We can’t all be winners

July 13, 2017

The Goulburn Valley League should have an A, B and C grade rather than a B-reserve.

When did everyone in the world become so sensitive?

With the Riddell District Football League capping winning margins for its junior competitions, it seems no-one should ever have to know what it feels like to be defeated.

But losing builds character.

Winning never gets old, but surely those sides that are rarely tested, such as Kyabram in the Goulburn Valley League, are crying out for someone to challenge them.

That may have finally come for the footballers in round three against Tatura and again against Euroa in round nine, but although the Bombers still prevailed, it was a reminder of the reality of that losing feeling.

Because knowing what it is like to get belted each and every week gives a rare winning feeling greater significance.

When Tatura won its first netball match since August 2015 in round one this year, there were tears of elation from players at the club.

No-one could keep the smile off their faces in the Shepparton Swans’ away rooms when Mooroopna gathered its first victory in 630 days this season.

Learning how to deal with not having things go your way is something that starts as a junior in a team, with it among skills learned on a Saturday at sport.

For the Riddell District league to cap margins to 48 points in under-12s, 60 points in under-14s and 80 points in under-16s, how does a struggling team measure where it’s at when it meets a side for the second time in the year?

While an under-12 team might have been defeated 80-10 in the first meeting, but then kept its opposition to 60 points in a second encounter, the scoreline will still not show anything different if the margin remains more than 48 points.

Sport is all about enjoyment, but it is also a chance to show your competitive nature in a controlled environment.

It is also another aspect of life where you first get to experience rejection with the rankings of grades in netball another example.

Having netball leagues follow an A-grade, B-grade and B-reserve structure is frustrating considering there are more than two letters in the alphabet.

Why must there be a B-reserve in the Goulburn Valley League or a C-reserve in the Picola District Netball League?

Surely C-grade and D-grade would work just as well and eliminate any confusion.

Unlike missing out on a dream job in life, sport is all about opportunities and there is always another level that needs players, meaning people do not need to give up playing entirely.

We can’t all be champions at everything we attempt.

While someone might miss out on the A-grade team, there is still the opportunity to play, train and develop your skills in a game you enjoy with the goal of eventually reaching the top tier.

If a B-reserve player is explaining what grade they compete in to someone not affiliated with the league, surely they would just say C-grade to avoid a spiel about how the competition is structured.

Toying around with the name of grades does not fool anyone.

It’s disparaging to those who have worked hard to play in the best side in a league because they deserve the rewards and accolades that should come to them.

Recalling times you got smashed in junior sport usually draws laughs as an adult and none of the years I played in teams that consistently lost scarred me for life.

As a junior, you should be able to move on from the game once you exit the sporting arena because wanting everyone to be a winner means nobody wins.

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