Sportsmanship II

Dear Justin,

The days of celebrating finishing anything other than first ended when we decided to create a separate division for every team. You can do a cartwheel, but not a back handspring, here’s a level for you. Oh, you have a back handspring, but not a tuck, here’s a level for you. A tuck, but no full, how about this option? You only have 20 people on your team, how about small divisions? You only have 100 people in your gym, how about small gym divisions? You can only find a few guys, how about Small Coed divisions? You can stunt, but not tumble, how about Level 4.2? How can a team get accustomed to celebrating a 3rd place finish when they are more likely to be in a division by themselves than a division with 3 teams in it?

I’m all for sportsmanship and truly agree with most of what was said in your email, but as long as we keep sending the mixed message of creating a new division for teams that can’t compete in one of the 50+ we already have, we will never again see people celebrating anything other than 1st place. Right now we have 50 divsions in All Stars, not counting Small Gym divisions (1 for Tiny teams, 3 for Mini teams, 9 for Youth teams, 13 for Junior teams, 19 for Senior/Senior Open teams, 2 for International Open, 1 for Special Needs, and 2 for Open Teams). More divisions are being added to High School championships by not having large schools compete against small schools and even college championships are adding Intemediate divsions.

Reality is, the message we are clearly sending is that it is not okay to finish anything other than 1st, so why do we expect the kids to celebrate finishing anything other than 1st?

(This post was in reply to the Sportsmanship post)