A local youth (5-7-year-olds) football coach is facing the possibility of a $500 fine and a two-game suspension.
What did he do you may ask?
Did he hurt one of his players? Did he use inappropriate language? Did he get into an argument with a ref?
No, no, and no.
The coach had the nerve to put together what sounds like a pretty good team, put in his backups when the game was no longer in doubt, and then he let a five-year-old be a five-year-old.
The issue at hand was that the coach’s team was winning 30-0, and the league that his team competes in has a rule that a team can’t outscore an opponent by more than 30 points.
So his team has the ball, the kids who don’t get a lot of playing time are on the field, and one of the five-year-olds breaks for the end zone and scores.
And just like that, the coach violated the league policy, and as a result, is facing a fine and a suspension.
Never mind that the video below shows the coach running down the sideline trying to get the kid to stop.
What five-year-old is going to give up a chance for a touchdown?
The coach says that one of the refs told him that he should have tripped the player.
Yep, you read that right. The ref suggested that the coach trip his own player, a five-year-old, so that he doesn’t score a touchdown.
Here’s the video, from a local news station:
Fortunately, the coach did not trip his player. Can you imagine how that would have played out on social media?
Now I understand about mercy rules, and that at this age it’s a good idea to have one. The problem is with the way it is implemented. If you don’t want any team to get more than a 30-point lead, well then once they do, then the game should be over. That’s how it works in many sports.
I don’t know what a team is supposed to do here. Tell his players not to play their best?
This story may not have gotten as much press as it has if it weren’t;t for the fact that the coach’s brother-in-law is former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith, who fired off a series of tweets, clearly indicating his outrage and disbelief with the situation:
Today’s story of “We are building weak children”
The youth football team in my wife’s hometown had a game today, they won 36-0. They don’t allow you to win by 31 without some type of punishment. The head coach is now suspended for 2 games and fined $500. ARE YOU KIDING ME?
— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) October 12, 2019
4. It’s hard to find youth coaches as is but you consider fining a coach $500 an appropriate punishment?
5. If you truly want to have a slaughter rule simply stop the game. How do you coach or play knowing that you can’t score? That’s just stupid.
— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) October 12, 2019
The hearing on the coach’s fine and the suspension is scheduled for tomorrow. I certainly hope the league shows some common sense and does not do anything to the coach, but instead updates its mercy rule to one that makes more sense.
I’ll let you know the outcome.
*image from 6 ABC News
10 thoughts on “Five-Year Old Scores a Touchdown; Coach Facing a $500 Fine and Possible Two-Game Suspension”
It seems like there should be some kind of intermediate step before fining the coach and suspending him. As someone who taught elementary school for thirty-one years, I guarantee that there are simply going to be kids who forget in the middle of the action even if the coach has told them a hundred times what to do. Five-year-old children are not going to understand this rule.
I remember when my son played youth football (I don’t remember how old he was, but he was older than five) and the league had a thirty-point mercy rule. If I recall, there was no fine or sanction on the coach, but the team would have to forfeit the game. I understand the spirit of the rule, but is the opposing team going to feel better if they lose 30-0 when they witness the opposing team taking a dive? I remember bizarre situations such as players purposely falling down or running out of bounds at the one yard line instead of scoring a touchdown. On one occasion I remember a player’s own teammates tackling a player to prevent him from scoring a touchdown.
I agree, it’s hard to manage the behaviors of a five-year old, particularly one who is in the middle of running towards a touchdown! It seems like there are simple solutions to this issue, none of which involve fines and suspensions.
Wow!! That is insane!! Seriously the child is 5 years , I can just imagine the smile on his face. I sure hope they totally throw this case out, will be eagerly waiting to hear!
Hi Joy. I havene’t found anyone who thinks the decision by the league was a good one. I have not heard of the final resolution of the appeal.
An example of rules not allowing for the human factor
or common sense…
I know nothing about football either side of the Atlantic, naively assuming the whole point of any game is to score as many points as possible for your team! But it is a wonder the little ones can run at all with big helmets on their heads!
I was surprised as well that they had all that gear on!
How dumb is this? You’re right, the game should be done when a team hits 30 points.
seems like such a simple solution!
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