Saturday, June 16, 2007

Parents acting ugly

My 5 yr old daughter is on our neighborhood swim team this year. They had their first meet last week, and I had the distinct pleasure of being an official timer. It was great fun. The team has 5 age groups - 6 and under, 7-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18. These kids are awesome - they screamed their lungs out for their teammates and were always encouraging their pals on the blocks.

It's a shame that some parents' over competitiveness had to pollute the atmosphere.

As the timer of lane 3, our 12-13 yr old girls won the freestyle relay by a good half an arm. But because our team was coming back from a deficit, the other team's place judge contested it, even though every one else, including some of the other team's officials, said we won. Finally, our judges caved (rose above, depending on your perspective) and we split that race's points with the other team. Consequently, instead of the meet ending in a tie, we lost by 5 points.

That judge from the other team knew we had won, he just wanted the points - more specifically, he didn't want us to get all 5 points. To put it bluntly, he cheated. And the unfortunate lesson for the kids is this: you cheat, you win. It's sickening.

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