19 Sep MHS Soccer and Mercy Rules
MHS had their first soccer game of the season a few weeks ago, and the weather was beautiful. With the temperature possibilities ranging from 0-100 degrees during the season, upper 80’s isn’t bad. The boys did great and the varsity game ended at half time with a score of 10-0 implementing the mercy rule.
From where did this “rule”, that’s not a rule, come? I don’t know. I found out that in 1915 Johnny Heisman called a game 5 minutes early because he’d had enough and the score was 222-0. Tech vs. Cumberland. That’s not very much mercy. Wikipedia says that the mercy rule “spares the losing team the humiliation of suffering a more formal loss, and denies the winning team the satisfaction thereof…” The mercy rule is also known as the slaughter rule, knockout rule and skunk rule. If my team is being slaughtered, then a little mercy helps. Maybe that’s how it came about.
I looked to see if FIFA incorporated this rule during the World Cup. They did not. I like what one retired coach commented, “It would be disrespectful not to treat the losing side as a worthy opponent…” The high school team has played against teams that laugh when they are able to trip a player or trick the referee (ahem–last night’s game). This disregard for respect makes them seem like an unworthy opponent, even if they are ahead in points. As a spectator, it’s nice to be able to appreciate the skills of all the players and not get caught up in numerous uncalled fouls.
Not having played sports in my adolescence, I’ve never thought of the word, class, being used with any sport, But after seeing how some teams win and lose, I definitely think class is an important word for a team to learn. The more wins a team has, perhaps the more class they need to exude.
Another person mentioned that when one team is ahead by many points that “it’s polite for the winning team to take their foot off the pedal.” Despite this, the highest recorded score of a soccer match that FIFA recognized was between Australia and American Samoa with the Aussies winning 31-0. Another match was between AS Adema and the SOE with a score of 149-0. (Sorry to say, I have no idea where either one is located.) However, SOE was scoring on themselves on purpose in protest of bad calls. Not classy.
MHS has a great soccer coach, and my opinion is that our boys are pretty good sportsmen. According to the noise in the stands, it’s a good thing for the refs that they’re playing and not us Moms. Whether merciful or mean, the soccer season continues. Here’s a picture of my favorite player, #9, at the Winfield game.