Why Rules Are Important For Everyone – Even You

CYSA has rules.

Isn’t that horrible? Doesn’t that restrict and impede progress? Why can’t I do whatever I want?

I find it amazing that there are actually people in youth soccer that pose these questions in a country founded on the fundamental principle of a government of laws and not men. These are often the same people who complain the loudest when they discover through hard experience what they never in their wildest dreams imagined could ever happen — they turn out not to be the "winners" in no-holds-barred, cutthroat competition.

Law performs a number of valuable — in fact, irreplaceable — functions. It protects by, among other things, ensuring the existence of a "level playing field." How many people do you know who have openly said they are against there being a level playing field? None, right? Unfortunately, however, I am sadly confident that if you watch what is actually being done, you will find quite a few people in youth soccer who are in reality very much against level playing fields.

For example, every year we have to deal with people at all levels of competition trying to win by misclassifying their teams, attempting to load the teams with "ringers," or otherwise circumventing the rules that ensure a level playing field. Yes, the laws that protect youth players from being so treated and that embody the values of using the sport for the benefit of children do get in the way, and they get in the way of some big-time. But then again, that is one of the aspects of law that make it so valuable.

The answer then to the questions posed are:

  1. yes, CYSA has rules and they are there to protect you and, more importantly, your children;
  2. not only are they not horrible, they are extremely valuable;
  3. they do not impede progress, they enable meaningful progress that serves and preserves the most important values to occur; and
  4. you cannot do whatever you want because there are others to be served and interests beyond your own.

Ultimately, even your interest is served by everyone not just doing whatever they want.

As Will Durant so poignantly observed, "In my youth I stressed freedom, and in my old age I stress order. I have made the great discovery that liberty is a product of order."