Saturday, December 13, 2014

Biased outcomes and junior sports leagues

If you want to bias the outcome of a game played with juvenile players, there is no factor more critical than fair and equal refereeing.

If one team gets a small advantage in fouls or penalties in the first five to ten minutes of play it increases the odds that team will win. I've coached soccer and played a lot of sports and the referees make the bigger difference; more than than skill, race, wealth, school population whatever combined. The reality with most kids at the same level is their relative skill difference is minimal and they are all fresh athletes so it comes to minor culmulative advantages

When one team gets that advantage and runs up a score it demoralizes the trailing team. Distraction leads to compounded mistakes and a difficult lead. If refs wants the kids to decide it unbiased calls in the first period are critical.