Running up the Score in Youth Football
Week after week I will see youth football teams winning games with scores like 58-13, 32 -0, and 41-12. When there is that much of a difference in the score of a football game it is called running up the score. Running up the score in youth football is inexcusable in my mind.
You come to the game every week with the goal of achieving victory. Winning is what you work towards and practice for during the entire practice week. But, there is a difference between being competitive and running up the score in youth football. When the score is 26-0 at the end of the first half and they haven’t moved the ball I think it is safe to say you are the better team. You can tell as the game goes on that you are the physically dominate team and the other team probably has no shot of coming back from a 4 score deficit. Coaches will say, well we don’t want a team to come back on us, you just never know. That is nonsense. You will know if the team is capable of coming back on you. When your team is up big, get the other kids in. If I had it my way, there would be harsh penalties (suspend the head coach) for any coach that ran up the score unnecessary or kept their starters in while comfortably ahead.
There are some situations where you could be up 26-0 and one of your players intercepts the football and returns in for a touchdown. Something like that you really cannot control. There is a problem is when one of your starters or best player is the one picking the ball off. When you are up big the other players need to play. Put in the MPP (minimum play players) and let them get some extended playing time. When you are up by four touchdowns the starters need to come off the field. If the team you are playing is really that bad defensively and your back up players are scoring as well, put in a player that does not play much and let him carry the ball.
There is another exception- if you are up on a team and you know they have the fire power to come back than you still keep the pedal to the metal. If the team is good and well coached they will fight back into the game. Long story short, if you are the dominate team and you are up by a few scores put the other kids in. I have never ran up the score in my 11+ years of coaching. I will not disrespect opposing coaches and youth football players, just to make a statement to the rest of the league.
Here are some of my favorite tweets from other successful youth football coaches. Follow these guys on twitter! They are great coaches that understand what youth football is all about.
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