Fair Play?

So I got the following video from a friend at work… take a peek. While alls fair in love and war… what about youth football?

Video moved to link. Click here to play.

This reminds me of playing summer baseball for the VFW. We were playing Owatonna at home and had a runner on second (a guy named Riley if you\’re interested) and good ol\’ Mr. XXXX in the coach\’s box at 3rd. Coach XXXX hollers to the opposing pitcher, \”Hey Pitch, lemme see that ball\”. Well the pitcher tosses the ball to him over at third, and Coach just steps aside and lets the ball roll past him. He then turns to Riley and yells for him to come on down to third. Needless to say, the Owatonna parents in the crowd were none too pleased with this move, but for those of us in the dugout we couldn\’t stop laughing for the rest of the game.

At what point does trickeration become acceptable in sports? High School, College, Professional?








11 responses to “Fair Play?”

  1. Bounce Avatar

    The question to be asked is when is it too early to take out a player for such a bush league move? Though from the look of these kids it would instead warrant a beat down of the coach.

    This reminds me of watching the CYO football at our local park one weekend. They had to be 10 years old at the oldest yet there they were in full pads smashing the crap out of each other. Is that healthy for childhood development?

    Yet another reason why I will not be letting my kid play (american) football…


  2. monkey Avatar

    Well, that’s one way to teach kids about the realities of life: deception gets you ahead, people are bastards, and folks delight in success no matter the means.

  3. anderswa Avatar

    i don’t know if i have a problem with this. probably a good lesson for the kids to learn: always pay attention, because others will do whatever is necessary– including trickery– to get ahead.

  4. ed Avatar

    in my mind, this behavior is clearly unsportsmanlike. the defensive team was no longer playing the game at the time the play was run. the defense stopped playing because they were deceived into believing that there was an extenuating circumstance of some sort – presumably something was wrong with the ball.

    football is a game with very explicit rules – a game is 60 mins long, the play clock lasts 40 seconds, each team gets 6 total time outs, etc. yet, despite of all of these hard and fast rules, there are exceptions. if someone is injured, we stop the game. if a dangerous storm moves in, we suspend the game until it moves past. and more importantly here, if something is wrong with the ball, we stop the game and remedy it. after all, football cannot be played without a proper (american) football.

    this video highlights at least 2 off-screen coaches unethically capitalizing on the goodwill and sportsmanship of an opponent, nothing more. ask yourself, if the play was instead “hey, johnny, pretend to be hurt, so that when they stop the game we can quick run a play that they will never expect! ha, the fools!” would you think that it was fair play?

    as a side note, i do believe that nfl and ncaa rules both prohibit plays like this. consider, for example, that play where a receiver pretends to walk off the field, but hangs out just inside the sideline boundary, only to run down the field uncovered when the QB suddenly snaps the ball “early.” that sort of trickery has been outlawed in both the nfl and ncaa.

  5. jake Avatar

    So what do you guys think about baseball’s “Hidden Ball Trick”?

    seems like that would fall under the same guise of unsportsmanlike behavior.

  6. anderswa Avatar

    or, how about hte play from the vikings game on sunday where the running back for the eagles was ducking down as the play was setting up so that the viking defense didn’t see him until right before the snap (leading towards a touchdown). i realize that’s pretty different than the clip above, but where do you draw the line?

  7. wadE Avatar

    If you start going down that path, why not say “what about play action passes!”
    I can’t believe the nfl and the ncaa has outlawed the “pretend to be an extra man on the field but line up way outside” thing. I’d like to see a link that proves that. there are rules in place the dictate how far a receiver can be from the ball (one of the many reasons you don’t see receives lined up right near the sideline).
    At any rate, I don’t see anything wrong with trickeration at the pro, college, and even high school levels. But youth football should be about learning sportsmanship and learning to play the game. Once the basics are mastered, then we can get fancy. It’s like a coach of 11 year olds putting in the run and shoot offense… the point is to teach, not for the coach to prove how smart he is.

  8. alex Avatar

    I tend to agree with wadE on this. Unfortunately, that’s probably not the world we live in anymore. These kids need to be living and breathing football 12 months a year and learning what it takes to win, or they’ll never be the best. (Barf.)

  9. ed Avatar

    wadE, see the NCAA rulebook here. http://www1.ncaa.org/eprise/main/playingrules/football/2005/index

    Page 124. Rule 9.2, Article 2. “Unfair Tactics.” “No simulated replacements or substitutions may be used to confuse opponents…” The same conduct is prohibited in other parts of the rules as well.

    As far as the NFL rule, I don’t see it in the rules (didn’t look very hard though). However, I’ve seen it called.

    Glancing over the NCAA rulebook, it seems to me that there is a definite distinction depending on whether the ball is in play or not. For instance, the intro to the rules page 14 explicitly states that using an “unfair starting signal” is forbidden, and is “nothing less than deliberately stealing an advantage from the opponent.”

    Similarly, it is a violation of football rules at every level for an offensive player to “draw” a defensive player offsides using his voice, eyes, or other movement.

    Unlike sports such as hockey and soccer, football is a continuous series of distinct plays. While there is a play clock, and an overall time limit, the game effectively stops between plays. Before starting a play, each team is given the opportunity to “get ready” – get in position, line up, get set in your stance, etc. Any trickery that takes place before the ball is snapped is unfair, the “stealing of an advantage.” After the ball is snapped, however, all becomes fair.

  10. Brian Scott Avatar

    “After the ball is snapped, however, all becomes fair.”


  11. wadE Avatar

    wow, I can’t believe the NCAA added that as a rule… somewhat lame, but not a big deal. the NFL has a “too many men in the huddle” penalty, but I’m not aware of any thing else that would be prohibited.

    And I suppose after the ball is snapped “almost” all be comes fair… 😉

    “Why did Mr. Milo cross the road? … Because his dick was stuck in the chicken!”

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