This one goes in the “Now I’ve Heard Everything” file. In Ottawa, the national capitol of Canada, children are being taught that winning is bad! The Gloucester Dragons recreational Soccer League has instituted a new rule. If a team wins a game by more than five points, they automatically lose! The league caters to some 3,100 children between the ages of 4 through 18. The new rule is to promote fairness. But parents of the soccer-playing children are outraged over this “everyone is a winner” attitude.

Even some advocates of ‘fairness’ think it’s a bad rule. Paul Melia, president of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports, says “Kids are not dumb. They know when things like this are happening. When you start to do things like that, it borders on ridicule and that’s a far worse result for the kids.

We recently saw this past Winter Olympics a new rule in Olympic curling, where a game is officially ended early once a team builds a five point lead. Called a ‘mercy rule’ it ends a lop-sided game early. Obviously, this would be a much better alternative where it still awards a victory to the better team, and spares embarrassment, as well as possible injuries, for everyone. But for now, soccer playing children in Ottawa will have to hold themselves back because if they are too successful, they will lose!