It goes without saying that the Highly Respected Commission has much more experience and much broader image of situation in our dearest Little League, but still I feel it to be my duty to express my own opinion, which, I sincerely hope, will be taken to consideration or at least read and in no case will make anybody confused or offended.
The matter is, sports has always been something special, and for some people it is so serious that they compare the entire life with some kinds of sports and follow the rules of a game in taking decisions and choosing a way to behave. To a certain extent, it is quite reasonable because our life is truly very similar to some sports games where you need to take much effort to achieve a goal and still you can win without practice if you are lucky enough. The main thing that puts an impulse and stimulus inside of us is competition. When you need to defend the honor of your team, you try your best to throw down the competitor. And this is, first of all, the “external enemy”ť who makes you feel one team and who helps to develop this team spirit.
When there will be no scores, who will care to be better than the others? Of course, the players will still know what they have achieved, but no one will pay attention as only show will benefit. The very idea of sports is thus lost and confused, as each player and each team is always trying to become a champion. How can you receive the title of a champion without scores noted? Of course, there are still some other stimuli like financial or grade support, the love of fans and fame, the idea of getting into big-time sports. Yet, it seems to me that the Little League is to a certain extent intended to prepare the children for further achievements, and maybe not only in sports, but in the adult life on the whole. Hence, it seems difficult to imagine how participation in league games with the scores eliminated will be helpful and supportive for the young players.
On the other hand, I understand that the importance of effort is now re-emphasized. Moreover, sports competition is really too tough sometimes and instead of use it brings injuries and emotional damages to children who are vulnerable to failures and who can give up too early loosing a couple of scores. From this point of view it is of course better to make a stress on the rules of the game, on some specific features needed in sports (such as tenacity, attentiveness, flexibility, wittiness, keeping fit and so on). There can be no objections here.
Nonetheless, we have all learnt to be praised and awarded for our achievements, no matter what sphere it is, and from very childhood we have got used that these awards are often expressed in numbers, let it be grades at school lessons or scores gained in a sports game. Meanwhile, the losses should also have their price. As John W. Holt, Jr. has said, “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not taking risks, and that means you’re not going anywhere. The key is to make mistakes faster than the competition, so you have more changes to learn and win.”ť Therefore, it seems to me it will be rather hard for the participants to react positively to the declared reforms.