Nobody scores zero

Has it come to this?  Are our children really that fragile?

My teenage kids competed in a homeschool invitational volleyball tournament over the weekend (okay, they participated in part of a tournament because the tornados touched down and it was cancelled, but that’s a different story…).  What is bubbling around in my head is the scoring system used for the pool play.

Instead of starting with a score of 0-0 and ending when one team reached 21, the games all started with a score of 4-4 and ended when a team reached 25.

Someone has waved a magic wand and eliminated the possibility of some poor athlete feeling sad if her team didn’t score.  Nobody can end the game with zero points!  Hooray for fake self-esteem.

Seriously, are our children that fragile?  They can’t stomach the possibility of not scoring during a game?

Also, are they that mathematically ignorant that they can’t figure out that if everyone starts with 4 points, then nobody has an advantage, and it works out the same as starting the 0 points?

Are they that easily fooled that if they end the game at 4 points, they don’t realize they didn’t score?

Are they that out of touch with reality that they don’t know that to score a point in a sport they have to actually score a point?

I can’t decide what it is about this “scoring” system that bugs me so much.  Maybe it feels like being overly politically correct.  Maybe it feels like feeding an entitlement generation who believe they “deserve” points just for showing up.  Maybe it feels like pandering.  Maybe it feels like being ridiculously overprotective.  Maybe it’s just dumb.

I totally understand not pushing little children into being too competitive too early.  I even understand when little leagues don’t keep score for the youngest athletes’ games.  But this was a tournament of teenagers.  Teenagers are mature enough to deal with the possibility of not scoring a point.

If they aren’t, then we aren’t doing them any favors by insulating them further.