It’s been something that we’ve discussed as the years have gone on in our league, but I think it’s time we bring it back up; and that is having a mercy rule in our games. At one point I was against it… but now I think it’s time we adapt some form of mercy rule.
When the league first started out, all of the teams were pretty much in the same boat in that they had only been around four a couple of years. Even the teams that had their clubs established were still getting used to the thought of playing competitively. The only time games were really lopsided was when someone played Oakland. So a mercy rule would have rarely been used anyways.
Now, however I think that we are at a point that it should be implemented. There are teams that are taking part in their fifth season in our league while others are just hoping to survive through their first season. Other than at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup this past weekend, there have been more blowouts than close games.
Why do I think a mercy rule should take place? Take a look at Henry Ford’s game against Saginaw Valley last semester. The score was at least 14-0 (I think it was 16.) Did it effect HFCC to get beat that bad? I can’t say for sure that it did, but let’s look at a few things. Last semester their club was only a few weeks old and they were able to take 14 players and a coach to Saginaw to play us. Now, they have been canceling games and not able to go to a big tournament. Is it just coincidence that they can’t find players now?
Plus, it sets up the danger of teams trying to top one another to set a record. Now that teams know we beat a team 16-0, if someone is beating a team 11-0, they are going to keep playing full throttle until they get 17.
So, the solution? My idea would be that once a team gets up on another team by 10 or more points the score freezes. The game keeps going on, but when a team wins a point it is not added. It’s simple, and it doesn’t make a big deal out of the score like completely stopping a game would.
There may be other options out there… but this would be effective, and most importantly simple.