Win at whatever cost, be the first no matter the price or consequences… It seems that this mindset is becoming more and more common and considering that sometimes it directly affects the future of our kids I think this is rather sad.

And forgive me for a personal rant on these pages but I have just spent last weekend on my son’s hockey tournament and this rant is a direct result of what I have seen. A question I had during the entire duration – Just How Far Are We Willing To Go In Order To Win?

Let me describe the situation…

We had a “B” level (meaning that chances of these kids making to pro’s slim to none) mites (up to 9 years old) house team tournament.  And house team simply means that a team must be the same, as it existed throughout the year – the good players, the young players and even the least experienced players. Since the tournament was in different state and required a travel for a few days not every player was able to make it so the rules permitted substitutes to make sure that team has at least 2 lines of players to put on the ice.

And that last permission was the key to interpretation, as it seems… I will not talk about the officiating and anything else but simply want to state the final result – team that has taken the first place was a “select team” meaning that it was a collection of the best players from 4 house teams. They won fare and square by effort and hard work but having an advantage from the start it wasn’t that hard. Although I’m happy to know that my son’s house team beat them in first game and only lost the last game for the first place.

Incredible result for our team and I’m very proud of the kid’s accomplishment but the tournament left a bad stain. Since everyone, including the kids knew that a select and not house team took first place, it left one message clear – You Have To Win No Matter What, Even Cheating If Needed.

A very wrong message in this age! Or any age for that matter. I understand that hockey is a competitive sport and love winning just as much as anyone else, the purpose of this tournament was to allow “house teams” to compete against each other. Equal teams playing on similar level.

Or so was the intent until we, adults decided to interfere and make sure the victory will be pre-determined. Is the moral foundation of the kids’ good enough price to pay for the victory? Apparently so… let’s just not be surprised to see the world we will end up leaving in later.

End of rant… and back to regularly scheduled posting.