Tip #1 - Lopsided Scores

Coaches, for the sake of the kids on both teams, let’s all commit to eliminating games with lopsided scores!!

An important goal of the SAM Rec and Select leagues is to avoid games with lopsided scores. Although SAM management works hard to build divisions with competitive parity, it’s unavoidable that sometimes a very strong team will play a significantly weaker one. The result can easily end up lopsided if certain measures aren’t taken by the coaches. Neither team benefits when the score gets out of hand. Players on the winning team are not appropriately challenged and players on the losing team are frustrated and sometimes humiliated.

To avoid lopsided scores and to ensure that every player enjoys the game, win or lose, we ask that our coaches be mindful of a few things to help make that happen.

Before the match, talk to the opposing coach and have a strategy in place in the event the score starts getting out of hand. Modifications made during the game might include:

  1. The stronger team must connect a given number of passes prior to being able to take a shot
  2. The stronger team must play the ball back before going forward
  3. The stronger team plays weaker players up front and stronger players in the back
  4. Both coaches agree upon a forfeit result and sharing players for the remaining time in a friendly match

Here is a good article on other ways to manage a lopsided game:



NOTE: If you are the stronger team, don’t assume that using one of these modifications is what the losing coach necessarily wants. He or she might tell you that the modification might be more embarrassing for the players than playing the game normally. This is why it’s important to discuss prior to the match.

Finally, the following is excerpted from the SAM Rec program rules. Although a similar rule does not exist for SAM Select, we hope that all Select coaches understand and support its spirit.

Lopsided Rule

When a team reaches a five goal (5) lead the opposing team will be allowed to add another player.

We ask that all SAM coaches recognize the importance of fostering every player’s enjoyment of the game and self-esteem. Avoiding lopsided scores is one of many ways that we can accomplish this!

The SAM Team