to not understand why football has become so non-competitive for kids?

(62 Posts)
Isthisoneleft Mon 02-Sep-13 16:45:15

The Football Association has made it for the 2013/14 season U9s cannot play in competitive leagues - they play a match against another team, no record of the score can be made, but you still have the hassle of travelling for home and away games, where on earth is the incentive in playing something that no one can win?

In 2014/15 U10s and under will be non-competitive
In 2015/16 U11s and under will be non-competitive
In 2016/17 U12s and under will be non-competitive

AIBU to think this is ridiculous for a sport? These kids are going to get to 18 never having played in a competitive match.

HeySoulSister Mon 02-Sep-13 16:52:53

Do they give an explanation?

cardibach Mon 02-Sep-13 16:57:53

I understand your concern, but you have said the FA won't allow competitive leagues then suggest they won't have played a competitive match. They will have played competitively just not a series of competitive matches leading to a season winner, surely?

kim147 Mon 02-Sep-13 17:04:51

They'll be playing games and winning / losing them. It's just the leagues. I think it's to do with encouraging children to play for the sport rather than focussing on the league position - I heard something about this last year.

Dackyduddles Mon 02-Sep-13 17:07:23

Really odd. Winners win losers lose. Those that try hard should feel proud and be allowed to be so whichever camp they fall in! Kids need to learn how to do both or they are fucked at work.

friday16 Mon 02-Sep-13 17:09:59

Because British youth football is full of nutter fathers shouting "get rid" and "get stuck in". Which is why professional teams are increasingly not even bothering looking at home grown players and going straight overseas, where a huge amount of non-competitive football is played which yields far better ball skills. British players who are comfortable on the ball are a real rarity. Competitive youth football is not a small part of the problem.

Isthisoneleft Mon 02-Sep-13 17:10:02

We (parents and children) were told that we were not allowed to know final scores at the end of matches. Ok so kids (nor parents) are idiots so are able to count goals as they go in. But at the end of each match no one wins or loses.

enderwoman Mon 02-Sep-13 17:15:41

Could it be a move to get children play for pleasure/fitness?
My children don't play on a footie team but I know children who do and it sounds pretty rough with some coaches and parents going too far.

I think that competitive matches are fine and my gut reaction is that U9s shouldn't be under league position pressure but U12s can cope (11-12 year olds are in secondary school)

WhoreOfTheWorlds Mon 02-Sep-13 17:17:33

I don't understand it either. My DCs are coming through junior school playing lots of sport but sports day is a wash out with no one actually winning anything. They just seems to play lots of friendly games with no structure or emphasis on winning.

It was such a relief when we went to the open evening at the local grammar school and we overheard the PE teacher remark to another parent 'No, when your DS gets here he'll soon learn that the days of 'everyone's a winner' are definitely over.'

cantspel Mon 02-Sep-13 17:21:18

British clubs go overseas because they get better player cheaper than bring them through the academy system.

From the FA website

This is about a modern, child-friendly approach to youth football, challenging the win-at-all-costs mentality that is stifling development and enjoyment for young people. Working together with a proactive attitude, adults can help develop a better learning environment for young people that puts their needs at the centre of the process.

Which is a load of tosh as the kids will still know which are the good teams and which are the teams to beat.

kim147 Mon 02-Sep-13 17:21:59

I think a lot of it has come because of pressure on children from the touchline and coaches on young children.

I've done some tag rugby referreeing and the attitude of some of the parents was unbelievable.

enderwoman Mon 02-Sep-13 17:22:45

Actually leagues for children are unnecessary really. They should be trying to win each match as they come along. Being in a league means that you could end up in a situation where is doesn't matter if your team wins or loses a match because the overall league position might not change.

MizK Mon 02-Sep-13 17:24:03

Ha if you truly think it will ever be non competitive!

My son has played for 3 years, in theory it was 'non competitive' during his first season if I recall correctly (maybe the 2nd? Not a hugely involved footie mother).

You would be shocked at the level of screaming, yelling and generally unbelievable behaviour from LOTS of the parents, telling boys to 'hit back' if they were nudged by other players, rows between coaches and refs. He is only just starting U11 now so we're talking amongst teams of young boys.

Anything the FA can do to take the heat out of these games is worth a go. The amount of pressure put on little boys to win, on the less gifted ones spending freezing Sundays on the sidelines because the coach won't risk losing by letting them play....aaargh can you tell it drives me mad?

I think that when players earn millions of pounds a year, lots of parents hope that they can push their sons into making it professionally, hence the unpleasant atmosphere at what should be fun football matches.

Sorry for rambling, it just bugs the life out of me, so essentially YABU! smile

cantspel Mon 02-Sep-13 17:26:39

But with leagues you put like teams against like.

When my son was younger and played under 11's the teams were split by location so the weaker teams never had any chance of winning anything.

When they went into divisions at least you were playing against teams you had a chance of beating, improving and moving up the divisions.

usuallyright Mon 02-Sep-13 17:29:24

one of my dc's played football regularly and I was so relived when they decided to give up. All the early Saturday starts, away games, socials, fundraisers etc. complete pita.
There were a few shouty competitive parents.
I can understand this decision.
As for competitive PE at high school.
Bane of my life.
At least if you're struggling in an academic subject, your peers arnt very aware of it. You can hide your ineptitude somewhat. When you're the last to be picked for a team or the last to run around the field (shudder) the arsehole PE teacher who makes hilarious passive aggressive snipes about you is nothing but a bully using 'competition' as an excuse to take the piss out of the less athletic
Or maybe I just had shit PE teachers.
(and I allow my kids to miss sports days if they want, as a result)

cantspel Mon 02-Sep-13 17:35:53

usuallyright i think you have a rosy view of secondary schools if you think the kids dont know who is struggling in a subject and who the bright kids are.

The kids are in sets and it is a bit hard to hide the fact you are in the bottom set or going to learn support.

Tiredemma Mon 02-Sep-13 17:41:52

I don't understand this. Football is a competitive sport, what's wrong with children competing with each other?

Dp coaches a junior rugby team. A team from a nearby town didnt want to attend a tournament if it was competitive and suggested that a way to decide who would 'win' the tournament would be to give it to the team who had 'the most fun' hmm.

How do you measure 'fun' ???

JCDenton Mon 02-Sep-13 18:06:49

It's to promote player development over a win-at-all-costs mentality.

A while ago, England U21s beat Portugal U21s but there was very much a sense that England looked like they'd reached their potential, they were very strong and played a physical but limited game, whereas Portugal looked like they were still learning their more sophisticated, technical game and were on the way to being more complete players.

The FA want to see an end to playing a game based on the lads who are fastest and strongest where someone who is born later in the academic year or is a late developer might get a chance to play ahead of the 12 year-old who is 6 foot 2 with a beard (every school has one).

WhoreOfTheWorlds Mon 02-Sep-13 18:09:34

There's no reason why you can't play a sport and have fun at the same time, even if you don't win the match. This 'no one must ever lose' is such a silly attitude that actually leaves a lot of children feeling unsatisfied and annoyed.

BlingBang Mon 02-Sep-13 18:25:52

It's still very competitive whatever they say, they just don't publish it on a league table but the kids battle and everyone wants to win and knows which teams are the best and worst. It can also be quite cut throat with kids being booted out of their team to make way for new better players, even at age 8.

Whereisegg Mon 02-Sep-13 22:06:40

I also despise the 'everyone's a winner' attitude.
You know what kids? They're not!

Life is bloody hard, and while I can understand not wanting them to experience this while still very young, won't it just be harder, the longer you wait?

Week after bloody week my ds age 6 was upset at not being Star of the Week, and you know what, whilst I sympathised at his upset, I also gently reminded him that he hadn't listened at circle time (again) or had to be separated from a particular friend (again) due to messing about and not getting on with the task in hand.

Sports day rolls around.
3 first places, and 1 second.
He gets the appropriate stickers and a fuss made by teachers and peers.

Well, I was beyond delighted. This boost at the end of a school year filled with weekly upset was just what he needed, and he was able to be good at something and have it recognised.

I firmly believe every child has something they are good enough at to be able to 'shine' and if this isn't something that can be found in their school environment then get them involved in a club/hobby that allows them to excell, it will do them the world of good and show them that success has many faces.

Dededum Mon 02-Sep-13 22:16:02

DH used to coach DS2 (10) team, stopped managing this season. Why? He liked training the kids, teaching them new skills but hated the pressure from the parents. They just wanted to win, goalie wanted to play other positions so DH tried to give him opportunities. You should have seen the looks if he tried to rotate the kids, so the precious striker had to play in goal or defence.

The team was mostly compromised of strong, autumn boys who were bigger and faster than the others. Not much about skill, the early advantage wears out after about 10 or 11, by which time half the kids have got fed up with the uber competitiveness.

Rant over.

BlingBang Mon 02-Sep-13 22:38:17

Exactly about the older, bigger ones. If they start too young to be competitive you can cut out a whole swathe who miss out as they were younger, smaller, didn't start at 4 or 5 yr old. It really limits the game. Also heard that other countries do better as they concentrate more on developing skills rather than trying to win matches.

TheSmallClanger Mon 02-Sep-13 22:44:26

The players involved will know whether they have won or lost. You can't change that.

I think DD's gymnastics club has it right with competition. All of the gymnasts, in all disciplines, are strongly encouraged to enter competitions, but if they are less confident/talented and want to stick to the club's own end-of-year comp, or closed-door inter-club meets, that is fine. That way, there is space for different levels of competition, there is more team cohesion because they aren't all fighting for a comp squad place, or resentful of not being good enough, and some of the batshit crazy gym mums are discouraged.

I've heard that football dads are worse than gym mums, and that is saying something.

mercibucket Mon 02-Sep-13 22:52:38

its a good thing, but my kids just miss it. the pressure to win cups and trophies is ridiculous and the kids need more technical training, not pressure to foul or lie to win matches. and parents should be banned from the sidelines imo

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