August in Western Springs and Lyons Township means something new and different this year: the first practices of the , which is bringing pre-high school Village football players something that they have never before had: scorekeeping.
To be perfectly clear, the board of the LFC say they have no interest in supplanting the Western Springs Junior Football Association, pointing out that moving the most competitive players into their program will allow second-stringers more playing time in the WSJFA. And it's hard to argue that, the more leagues, the better; the two can certainly coexist.
But it's an interesting question: should youth football keep score? It's such a tradition in Western Springs that they don't that the football field (, incidentally) doesn't even have a scoreboard of any sort. Meanwhile, baseball players of the same age are in hard-fought battles for .
Not keeping score is one of the ways in which the WSJFA ensures no resentment for its enjoyable-play policies, like mandating half-game time for all players and not having any tryouts. And as has been said, the boys tend to know about what the score is, anyway.
But having been an ardent (if thoroughly mediocre) Little Leaguer as a kid, I know there's a tremendous excitement to a bright shiny scoreboard, let alone to lighting it up with a run or a touchdown. And then again, I also well know the crushing, tear-jerking pain when the opponents number quadruples yours at the end of the day (at least for baseball; I never played football), or the harshness of being left on the bench because the game is too tight for my weak butt to be in there.
What do you think of keeping or not keeping score for players not yet in high school? Please vote below and tell us in the comments!