No one likes lopsided games, but they are going to happen

Tim Martinez: High Schools

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor



The truth is that no one likes lopsided games.

That is because there are no real winners in a lopsided game.

Clearly, being on the losing end of a one-side affair is no fun. And the team on the winning side runs the risk of being cast as a poor sport.

I had one soccer coach call in an 11-0 match last week and groaned, “I hate calling in these type of games.”

And his team won.

“We did everything we could to keep the score respectable,” the coach added. And yet, it was 11-0.

These types of games are not uncommon. There are a couple every week. Often these games are products of a disparity in depth, talent or experience.

Sometimes, it’s just a case of a bad situation that keeps getting worse.

And if that’s the case, there is often not much coaches can do.

It’s really hard to spend all week teaching your players how to play hard, then get to game day and tell them not to play hard.

What do most coaches do when the game gets out of hand? They will send their starters to the bench and put their reserves into the game.

Well, try to tell a player, who has spent most the season on the bench, not to play so hard when he or she finally gets into the game.

I was bench warmer on my high school basketball team. I can remember one time in which I was inserted into the game and the coach told us to pass the ball and kill some clock.

As soon as the ball was passed to me, I put up a shot — and made it. And then I got a glare from my coach.

That’s the object of the game, right? To put the ball in the basket?

So when I saw Prairie beat Fort Vancouver 70-0 in football on Friday, I was not going to hold anything against Prairie coach Terry Hyde.

During Hyde’s tenure at Prairie, the Falcons have been on the wrong end of some lopsided games. Coach Hyde knows what that feels like, and I know he wouldn’t do anything to embarrass an opponent.

(Paul Valencia has more on the Prairie-Fort football game in his Day After Report on The Columbian’s prep sports blog.)

At least in sports like football, baseball or softball, there are mercy rules intended to shorten one-sided games. This year in football, once a team is up by 40 points in the second half, there is a running clock.

But there is no such mercy rule in soccer. A running clock? The clock is always running in soccer.

The onus is on the coach to contain the score. Often, there is not a lot they can do from the sideline.

So if you happen to see a 10-0, 12-0 or 15-0 soccer match this fall, don’t be quick to judge. Because no one likes to see scores like that.

Here is a look at other matchups this week that don’t figure to be blowouts:

VOLLEYBALL: Prairie plays at Camas on Tuesday in a battle for first place in the 3A Greater St. Helens League. Camas enters the week 4-0 in league play, while Prairie is 3-0. Also Tuesday, Castle Rock plays at Ridgefield in a battle of 1A Trico League unbeatens.

GIRLS SOCCER: On Tuesday, Evergreen and Union — tied for second in the 4A GSHL at 2-1-1 — meet for the second time this season. The match is at 7 p.m. at McKenzie Stadium as each team tries to keep pace with first-place Skyview. In the competitive 3A GSHL, just about every match is a big match. But on Thursday, Camas (3-1) plays at Kelso (3-1) as both teams try to keep pace with first-place Prairie.

FOOTBALL: Camas returns to league action on Friday as the Papermakers host Prairie in what figures to be the final big challenge in league for Camas. In October, Camas has league games against Fort Vancouver (0-4), Hudson’s Bay (0-4) and Kelso (1-3). Washougal is off to its first 4-0 start since 2003. Of course in 2003, the Panthers finished the year with six consecutive losses. Washougal would like to avoid that. The Panthers open 2A GSHL play against R.A. Long at home on Friday.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or email