T Nation

Running Up a Score...

Hi, I was just wondering what people think of teams running up scores. I am debating this at work and everyone seems to disagree with me.

Not too long ago Team Canada womens hockey beat italy 16-0. I personally believe that teams should not run up scores, but people at my work believe its ok. I dont know but having played sports I would never do it nor would I hope any team would do it against me, I just think it is poor sportsmanship.

At 8-0 you are already sure to win, all you have to do is take it easy and play defensively. What does everyone else think?


I'm all for running up the score. Especially if the team winning is putting in 2nd, 3rd and 4th stringers in the game. If the opponent can't stop them, that's their problem.

You play a full 60 minutes (or however many periods, innings, etc.) in a game. I don't believe in laying down for the other team or playing conservative.


I agree. I think once you got the reserves in,if the other team can't stop them then ohh well.

Now I'm not saying that if your up 54-0 you toss a long bomb down field but if your trying to run out the clock on your 3rd string RB breaks a long run,what do you expect him to do? Step out of bounds?


If it's regular season, ease up maybe a little. If it's a playoff or tournament situation though then you need keep it going so as to not practice bad habits and laziness.


In little league and maybe high school no it's not cool, that's just a good way to break a kid's spirit, but in college, or the pros...go ahead! These guys (or girls) are suppose to be the best and if they can't stop someone then by all means keep scoring.

A second point is that sports are a business, you wouldn't take it easy on you competition if they moved into your territory, so why should teams take it easy on each other. The point is to pinpoint a weakness, exploit it, and then to establish dominace. I'm all for running up the score.


I agree with Nate Dogg. You put in the scubs, and let them play their best. It's insulting to hold back. If I'm getting my ass kicked, I want the other team to do their best, not treat me like a child.


Spoken like a true Steve Spurrier fan. But yeah, if you're getting your ass kicked, you have no one to blame but yourself.


I agree. I think when you keep your starters in late and keep throwing bombs it shows no class, but if your backups are doing the scoring that is OK.

I have been on both sides of these beatings. It is better to give than receive but a team can learn a lot from taking a beating.

There is something beautiful about still hustling and making tackles even when you are getting blown out.


Yeah, I'm a Red Sox fan, and I remember a game a few years back when they scored 14 runs in the first inning against the Marlins. They went on to score some more throughout the game and the Marlins manager (Jack McKeon) made some comments after the game suggesting that the Sox shouldn't have sent runners in some sac fly situations.

In my opinion, in the big leagues (or olympic competition), you have to keep playing the game the way it was meant to be played. First of all, no lead is ever safe, theoretically speaking (and in Fenway, a 14 run lead is by no means insurmountable), and secondly, fans are paying to see the players play hard and with passion.

That being said, I think when it comes to youth leagues, the whole point of the game is not just winning or losing, but also about sportsmanship, character building, etc. But that's what the mercy rule is for.


I don't think you are doing anyone any favours by not running up a score, except in the little leagues. In little leagues, it's about playing the game and learning some team spirit. But in the grown up leagues, you must crush them like bugs.


Break their spirits. This is pro sports, where millions of dollars are made, not a fucking tea party.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


I believe in the Olympics ice hockey games, if it comes down to a tie between 2 teams going to the next round then the tiebreaker is goals for.


My questions is, what the hell else were they supposed to do?

Should they just hold on to the puck, not shoot, and skate circles around the other players?

Perhaps they should sit back, lean against the boards, and let the other team fire at will at their goalie.

Or should they just play quarter-assed for the entire game?

To me, each of these options seem to demean the other team far more than running up the score.

As other's have pointed out, this ain't the little leagues. Play hard and strong until the whistle.

I wonder if you could tie this thread into the one about the American Snowboarder who fell... It'd be interesting to correlate opinions on both threads, see what matches up.

(And yes, in Olympic ice hockey [y'know, I shouldn'y have to qualify that with "ice", but that's another story], "points for" are critical in a tie-breaker situation)



I think the guy who said the game needs to be played like it was meant to be played is right.

And keep in mind that in some tournaments/ranking systems, the score factors in, not just wins/losses...so a higher score by the winning team could mean that later on they have a more solid position in the rankings.


I think letting up at any stage is a completely dishonourable thing to do. I would rather lose 100-0 than 50-0 and know that the other team/person stopped trying.

That would be the biggest insult of all.