Rhode Island school pulls out of game citing size of foe's players

Football matchups between private schools can create mismatches based on a variety of factors, but it’s rare that a school uses fear of injury to cancel a game.

That’s exactly what happened Monday, when St. George’s (R.I.) School canceled a game on Friday against fellow Independent School League member Lawrence Academy (Mass.), citing a concern over the disparity in the size of the two schools’ players. St. George’s is the first team to officially pull out of a game against Lawrence Academy (Mass.), one of two programs that has been completely dominant against ISL foes in recent years.

“This is strictly a safety issue,” St. George’s headmaster Eric Peterson told the Boston Globe. “We are trying to keep our kids reasonably safe in a game that can be terribly exciting but has risks.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports, Teens / Youth

13 comments on “Rhode Island school pulls out of game citing size of foe's players

  1. Br. Michael says:

    Good for them!

  2. AnglicanFirst says:

    High school football is supposed to be a contest of motivation, skill, self and team discipline, stamina, aptitude and physical/emotional toughness.

    Its not supposed to be a ‘killing’ field in which thosed culled for their sheer physical size over other teams ‘pound down’ those other teams.

  3. Highplace says:

    I am glad that David did not see Goliath and say “Wow, he’s to big maybe I should forfeit.”
    As a coach of a private school team (and someone who played FB through high school and college), whose line is probably the same size of saint George’s, I would be ashamed to show my face on any field if I ever canceled a game b/c the other team was too big. Getting blown out by 50 and the possibility of injury are a very real part of the game of football…one can learn many things from defeat and failure; and one can always heal from an injury. If your worried about either defeat or injury…then maybe footbal is not for you…I mean come on! Join tiddly winks (boys volleyball) or something non-contact.

  4. montanan says:

    I played football in school (I really loved it) and learned some of the lessons #3 mentions. However, I too say “Good for them!”. Football is a game – it should not be life or death. I disagree with #3 (as a doctor) – one cannot always heal from injuries, at least not completely.

  5. Fradgan says:

    I have reservations about the decision.

    “We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and then bid the geldings to be fruitful.”
    – C. S. Lewis

  6. Br. Michael says:

    Sorry you can do other things than football. My nephew has permanent injuries to his shoulder from high school football. 3, did I mention that those injuries were permanent? I thought I did, but he has permanent injuries and will never have full use of that arm for the rest of his life.

  7. john m says:

    Not much of an athlete myself but the father of a son who lettered in a couple of sports in both highschool and college. I strongly suspect that seniors in highschool, males about 18 years old, who are 300, 335, and 350 pounds are either grossly overweight or using steroids or some other drugs for growth enhancement. Seems that the first thing that the ADs in the conference should do is set up a rigorous and effective drug testing program. If they think that they already have one I suggest that they are are mistaken.

  8. AnglicanFirst says:

    Reply to #3 and #5.

    I, as probably others reading this comment, have served on real “killing fields” and in that situation I wanted my men to be the toughest, most deadly, and most aggressive players on those fields so that they could accomplish their missions and survive. When I returned home and started training people in a peacetime environment, the ‘hardcore’ wisdom and attitudes that I had acquired on those ‘real life’ killing fields sometimes turned some non-combat veterans off. It also motivated most of the others to become as ready as feasible to face the same ‘real life’ environment.

    But, to paraphrase Proverbs somewhat, “there is a time for peace and a tine for war” and a high school playing field should not become similar to a war time ‘killing field.’

    Training and conditioning, including mental and physical conditioning, of men to wage war on a ‘killing field’ should be reserved for those who, by having passed a minimum age ceiling, have become adults. Its not for boys, except when the enemy is at the gates.

  9. Larry Morse says:

    This is nonsense. Size alone does not make a “killing field.” This is a phrase made up by women. This is not profootball special teams. How many teams have you seen wherein size does not equate to skill or competence? Nor is big necessarily bad. But wimpiness is disgraceful if you are a guy, and football is – or used to be a game for guys. Permanent injuries? Sure, my son tore his acl and his knee will never be right again. Would he have given up playing football? Not for a minute. an we have a little courage here please? Is the “no more dodgeball because it is dangerous for kikds” thing REALLY going to control what males are permitted to do? Larry

  10. Jeremy Bonner says:

    As a reluctant rugby player in high school, I’ve found it interesting that, despite being analogous to American football, it never seems to generate as many serious injuries as the latter. And yet Americans tend to regard rugby with alarm because no player wears protective apparatus.

    I wonder if that’s part of the problem. The “armor” of the football player gives him a sense of invulnerability that makes his technique reckless and dependent on brute force rather than a carefully timed tackle (one usually stops a runner by clasping him around the ankles and bringing him to the ground not by running at him head-on). I remember a fair number of bruises but never anyone receiving a serious injury.

  11. AnglicanFirst says:

    Reply to #9.
    It looks like this blog maight start going ‘down hill’ very fast so I will make one last comment.

    When you consider my comments, remember, that I, like many others have served on real “killing fields” leading real adult men in combat. High school students are not adult men.

    I will state the obvious, a high school athletic contest is carried out on a “sports field” and not a “killing field.” When sheer physical size is used in a contest between non-adults, then figuatively and quite possibly in fact, the sports field becomes a killing field in which minors are ecouraged to make it so.

    To carry this logic further. Do you think that a football contest between 7th-8th graders and 11th-12th graders is appropriate? Are the 7th-8th graders wimps for not playing against the 11th-12th graders?

  12. Septuagenarian says:

    #52 in the picture is obviously obese. “300, 335 and 350 pounds”? Those kids are not healthy and headed for major health problems as adults!

  13. Larry Morse says:

    #11, I only considering football, or athletics generally.
    The analogy in your last paragraph is simply false. The issue between 7th and 12th graders is not size but stage of development. This is why freshman in high school have their own teams but freshmen in college play with all the other ages.
    Sheer physical size is not a vital issue where development is more or less equal. I was just watching Nebraska’s quarterback, a true freshmen, eat the lunches of Kansas’ great big linemen. Should we refuse to let him play because those big linemen might massacre him?
    This is patently absurd. Equal sizes are no “protection.” Just watch the heavyweights fight. Football is skill, training, team cohesiveness, coaching. Sure guys get hurt, some badly and permanently. Shall will do the mummy-in-=the-playground thing and make no body contact the rule? In fat, the coach involved has just insulted his payers gratuitously, and I suspect they have rewarded him accordingly.
    Here’s a simple observation: Boys tend to play rough because that’s the way they are. And it is good for them. To be injured on an honorable field is to be injured honorably. The silly rule above is like the co0ntemporar=y school rules that forbids boys to fight – indeed makes fighting a shame, and THAT, #11, is precisely why and how bullies prosper. Larry