There is no definitive right and wrong here; what to do in these situations is very situational. You can't make a blanket statement about what players want in all situations. Players are part of a team and community and many care a lot about more than just themselves. Playing a lesser team gives you the opportunity to mix up lines and work on things you normally wouldn't be able to.4on5again wrote:SCblueliner's comment is right, and players shouldn't feel guilty for working hard. We've all played against dogs in our schedules and need to know how to handle it. Just hold down the celly and be respectful when you route that team. At the same time, when a player scores while playing a giant, let them celebrate. Its better than taking runs at your superstar. Maybe the coach is part of this?SCBlueLiner wrote:I remember when I was a senior we were scheduled to play this awful team that we knew we would beat by 10+ goals. Coach came to 3 of us seniors and asked if it would be ok if he healthy scratched us that night so that the younger players on the team would get more PT and the game would be closer. We flat out said no, that's not alright. We worked in practice every day just like everyone else, we played through the ranks of youth hockey for the last 12 years, we were on the back half of the season and we only had about a dozen games left in our high school careers. We wanted to play. Just because the other team sucked, that's not our fault. We ended up playing, and we destroyed the other team, and it was fun. Meaningless, we knew that, but fun.
Point is, players want to play. You can't expect the top players from Luverne, or any other school, to have to sit out entire periods of games just so the score doesn't get embarassing. My advise to the other team, parents of players of the other team, supporters of the other team, supporters of other schools in the conference or district, you just need to get better.
My advice to teams like Luverne, there are games you are locked into that you cannot avoid, I get that. The part of your schedule that is not locked in, start up the bus and hit the road from some better competition. If the school budget can't handle it, time for the boosters to step up. Don't put your players in a position where they have to feel bad about playing hard and doing their best, or even playing the game at all.
Nobody gets better in blowouts like these, and if this is a year after year thing, they might consider independent. What do they do at Duluth East?
This topic gets brought up every year with no real solution. Try to avoid these games as much as possible and do what's best for your team when playing in them.