Repository logo
 

Running-up the score: the athletes’ experience

Faculty Advisor

Date

2022

Keywords

youth sports, ringette, dropping out of sports, humiliation, parents in sports

Abstract (summary)

Problem Statement: When sporting participants enter the playing field, all are expected to play fairly and to the utmost of their ability, skills, and talent. However, an interesting situation arises when one team is far superior to the opponent. In that case, should athletes still be encouraged to play their best, even when this might result in a one-sided outcome? Running up the score occurs when a team or athlete continues to extend a lead when the outcome of the game is already certain. Attempting to avoid running up the score, might mean that participants are not giving their best effort; or are not trying to score. The majority of researchers have been generally opposed to running up the score. However, while philosophical explorations of running up the score have shed light on the practice, they have over-looked the experiences of the participants. Approach and methods: This research explores i) the effect consistently experiencing one-sided losses has on players dropping-out of sport, ii) feelings of humiliation when opposing teams run-up the score, and iii) the experience of the parents of the players in overmatched contests. Data was collected from players, coaches, and parents of ringette players using informal interviews and an online survey. Ringette is an ice hockey-like game played by girls. This research includes a review of the literature examining running up the score, an exploration of when it might be permissible, an examination of the Blues’ season including a survey of the athletes’ attitudes and experiences during the season, and finally solutions to help avoid running up the score. Results: Results of the study suggest that experiencing one-sided losses does not dramatically affect the players. Players did not drop-out of the sport, they rarely felt humiliated, and they did not seem to be as affected by the losses as much as their parents did. Discussion: Superior teams should utilize nonpatronizing methods to handicap the team and employ them in a way that does not humiliate the opponent. These teams could use strategic easing by playing less competent players, playing players in different positions, playing to an opponent’s strengths, trying to end the game sooner by running out the clock, or by practicing new strategies and tactics

Publication Information

Valentine, J. (2022). Running up the Score: The Athletes’ Experience, Journal of Physical Education and Sport 22:4, 922-929. https://doi.org/10.7752/jpes.2022.04117

Notes

Item Type

Article

Language

Rights

Attribution (CC BY)

Embargoed Until:

MacEwan Users Only