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I coach 13 & 14 year-olds in a community soccer league. Many of the more skilled players also play for clubs, but they enjoy the community soccer league because they can play with the friends they've grown up playing with.

As a coach, sportsmanship & respect for self, teammate, coach, ref, opponent and parents is paramount.

This evening we lost 2-0 to a team that was very dominant and in our end most of the time. We had hardly any shots on net but were able to keep them to two goals. It was a clean game. In the final few minutes of the game, the goalie of the winning team ran up the field to play in front of our net, trying to score. He stayed up there for the remainder of the match.

After the match and shaking hands, I approached the coach of the other team and commended his skilled players and their clean play. I also said that I thought that the goalie joining the forward line at the end of the match was disrespectful and unsportsmanlike to a team that they were beating and thoroughly dominating.

The other coach was very surprised and said that they always do this because the goalie gets bored. Whereby I showed him my surprise and reiterated that nevertheless it was disrespectful and unsportsmanlike.

I can understand moving the goalie up forward if you are losing and need to score. But moving the goalie forward when you are dominating because the goalie is bored is uncalled for and is counter to sportsmanship.

Am I wrong? What do you think?

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Yes, it is disrespectful. They're mocking their opponents with actions like these. It's basically saying "We're so awesome we don't even need a goalie against you".

There are better ways to prevent them from being bored every week. For example rotation:
Just let them play on a different position. This has cool side effects as well, such as:

  • They learn about new positions and what their team mates actually do there. This helps understanding their team mates even better.
  • You may find hidden skills you haven't found before, because they hardly had the chance to show them... quite a few players change their positions in that age
    • maybe your goalie is a good scorer
    • your defender might be a great goalie
    • etc
  • Most importantly, they have fun playing something different. After all, they're all kids and it's important for them to enjoy the game.
  • And you don't need to be the uber team on the league to do that. Every team can do it.

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