Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Nanny State Come to The Atomic City

Soccer Player.jpg

Soccer is verboten at my kid's school...

Sometimes the stupidity of adults never cease to amaze the Bobblehead...

My younger daughter is no longer playing soccer at her elementary school. No one is. Why? Because the kids actually enjoyed playing and had no real rules. Uh in the Nannies.

A few weeks ago my Mrs. Bobblehead approached me and said our younger daughter, El, wanted to play soccer over the summer. El never was a "joiner" and often grew tired and quit things after she starts so I was a little skeptical. Besides, Little League Soccer (or whatever it is called) had already gone through its sign up period. It was still cold old and there were still a few rouge patches of snow on the ground.

El is actually pretty athletic, but she is a girly-girl. All previous attempts to get her into any type of sport failed utterly. Why soccer and why now?

As it turns out, because there were no adults involved. A few of the kids who did play soccer brought their balls to school and started rounding up others to play during recess. They encouraged others on the sidelines to play as well. Few real rules because only the soccer kids knew them. El was thrilled. She came home one day all squealing and excited. She scored a goal. The next day she scored another, by accident as the ball bounced off from between her shoulders. She was having a blast.

It sounds like others were, too. El started to tell me of how she and others playing had convinced those shy and hesitant on the sidelines to start playing as well. Pretty soon plenty of kids were running, kicking, bumping, laughing, and having a blast.

That is when things turned ugly...

As normally happens, kids running around kicking a ball sometimes get kicked. Others sometimes fall down. Kids started to get sent to the nurse. A few bruises, a few scraped knees.

Clearly this was an epidemic and had to stop. The teachers quickly moved in. They formed standard "teams" so that too many kids were not playing at any one time. The kids stood in a line and counted off 1, 2,3, 4. On Mondays teams 1 and 2 played, on Tuesdays teams 3 and 4. No exceptions.

No yelling. No hard kicking. No fun.

El was crushed. She came home all sulky. I asked her what was wrong. She wanted to play today but it was not her "soccer day." Also, her friend that got her playing in the first place was only allowed to play on a different "soccer day." I guess there are no trades.

The kids just stopped playing. It stopped being fun. Here they were, running, laughing, socializing, fixing their own problems, encouraging participation from others, sharing, healthily competing, being kids!

Mrs. Bobblehead is furious. She wants to go down to the school and let them have it with both barrels. I told her that is fine with me. Make the appointment and I will be there. Nothing yet.

I went by the school the other day during recess. Kids were out in the playground. Some were eating lunch, others were walking around.

None were playing soccer.