don’t know if you heard about this.   here’s the link to the whole story so you can read it for yourself.   here’s the short version:

right after her pole vault secured the district championship for her school  (the very last event of the meet),  the girl was disqualified and the championship was awarded to the other school because the opposing coach went to the meet officials to point out that she was breaking a rule.

the rule?  the california interscholastic federation has a rule that says no jewelry can be worn by a student-athelete during a competition.

the jewelry she wore?   a thin, string friendship bracelet.   that’s it.

by pointing out the infraction,  the opposing coach was able to strip the win away from the opposition and secure the district championship for his school…crushing the girl,  dumbfounding everyone,  and sending his own team into a victory frenzy right out of the grip of defeat.

you really should read the whole story for yourself.

i have a lot of feelings about this one.   and i see both sides.

rules are not made to be broken…they are there for a reason.   rules create a level playing field for everyone  (not just in athletics)  and provides the framework for personal discipline and commitment to the goal.   holding people  (not just athletes)  to a standard and imposing the penalty for breaking the rules is a lesson we all have to learn.

it is certainly a lesson this young girl will never forget.   the pain will last a lifetime.

the flip side is all about the other life lessons this coach could have taught…sportsmanship,  grace,  kindness…goals far greater than winning titles…lessons of forgiveness and success and values far greater than trophies and legalism.

life is seldom black and white.


12 thoughts on “Really?

  1. Me Thinks there needs to be a National Robin Laird Friendship Bracelet Day… What a way to lose, feel for Laird here.
    As for Mr. Knowles, he needs to get pulled over for doing 1 mph over the speed limit and then have the cop say, ” Rules are Rules, here’s your ticket and Have a Nice Day…”

  2. Wow, I am at a crossroad. As a competitor turned coach (Avery’s SIX year old soccer team coach) and I emphasize the 6; I would have done ANYTHING to get our team to win.
    We we got into another shoot-out last year. A 5year old girl on the opposing team prolly thought she was trying to kick a baseball into a basketball hoop, her foot cross the line and I piped in saying the kick did not count. So you can boo me. BUT the other coach was the ULTIMATE stickler for the rules. Had she seen something odd, she would have blown the whistle as well. Dude, in fact, I just remember the year before the same “other” coach called my goalie out of position which cost us a goal.

    So I totally agree with Jim, I hope the guy gets a ticket for doing 1mph over.

    But I am sure when your son or daughter is on my team and the heat of battle is on…I am going to find a way to win. You as a parent will want me to find a way to win. Otherwise, you would have had your kid in UPward basketball or VBS soccer camp. Rules are rules. Winners go to Disney world.

    Here is where the hypocrisy begins. The greatest sports story of the year is the college golfer who sent his final tee shot out of bounds because he was already going to the championship with his team. Thus, allowed a good competitor to advance to the championship as an individual. He could have taken ALL the HARDware, but it was how he was HARDwired inside that makes no trophy valuable. I would have been on board 100% with this decision as well.

    I am not perfect. Neither is the coach, Bob Knight, Belichick, Rothlisbeger, Tiger, A-rod, Clemens. Take your pick of winners that have skeletons. Then take your pick of winners a few years from know that have not revealed their skeletons. We are all sinners.

  3. So let me get this straight……

    1. You blew the whistle on a 5 year old girl.
    2. You got her kick dis-allowed.
    3. The opposing coach was a “her”.
    4. You held a grudge against “her” for over a year.

    Wow just Wow! That is awesome! That being said I don’t know that I would lump you into that group of characters you listed.

  4. I know you think this may be a crazy rant. Here is the rest of the story…
    two years ago, the “other” coach had 12 players on her team including some that we think were older than 6. We had 6.5 players. We went to double overtime then to double shoot out. She used her six best players to try to win. Once that did not pan out, she had no choice but to use her weaker players. We on the other hand got to use our players over again. We had the right amount. We played by the rules. We one.
    The parents on the other team were cussing, not allowing their kids to shake our teams hand and were not letting them except their kids second place trophies. simply awful.
    All this could have been avoided had she played by the rules and not stacked her team for complete sweep of the season.

    The next year we met in the finals again. Same thing, she had plenty of players and we had six. 1-1 until the last 4mins of the game. One of my players got hurt then another. We lost the game 8-1. We played by the rules and I could not have been any happier. I let my team get thumped and not call the game. That’s life.

    So maybe this tidbit doesn’t necessarily relate to a friendship bracelet, just the cost of winning and losing and who it effects.

  5. Ok its time for Luke confession time..No worries I’ll keep it clean.

    Connor played a game the other day and he isn’t on exactly the best team in the world. Not the Yankees we are talking about here. The boy is 6 and the best hitter on the team. So they played an 8 year old team the other night and got just freaking thumped! The problem I had was these guys were taking extra bases and scoring kids on errors that could have been held up when they were up 15 runs! So I preceded to ask the coach who kept sending these kids extra bases if he gets a trophy or a golden star for how many doubles his 8 year old’s get on on 6 and 7 year old kids. He didn’t respond but did start holding his kids up. Well Tommy Lasorda over on third kept doing it. So after the game he wanted to shake my hand and I told him I didn’t think it was right to run up the score on a bunch of kids that didn’t have a chance. That it sent a bad message to both teams. To which he said he was just trying to get his kids swings. I quickly called bullcrap on that and told him that if he went base to base that would be more swings and told him to enjoy and celebrate his victory proudly.

  6. Brandon on a side note… If you need Connor come playoff time we can put a wig on him and he can just punish some of those frilly girls.

    We could get some “how’s second place taste” shirts.

  7. i’m so proud to have you guys as friends. i say let conner and avery sign up for one of those coed, no-competition, rec leagues for little kids…and you guys coach the team together. it would be fun watching you make the other kids cry…

  8. We should all coach a kid-pitch team!!! That would be greatness. Our kids wouldn’t see an inside pitch the whole season. I can just see it now. One of our kids gets plunked and we hang out the dug out “Son don’t be writing checks you can’t cash!”

  9. I love the idea. Avery and I were playing wiffle ball in the back yard. I LOVE to say it, she has the hand-eye of a Roided up Bonds. She could put some 8year olds to shame. “Why can’t you hit like that girl”

  10. I was going to say Mike could coach third, but we wouldn’t make it out of the first round of drug testing.

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