It's only fair to share…

I was not a particularly talented footballer which might explain why my “career” ended in year nine. That said there was fun to be had playing footy with your mates on a Saturday morning. The area was still being developed and the team was new. Some weeks we struggled to have a full complement of players. This probably helped me get a regular game notwithstanding my meagre ability.

Winning was not a common occurrence. In fact, many weeks we got thrashed by 30 goals or more. Some weeks we hardly scored. In later years the same junior team, with far more players to choose from became a powerhouse fielding multiple teams and winning premierships.

Losing most weeks by a big margin was not what you hoped for but neither was it the end of the world. We understood, even at that age, that other teams were better than us at football. It didn’t make us bad people nor did it make them superior. They simply played football better than us and this was reflected on the scoreboard.

Fast forward to 2017 where teams are not allowed to win by more than ten goals. Reported in The Weekend West, in the Southern districts league two teams have dared to win by more than this and the results have been nullified. Rather than getting credit for the win the games have been classed as forfeits so the winning teams lose.

Coach Russ Clark, wondered whether high achievers in the classroom would have their marks lowered for being too smart or studying too hard? He noted that his team could have won by even more than they did but he had attempted to juggle players to even the score, in the spirit of the ten-goal cap.

Said Clark “…we are bringing up a generation of kids-let’s call it the entitlement generation. We are saying, here you go, you walked the 100m (sprint), here is your trophy”. The football association wants to eradicate a “win at all costs” approach. The coach stated he did what he could to not win by as much as they did!

Who says the team did anything other than play well? There is no suggestion of any foul play or cheating. They were simply much better.

Pretending otherwise penalises those who have achieved and does no favours for the losing team. The take home message for them is there is no need to try and improve and that you are too pathetic to cope with a loss and get on with life. The latter is the worst message to send as children may end up believing it. They may also learn that it is wrong to strive to be your best. In reality if your best is not better than somebody else’s it does not matter!

This is junior football for heaven’s sake. Nobody’s life career or next meal is riding on it.

So, children are discouraged from striving to play well at sport, lest they win by “too much”.

And if you think that is crazy, In Queensland it is now illegal for children under age 12 to walk to school. Section 364a of Queensland’s criminal code states under the title “Leaving a child under 12 unattended”:

1)A person who, having the lawful care or charge of a child under 12 years, leaves the child for an unreasonable time without making reasonable provision for the supervision and care of the child during that time commits a misdemeanour. Maximum penalty — three years’ imprisonment.

2)Whether the time is unreasonable depends on all the relevant circumstances.

The Queensland Police Service warned parents that, “Kids under 12 cannot walk or ride to school alone, there must be some level of supervision.

Are you kidding me? We are constantly told children do not get enough exercise. Walking (or riding a bike) to school can provide some. Same applies to walking to friends’ houses or the shops. As they get older children need more responsibility and this is a parental decision, not for the state.

Based on this my parents would have been jailed for letting me walk to school or ride my bike to friends’ houses.

Much is made of helicopter parenting being stifling for the development of children. Helicopter nanny state is even worse.

How dare the state, under threat of imprisonment, tell parents whether their children can walk to school or not.

The world is going mad. There needs to be pushback from citizens against this state meddling in children walking to school and playing sport. We need to say enough is enough and that we are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.

Who is up for it?