Professionals deserve mercy
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A single bad night can haunt an organization in any sport, and to prevent it, there should be a standard mercy rule.
Getting beaten by 13 points in baseball is devastating to athletes, coaches and the team itself and takes the competition out of a game. At a certain point, it becomes clear that a team is unable to make a comeback, and is just being beaten down.
As an athlete, I’ve been on both ends of a lopsided outcome. I’ve been on teams that were winning by so many points that the coach would have put the third string water boy in the game if he had the chance. I’ve also been on teams who were the victims of a catastrophic blowout.
Fans and players both know that with a significant lead there is no point sticking around for the conclusion of the game. Ending a game that was never close does not benefit anyone.
Even in basketball when teams are getting blown out they will give their bench players more minutes and rest the starters because there is no point risking further injury. At this point, the rest of the game is pointless since the losing team has stopped trying by putting the players who wouldn’t normally play in the game.
In the professionals, the fans pay a lot of money and travel from faraway places just to see their favorite all-star players compete. When there is a blow out, those players are no longer playing because the game has gotten out of hand. Some players can even retire to the locker room early because they know that their night is over.
The Chico State men’s basketball team led a dominating performance against Simpson University and won by a 40-point margin on Nov. 28. With a substantial lead, early in the second half, Chico was able to sit down some of their key starters and allow the bench players added minutes on the floor.
Every player on the Chico State Men’s basketball team saw more than 10 minutes of action on the court which doesn’t regularly happen. A blowout can work in favor of both teams because it gives your starting players added rest, but a majority of the time the team that is losing will leave the starters in the game at an attempt of a comeback.
If the bench players are still outplaying the opposing team the matchup ends up being pointless because neither team was evenly challenged by the other. With the biggest comeback in NBA history consisting of 36 points by the Utah Jazz, at a certain point, it was clearly impossible for Simpson University to compete with the Wildcats.
Whether teams are trailing by 40 in basketball or 5 in soccer, it becomes clear that a win is secure for one team. When the spirit of competition is brought to a halt because of an insurmountable lead, a mercy rule should be applied.
It isn’t taking away the game from the losing team, it’s saving the players and fans from suffering a more significant loss.
The game should be played for fun. Getting beaten so badly that it makes you reconsider your athletic or coaching career has the opposite effect. A mercy rule allows a game to be stopped early to avoid wasting the fans, players and coaches time.
Jordan Jarrell can be reached at [email protected] or @OrionChicoJJ on Twitter.
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