Maryland youth sports program to stop handing out participation trophies

Maryland youth sports program to stop handing out participation trophies
Youth baseball coach (Image: Baltimore Sun video screen grab)

[Ed. – Oh, noes! How will all the little snowflakes on the team know that they’re special?]

For years, Reisterstown Baseball has given trophies to its youngest players — those aged 4 through 8 —for showing up.

But before the current season began, the youth league posted a new message on its website for parents of its youngest two divisions: “There will not be any participation trophies or medals handed out.”

“It’s just going back to the thought that you only get a trophy if you win,” said Andy Paladino, commissioner of the program. “I’m not going to change the world. My thoughts were to go back to the past.”

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Participation trophies — as much a part of youth sports leagues as orange slices and twisted ankles — still provoke a sharp cultural debate over how best to build kids’ self-esteem. Around Maryland and the across the country, soccer, baseball and other programs are grappling with whether to provide the generic awards, given to all players, no matter the team’s record.

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