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"Basketball Team Ejected from League for Being Too Good" Topic

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Terrement26 Jan 2016 2:38 p.m. PST

The absurdity of not keeping score has reached a new height as a girls' basketball team in Minnesota has been ejected from its league for being too good. Fox News reports:

The Rogers Area Youth Basketball Association girls high school team was forced to the sidelines by the Northwest Suburban Basketball League -- and it's all because the team is 3-0, Fox 9 reported Saturday. "We found out Friday at lunchtime that we're not going to be allowed because according to the league our girls were too talented," coach Jason Hanauska told the station.
RAYBA sent parents a letter that said the main reason for the league's decision was because other teams in the league "do not want to play RAYBA due to the skill level…"

"Are we supposed to play worse just to make them happy?" team member Tessa McCarthy told the station.

The episode highlights how dominant the notion of equality has become -- not equality of rights, but equality of outcomes. Just as the rich are vilified for their success, this girls' basketball team has been punished for exceptional performance.


Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2016 2:44 p.m. PST

When I played "little league" soccer back in the day, the city recreation department broke up our team because we had won back to back championships and our players dominated the other teams. We didn't win the year they broke us up (came in third), but the year after that we were back on top. Guess they didn't break us up enough. :-)

zoneofcontrol26 Jan 2016 5:29 p.m. PST

How humiliating for those other teams. They will grow up and hopefully, one day realize that they were coached and parented to achieve mediocrity. And it may well be too late for them by then.

JSchutt26 Jan 2016 5:37 p.m. PST

Another win for the bad guys. Getting trounced builds character.

Pictors Studio26 Jan 2016 5:40 p.m. PST

I guess it would depend on the circumstances.

If the league is a rec league and is open to a county or something like that and one team were to recruit all the top players from all the high schools in that county and then go around dominating all the other teams then I could see disqualifying them.

Which is what looks like happened. The team complaining was asked to split into two teams of about equal skill level, as all the other teams did. They refused. Then when they were dominant because the other teams followed the rules they are now complaining that they are being unfairly treated

As usual the attention grabbing headline doesn't really convey the whole message and people get bent out of shape about it.

Read the response by the organization:

"RAYBA asked the 14 young ladies if they would split into two equal teams, comprised of seven
players each. The decision from the participants was that they would prefer to play together on
one team. This was communicated back to the NWSBL including the fact that the team was
comprised of 11 seniors prior to the start of the season."

So while being someone that has a very active distaste for everyone getting trophies for participating and liking competitive sports I think that loading a team with seniors and expecting other teams who haven't done that to make claims of foul when asked to not continue is a little disingenuous.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jan 2016 6:38 p.m. PST

RAYBA did not cherry pick the available talent. They weren't part of the NWSBL when the draft like process formed the teams. RAYBA asked for its team to join the NWSBL league later on.

The whole official statement is here.

The real problem is the two rec organizations involved either did not have or enforce a policy. Then after admitting the girls' team, the leadership had sour grapes.

It does sound like the news is trying to skew what happened to back an agenda. The reality of the situation seems much more petty than some grandiose conspiracy against advancement by merit.

Pictors Studio26 Jan 2016 9:18 p.m. PST

They probably should have let them continue to play in the league that year but then forced them to split up the next time or refused them entry.

Streitax26 Jan 2016 11:14 p.m. PST

And the ultimate question is 'Why do they, or any other team, have to split up? To make sure nobody is too good?

Andrew Preziosi26 Jan 2016 11:41 p.m. PST

Europe 1814, Star Trek…"the Balance of Power".

Pictors Studio26 Jan 2016 11:46 p.m. PST

"To make sure nobody is too good?"

Yes. To make sure that the teams have a balance of good players. This is beneficial for both spectators and the players themselves both the good and bad ones.

If all the good players are on one team, or that team has a predominance of good players they will never improve. If the bad players are constantly getting trounced they will lose interest.

In this case the interest of the spectators is somewhat secondary to the players themselves but if the spectators are the parents that pay for their kids to play they probably aren't going to want to watch their kids get crushed game after game. Then your league ends because you only have enough people for one team.

JSchutt27 Jan 2016 4:42 a.m. PST

My kid was the least skillful player on the least skillful team in little league baseball one year. They did not win one game. Coaches and parents stepped up and supported an indomitable sprit in those kids to the bitter end. We cheered for the smallest accomplishments and looked forward to the next game. The coaches didn't complain….the parents didn't complain, the kids didn't complain….and we certainly didn't ask for our money back.

Children in sports is not about the entertainment it's about watching them grow into people.

My kid grew up just fine and having never actually played soccer coached his elementary school soccer team to the playoffs. All these kids, from low income, gang infested neighborhoods found someone who knew how to teach them to never give up on the field and more importantly how to face their seemingly innumerable challenges off the field.

tigrifsgt27 Jan 2016 4:56 a.m. PST

In my nephews basketball summer league this past summer he was only allowed to play in one half because of his talent. Now he is a freshman in high school and they play him almost the whole game.

Zargon27 Jan 2016 5:18 a.m. PST

Surprised how socialist nanny state this sounds, In USA? Who would have thought… Mediocrity championing is not one of the foundation of America.
I can only appalled the coaching, the team, and the spirit on endeavour. I lambaste the sad excuses that would stifle this.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2016 5:52 a.m. PST

There are many reasons for encouraging kids to play team sports.

One is to teach them to win & to lose with grace.

The situation described in the OP happens, unfortunately, in OZ too.

Terrement27 Jan 2016 7:15 a.m. PST

…aren't going to want to watch their kids get crushed game after game.

1. It isn't "game after game" if they are only one team

2. If it is meant to be competition and isn't a pure participation league, then losing, even big time is a part of the deal.

3. It is a teachable moment for the kids if the parents and the coaches are wise.

zoneofcontrol27 Jan 2016 8:56 a.m. PST

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad that people say they won't let their kids compete because they can't win. Way to take a dump on your kids, folks. I'm sorry for the kids because they don't think they are good enough for you if they don't win the game. You don't have to score the most points to "win." But if you are afraid to even let them play because the opposition is better, that is really sad.

I have a swimmer whose time is several seconds off of making it to the league playoffs. Two meets in a row, she swam personal best times. The other night I cheered for her in a neck-and-neck race to see who would come in third in a 6 person race. She was willing to bust her butt just to come in third place. Must have been a case of "You're doing it wrong!" Instead of being proud, I guess I should have made her walk home because I was so ashamed.

StoneMtnMinis27 Jan 2016 9:46 a.m. PST

Reminds me of my college team the first year I made it as a walk-on. We finished the season 1 and 9. But, and a big but, our 1 victory was over a ranked(#9) Kansas team who came in thinking all they had to do was show-up. Sweetest victory of my college career.

So, even though we got our butts kicked 90% of the time that season, we showed-up and competed in every game.

Texas Jack27 Jan 2016 1:59 p.m. PST

Terrement is right (good lord! grin), it is just a trouncing when playing the "too good" team. It is kind of like the American League during most of the 1950s- the Yankees destroyed everyone but when the other teams played each other it was all a good time. Hey, second place is something to shoot for, ainīt it?

This is just another small tear in the fabric of our society.

Pictors Studio27 Jan 2016 10:38 p.m. PST

Why have restrictions on who can play at all? What if the team in question fielded only two high school girls and 12 former WNBA players?

Would that be good?

The point isn't really about winning or losing, it is about having an equal chance to win or lose.

This team didn't do what the other teams did.

We divide most school sports up this way. We don't have the small country school team with 300 people in the high school play against the big city team with 20,000 kids in the district.

There are levels. In Pa they are done by size so A, AA, AAA, AAAA.

You guys are being mislead by the headline.

This isn't some tear in the fabric of our society. Go and read the story.

1. It isn't "game after game" if they are only one team

It is game after game for that team. That team comes in and crushes ever other team game after game.

2. If it is meant to be competition and isn't a pure participation league, then losing, even big time is a part of the deal.

Yes but losing when the other teams are on an equal basis. Putting 11 year olds up against high school kids wouldn't be something that anyone would think was reasonable. This is different in scale but not in quality. The one team was put together not using the same parameters as the other teams.

3. It is a teachable moment for the kids if the parents and the coaches are wise.

Yes, again if it is fair.

The situation is analogous to this.

You have a war-games tournament. You set it up for 1500 pts. Someone shows up with 2000 pts and, for whatever reason, isn't willing to break it down. Maybe it is three big models or whatever.

You decide to let him play anyway and he trashes everyone he plays against.

After two rounds no one wants to play him any more.

Now I would say just go ahead and play him and we won't let him in the next time unless he brings his 1500 pts but they decided not to let him continue in the tournament.

That is basically what happened here. It isn't like everyone started out with a pool of kids and they were put in teams at random and one team just ended up being better than everyone else.

They started with an advantage.

Both sides seem to have handled this poorly but this is hardly a case of people not being able to accept that their precious little egg didn't win his game.

This is probably a case of a lot of people not being consulted about this team being allowed to break the rules and being upset about the unfairness of that situation.

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