There is a reason that players shake hands with their opponents after the game.
There is also a reason that we root for the underdog.
There is a reason why an asterisk will appear next to Barry Bond's home run record.
Fairness and sportsmanship are good things.
Team sports is about putting two teams on the field, under equal conditions, playing to the best of their ability and preparation. May the best team win. Teams switch sides at halftime to even out any perceived advantages. Officiating is to be impartial. We sprinkle our vernacular with terms like "level playing field" and "leave it all out there" and "that's why they play the game". We rightly glorify teams or individuals that work hard, overcome great odds, and earn a win or a championship (c.f. "Miracle" and "The Greatest Game Ever Played") We may not like all of the rules, but we play by them because...well, there are rules.
When the final whistle blows, teams should feel that they played as hard as they could within the rules and should properly appreciate that the other team did the same. Emotions are left on the field and, win or lose, teams respectfully thank each other for having had the opportunity to play and thank the ref for doing their best. Win and lose gracefully.
As parents, coaches, and managers, we are trying to teach this to our children.
I am writing this because I recently heard a story the coach of one team contacting another team to ask if they would forfeit a game because the higher placed team needed the points to move up a division.
Perhaps there is side to the story that I am missing but...forfeit?!
First, if I found out that my daughter's coach was asking other teams to forfeit or was in any other way trying to influence results of games other than by letting the kids play, I would immediately start looking for another team.
Second, if the coach of my daughter's team accepted any request by another team to forfeit, I would immediately start looking for another team.
The message this sends to players of both teams is appalling. The kids on both teams signed up to play soccer and not to make backroom deals for points. Both teams have practiced all summer and worked hard to the play the games.
Stand strong and do the right thing. Let the kids play. They'll win or they'll lose but at least the players decide the outcome.
Have a nice day.