Should I stop running up the score?

Should I stop running up the score?

There will be games where your team will be overpowered by a very skilled opponent. And during those games it will become very aggravating to watch the opposing team score goal after goal. Wouldn’t it show good sportsmanship if they stopped running up the score? Have you done the same when you were the overpowering team?

It’s not easy to do that’s for sure, but as a coach, it is your responsibility to teach good sportsmanship, especially starting with players at a young age. But how to do you stop players from scoring without disrespecting the opposing team?

The best option would have been to discuss this type of scenario before the season began. If, in the event that your team is beginning to score a bit too many goals, players should know when to stop and how to stop in a respectful fashion. Instruct players to concentrate on passing the ball instead of scoring. Shots can only be taken from outside the 18 yard box.

The worst thing you can do is make an announcement while the game is being played. Telling them they should stop scoring and concentrate on passing or they need to string a certain number of passes before shooting, will probably irritate the opposing coaches, players, and fans.

If you haven’t discussed this before the season began, you can use halftime to do so. If that is not an option, then call one of the captains close to you and describe to him/her what to do and pass the information along to the other players quietly. You could also switch players to positions they normally don’t play in.

Remember, just because another team has not shown respect and good sportsmanship towards you, doesn’t mean you should show the same back to them or to others. Be a positive role model to all coaches, players, and fans. Both sides will appreciate that much more.

1 Commentator

On October 17, 2012 Steve said

One youth league that I coached in had an unwritten rule (call it a coaches agreement) that when your team went up by 4 goals, you DISCRETELY pulled one of your players off the field. If the other team scored, you asked the official permission to allow your player to re-enter the field of play. If, while playing a man down, your team scored again, going up by 5 goals, then you repeat the process and discretely remove another player, leaving you with 9 on the pitch. This worked quite well… allowed the other team a slight advantage while forcing your team to be more technical and tactical with the ball.

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