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CROKE Park are set to clamp down and bring sanctions against those involved in providing any form of



  • Registered Users Posts: 594 ✭✭✭TAFKAlawhec


    Post edited by TAFKAlawhec on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,453 ✭✭✭History Queen

    I dont know, I think a blanket ban on competition is a bit much. Learning how to win and lose is a life skill. I would've thought bringing competitive elements in slowly over time would be a better way to go. It seems mad to me that there's no competitive element at all until secondary school.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,820 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    I dont think its that mad. other sports do it and have seen numbers thrive. there hasnt been leagues or cups at under 12 level in ireland in almost 20 years. there is still blitzes with medals etc but pretty much no blitzes with semis etc

    kids will stll learn how to win and lose. they still keep scores even if there snt leagues etc anyway. this wont change with this move

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,453 ✭✭✭History Queen

    Ah ok, I wasn't aware of that. My oldest is only starting with team sports so my barometer of what the norm is now may be off. I don't feel strongly about it, but personally don't see the harm in some competition.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,820 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    Dont think my post included it but was referring to rugby about the 20 years..

    There will stll be competition. kids will still be going all out to try and win games. There just wont be knock out cups and is that really an issue. The kids will still keep score etc and say when they go home on a sunday or whenever they play to their parents and say they won/lost but no score is recorded. u13/14 is more than enough to start fully competitive leagues and cups

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭joebloggs32

    I have been coaching under age teams for 20 years now.

    When I first started we had competitive tournaments and championships going all the way down to u8 matches. It was pure madness. I seen grown men shouting at very young kids for missing a ball, 8 year olds devastated by losing a final etc. In the very last year before go games came in I umpired at a u12B county final my club were hosting. The team that won had at least 10 subs and waited until 5 minutes from full time, and 17 points up to make a change. That day convinced me that we needed a new way of doing things.

    GoGames cut out this crap, but I have seen more and more blitzes and tournaments creeping back in that are having finals. Human nature is to want to win, and it is all too easy to give into this but at what cost. We need to ensure that younger kids of all abilities learn to play the game outside of a competitive environment, they will have plenty of chances in their teenage years to test themselves in competitive games.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,699 ✭✭✭StupidLikeAFox

    It's absolutely the right way to go. The games will always be competitive, whether score is kept or not. When there are "titles" on the line, you have mentors treating u10 and u8 competitions like senior championships, when they should be focused on coaching good skills and getting gametime into all the players.

    I've seen it first hand - if the focus is on winning at underage you can probably achieve that by lumping the ball into the biggest lads you have. In the long term you are going to get overtaken when size evens out later or by teams who have actually developed their players skills

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,444 ✭✭✭MacDanger

    Kids will always keep scores. The "not keeping scores" is for the adults. Keep it out as long as possible imo

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,847 ✭✭✭Ceist_Beag

    It's good to see a conversation on this. However this proposal (if it is even that, all we have so far is one journalist's article) is over the top and will be counter productive. Those saying that games are competitive even if the score is not kept clearly haven't coached 10, 11 or 12 year olds. A lot of them absolutely know if a game is not competitive and they hate it. To introduce a blanket ban is unfair to children who do like competition.

    By all means let's try and strike a balance here by giving more game time for all children but don't punish children who are naturally competitive. It will only lead to some of them deciding there are other sports that suit their needs better.

    If there are problems with adults on the sideline (and we all know there are), we should be looking to address those problems. We should not be taking anything away from the children in doing so. Similarly if there are problems with coaching, then educate the coaches better.

    Competition is not an ugly word. Winning finals is not a bad thing and losing finals is not a bad thing either. The idea that the problem is competition is flawed imho.

    We should be able to achieve a balance where the majority of the season is working on skills and coaching children but there has to be something to aim for, a goal to achieve. Even if the goal is to travel to a blitz in the knowledge that you will possibly come last, that is still a trip children will enjoy. Go to a blitz and get to a final and it's something they will always remember.

    I say all this as a coach of a team who have been relatively weak all the way up and we have lost a lot more than we won. But I know if you asked them which would you rather, (a) games where there is no winner or loser, no scores kept, you just go out and play, or (b) competitive games where the score is known, they would definitely choose the latter.

    Presumably such a ban would also mean doing away with primary school competitions. We also run a street league at the end of each season which is for primary school children - again this would have to be scrapped.

    TLDR: I don't think an outright ban is the correct approach here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,733 ✭✭✭Sunny Disposition

    Utter madness that people argue against this, it's very clear what the right thing to do is.

    People complaining that UNDER TWELVE sport isn't competitive enough would really want to take a long look at themselves, ffs. Crazy.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,453 ✭✭✭History Queen

    People aren't complaining that under 12 isn't competitive enough. They are discussing whether an outright ban on competition in one particular area of sport is a good idea.

    I was talking to the principal of my local national school and he just mentioned the upcoming hurling competition between the three schools in the parish and having to have a rethink about how they structure it. It's a fun event dating back at least to when I was in National school (not yesterday or the day before And long begore go games!). All kids on the team participated with unlimited subs but scores were kept and the cup went to the victorious school. we loved cheering on our team and making decorations and posters in the weeks leading up to it. We loved it each year and really it was just a chance to have fun in the last term of school before the summer holidays.

    I see no issue with competitive events in and of themselves.

    Dancing/music/soccer/gymnastics/table quizzes/scór etc all have competition at these age groups. I do see issues with competitive coaches not playing kids/developing skills etc.

    Like I said before, my oldest is only getting started with team sports so maybe I'm totally out of kilter here, but I feel a phased and managed element of competition is healthy. Learning how to win and lose with grace is a life skill.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,733 ✭✭✭Sunny Disposition

  • Registered Users Posts: 498 ✭✭C4000

  • Registered Users Posts: 834 ✭✭✭Stationmaster

    I have no issue with this. I've coached kids and adults for years and still involved in both. At present, no official scores are kept at blitzes but the kids keep a rough score themselves and that seems to satisfy their competitive element. The big thing is that coaches/mentors/parents etc aren't getting wrapped up in titles, which can happen to the best of coaches at certain times, and are just concentrating on the kids skills and development. More kids are getting more game time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,733 ✭✭✭Sunny Disposition

    In an ideal world there would be something like this at adult level, where people who don’t want to commit heavily to the sport would have an outlet.

    It’s quite easy to find a casual soccer game like this if you want one, but hurling and football don’t really have an equivalent. The GAA made some moves on this a few years ago but it doesn’t seem to have taken off as yet apart from the Mothers and Others football.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,733 ✭✭✭Sunny Disposition

  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭MikeCairo78

    My son was playing with a local side in Kildare. He was enjoying it until he played in what was supposed to be a friendly competition with a couple of local clubs. Having my own memories of underage competition still fresh(relatively - 30 years ago) I wasnt sure I wanted to let him play, contacted a friend involved in juveniles but not in Kildare and he explained that they dont do competitive anymore, I thought grand. Child went out and played, and got absolutely roasted by adults on the sidelines. I had to tell them to calm down, they said it is only a bit of fun. Regardless, my son has refused to play since that day(about a year ago) and has pointedly said he will never play GAA again. This is sad, but I am not going to force him back. He is ten. It is not that the kids are competitive it is that you have a lot of coaches / parents living life vicariously through a 10 year old, roaring and shouting at little kids, which is pretty f**king sad, but sure this is life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,453 ✭✭✭History Queen

    Jesus the mentality of that is crazy. Elite u9s?! I am starting to see why there is such a drive to get rid of competition for u12s.

  • Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭fuinneamh

    This podcast covers it very well. Main discussion starts at 45 minutes in.

    TL:DR The problem isn't competition but having competition younger means that you allocate more gametime and coaching resources to elite U-10/ U-12 players at the expense of everyone else as the focus is on winning. Hit the ball into the big lad and they get 40% of the teams posessions. That stunts the development of everyone else. The problem is that teenagers grow at different ages and speeds and can also be 11 months older if January born. This effect is diminished at 16 upwards and that's when the focus on elite specialisation should take place.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,733 ✭✭✭Sunny Disposition

    This kind of thing is a big part of why the GAA had to act. Underage GAA was full of mental behaviour 20 years ago, there are still remnants of it and they need to be pushed back against continuously.

    These geniuses who are saying kids need to learn to lose, who enjoy shouting at children (they might call it cheering them on) and say children are naturally competitive, need to be pushed back against constantly. They don't care what psychologists say, don't care about children enjoying themselves, don't care about player retention or alienation. They don't give up easily either, many years after the rules on competition changed they're still fighting.

    The fact the GAA is getting criticised this week for defending a move that is categorically in the interests of children tells you a lot about debate in Ireland. There is absolutely nothing about the GAA that people won't criticise.

    Also there is no point of view too stupid to defend. Literally, people are campaigning on social media to make UNDER TWELVE sport more competitive. Not because that'll help player retention or result in a greater level of net enjoyment either, it's something about toughening kids up or finals being great craic or something. Jackasses.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,820 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    When and where was this that there were competitive championships all the way down to under 8. I was playing under 12 around 20 years ago and there were occasional blitzes/tournaments at the younger age groups but championships only started at under 12.

    GoGames helped reduce this a lot.. will be long time before its cut out...

    There should def be something more social and casual like tag rugby, casual socce games.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    When I was a kid we had to compete against nepotism and favouritism, and to be honest it pissed me off so much I quit and really it was the right decision but 30 years later it still kills me

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,652 ✭✭✭Red Silurian

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,478 ✭✭✭Uncle Pierre

    First, let me say I'm all in favour of the Go Games model, and I wish it had been in place when I was that age myself (a good few years ago now!).

    I'd hate to see a hell-for-leather going all-out to win titles approach by people involved with teams for children that young. But having said that, I think this is a sledgehammer and nut situation.

    My own club runs an U10 hurling tournament each year. Eight clubs from three or four counties, nine a side (as per the Go Games guidelines), and each club entering two squads, so that there are 16 squads taking part in four groups of four. Everybody plays three matches.

    We don't keep scores (other than having a rough idea of who beats who), we don't keep tables of two points for a win and one for a draw, and we don't have semi-finals or finals. Everybody plays their three matches, and then that's it.

    But what we do includes declaring a winning club at the end of the day, with the "title" going to a team which has played well in all three matches (will admit that realistically, this usually means winning most of them), but also based on other things like good attitude, sportsmanship, respect for coaches and opponents, etc.

    These get a cup and a set of medals. Another club is declared as runners-up, and gets a set of medals too.

    But now under the letter of the law, we won't be able to hand out the cup at all, and it'll either have to be medals for everybody or medals for nobody. That seems a bit heavy-handed to me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,367 ✭✭✭Audioslaven

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,297 ✭✭✭✭fits

    Well I’m a total noob to this world. Six year old recently started GAA. He Has been playing soccer for the last year. As an onlooker I way prefer the soccer approach. GAA takes itself way too seriously.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,464 ✭✭✭Asdfgh2020

    Soccer equally as bad in y experience. 8/9 year olds playing with u 11’s…..mentors slamming refs and getting red carded….parents loosing it also…..rumours of over age players being played also rife…..

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,112 ✭✭✭rpurfield

    Soccer isn't competitive at 6 years old either. In fact it looks very similar to Go Games with reduced numbers on a reduced pitch and teams split into two if needs be.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,965 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    sport, is competing, it’s competitive….. otherwise just meet for training sessions…..ffs.

    I swam competitively from a very young age. Till my late teens, galas and competitions across the country … if I won I was delighted, got a medal, quietly happy, came nowhere… “ ok sure there is always next time “. It wasn’t an obsession…

    played for a GAA team ( was rubbish ), then soccer team and in the local road leagues competitions in the park in the summer and tennis…again..

    won : delighted

    drew : ok

    lost : I got over it in about two hours, back on the mega drive again or thinking about the next day.

    as long as the competitiveness is formulated and overseen in the right spirit and no nastiness I don’t see what the problem is….

    mix up the teams, different captains, whatever…. But compete.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,478 ✭✭✭Uncle Pierre

    My own lad is 10 years old. Has been playing hurling & football since he was just three, and soccer since he was five. Have been involved in the GAA coaching myself every year, and gave a hand out with the soccer for a couple of years as well, when the local club was short of "proper" soccer coaches.

    Don't know where you are or how your soccer & GAA clubs operate, but here in Wexford, the approach at that age is exactly the same across the sports - non-competitive and full participation games for children that young, with the odd blitz or other tournament being organised by individual clubs, that might have a trophy or a set of medals on offer at the end of the day.

    Difference here is that soccer starts running competitive leagues and cups at U11, so if anything, soccer would be the one that "takes itself way too seriously".