A junior football league has stopped publishing the results of its matches in case the scores embarrass the young players.
Telford Junior League – made up of 20 divisions ranging from under-10s to under-16s – now records all games as either 1-0 wins or 1-1 draws.
Bosses at the league have defended the decision to withhold the number of goals scored which they claim will spare the youngsters the humiliation of losing badly.
Victory: The Telford Junior Leagues has said it will now publish the correct scores on its website having initially insisted all results be recorded as either 1-0, 1-1 or 0-0 to avoid embarrassing young players
But campaigners and parents say the policy teaches children that competition is a bad thing and risks creating a generation of bad losers.
Unrepentant league bosses have defended the policy, saying it is in line with Football Association guidelines, which the FA disputes.
The FA says it has no rules relating to results above the age of eight.
And the league, which was founded in 1984 and has more than 2,000 players from clubs in Telford, north Shropshire and Bridgnorth, will also stop recording results for under-11 teams altogether from next season.
One parent, who did not want to be named, said: ‘This is because they don’t want kids embarrassed if their team has lost heavily.
Share this articleShare
‘If that’s the case what’s the point of having a league table up on the website at all?’
Another parent, who also did not want to be named for fear of turning officials against his son’s team, said: ‘I think it’s crazy - kids need to learn about winning and losing from an early age. They aren’t recognising the boys’ achievements.
‘They might not want to embarrass the losing team but if one of the lads scores six or seven goals and that isn’t recorded what kind of message does that send to them?
‘The lads might as well not turn up.’
Assistant secretary Stephen Groome said the league had introduced the results policy on its official website this year.
'Still 1-0... despite 7 goals': The Telford League had stopped recording thrashings, no matter how many goals young players scored
He said: ‘Shropshire FA have said it is a guideline and we chose to go with it. If someone else wins, the children do not need to be embarrassed.
‘There are mixed feelings about it and it’s up to each league. From next season under-11s won’t even have their results recorded.’
He said goal difference did not play a part in determining final league positions and teams finishing on equal points would share their position.
‘Sometimes there is a 16-1 or 16-0 goal difference but it’s not a determining factor in junior football because the league will be shared,’ he added.
Stephen Clarke, manager of the under-11s Wrekin Panthers team, backed the move.
He said: ‘The children’s welfare is paramount. The winners have three points on the website if they win and the children who lose 20-0 would feel very disheartened if it was on the website.
‘They might think of not playing. I think it’s a very good idea.’
But Mr Clarke added there must come a point when players had to accept defeat.
He said: ‘I think probably by the age of 15 then they have an understanding that life is a bit of a competition and we are competing with other people.’
Dame Kelly Holmes, the double Olympic champion, has spoken out in the past about the decline of competitive sports for children.
She said it risked spawning a generation of bad losers and blamed a culture of political correctness for making ‘competitiveness’ a dirty word.
A spokesman for the FA commented: 'There’s an FA rule that prohibits the publishing of results and league tables across all media for U7 and U8 age-groups where the focus of the game is about learning to play without the pressure of full-time scores.
'For older age groups, there are no rules or FA guidelines which indicate that the final score should be changed.'
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2047420/Childrens-football-league-lists-scores-1-0-1-1-avoid-humiliation.html1116