Is Running Up The Score Poor Sportsmanship???

by 15 comments
When the New England Patriots were destroying most everyone a couple seasons ago, there was a lot of talk about running up scores.

Then there was the girls basketball game in which someone beat someone else something like 100 something to 8.

Have mercy rules for little league etc.


I say on the pro, college and high school level - show no mercy.

If you can't compete, get off the field.

#off topic forum
  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    It depends...

    If a team keeps in their starters and runs up the score, that's poor sportsmanship.

    However, if a team puts in 2nd and 3rd stringers and is still scoring, I think that's fair. It may be that 3rd stringer's only opportunity to score a TD or basket in their lifetime, so I think this balances the "running up the score". The losers aren't the only ones to think about...

    There are exceptions, like this one:
    Covenant School to forfeit 100-0 win over Dallas Academy | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Latest News

    It appears that Covenant was "pressing" (full-court high intensity defense) the entire game and never let up. Dallas Academy it seems only has 20 girls total enrolled in their school, and 8 of those are on the varsity basketball team. And these girls all have some type of disability.

    This is a case of horrible sportsmanship, with the coach primarily to blame.
  • Profile picture of the author TeddyP
    I want my favourite teams to keep the throttle on high at all times. I mean playing kids with disabilities is a different matter. But in any really competitive league I say go for it.

    If I was on an opposing team that let up on me - I would find that far more offensive than if they continued to play hard.
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    In the case of amateur sports, I thinkrunning up the score IS poor sportsmanship. But I'm talking about really running it up, rubbing it in their faces, the coach needs an ego massage kind of running it up. Other than that, there is nothing wrong with a high school football team beating another team (in the same class/division) 57-6, or a baseball team winning 16-2.


    When it comes to pro ball, there is NO such thing as running up the score - ever.

    Play like a pro, or go home.

    Sportsmanship isn't about keeping the score "fair enough". It's about HOW you are doing it. In fact, I would say if the team that's far ahead starts easing up, then THAT isn't being sporty - it adds insult to injury.

    Is it okay to put in 2nd and 3rd stringers? Of course, as long as THEY are playing to the best of their ability. From a coaching standpoint it makes sense to give people deeper in your roster a chance to play in real games; you never know when a starter will get hurt.

    However, it is not bad sportsmanship to keep your startes on the field for all four innings. THAT'S HOW LONG A GAME IS!

    Sportsmanship has nothing to do with the score. There are sore losers, and there are obnoxious winners.

    All the best,

    p.s. I really thought the Hall of Fame game was pretty good this year. And it was cool to see the Oilers uniforms again.
  • Profile picture of the author GodsGeneral
  • Profile picture of the author ptone
    The following applies mostly to college and high school football (American football) as they play the fewest games in a single season.

    A lot of college football players are vying for a high draft pick for the NFL. If their team has 2 or 3 games where they are laying it on their opponent by half-time and the good players are removed so as to ease up, then the good players could wind up missing what would be equivalent to 1 1/2 - 2 games over the course of a season. These guys need as many snaps as possible to impress the pro scouts. Missing this much playing time could equal a drop in the draft by 2 or 3 rounds which could mean losing hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. College coaches understand this and understand that they are messing with a man's future livelihood by sitting him on the bench just because his team is stomping the opponent.

    Same situation at the high school level except college scholarships are on the line instead of an NFL draft pick.
  • Profile picture of the author TeddyP
    Great point
  • Profile picture of the author markbrown0316
    Well for it depend on how the players played the game, and of course also on the strategy of the coach.
  • Profile picture of the author kb5000

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