Is a lopsided score a form of bullying? - KMSP-TV

Is a lopsided score a form of bullying?

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

On a field in Queens lit only by a street lamp, the young men of the Bayside Raiders may have a hard time to seeing in the dark. But Coach Anthony Griffin says the lessons they're learning are about much more than just football. He says the core values of good sportsmanship are embraced by youth programs across the country.

"As a coach you have to realize when to take the gas pedal off," he says. Not following those unwritten rules could result in one team running up the score. That is what happened at a game in Houston when one team beat another 91-0, leading a parent of the losing team to file a formal complaint accusing the rival coaches of bullying.

"In general bullying is a serious thing and we want to guard against that with our kids," says Dr.Jonathan Fader, a psychologist. He says that while the lopsided victory may have been distasteful, he agrees with a Texas district committee that determined the parent's claim was merit less.

"My understanding in this situation there were lots of parents who felt that team was better than ours," Fader says. "It's really more about how the athlete or the team thinks of itself rather than a 91-0 match."

Back in Queens, coaches say mercy rules prevent games from getting to lopsided. Players say they see the benefit.

"I like respecting my opponent," the quarterback says. "Making sure that football stays football and it doesn't remain personal."

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