports and in life.

There is now a call, however, for a “mercy rule” to avoid future games with lopsided scores.

Crusaders coach Rob McGill said that he only had his starters and could not swap out players. However, he felt that slowing the ball down and obviously giving up points would be insulting. I agree. I would certainly have hoped that the coach would have put in non-starters if he could, but now there is a debate to have a “mercy rule” to avoid lopsided games. What do you think?

Source: Yahoo

19 thoughts on “Crusaders Criticized For Crushing Victory: Girls Basketball Score Leading To Calls for Reform — To Force Closer Scores”

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  2. I missed this posting but here’s my two cents. Having coached for many years I understand the problem of having to call off a team when there is an obvious mismatch. Here the coach only had nine players for two games and he had a dilemma. The dilemma wasn’t his lack of players however, just his attitude and lack of creativity.

    Here’s what the coach said his reasons were or running up the score:

    “Too many people in the world right now allow the youth to not be as good as they can be, allow them to be lazy,” said McGill. “Here, I’m giving them an opportunity to live up to the best of their abilities and be proud of what they’re able to accomplish. If that’s what I’m being blamed for, then OK, I accept it.”

    See it’s no longer a game between a powerful basketball powerhouse and a school for at-risk students, it’s now a morality play with a convenient event to vindicate the coach’s disdain with modern society. He’s tough you see and every kid has to live up to his standards. Sportsmanship be damned, he’s making a point about how he thinks the world should be — no regard for the hardships of anyone else. He did it by himself (unlikely of course) and so will everyone else. Our Lombardi of the hardwoods is on a mission with a point to prove.

    Every coach with an ounce of compassion coaching kids – not adults – will tell you there are lots of ways to keep the score down. Here the winners scored a bucket every two minutes. Sound like a guy playing normal high school basketball? You can easily place kids in different positions, play only zone defense,and work on all the fundamentals (like passing and running plays) every coach claims is his raison d’etre.

    Bottom line: this guy was wrong in his approach, wrong in his execution, and devoid of any sense of why he’s there. We push kids plenty to perform in this society. We don’t need some bully with a whistle running a bunch of at-risk kids into the ground to prove some philosophical point.

    Lest you think the winning coach has any point, to its credit Christian Heritage had this response:

    “We’re going to sit down with them and make sure they know how we feel,” said Christian Heritage head of school Don Hopper. “We didn’t mean to do anything to hurt them or upset them. It got away from us, and we’re going to do things differently next time.”

    Thanks Dr. Hopper for living up to what’s best in your name.

  3. in boxing there is a phrase “throwing in the towel”. you do that to avoid unnecessary damage to the one being beat. the losing coach should have done this. having the winning team playing half-assed wouldn’t have fooled anyone.

  4. Where did I put that soapbox? Oh, no! One is not nearly enough.

    This calls for standing at a height of 3 soapboxes, so, for safe stability, I need 9 for the base, 4 for the intermediate layer, and one on the very top.

    Will mercy ever enter this world? Just a hint of a trace?

    The score in a game is utterly meaningless, absolutely meaningless, and perfectly insignificant. When we focus all our efforts onto what does not matter, what does suffers from gross neglect, and we suffer with the neglect.

    On Wednesday evening, February 7, 1996, I spoke from Oak Park, Illinois, with my late daughter-in-law Shelly Dukes. She wanted to do something in a way I thought unduly dangerous.

    The last thing of note I ever said to her while she was alive was, “You’re confusing wants with needs, and, sometimes, when people do that, bad things happen.

    If her getting killed and our son getting killed was not a bad thing, then perhaps no bad thing happened. Methinks what happened was bad.

    Some years ago, while I held substitute teacher certification and was doing some part-time substitute teaching in public schools, I was asked to sub in a grade school gym class. The class was nearly equally boys and girls.

    The girls, as though in unison, asked to play “boys against girls.” and, though I well understand why to avoid allowing such, I also understand a very important lesson about self and mutual respect may occur if such is allowed by a teacher who understands what that “boys against girls” thing is really about.

    The gym had very scant sound absorbing surface, and sounds echoed as though with rapacious turmoil. Part way through the class period, one boy had begun to act the bully role. As soon as I noticed this, I began to call a halt, and the girls simultaneously (Before I had completed calling out the first word of my objection), the all the girls were walking to the sidelines. many, but not all, of the boys acted as though bewildered.

    I called the whole class over to the bleachers at the side of the gym, and asked what the boys and girls understood had happened. Immediately, some of the “more active” boys started to do the blame game.

    I remarked that I thought blaming was not helpful, and that something else had happened, and asked if I could describe my view of the gym class.

    I said, in effect, “To me, the purpose of a gym class is to get some exercise for physical fitness, to learn to work together, to have some decent fun, and to have a break from other classes. When someone tries to build himself or herself up by putting someone else down, I think everyone gets hurt.”

    I engaged several students in “conversations” about respect of oneself and others, and what happens when someone is treated with disrespect.

    As the bell rang at the end of the class period, one boy said to me, “You are a good teacher.”

    I find the only way to win a basketball game is to learn what one can about the physical space in which we live and our individual relationships as persons with our environment.

    While I was in high school in Sturgeon Bay, the gym teacher, Mr Horace Freiman, was of the competitive school, and, as is characteristic of autistic people, I had not the coordination to be an effective competitive sports player. I was always the last one chosen, and, in a game with points, all the points I ever made, I made for the other team.

    One of the boys in my high school gym class was so enamored of competition that, in the shower room after a gym class, he molested me. Once. (Remember Johnny Dangerously?)

    Of course, I told my parents, of course, we did not tell the school, because I knew before I told my parents that Mr. Freiman had put the other boys up to disrespecting me because I simply did not buy into Mr. Freiman’s winners/losers psychotic fantasy.

    As soon thereafter as was possible, we moved to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, where no one bothered me. So, I hold human competition in absolute contempt as perfectly evil.

    In my world, everyone gets a perfect score of 100 percent valid and unique person. There are no scores which are not of trivial externalities.

    Instead of changing the game, correct the misunderstanding that the score matters even so much as a thought of whit.

  5. I’ve read about this kind of thing before and swapping out the ‘A’ team players for the bench sitters is generally the way to go as a matter of good sportsmanship. From the article apparently this wasn’t an option.

    That put the burden on the team coach that wasn’t wining. What his team needed was a half-time conference that laid out the options and the virtues of each, continuing or forfeit, and an explanation of the virtues of each. Either would be a correct decision depending on the mind-set of the team and their ‘spirit’. He should have let them make the decision IMO and felt good about whichever decision they made.

    But that’s a non-participant in sports opinion from someone that still doesn’t know how to play any sport- to many weird rules to remember them all 🙂

  6. J,

    “All we do in America is tell people to look for “hobby jobs” (actress, director, musician, etc.) and that’s why we have insanity like American Idol.”

    No, we have insanity like American Idol because people like a Cinderella story and T.V. executives make money giving people what they like.

    I’m a professional musician, I know lots of musicians, I know lots of artists in various other fields. Most of us have absolutely no illusions about making it big, we just measure success by some other standard than making more money than our neighbors.

    Personally, I measure my success by how many random people on the internet name my chosen career in a bizarre rant about how Communist China is better than the U.S.

    You just made my day.

  7. P.S. In China, they aren’t afraid to hit disobedient kids, and they don’t encourage “hobby jobs”.

    All we do in America is tell people to look for “hobby jobs” (actress, director, musician, etc.) and that’s why we have insanity like American Idol.

    There are over 2 million Americans trying to become actors and actresses for example. TWO MILLION wasted lives. Only 1,000 can have any level of “success” in that field anyways (and what is success in that field anyways when most top actresses/actors do cocaine and they have a high rate of O/D’ing cuz being at the top wasn’t all they hoped it would be).

    Then for sports there are probably millions of guys/girls who believe they can go “pro” and babying them in a game and not letting them know they can’t hack it in the major leagues is a major disservice.

    I’ve personally seen the cult of self-esteem destroy someone. I knew their parents, and they always told them lies that they could be famous in the movie industry (obvious lies) and I saw them crying in private due to their confusion over their lack of success (since no one told them they couldn’t succeed in that field). I confronted the parents, and they said they knew the truth but were just “afraid to hurt his feelings”. THEY LET HIM ROT FOR 15 YEARS BECAUSE THEY WERE AFRAID to hurt his feelings and to HELP HIM.

    So I told him the truth, bad as it was, then helped that person start a realistic small business that pays him a good salary now. If people won’t WAKE UP and stop chasing unrealistic hobby jobs, then OF COURSE America is doomed.

  8. Yea! Let’s baby our kids! Go cult of self-esteem!! Don’t let them get crushed when they suck! Tell them they are great and awesome and can be anything they want to be! Even president! (don’t tell them they have to join secret societies and fundraise a billion to do it! Screw the truth! Tell them they can be an actress or director when they grow up and watch them piss away 20 years chasing that foolish pipe dream!)


    Does anyone really wonder why China is #1 now? Goodbye America. And when sh*t hits the fan all you do is say what would the founders do? (WWFD?) Your founder worship will only get you so far. Rome worshipped their founders too (Romulus and Remus). Rome had a stock market (which even they eventually exposed as a scam before their fall), a central bank that manipulated their currency, waged pre-emptive wars, and hired private mercenary armies. Sound familiar?

    Republics never last long anyways and always promote the most efficient liar/public manipulator to power — hence all presidents for 60 years have been lawyers. Just gotta wait for a new Octavian to finally crush the system and begin the downfall.

  9. Blouise,
    Well said! I have coached teams on the winning side of big victory’s and the losing side. I am talking about 15-20 points in basketball. A 100 point differential is downright criminal.

  10. Let’s think about the term “Good Sportsmanship” for a moment:

    Good sportsmanship involves teammates of both teams, all coaches, all officials, and all spectators. Respect is the basic ingredient of good sportsmanship. Knowing how to persevere and to behave with dignity in victory and defeat is something all children will learn if the adults set the right example.

    At halftime the scoring should have been turned off and the game continued through its regulation time. I would argue that running the score up to that ridiculous number was poor sportsmanship and that there was little dignity for either the winners or the losers in that game.

    Had I been the coach this is how I would have presented it to my team and to the parents of my team members who failed to recognize what part of the game I was trying to teach my students.

  11. Good point Marnie. WWJD when faced with a talent disaparity like this. In my experience, the game clock can be altered by the coaches to be a running clock to speed up the game and therefore reduce the total score. The winning coach could have insisted that his players take only one shot per possession and fall back to a half court defense. I wonder if this coach kept “pressing” the entire game on defense? If I was the losing coach in this situation, I would have forfeited at the end of the third quarter if the other side did not agree at least to the running clock recommendation. This kind of lopsided score only detracts from the purpose of playing the game in high school.

  12. My twin nephews are 8 and play soccer. One of the most demoralizing games they ever had was when a team in a very lopsided game stopped trying to score, and just kept the ball away from them completely for the last two quarters. If you want to have rules that end the game when one team gets some set number of points ahead, go ahead and do that. Having the better team stop trying to score, and just maintaining easy control of the ball is not a “mercy.”

  13. I suppose expecting a group of Christians to perform an act of civil charity, like maybe playing 4 on five or an act of love, or the civil act of graciousness would be unthinkable for a bunch of self proclaimed Christians.

    What would Jesus have done?

    We are taking about children in a school, and therefore a, supposedly, learning activity, not professional sports.
    Of course one team is also engaged in a presumably Christian activity, and that should matter to them.

    What did either team learn that they did not already know.

    How did ether team even improve in their basketball skills?

  14. Isn’t point shaving illegal….especially in the NCAA….I ask…what is point shaving…not that I know anything about this glacier concept…

  15. I’m over 50, but still remember with gratitude that my childhood friends went easy on me in our backyard baseball games.

    In formal competition, though, going easy on an opponent is close kin to throwing the game. If the losing coach wanted to avoid a humiliating score, he/she could have forfeited once defeat was inevitable. It’s not the responsibility of the victors to make the losing team look good.

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