100 to zip.

That was the score of a recent prep basketball game between the girls’ teams of The Covenant School and Dallas Academy in Texas.

At halftime the The Covenant led 59-0 and counting. No one stopped the game. No one pled for mercy. Apparently, there is no mercy rule in Texas basketball.

Dallas Academy is a small school with only 20 girls of which eight are on the team.

The school prides itself in teaching students with learning differences like dyslexia or ADHD.

The Covenant is a private Christian Academy that plays to win at all costs at least that’s what it happend earlier this month.

During the second half, the victors continued to shoot from behind the three-point line and even put on a press defense to steal the ball over and over again which was followed by a layup — so they could reach 100.

Several years ago, my oldest stepson signed up for YMCA basketball. Since my wife had a conflict in schedule I took him to the organizing meeting. With two single mothers and a set of grandparents sitting around the team’s table we listened to how the team had no coach and we should choose among ourselves who would take on such a task.

All eyes turned to me, so I assented to becoming coach of the 9- and 10-year old team.

As a 4 ft. 9 in. Junior High kid, the smallest on my team, I enjoyed warming the bench, only getting to play when we were way behind or several people got into foul trouble.

I remember the anguish of losing as a player and it’s not something you ever forget.

As a YMCA coach your goal is make sure everyone gets to play and make every effort to teach the young boys the fundamentals of the game. In a sense there are no losers, but there are when the buzzer sounds and the teams leave the court.

During one game, our team was a player down because of the holidays, so we played with only four players. Midway into the second quarter it was obvious we were done. At halftime, the coach of the other team offered to let one or two of his team play for us. It made it more fair and took some of the sting out of the loss.

When I read about the 100 to zip game in Dallas, I got a sick feeling in my stomach. It is no fun to lose. Upon reflection, I believe The Covenant team has found there was no joy in winning either. After the national spotlight shined on this game The Covenant team offered to forfeit the game and apologized. It is the right thing to do.

I am all for competitive sports and realize at sometimes there are blowouts, but maybe these teams will learn something more about sportsmanship and honor as a result of this lopsided game.

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