Recently in Kentucky, there was a middle school boys basketball tournament. Tournaments can be a great way to get a sports team ready for regular season play, and quite often, there can be lopsided games.
However, I don’t know if there has ever been as lopsided game as the one that occurred between Pikeville and Kimper middle schools, where the score was 100-2.
Can you imagine how long that game must have seemed? Geez, I couldn’t even handle the last game of the Detroit Tigers-Texas Rangers playoff series this year when the Tigers got routed 15-5. I would have lost my mind if my child was losing (or winning) 100-2. Actually, Pikeville was winning 25-0 within the first 2 minutes of the game. (At least the coach stopped full-court pressing at that point and removed all the starters. Details of the game can be seen here.)
So now, Pikeville is at risk for having their season canceled as punishment for drubbing the opposing team.
Really, there is no easy answer for this situation. However, I don’t think canceling the season is the proper response. The people that will get hurt in that situation is the kids, and they totally don’t deserve that. Sure, maybe they should have toned down their play, but they are kids. It is up to the adults in this situation to do the right thing.
What Could the Pikeville Coach Do?
Really, the Pikeville coach’s hands were tied to a degree (although there is no excuse for having a full court press for more than 2 seconds in that game). I have seen lopsided games before and there is no graceful way to handle it. If you pass the ball around like you are playing cat and mouse, that is insulting. You could require opposite hand dribbling and shooting, but that might have still resulted in a similar score. I don’t understand why there wasn’t a mercy rule like they have in high school. (At least in Michigan during the regular season there is a mercy rule, I have no idea what happens in tournaments.) I am not saying the coach shouldn’t be punished in some way, but I definitely don’t think these kids should be denied a season of basketball.
Who Schedules A Game Like This In The First Place?
Fact is, this game never should have happened, period. If a tournament does not have an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ bracket, then only similar caliber teams should be scheduled to play. (Although Pikeville and Kimper are still supposed to meet up during regular season play anyway, which is pretty messed up in my opinion.) The losing school, Kimper middle school, is very small and had no business playing one of the best middle school teams literally in the country. I look at where my kids go to school and there is a total of around 135 kids in the middle school. It would be insane to put them up against some of the bigger, more talented division 1 schools in the area, and our athletic director would never allow it.
Bottom Line: There Is A Lot of Blame To Go Around
There are so many people at fault for this situation, least of which are the kids, who at this point will bear the brunt of the punishment if the season is canceled for them. The Kimper coach never should have signed his team up for the tournament, the Pikeville coach should have had more class (I am sure a coach with his experience knew that he was going to be playing a team way beneath his team’s skill level), the ref should have stopped the game at a certain point, and the tournament director should have never allowed the two teams to play each other. Now, there is a big mess about something that is supposed to be fun: kids basketball.
What do you think? Would you cancel the Pikeville basketball season? Would you fire the coach? Or, do you think life should just go on without any repercussions for anyone, and consider it a lesson learned? Would you rather if your child was on the winning or losing team?