Final Comments Before Vote
Here are the final comments regarding this issue. Please attend the meeting on August 17 and cast your vote.
The motion to be voted is: "Beginning with the Fall 2004 In-House season, if a team wins the game by more than four goals, the official record of the game will note no more than a four goal cushion."
To recap, this in essence would eliminate the four goal rule during the game. However, the "official" score of the game would never show a team winning by more than four goals. For example, a team winning by 7-0 would "officially" win the game 4-0; a team winning by 12-3 would "officially" win 7-3. Tiebreakers in the standings would use the "official" scores in determining places, not the real scores. This scenario would not punish winning teams by deducting their overall points as has been done recently (remembering that a team receives 3 points for a win, and 1 point for a tie; goals for and goals against are used only for placement tiebreakers).
Here are exerpts from WSC members commenting on the Four Goal Rule (newest comments listed first):
"This may be a good thing for the younger age groups, however, the older kids can take it...There should be other more important issues to discuss and/or vote on...one being the unsportsmanlike conduct of the La Plata teams...We have experienced their unsportsmanlike behavior on too many occasions with the referees turning their head and ignoring the behavior of both parents and players from La Plata."
"The proposal as written makes great sense. Some of the comments provided indicate a misunderstanding of what is being proposed. These comments speak to a different problem (blowouts) that could be partially mitigated by an additional rule that adds a player to the losing team or removes a player from the winning team whenever there is at least...a four goal differential...Having said that, I do think the coaches should also agree to a bylaw that requires giving all their players at least half the game on the field every game, rather than giving the weaker players only a quarter...of playing time during the tight matches...That is a win at all cost mentality that clearly has no place in a recreational league. A weaker player pays the same fees...as the stronger ones, and unless on a school or selelct team should be entitled to at least half the game, every game."
"...I think the four goal rule is for the birds. I always was taught to play hard and play the game the way it was meant to be played, accepting a win by 5 goals of a loss by 10 goals either way. This is a competitive game, and when you take the competitiveness out of it the kids might as well stay home...Why keep track of wins and losses?...The two best teams should play for the championship."
"The four goal rule has been in existence in many clubs for quite some time. Remember, we are talking about the recreation division. This is a division where teams should be somewhat equal. If a recreation team is continually winning by several goals each game, then thought should be undertaken to break the team up or move the team to the more competitive select leagues. Every child should be allowed to grow to their potential, but if the players are good enough, then they should play in a more competitive atmosphere."
"Get rid of the goal differential rule. A WIN IS A WIN. A TIE IS A TIE AND A LOSS IS A LOSS. Don't award the winning team points based on goal differential and also do not penalize the winning team for a game that may be very lopsided...I am tired of trying to stop kids from playing in a lopsided game. What happens is a KICKBALL DEMONSTRATION at midfield and the kids are here to play soccer, not kickball...I would hope that all coaches that are involved on the winning side of a blowout would do the RIGHT thing and get the lesser players all or most of the playing time, unless of course, the game became close."
"If we are competing for first and second place standings...I think we should consider a maximum of four points for standings only. Our children should be able to play for their ability win, lose or draw gracefully. On the other hand, if we are playing just for fun and exercise thern we do not need to keep score or rank teams. And lastly, if we continue to promote competitive level play so as to develop players into MPSL, NCSL level contenders, we may want to form our county leagues at a younger age to allow high potential and dominant players an additional level of play and coaching prior to MPSL or NCSL..."
"...Not sure what this lesson teaches the kids. Softball leagues have a ten-run rule...recommend if you maintain the four goal rule, the team with the four goals should be determined the winner..."
"If we are not teaching our children sportsmanship - concern for the other guy - then we are doing less than we should. I didn't notice when winning became a virtue and mercy was someting for losers. Unbridled competition is not a pretty thing. This is not a WSC policy, it is the policy of many clubs and what is encouraged nationally. Coaches [may] start playing above other rules, like the 50% play time rule,and then we will have a very different soccer club."
"How about a different angle: if a team goes up by more than four goals, they take a player off the field for every goal they go up above four. If the losing tream scores, the winning team gets to return their player to the field."
"Why not try a slightly different approach - record the score, reflecting all goals scored. Allow only a four goal difference for determining standing. If the score difference is more than 4, but a team's official score is lowered, kids will ask "whose goals were not allowed". "
"I concur that, although the rule is good in spirit, it is basically flawed...I don't think teams sholuld be allowed to totally humiliate another team by running up scores to the tune of 11-0 to increase their point standing...only 4 should count toward's their team standing...to maintain the spirit of the rule, referees should be instructed to remind winning coaches not to score needlessly..."
"The game is supposed to be just that (a game), but then trying to teach them good sportsmanship and penalizing them after they are ahead by more than 4 goals is wrong...I understand the theory behind the rule, however ,this should be implemented in another way..."
I think the 4 goal rule is very wrong, because it is like the kids are being punished for scoring...Now if you change it to not being able to win by over 4 goals, but still get their points I think it would be fair to everyone."
"I've always found the league's continued fixation witht 4 goal issue to be kind of silly...there are a dozen more important issues the league could be focusing...on instead of the 4 goal rule...I've never had a kid discouraged by a blowout to the point he quit soccer...the rule seems to me to be for the egos of the coaches, or for the appeasement of the parents, and not for the kids at all...most of the kids couldn't care less about the outcome of a game an hour after the game has ended...the only people fixating on the lopsided scores are the adults...give up this little crusade...focus on an individual basis on those games where a team wins by 10 or 12 goals...that's where the leagues's intervention might have some positive effect..."
"Every once in a while the kid has a chance to put one in the net,,,it is something he or she may never forget...if thier team is ahead by 4 goals however, the coach has to tell them not to score...coaches do need to be held accountable for sportsmanship, but it should be handled on a case-by-case basis...don't punish all the kids for what a few may do..."