|Courtesy MA Futsal Association|
Winter brings indoor soccer in the form of futsal, and I have been refereeing those games. This is a fast sport -- a small-sized ball designed with very little bounce -- played 5v5 on a basketball court. Often lots of goals are scored. Since the game favors teams with good foot skills and passing, some matches are lopsided. That was the case today, with some Under-10 boys on the gray team pummeling those on the black team, most of whom were a year younger. At halftime, it was 9-2. By the end, it was 20-5. (For the official record, we only record a six-point spread.)
In our league, a parent volunteers to keep score, and in this case, the man was father of one of the black team players. He was a clear Type A person, and you could watch his frustration mount as his son's team fell further and behind. They just weren't playing well enough for him.
At one point, he said to me, "You're going to report this score, right? So they can see how badly they did?"
I was busy officiating, so I didn't have time to reply beyond, "We only record a six-point differential." But on the way home, I had a few thoughts.
Did he think that the boys on his son's team didn't notice that they were getting smoked? Does he think it is developmentally appropriate to emphasize to nine year-olds that they played poorly? Did he realize that the team they were playing was mainly boys a year older? Did he notice his son's coach, who was quietly and persistently positive with the boys notwithstanding the score? Did he notice that the boys were having fun, notwithstanding the score? Did he notice that they never gave up and played hard the whole time? Did he notice the "moral victory" celebration that occurred each of the five times they were able to score?
And what did he say during and after the next game, when they were playing a team of their own age? They won 10-6 after briefly falling behind 0-3.