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View Full Version : When is "desire to win" at all costs too far?



ebsoria
05-11-2010, 05:20 PM
:shakeshead:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/highschool/05/11/track.controversy/index.html?eref=sihp

"Remember the story of the college softball player who hit the game-winning homer and blew out her knee as she trotted around first base, but was carried to second, third and home by opposing players -- even though she represented the decisive run in a game that determined the championship?

This is not that story.

This is the story of a high school pole vaulter whose successful leap in the last event won the meet and the league championship for her team -- until an opposing coach pointed out she should be disqualified for breaking a rule, reversing the outcome so that his team captured victory and the league title.

The girl's infraction? Wearing a friendship bracelet.

The debatable moment in sportsmanship occurred April 29 in South Pasadena, Calif., where the visiting girls team from Monrovia High was seeking its first-ever Rio Hondo League title against longtime powerhouse South Pasadena High.

With the teams separated by a few points and only the pole vault remaining, Monrovia needed a second-place finish in the event to secure the victory and obtain the title. Both teams gathered around the pole vault pit, loudly celebrating and agonizing over every clearance and miss. Although South Pasadena's Rachel Ma led at 7-feet-6, two Monrovia girls had cleared 7-feet to give their team the lead.

But South Pasadena's best vaulter, Robin Laird, had not competed yet. Now she stood at the top of the runway, preparing for her first vault of the long day -- an attempt at 7-feet-6 that could win the event, the meet and the league title. The crowd fell silent. A crosswind was blowing. Laird began to sprint down the runway through the gauntlet of spectators, but suddenly stopped; something didn't feel right.

"I was feeling nervous," she would later say, "because the whole league championship was on the line."

Laird walked back to the top of the runway, gained her composure, then took off again. This time everything was in sync. She planted the pole, lifted herself into the air and soared easily over the bar to give her team a 66-61 victory. While half the crowd cheered and the other half groaned, Monrovia coach Mike Knowles reacted by pointing to his wrist and gesturing toward Laird, who was wearing a thin, colorful string bracelet.

"This is my 30th year coaching track," Knowles said a few days later. "I know a lot of rules and regulations."

The rule in this case -- Section 3, Article 3 of the National Federation of State High School Associations -- is clear: "Jewelry shall not be worn by contestants." So is the penalty, and in the time it takes to read "the competitor is disqualified from the event," South Pasadena's win was transformed into a 65-62 victory for Monrovia.

South Pasadena coach P.J. Hernandez was dumbfounded.

"I said, 'Coach [Knowles], you really want it to come down to this?' " Hernandez recalled.

When Laird was informed that she had been disqualified because of her bracelet, she burst into tears.

"It wasn't so much that I had been disqualified, personally," Laird said. "It was that I had just lost the league championship that my coaches and teammates had worked so hard for ... I had just lost it with this little piece of string on my wrist."

When the ruling was announced, Monrovia's athletes and supporters erupted into a reflexive cheer and South Pasadena's reacted with stunned resentment. But people on both sides mostly retreated into schools of thought, pondering issues of sportsmanship vs. gamesmanship, the letter of the law vs. its spirit and what lesson to derive from what had just happened.

Even Monrovia athletic director Randy Bell struggled to process the outcome. "I don't think it was anything people were particularly proud of," he said. "A rule was invoked, and correctly so, but I don't think anybody was excited to win that way."

Knowles, 54, is in his first season at Monrovia, but he has won a lot during a career in which he coached Pasadena's storied Muir High to nine CIF-Southern Section championships, three California state championships and one mythical national championship.

"It's unfortunate, that's all I can say," Knowles said. "It's unfortunate for the young lady. But you've got to teach the kids that rules are rules."

South Pasadena's Hernandez doesn't dispute the technical validity of Knowles' call, Laird's obligation to have followed the rule or even the life lesson to be learned by everyone involved. But Hernandez thinks the scope of this teaching moment ought to be broadened to examine when the teaching could have best taken place.

"Mike Knowles was down by the pole vault pit, kind of waiting and sitting there, keeping an eye on our girl, waiting for her to attempt the vault and then make the call, " said Hernandez. "I am upset that he wanted to win so badly that he would do it that way. We feel sportsmanship is important, too, and that it is in question with him in this situation."

Knowles denied he was lying in wait.

"I didn't notice the bracelet until after she cleared the height and walked by," he insisted. "[I had] a sinking feeling for her. I didn't want to have to do it. But it's a real rule -- it's in the book -- not something I made up. About 10 years ago, I had a girl who wore an earring in the 4x400 relay and it ended up costing us a CIF title. I feel bad for what happened, but I guarantee you she'll never wear jewelry during a track meet again."

Laird, a senior who will be attending -- but probably not pole vaulting -- the University of Southern California next year, says, "I find it hard to believe" that Knowles did not see the friendship bracelet when she took that aborted trip down the runway. "But I don't want to say for sure that he saw it," she said. "It isn't my place to say that."

Laird disgustedly tore the friendship bracelet off her wrist after being disqualified, and she concedes that Knowles is right about her mistakenly wearing one again in competition -- or maybe ever.

"As of right now, I am not wearing one," she said. "Although I do still have a tan line on my wrist. That's my scarlet letter."

ebsoria
05-11-2010, 05:21 PM
Discuss. :coffee:

Southstander
05-11-2010, 05:24 PM
I am sorry, but she broke the rules.

CoryWinget81
05-11-2010, 05:25 PM
Discuss? If I was that girls Dad I'd kick that coach right in his nutsack.

/discussion

Southstander
05-11-2010, 05:29 PM
CW81, if I where that girls dad I would tell her the because she broke the rules she cost her team the victory. I would use this to teach the rules are there for a reason. That just because you do not agree with a rule does not make it ok to not follow it.

CoryWinget81
05-11-2010, 05:30 PM
CW81, if I where that girls dad I would tell her the because she broke the rules she cost her team the victory. I would use this to teach the rules are there for a reason. That just because you do not agree with a rule does not make it ok to not follow it.

Spirit of the law and letter of the law.

There's a difference between following the rules and being an advocate, and being a d-nozzle.


Ahem.

ebsoria
05-11-2010, 05:31 PM
CW81, if I where that girls dad I would tell her the because she broke the rules she cost her team the victory. I would use this to teach the rules are there for a reason. That just because you do not agree with a rule does not make it ok to not follow it.

I see your point. But... I don't think this is an example of blatant disregard of the rules. More like being unaware, which goes back on her coach.

Southstander
05-11-2010, 05:45 PM
I see your point. But... I don't think this is an example of blatant disregard of the rules. More like being unaware, which goes back on her coach.

To me ignorance of the rules is not an excuse. If I get pulled over for speeding and I was not aware that the speed limit I am still getting a ticket. I used to work for the fraud department of Dish Network. When we caught people using there boxes in to separate homes regardless if they where knowledgeable of the rules or not they still lost the use of the boxes located outside of there main home.


What about the other team. How would you have explained to them, that even though another them broke they rule they where still allowed to win? at the begining of your the thread the game where the opposing team carried a player around the bases so she could have a home run. To me, while a sweet story, was wrong. I am so tired of the "soccer mom" mentality in sports. Where even the fat kid who comes in last in the race gets a throphy. (For the record in school I was the kid tha always came in last place and was last to be picked). We should be teaching kids that you play fair, but play to win. Rules are rules. I guarantee you that in the future this will not be an issue.

CoryWinget81
05-11-2010, 05:48 PM
To me ignorance of the rules is not an excuse. If I get pulled over for speeding and I was not aware that the speed limit I am still getting a ticket. I used to work for the fraud department of Dish Network. When we caught people using there boxes in to separate homes regardless if they where knowledgeable of the rules or not they still lost the use of the boxes located outside of there main home.


What about the other team. How would you have explained to them, that even though another them broke they rule they where still allowed to win? at the begining of your the thread the game where the opposing team carried a player around the bases so she could have a home run. To me, while a sweet story, was wrong. I am so tired of the "soccer mom" mentality in sports. Where even the fat kid who comes in last in the race gets a throphy. (For the record in school I was the kid tha always came in last place and was last to be picked). We should be teaching kids that you play fair, but play to win. Rules are rules. I guarantee you that in the future this will not be an issue.


Play fair? This is where letter and spirit of the law fall into place. You know why you don't get a ticket for going 31 in a 30?

What advantage did the girl wearing the bracelet give her?

Letter of the law. Spirit of the law. It's not such a bad thing to have some compassion once in awhile, even if your view on life is askew for more personal reasons.

Atwnbroncfan
05-11-2010, 05:57 PM
Play fair? This is where letter and spirit of the law fall into place. You know why you don't get a ticket for going 31 in a 30?

What advantage did the girl wearing the bracelet give her?

Letter of the law. Spirit of the law. It's not such a bad thing to have some compassion once in awhile, even if your view on life is askew for more personal reasons.

Jewelry isn't allowed, and if it is worn they are disqualified. She wore jewlery she is disqualified. Who evers fault it is the right thing is done.

Are you kidding me? Bending a rule for compassion? When your in the wrong your in the wrong. Tough luck she learned a lesson that if you break even the smallest of rules there can be consequences for those actions.

What about the other team? They followed the rules they didn't wear jewelry. What if this girl was on the losing team? Just because she was the reason they won (and lost) does not put her above the law, just because she was almost a hero does not give her a get out of jail free card.

Southstander
05-11-2010, 05:58 PM
Play fair? This is where letter and spirit of the law fall into place. You know why you don't get a ticket for going 31 in a 30?

What advantage did the girl wearing the bracelet give her?

Letter of the law. Spirit of the law. It's not such a bad thing to have some compassion once in awhile, even if your view on life is askew for more personal reasons.

Believe it or not there are places where if you are going 31 you will get a ticket. My fmr Pastor in a sermon one Sunday was talking about in his travel he was in a state the have signs that said 30 with the word "absolute" underneath and if a cop pulled you over for going 31 you would get a ticket.

To your point of "What advantage did the girl wearing the bracelet give her", it is not about giving her an advantage. The no jewelry rule is most likely about safety.

Her coach is the one at fault here. He did not do his job and make sure that his team followed the rules.



It's not such a bad thing to have some compassion once in awhile, even if your view on life is askew for more personal reasons.

I am a very compassionate person. My heartbreaks for the girl. It is sad that one small thing cost her and her team the victory.

Southstander
05-11-2010, 06:01 PM
Jewelry isn't allowed, and if it is worn they are disqualified. She wore jewlery she is disqualified. Who evers fault it is the right thing is done.

Are you kidding me? Bending a rule for compassion? When your in the wrong your in the wrong. Tough luck she learned a lesson that if you break even the smallest of rules there can be consequences for those actions.

What about the other team? They followed the rules they didn't wear jewelry. What if this girl was on the losing team? Just because she was the reason they won (and lost) does not put her above the law, just because she was almost a hero does not give her a get out of jail free card.

Very well said!:salute: CP to you.

CoryWinget81
05-11-2010, 06:17 PM
Agree to disagree I guess. I won't and don't think I'm wrong though.

Maharishineo
05-11-2010, 07:24 PM
Just food for thought brought to you by a very wise man....


There can be no justice so long as laws are absolute. Life itself is an exercise in exceptions.



:laugh:

CoryWinget81
05-11-2010, 07:27 PM
Just food for thought brought to you by a very wise man....




:laugh:

Exactly. Not everything is black and white.

CoryWinget81
05-11-2010, 08:49 PM
Show of hands:

How many people in here,every time someone attempted to give them a break, turned them down and basically said "No, no. Rules are rules."

Anyone?

Kthx.

Atwnbroncfan
05-11-2010, 08:57 PM
Show of hands:

How many people in here, when someone attempted to give them a break, turned them down and basically said "No, no. Rules are rules."

Anyone?

Kthx.

I would if it were at the expense of others.

That coach had every right to file a complaint or protest or whatever it was. His team followed the rules, the other did not. If it wasn't a big deal to whoever came up with the rules then it wouldn't be a rule.

When you bend one rule your on a slippery slope. The next they will let another rule slide and you keep bending it until you get people who feel they can do and say what they want with no problems. (Weird sounds like the NFL)

Your basically saying that the coach is being an ass whole for being honest and trying to follow the rules. The only one who should feel at wrong was that girl and her coach. They should have know. You shouldn't be rewarded for breaking the rules.

CoryWinget81
05-11-2010, 08:58 PM
I would if it were at the expense of others.

That coach had every right to file a complaint or protest or whatever it was. His team followed the rules, the other did not. If it wasn't a big deal to whoever came up with the rules then it wouldn't be a rule.

When you bend one rule your on a slippery slope. The next they will let another rule slide and you keep bending it until you get people who feel they can do and say what they want with no problems. (Weird sounds like the NFL)

Your basically saying that the coach is being an ass whole for being honest and trying to follow the rules. The only one who should feel at wrong was that girl and her coach. They should have know. You shouldn't be rewarded for breaking the rules.

OMG, get off the cross man. :rolleyes:

Brancos
05-11-2010, 09:03 PM
The rule in this case -- Section 3, Article 3 of the National Federation of State High School Associations -- is clear: "Jewelry shall not be worn by contestants." So is the penalty, and in the time it takes to read "the competitor is disqualified from the event," South Pasadena's win was transformed into a 65-62 victory for Monrovia.

A piece of string is not jewelry.


Main Entry: jew·el·ry
Pronunciation: \ˈjü-əl-rē, ˈjül-rē, ˈju̇l-; ÷ˈjü-lə-rē\
Function: noun
Date: 14th century

: jewels; especially : objects of precious metal often set with gems and worn for personal adornment

GridironChamp
05-11-2010, 09:03 PM
I would if it were at the expense of others.

That coach had every right to file a complaint or protest or whatever it was. His team followed the rules, the other did not. If it wasn't a big deal to whoever came up with the rules then it wouldn't be a rule.

When you bend one rule your on a slippery slope. The next they will let another rule slide and you keep bending it until you get people who feel they can do and say what they want with no problems. (Weird sounds like the NFL)

Your basically saying that the coach is being an ass whole for being honest and trying to follow the rules. The only one who should feel at wrong was that girl and her coach. They should have know. You shouldn't be rewarded for breaking the rules.

A girl wore a bracelet... Just think about that for like 5 minutes. That is what the
issue is here, a girl wore a bracelet.

GridironChamp
05-11-2010, 09:04 PM
A piece of string is not jewelry.

I thought about that as well, but in todays day in age I think strings and those
kinda things might be considered jewelry.

Southstander
05-11-2010, 09:05 PM
Show of hands:

How many people in here,every time someone attempted to give them a break, turned them down and basically said "No, no. Rules are rules."

Anyone?

Kthx.

Golfers call penalties on themselves all the time.

~~~
Me personaly have gone back to a fastfood join when I was given to much change.

Atwnbroncfan
05-11-2010, 09:09 PM
A girl wore a bracelet... Just think about that for like 5 minutes. That is what the
issue is here, a girl wore a bracelet.

I agree the rule is stupid, and its unfortunate. But its what the rules is, the rule will probably be changed.

But for this case they did what was right. The rule is no jewlery, yea coached sounded like he acted a bit smug the way he brought it up. But everyone needs to be held to the same standard.

CoryWinget81
05-11-2010, 09:09 PM
Golfers call penalties on themselves all the time.

~~~
Me personaly have gone back to a fastfood join when I was given to much change.

:rolleyes:

OK. You win.


:rolleyes:

Snapping Turtle
05-11-2010, 09:11 PM
This is so ridiculous. It sounds to me like the coach was bitter he lost. Plain and simple. I don't care if it was against the rules, in my eyes it is petty to have called the girl out.

I played softball for years, and before each game the umpire would come and look at each girl and check that we weren't wearing rule-breaking jewelry. They did this for our safety for the most part, there really is no advantage to wearing earrings or not wearing them etc. I don't see how a piece of string could have helped her win or lose.

It isn't like she was using steroids or something.

CoryWinget81
05-11-2010, 09:13 PM
This is so ridiculous. It sounds to me like the coach was bitter he lost. Plain and simple. I don't care if it was against the rules, in my eyes it is petty to have called the girl out.

I played softball for years, and before each game the umpire would come and look at each girl and check that we weren't wearing rule-breaking jewelry. They did this for our safety for the most part, there really is no advantage to wearing earrings or not wearing them etc. I don't see how a piece of string could have helped her win or lose.

It isn't like she was using steroids or something.

Come ON Snap! Rules are RULES! Everything is black and white! There is ZERO room for interpretation! /sarcasm
:speech:

Brancos
05-11-2010, 09:13 PM
I thought about that as well, but in todays day in age I think strings and those
kinda things might be considered jewelry.


n.
Ornaments, such as bracelets, necklaces, or rings, made of precious metals set with gems or imitation gems.

http://www.answers.com/topic/jewelry


Collectively, personal ornamentation such as rings, necklaces, brooches and bracelets, made of precious metals and sometimes set with gemstones.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/jewellery

Brancos
05-11-2010, 09:14 PM
Golfers call penalties on themselves all the time.

~~~
Me personaly have gone back to a fastfood join when I was given to much change.

That is why Golf is boring. :go:

That's not really a rule as much as it is the better thing to do.

Snapping Turtle
05-11-2010, 09:17 PM
Come ON Snap! Rules are RULES! Everything is black and white! There is ZERO room for interpretation! /sarcasm
:speech:

:laugh:

Honestly, I am usually a stickler for rules. I personally try my best to not break them. I like rules and I like order. But I do not like nannying, as my Dad would call it, meaning making stupid petty rules that make absolutely no sense about things that should be personal decisions.

Yo.

Brancos
05-11-2010, 09:17 PM
I agree the rule is stupid, and its unfortunate. But its what the rules is, the rule will probably be changed.

But for this case they did what was right. The rule is no jewlery, yea coached sounded like he acted a bit smug the way he brought it up. But everyone needs to be held to the same standard.

A contest is a display of skill not a display of how well someone knows the rules.

CoryWinget81
05-11-2010, 09:20 PM
A contest is a display of skill not a display of how well someone knows the rules.

And Brancos just earned his first CP from me. :salute!:

Brancos
05-11-2010, 09:22 PM
And Brancos just earned his first CP from me. :salute!:

Thank you. :go:

Spice 1
05-12-2010, 11:03 AM
Although this is a classic case of socially unlawful enforcement of the law, the responsibility falls on the girls coach. It is his place to understand the rules, police his team, and put them in a position to succeed.

ursamajor
05-12-2010, 02:56 PM
It is a hollow win, as it was a trophy that wasn't earned. They were the inferior team, and gave an inferior performance. Kinda like a boxing match were a fighter is getting the crud beat out of him, but he wins because the Ref disqualified the other fighter because his trainer stepped onto the apron to early in anticipation of the bell.

"Yeah, my face looks like hamburger meat-and they other guy looks like he just woke up-but I won!" Not really-the other guy just lost, and you just happened to be standing there.

Kno-Sean
05-12-2010, 03:44 PM
I for one think this is a joke, this is high school right? I am almost willing to bet you that there is a person on both teams who are breaking the rules some how some way, and it's more than likely that someone else had a friendship bracelet or a "livestrong" bracelet on their wrist.

Does anyone hear think that the coach of the other team would have said anything about the rule if the girl hadn't completed her vault and her team lost anyway?

broncsfan21
05-12-2010, 04:33 PM
Tough topic

In the world of sports, typically it is good for coaches to enforce the rules when coaching kids teams. However, this girl is a high school senior, and while I don't consider someone at that age to be mature, it is an age where we are considered adults, tried as adults, and expected to behave as such. So along that train of thought, coach Knowles excuse that "she needs to learn to follow rules," doesn't really fly with me.

The rule itself is silly, i would consider the jewelry more of a hindrance than help, so if anything the girl could have hurt her chances of clearing that height. Her own coach should have checked the girls for any infractions before the event even took place.

As far as the rules that we as people have to follow based on government jurisdiction, well it depends on what it is, and whether it is just. I'll just leave off with, if America's forefathers followed the rules, we would still be drinking tea every day and call trucks lorries. Just sayin...

Spice 1
05-13-2010, 10:12 AM
Tough topic

In the world of sports, typically it is good for coaches to enforce the rules when coaching kids teams. However, this girl is a high school senior, and while I don't consider someone at that age to be mature, it is an age where we are considered adults, tried as adults, and expected to behave as such. So along that train of thought, coach Knowles excuse that "she needs to learn to follow rules," doesn't really fly with me.

The rule itself is silly, i would consider the jewelry more of a hindrance than help, so if anything the girl could have hurt her chances of clearing that height. Her own coach should have checked the girls for any infractions before the event even took place.

As far as the rules that we as people have to follow based on government jurisdiction, well it depends on what it is, and whether it is just. I'll just leave off with, if America's forefathers followed the rules, we would still be drinking tea every day and call trucks lorries. Just sayin...

Good point at the end there. In the case of unjust law, or the unjust application of the law, perhaps Dr. King said it best:

"An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law." Martin Luther King, Jr.

He was a big Aristotle fan. One of the things that made him great.

broncsfan21
05-13-2010, 04:45 PM
Good point at the end there. In the case of unjust law, or the unjust application of the law, perhaps Dr. King said it best:

"An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law." Martin Luther King, Jr.

He was a big Aristotle fan. One of the things that made him great.

Agreed, thats one of my favorite Dr. King quotes.