Saturday Morning Rant: Rec. Sports Leagues – Why So Serious?

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I play a couple sports in various recreational leagues where I live, particularly softball, soccer and floor hockey. And for the most part, I love it! It gives me a chance to have fun while maintaining a somewhat healthy lifestyle, I’ve made a number of friends through these leagues and I’ve gotten better at sports that at one point I was basically as good as a statue at.

But yet there’s always that one thing that I can’t shake off.

As I’m writing this rant, I’ve just gotten home after a soccer game. The league is a recreational level, so it should be a bunch of people who don’t know the fundamentals or at the very least people who wouldn’t consider themselves good at the game. The team we played against were the usual fodder we get in these leagues, a team that was really good at passing, could deke around with the ball, took hard shots and most importantly, we’re playing like they had to win the game. Now I’m competitive too, I don’t like losing, no one does, but I’m also not going to get overly upset about it, a loss is a loss. So I don’t understand why some people take a recreational league like it’s the most serious thing in the world.

Let’s take a look at the definition of recreation, shall we?

a pastime, diversion, exercise, or other resource affording relaxation and enjoyment.”

See the key words in there? Relaxation and enjoyment. When does taking a game seriously ever cause something like relaxation or enjoyment? It always results in anger, frustration, all that jazz. And then the other event that happened in my game tonight adds onto that.

A fight broke out during the match. Two guys started shoving and it eventually turned into a headlock and a bench clear. I was standing in the middle of the field watching the whole thing unfold wondering to myself “The fuck is going on here? It’s a fucking game we’re playing, why are we taking this so seriously we’ve got to fight about it?!” and many other thoughts that were against everything I was watching. And this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this, I’ve seen it in all three of the sports I listed at the start.

What is the fucking point of even considering getting into a fight in this kind of a league. In my leagues specifically, there’s no trophies, hell the prize is a fucking shitty t-shirt that says “League Champions Summer 2016” or something like that. There’s really nothing of value to make you want to win, if there was a money prize or something like that, I’d get it, but it’s a fucking t-shirt. Is that so much to get all worked up about to the point people get into a fucking fight over a game during the season?! Or even less than that, taking the game so seriously that they’ll get a bit rough (specifically in soccer) against the opposing team. Really, what’s the point?!

These people are paying real money to play in these leagues because they wanted to have fun and yet apparently that definition of fun involved shoving, yelling, sometimes fighting and my own personal favourite that happens in soccer, running up the score and then playing around with the ball to the point my team (and the majority of us have no experience really in the game) barely ever touches the ball, we’re just running in circles. I make it my personal mission to crack jokes with the opposing team as much as I can, talk with them, make them feel like we’re not taking them like enemies, just friends on the opposite side of the field. I don’t get why no one else wants to do this.

I’m trying to have fun here, I don’t understand why so many other people would rather just be quiet, put on a serious face and turn the game into a debacle. It’s fucking pathetic!

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