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An issue with the local junior basketball league and a letter I want to write


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#26 nasty snaugh

Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:33 PM

Forgive me if this is not a basketball thing, but if the winners eased off, could it effect their for and against rankings?

If that is a thing - and this team are "easing off" every week, it could have a big impact at finals time

If rules were broken, I'd maybe write about the refs not pulling it up. but the rest is just part of the game, surely?

#27 amdirel

Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:37 PM

Sorry OP but that letter screams over-emotional parent and sore loser.

You even said yourself "it's not a turn up and have a giggle" game. Why wouldn't these kids give it their all?

#28 Kreme

Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:45 PM

I understand your concerns but I don’t think it would achieve anything to send it.

Unfortunately we’ve created a culture of taking sport too seriously at a young age. Kids are specialising in one sport too young, and the creation of special rep and development teams favours kids whose parents have the financial and time resources to devote to u/12s basketball or u/10s soccer.

One of the outcomes of this is coaching for wins rather than development, and creating a culture of playing sport for personal glory rather than fun and fitness.

If you’re involved in that kind of junior sports model I would try to make an impact on a broader level rather than focusing on one game in which your child was on the losing team.

#29 hills mum bec

Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:48 PM

View PostHini, on 14 February 2018 - 12:11 PM, said:

If your issue was that they played too rough and ought to have been fouled that is a different issue.

Your letter reads as though you think they ought to have stepped off the pedal to give the other team a 'chance' which might be OK for little kids but not in the type of league you discuss.

Maintaining intensity even when you're winning is also an important skill in sport.

This.  If the other team was playing within the rules then I don't see any issue.  All players should be playing to the best of their abilities, if that means that some teams get flogged and some teams win convincingly then so be it.  In your letter it says that it was a championship game, does that mean it was a grand final?  Even more reason to play your best and not let the opposition get an opportunity in the game.

My DD plays netball.  There are teams that they sometimes come up against that are an easy win for them.  Once we are convincingly in front the coach may use the opportunity to play players outside of their regular positions but everybody still has to play their best and it certainly wouldn't happen in a final.

#30 ali-song

Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:21 PM

Unless the league has a ‘mercy rule’ (ours does for all games except grading and finals), I wouldn’t send the letter. In our league, if a team is 20+ points up, they have to stay in the defensive third of the court until the other team is over half court.

I can imagine what you mean by unsportsmanlike play - as a coach, if you’re in that position it’s really best to use the opportunity to try out some new things, put players in new positions, etc. Continuing to ‘go hard’ doesn’t really achieve much, for either team.

#31 JRA

Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:07 PM

If it was a low grade comp I would agree completely

But you said it was not low grade.

Goal difference/percentage matters. It it was about supported cheering every time they scored when it was 60-0 I would have a different response

#32 -Emissary-

Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:14 PM

I'm on team let it go.

I used to play in the knock out basketball comps as well as weekly local school ones during high school. We used to win in the local school games quite easily but used to get a absolute smashing when playing with a particular school outside the area (think 90-2 kind of game) in the knock outs. We got the same beating by the same school 3 years in a row.

Personally, I don't think the winning team needs to pull back from giving their best just because the other team is losing. That's part of the competition. Learning to accept a bad game is a good life lesson. After losing a bad game, we just moved forward to the next game and train harder during the year.

Edited by -Emissary-, 14 February 2018 - 02:18 PM.


#33 Not*A*Lot

Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:22 PM

Let it go. Talk to your child about it and let it go.
I learnt the hard way.
Then when my 18yr old was 16 in an U18 comp, her team were winning 22-1 against a clearly weaker team. So the ref called the game and blamed it on the heat.
I was at a women’s premier league football game and the 1st grade team were winning 6-0 and every goal was being announced over the speaker. The coach went up and told them to stop the announcements because it wasn’t helping the girls on the other team any.

#34 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:48 PM

My ds plays under 14s. During grading they were completely hammered by a team. Score was 82 - 0. We found out later the team played representative too. It was very disheartening. I didn't contemplate writing a letter about it though.

#35 Illiterati

Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:48 PM

Nope.  Don't send that letter.  If the Chooks are getting smashed most weeks then they are probably in the wrong Division or League. All that letter will do is draw attention that the Chooks should probably be playing lower (and I am guessing they probably don't want to lose their spot in the League...)

Edited by Illiterati, 14 February 2018 - 02:53 PM.


#36 Mads15

Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:26 PM

This is the reason my son no longer plays basketball. In our case the problem was exacerbated by the fact some teams were around two years older due to the weird way they classified U10, U12 etc. Complaints to the league by the coach made not a lick of difference.
But I also found an overall culture of expecting even the youngest kids to play like it was the NBL. Which meant my son, who new to the sport, got teased for 'being the worst on the team' and it went unchecked. He got more and more demoralised each week so we gave up. Not everyone can play rep but every kid should be able to enjoy a friendly game...

#37 DebbieDoesSanta

Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:33 PM

Don't send it. You don't want to be that parent. Trust me.

Let the kids go. My son plays at a state level and he's 14 and the Coach encourages them to intimidate the other team on the sly to throw them off. When the opposition does something stupid the boys clap. It gets intense, but they're not 4 years old anymore. The older they get the more interesting it is to watch.

The spirit of the game is to win. Serve them with that reality. You want them to fight for it, not have it handed to them.
Perhaps they need to go down a division or two if they're getting thrashed.

#38 DebbieDoesSanta

Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:42 PM

View PostMads15, on 14 February 2018 - 03:26 PM, said:

This is the reason my son no longer plays basketball. In our case the problem was exacerbated by the fact some teams were around two years older due to the weird way they classified U10, U12 etc. Complaints to the league by the coach made not a lick of difference.
But I also found an overall culture of expecting even the youngest kids to play like it was the NBL. Which meant my son, who new to the sport, got teased for 'being the worst on the team' and it went unchecked. He got more and more demoralised each week so we gave up. Not everyone can play rep but every kid should be able to enjoy a friendly game...

It's called top age and bottom age.

It works out well because as the kids go through the year levels, they will always have a year to develop and a year to lead.

#39 immismum

Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:52 PM

If it is a domestic competition, not a representative comp, then look at the local rules for that comp.

In our domestic Comp, there is a by law that once a team is 20 in front,  the leading team must pull back to the netball third drawn on the court.  

It is up to the ref to enforce that though.

If it is the same for your comp, then absolutely write the letter, but frame it in a way that it about the need for the rule, and the ref not enforcing it.

If there is no rule, then maybe agitate for their to be one.  But it's not up to the opposition coach to be gentle

#40 Neko NoNo

Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:00 PM

View PostDebbieDoesSanta, on 14 February 2018 - 03:33 PM, said:

My son plays at a state level and he's 14 and the Coach encourages them to intimidate the other team on the sly to throw them off. When the opposition does something stupid the boys clap. It gets intense, but they're not 4 years old anymore. The older they get the more interesting it is to watch.


what an abhorrent attitude. I am praying that my son has no interest in team sports if this sort of bullying goes on

#41 meljbau

Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:02 PM

View Postimmismum, on 14 February 2018 - 03:52 PM, said:

If it is a domestic competition, not a representative comp, then look at the local rules for that comp.

In our domestic Comp, there is a by law that once a team is 20 in front,  the leading team must pull back to the netball third drawn on the court.  

It is up to the ref to enforce that though.


Yes, it's usually called the mercy rule and it's to help domestic teams that are being thrashed get back into the game. Be aware though that although it's there in the rules,many coaches don't want to use it, preferring that a regular game is played. The ref will let the coach know that he/she can implement the mercy rule and the coach can say yes or no to having it brought into the game.

Is it possible that this was still a grading game? That might account for the huge difference in abilities, even if your team was missing a few regular players.

#42 liveworkplay

Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:17 PM

**Disclaimer: I have a DD who plays state rep basketball and is one age group up from this**

OP, as much as I totally get where you are coming from (my favorite saying is " we're not playing for sheep stations"), I would let it go. Do you know if the "sharks"players also play together on other teams? My DD has been the sharks team (and still is mostly) Yes, once it looked like a thrashing then players were asked to step back a bit generally, but there were times that the team were testing out a new play, or practicing something new from training, or they were trying to increase their percentage for the ladder etc etc, that they didn't hold back. It may not be for that competition they are playing in either. My DD plays with the same core 6 girls in school, club and state team.

If it were happening every week, I would think about broaching the issue, but a one (or couple of times) off I would let it be.

Edited by liveworkplay, 14 February 2018 - 04:25 PM.


#43 Kreme

Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:23 PM

View PostNeko NoNo, on 14 February 2018 - 04:00 PM, said:



what an abhorrent attitude. I am praying that my son has no interest in team sports if this sort of bullying goes on

It does go on, and I agree with you that it’s completely abhorrent and unnecessary. But it’s not in every sport at every level. Best thing you can do is volunteer to coach the team yourself and then you know that good sportsmanship will be part of the team culture.

#44 liveworkplay

Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:25 PM

View PostNeko NoNo, on 14 February 2018 - 04:00 PM, said:

what an abhorrent attitude. I am praying that my son has no interest in team sports if this sort of bullying goes on

Basketball is not generally like that. Although out of all the sports my kid play (and there are many) it is the worst for coaches and spectators having a go at the umpires  which annoys me no end and has seen me complain (I have even put in a formal complaint about out states CEO of basketball due to his mouthing off as a coach at an u12 match.)

#45 Kreme

Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:30 PM

View Postliveworkplay, on 14 February 2018 - 04:17 PM, said:

My DD plays with the same core 6 girls in school, club and state team.

How is it that 6 kids from the state team all play for the same club? We had that issue with our netball comp. One club was enticing all the state rep players to play for them, and then winning every A grade game at every age group by a huge margin. The other clubs got sick of it, as it’s against the spirit of the game. I think this year the comp organisers are reserving the right to put a team up to a higher age division if they think it is necessary.

I don’t get the idea of wanting all the best players in one team - who are they going to play against? How will they improve? It’s like I said above, the winning at all costs mentality that is destroying junior sport.

#46 liveworkplay

Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:46 PM

View PostKreme, on 14 February 2018 - 04:30 PM, said:

How is it that 6 kids from the state team all play for the same club?
I don’t get the idea of wanting all the best players in one team - who are they going to play against? How will they improve? It’s like I said above, the winning at all costs mentality that is destroying junior sport.

They are a group of school friends. They have been playing together since U10's. They play for the same club as they all started there to play with friends. 5 of them were playing 2 years before my DD joined and she joined because it was the club her friends play at. They all do state training together (so not necessarily all on the same team but have been in the past) Yes they are good, but what should we do? break up a friendship group? isn't that why kids play sport? to have fun with friends? One has moved school this year bit the other 5 will be going to the same high school together as that is where those who have older siblings go. My DD is dropping hockey this year. She has been playing for over 7 years with the same group of girls. She is dropping it to play AFL with her friends from school. Yes she is athletic and great at all the sports she tries but I am not choosing her clubs or sport based on evening out the play, she is choosing them on who she wants to play with to have fun.

It has nothing to do with winning at all costs.

Edited by liveworkplay, 14 February 2018 - 04:51 PM.


#47 feral magnolia

Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:10 PM

I disagree with those who say not to raise it, but I’d take a different approach. If you can point to several games with very lopsided scores, or to a team that consistently wins or loses by a large margin, then you could either suggest a mercy rule is introduced to the comp, or enforced if it exists already, on the basis of a spirit of fair play and encouraging kids to continue with the sport.

In my kid’s comp (different sport), options include turning off the scoreboard once the margin is a certain amount, lending players, changing positions, limiting scoring by individual players, requiring additional passing before scoring, etc.

#48 Mads15

Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:18 PM

View PostDebbieDoesSanta, on 14 February 2018 - 03:42 PM, said:

It's called top age and bottom age.

It works out well because as the kids go through the year levels, they will always have a year to develop and a year to lead.
Sounds reasonable ...until you see a bunch of demoralised 8 and 9 year olds.

#49 ~Peachy keen~

Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:30 PM

I'd call them OP. Discuss it over the phone or face to face. Too much can be misconstrued on email.

I've seen exactly what you describe happen once in a soccer game. Both the teams parents were disgusted that the coach allowed it to continue in the aggressive manner it did.
If he's an NBL coach then maybe he just needs a reminder that these kids are U12 not pro BB's.
It has nothing to do with winning & percentages. That still could have happened in a non-aggressive manner.

#50 Soontobegran

Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:33 PM

View PostDebbieDoesSanta, on 14 February 2018 - 03:33 PM, said:



Let the kids go. My son plays at a state level and he's 14 and the Coach encourages them to intimidate the other team on the sly to throw them off. When the opposition does something stupid the boys clap. It gets intense, but they're not 4 years old anymore. The older they get the more interesting it is to watch.

Do you approve of this ?

My DD2 played representative basketball in an extremely competitive league until she was 18.......never, not ever did    her amazing team feel the need to resort to such tactics and if she had she'd have been pulled.

Those boys sound like 14 year old bullies and their coach sounds like an idiot.




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