When Your Recreational Sports League Turns Competitive


Boxing Knock outWhen signing up for a sports league, any time of the year, you are usually aware of what you signed up for. That being either being recreational or competitive. Those who sign up for recreational are there to have fun. They don’t care who really wins as long as they have a good time. For those who like the challenge and drive to win. Maybe a competitive league is more for you. These leagues are for people who are not there just to have fun. Fun is winning and working hard for it. That’s what drives you. Its rare, but there are times were you join a recreational league and there is a group of people who decide to make it more competitive.

I’ve witness such a phenomenon occur in a recreational baseball league. Mostly, I should say was always classified as a beer league. However when they decided to expand and add more teams, the team I was part of came in with a competitive attitude. We just didn’t want to have fun, even if we lost. Winning and having a good challenge is what we wanted.

At least that’s what majority of us felt.

Tennis Match

Because of a few competitive teams joining the league, such as ours, it’s was longer recreational. As a result the weaker teams were getting decimated. 30- 6, 15-3. When a weaker team are getting beat badly, what are the best routes to take so that your team doesn’t look like a bully? You don’t want to look like one, but you really don’t have a lot of options.


A: Be a little nicer and give them a little room to score. As a result your team backs off on scoring points on them.


B: Beat them down and score until the game is over. Not giving them any room to breath. – No mercy for the weak?

Number 1 Baseball

Unfortunately, both options are not going to win over the hearts of the opposing team. Regardless, the losing team will feel insulted. They will hate your team because they know in the end you team is a lot better team. At a level they can’t compete with…


This is the only problem with recreational leagues being hijacked by teams who want to win. The weaker teams become “The bottom feeders“. They are also viewed as a waste of time for teams that have more talent.

The people running the league who want to make things a little fair for everyone may implement new rules. This is so that winning teams cannot use certain strategies or tactics against weaker teams.

It’s there to limit their options when attacking or defending. Which I get if a team is exploiting it, but does it really help if the opposing teams are too weak to compete? It may help a team that isn’t to far off. But for weaker teams, probably not. It helps slow down the beat down they may get during a match. But it doesn’t seem to turn the tide for my personal experience.

Is it fair? Not really, but that’s the reality.


4 thoughts on “When Your Recreational Sports League Turns Competitive

  1. timhba

    A solution may be those with skills or not so much to join a Sport & Social Club. They typically have more than one sport and teams are managed by one entity who can help control the balance.

  2. Anonymous

    I’ve been in a rec league where an opposing player threatened to kill one of my teammates. And he looked the part too.

    Bottonline: rec leagues are for people that have no skills but want to say they play sports. People that couldn’t make any sports team in high school, rec leagues offer a chance to live out their fantasies because you join a rec league not tryout for one.

    And for those teams that are competitive but want to play in a rec league…you are cowards.

    • Good point and its very unfair to people who just want ot do rec sports. Leagues should enforce rules so the competative players dont ruin it for others.

      Both rec and competative sports need to be seperated

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