Beek's Blog: Pondering the lessons in a 60-0 basketball game

Posted by Brian VanderBeek on January 28, 2014 

Send me your thoughts on what you would have done as a player or coach

— I was covering a high school boys’ basketball game last week, sitting next to a public address announcer who was keeping the fans up-to-date on the girls’ game, which was being played in a different city.

“Here’s a final from the junior varsity girls’ game,” he said, only then pausing to glance at the score someone had scribbled on a sheet of paper. “Uh, our girls won.”

He flashed the paper toward me and I understood why he didn’t announce the final score.

It was 60-0.

I texted Joe Cortez back at the office with that information, and he asked if I had left-out a digit in the losing score. “Nope,” I texted back.

A few nights later, the sports writing staff was together in the office after each of us had staffed events – something that happens very rarely anymore – and I brought up the score.

I’m purposely avoiding giving the names of the schools involved, and I’m not going to say which of us came down on any side of this discussion as to not cloud the topic with any preconceptions or allegiances toward any of the programs or individuals.

So here’s the gist of our newsroom debate.

One side thought that it would have been appropriate for the winning team to step aside and let the other team score at least one basket to avoid the complete demoralization of the losing team.

The other side said that allowing the other team to score would achieve nothing and actually could be even more demoralizing to the losing team, which would know it scored only because it was allowed to do so.

Now it’s your turn.

Think about both sides of this situation, as a player, a coach, a fan or parent.

Yes or no, and please elaborate: If you were part of the winning team, would you be in favor of stepping aside and letting the other team score?

If you continue to scroll down, you’ll find a spot where you can offer your opinion via Facebook. You also can drop me a line at, but please don’t be anonymous. I’ll put the best responses in an upcoming blog, and if you wish your response to be anonymous at that time, it’s not a problem.

Also, in a later blog I’ll tell you which side I took in the discussion, and the personal experience that makes me lean that way.

I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts.


Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service