There are lots of things to worry about being penalized for in football but, scoring??

A new youth football rule in (where else?) California has parents riled up and coaches afraid!  The new rule is a modification of the "mercy rule".  A rule which basically says (it varys from state to state) if a team is up by a certain number of points (usually around 35 or so) they quit trying to score more.

In California though, they have now modified the mercy rule to "only in Cali" proportions. Now, teams winning by 35 points or better can be fined $200 and their coaches can be suspended from all league related activities for two weeks!!   (Teams foolish enough to win decisive victorys had previously been issued a warning and required to write out what they did to keep the score low.)

Now some kids aren't even being allowed to play because they're to good or because they inflate scores.  One school for example has abandoned field goals.  (Their kicker is only allowed to kick the extra point.  How is this kid going to get good enough to go to the next level if he isn't allowed to play??)  Other schools are afraid to score first (or to early) in the game.  (Had this past Monday Night Football game been in Cali instead of Denver, I guess The Raiders would be home sulking and threatening to quit while The Broncos would be holding car washes to raise their fine money!)

Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images

NCFYFL Deputy Commissioner Robert Rochin says the rule is "a pro-active attempt to keep more kids interested in the sport while teaching others how to be good sports."

He added:

"We lose a lot of football players because their teams lose so badly." "If they are constantly getting beat, who wants to play anymore? We lose kids all season long because of that.

"It's not hurting the kids, it's teaching them compassion for the other team. It's teaching them sportsmanship."

If you're constantly getting beat by upwards of 35 points, maybe football isn't your thing. Seriously; what's worse for a kids self esteem? Getting beaten by an insane amount of points or getting beaten by an insane amount of points AND knowing that the other team quit and went home early just so you wouldn't cry?

(The "mercy rule" for me and my friends when I was a kid was whoever on the team wasn't capable of helping to keep the other guys within 35 points got to go home and not be on the team anymore.)

Face it, not everybody is good at everything. Penalizing those who are is just plain stupid.