Claim: A Canadian youth soccer league has eliminated the use of a ball from all games and practices.
Example: [CBC, September 2013]
According to Association spokesperson, Helen Dabney-Coyle, "By removing the ball, it's absolutely impossible to say 'this team won' and 'this team lost' or 'this child is better at soccer than that child.'"
"We want our children to grow up learning that sport is not about competition, rather it's about using your imagination. If you imagine you're good at soccer, then, you are."
Origins: In September 2013, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) "This Is That" radio program aired a segment on an Ontario youth soccer league that was eschewing the use of a soccer ball in all games and practices to eliminate any sense of winning and losing sides, and any sense that one child was a more skilled soccer player than another. Instead, children would substitute their imaginations for the actual use of a ball and claim whatever outcomes they desired. "If you imagine you're good at soccer, then, you are," a league spokesman was quoted as saying.
By the following day links and excerpts referencing that radio segement were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered the item mistaking it for a genuine news item and responding with expressions of outrage:
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Last updated: 24 June 2014