Keeping the score when playing team sport is a natural thing to do, but more and more youth leagues are starting to throw the idea of playing without keeping the score.
There are pros and cons of that notion and I'll list them below.
Pros of Keeping the Score:
We play to win and keeping the score is the only way to determine the winner.
Knowing the score makes us play and try harder, therefore helps us improve.
The games are more interesting and more competitive.
Players improve their competitive spirit.
It feels good and it is exciting to score and to win a game.
Cons of Keeping the score:
Kids don't learn the fundamentals of the game because all they think about is to score goals.
Lopsided scores are humiliating for the loosing team and there is no fun playing when you are losing.
Kids loose their self confidence when they play in teams that are always loosing.
Playing itself is a win and we don't need the score to validate that.
Keeping the score makes the games very competitive and players are more likely to be injured.
What to do: Based on my experience playing soccer and basket ball, I have noticed that the games are more fun when we keep the score or at least when we know who is winning. It is the ultimate drive to play harder. Even when we play drop in games , the intensity of the game goes up whenever someone reminds us the score.
For kids under 10, not keeping the score can be a good idea to help them focus on learning to play. Scoreless soccer for kids is already considered in Calgary and you can click here to read this article at CBC to learn more about it.
An alternative of not keeping the score at all for some soccer leagues is to reset it or stop counting the goals when there is more than 10 goals difference.