Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is This Cheating?

Scott sends me the following video of a trick play in a middle school championship football game:

Apparently the quarterback made the other team think they needed to add five more yards to a penalty that had just been assessed against the defense. He took the ball, walked through the line, then took off. (For a write up and my source click here).

Trick play or cheating?


Jeremy said...

Cheating? Only if the rules expressly prohibit this type of deception (as the NCAA rulebook does).

Dirty? Absolutely.

I saw a 12-year-olds' little league game where one coach was pulling this type of stuff. With runners at the corners, the opposing pitcher faked a pick-off to first. The 3rd-base coach yelled, "That's a BALK!" When the umpire ignored him, the coach told the runner on 3rd to "Walk on home!" Of course, the play was live and the baserunner was actually stealing home.

This is dirty for the same reason that the football play in your link is dirty: It leverages not the athleticism or execution of the opponent, but on their social naivety. It’s also dirty for a different reason: In baseball, the defensive coaches are not on the field to counteract the deception, so the base coach’s advice goes unchallenged.

Fortunately, in the baseball game, the pitcher figured out what was going on and tossed the ball to the catcher and the baserunner retreated to third.

Corry Cropper said...

Well said, Jeremy. The kids need to learn the game, not to be cynical about anything adults say.

Sven Wilson said...

We're not seeing a trick play or cheating here. What we're seeing is an adult coach outsmarting a bunch of kids on the opposing team and making them look foolish.

There is a good old-fashioned word for that kind of behavior: unsportsmanlike.