Solutions For Score-Keeping

Hello Fred,

I just read your article, “Sizing Up Scoring,” and found it very interesting (PRB April 2010). I go back and forth with parents about whether or not I should keep score or not in my 3rd/4th-grade leagues. We’ve come up with the following plan: during the regular season for soccer, basketball and baseball, we don’t keep score. Our parents/coaches also do all the officiating during this time. Of course the kids try to keep score, but usually if you ask both teams “who won,” inevitably both will say “we did!”

What we have done at the end of the year is run a pool play-style tournament for all three sports. I don’t recognize the winners, but we do keep score and children are first introduced to winning and losing without consequences. It seems to work well and many of the parents enjoy this!

Alan Grady

Youth/Adult Sports, Community Programs

& Special Events Director

Gorham Parks & Recreation

Gorham, Maine

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I just finished your article in the April edition of PRB (“Sizing Up Scoring”). I both agree and disagree with your opinion.

Our oldest son played T-ball at a park that did not keep score. A few years later, our middle child played at a park that did keep score. I was very worried on that first day when his team was clearly getting smoked (although there was not a scoreboard). At the end of the game he came running over to me and said, “Mom, we lost 24-6, can I go to the concession stand?”

He and his team realized very early on that some days you win, some days you lose. I realized that day that adults are the ones who put too much on the score–the kids just want to play. I was afraid that his “first” experience would be a negative one because of the score. It wasn’t. Everyone needs to discover that practice and effort often result in a better skill level whether it is in sports or school.

At the same time it is absolutely essential that kids learn to win and lose gracefully–and can admit that some teams or individuals are simply better. After all, that is life.

– Polly Brannon

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Our T-ball program is for boys and girls together ages 5 to 7. We play 5 innings or 1 hour–whatever comes first. We don’t keep score on the scoreboard, but only allow 5 runs per inning. You can only get a single no matter how far you hit the ball. This allows for more batters per inning. Three outs or 5 runs–the parents and kids love it.

Dwight Ike Boss

Recreation Director

Charlevoix, Mich.


Field Notes

Dale Campion has joined USA SHADE & Fabric Structures, Inc. as Vice President of Sales for the Eastern Division, responsible for sales in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play (HSBS) announces that Safeplay Systems has been selected as one of 31 playground and play space-related companies to be included on the 2010 HSBS Preferred Provider List.

The Arc of Maryland/Prince George’s County has selected the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission as its recipient for the Light the Fire Meritorious Service Award for 2010. This award is presented each year to an individual or organization that has distinguished itself through a significant programmatic activity benefiting citizens with cognitive and developmental disabilities in Maryland. The award was presented May 21.

Dedicated to assessing and reducing the environmental impact of its fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, Strongwell Corporation is posting its Green Initiatives on the company’s Web site. The page lists life cycle assessments (LCAs) of composites, recycling facts, manufacturing impact reduction initiatives, legal compliance and the future of the company’s green initiative.

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