This is a relatively local “league” for 4- to 18- year olds, though I’m sure nearly every community has an equally appalling league. I am straining can see the benefit of this for the 4- and 5- year old lot or first-time player, but 8-year olds? HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS? Talk about ill-preparing the youth for life.

I started playing sports when I was 8 years old and sometimes we lost. And it sucked. But that was life. You know how I know we lost? Because scores were kept. There were trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. That was it. If you didn’t do well enough to place, you got nada, maybe an end-of-season team party at Mr. Ghatti’s Pizza thrown by the parents, but no trophy. If you weren’t good enough to make the team, you got cut. No one created new teams so everyone could play. If you didn’t start, you practiced harder or you supported your team from the bench. Fundamental teamwork. And this wasn’t some all-star sports league, either. It was the Catholic Youth Organization.

All this everybody-wins bullshit is not building up the self-esteem of our youth or whatever people say it does. It’s creating monsters who don’t know how to push themselves to their own level of greatness because there is no bar to measure from. No, you know what builds self-esteem? Learning how to lose well. Knowing you rose above mediocrity to achieve something better. And if your best still wasn’t good enough, knowing that you at least tried your hardest, even if you didn’t get a trophy. To say that an elementary-school age child can’t comprehend those concepts is to minimize their intelligence and social awareness. To subject junior high and high school students to this kind of unreality is just plain irresponsible.

End rant.