In January, California’s San Bernardino Arroyo Valley High School basketball team held a 159-point lead over Bloomington High. In the same month, the girls basketball team at Holy Redeemer High School in Pennsylvania beat MMI Prep 125-13. Larry Atkins, professor of journalism, takes issue with these blowout scores in his Feb. 2 Huffington Post story, “No More 161-2 Basketball Scores. High School Sports Should Have Mercy Rules.”
Running up the score can have different effects on members of the losing team for young players. Some might feel totally embarrassed and dejected and decide to quit the team or the sport altogether. Others might see it as a learning experience and as motivation to make themselves better players.