What Type of Score Are You Trying to Make?

The purpose of this post is to discuss the times when, rather than trying to 'score' by doing something good, you are trying to 'score' by forcing your opponent to do something bad.

In football this is about a false start at the line of scrimmage, or pass interference when the only way to stop the offensive player is to illegally hinder them. In soccer this is about beating a player and then getting fouled, because the only way to stop the attacker is to break the rules.  In volleyball this is about:
  • making your opponent play the ball illegally (double or held)
  • forcing your opponent to run in before serve contact to get to the 'setting spot' on time,
  • forcing your opponent to stand in a position that is illegal in order to do the next thing they want to do more effectively
If the officials call any of these examples they are somehow seen as 'cheap' ways to be successful because it is not actually something that the team did well. But this doesn't take into account how HARD it is to force a highly skilled opponent to have to break the rules to be able to compete with you. Not only do you have to be good enough too play, you have to be able to play so well you can manipulate your opponent to doing something they don't want to do.

This is why I struggle with the idea of 'letting the ball fly' or 'letting them play'. You are actually penalising the team who is more skilful and has better tactics.


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