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May 31st, 2010:

What were the Dragons thinking???

I coached for the Gloucester Dragons for a number of years. Eight, to be exact.

I can only say that things must have changed in the league since I left a few years ago. The Dragons used to have a committed and sensible Executive – focused on teaching kids about the beautiful game, sportsmanship and on fostering a competitive spirit.

But, as covered heavily in the national media, the league has done a very, very silly thing.

From the League Handbook:

Scoring Limit
Respect your opponent: do not run up the score.
To prevent running up the score, a five-goal differential is the maximum allowed.
If at the end of a game there is more than a 5 goal difference in the score, the team that scored over 5 goals will have the results recorded as a loss when the game is recorded at the office.
Strategies coaches can use to avoid this problem include:
• Rotating players into other than normal positions;
• Passing the ball a number of times prior to a shot on goal;
• Kicking with the weaker foot;
• Reducing the number of players on the field;
• Kick at net only from outside the penalty box.

All for the “Strategies coaches can use…” part of this. If you are matched against a much weaker opponent, a good coach will employ these strategies. Put the strong kids in the backfield and put the weaker one up front and in the midfield. It usually works to curb embarrassing scores.

But no, some parent or parents have gotten their knickers in knots cuz little Jimmy or Jenny got upset because their side was blown out 12 – zip or something.

Well, OK, the winning coach did not do their job. Fine. But kids, life is about losing badly as well as winning gloriously. Better get used to that.

But from a sports perspective, coaches should not ever teach players how NOT to win. Seriously. I was never trained to do this. Instead, I was taught to use those techniques outlined above. Ain’t rocket science, really.

Do we want the players of a stronger side to spend the second half – up 4-0, to kick the ball into touch whenever they had possession?

THIS is coaching????

C’mon Dragons – reverse this silly policy – and now!


More rumblings about a centre/left merger… again

There is an interesting opinion piece in the Star today penned by Glenn Wheeler on how it is up to the rank and file of the Grits and Dippers to start the coalition ball rolling.

To be clear – while I have been a member of both parties in the past, I am not so currently. But one thing I am sure of is that I am a progressive.  And I would actively support any arrangement that would move the progressive agenda forward to counter the social conservatism that has been dominant on the Hill for the past several years.

But – sigh – this has been talked about again and again and again… so I am slightly less than optimistic that an effective coalition under strong and clear leadership is waiting in the wings.

To the leaderships of both parties – put the egos aside and start working toward a partnership that would provide Canada with a clear and progressive path forward!