Wednesday, March 05, 2003

It seems that some high school sports leagues need to reorganize:

Lakeshore Public Academy in Hart, Mich., has only 50 students and just a handful of sports teams. Academics, not athletics, are supreme. So it is a complete surprise that Lakeshore has become the subject of a debate on sportsmanship and fair play in high school sports.

It began when the Lakeshore girls' basketball team lost to Walkerville High School early this season. Lost badly, in fact, 115-2.

And they weren't even running up the score; Walkerville's second team was on the floor for the whole second half, and specifically instructed not to press.

The blowout was perhaps the most troubling of what many coaches and educators say has been an increasing number of lopsided games across the country this season, particularly in girls basketball.

And the story goes on to discuss several tricks that leagues are playing to try to cope with blowouts -- mercy rules, running the clock fast, and so forth.

Is it naive of me to suggest that schools like Lakeshore, which have a few beginning players and an inexperienced coach, just shouldn't be playing in the same league as Walkerville, with ten years of tradition and experience, and kids who have been playing for years?


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