Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ethical question: Did I do the right thing?


Last night was the bocce championship. It was a big deal to our team - we were 6-0 and 1st place in the league. Everyone was jockeying to beat us, and I was the captain.
Our team had four players (one was sick). Their team had two, the bare minimum to play and a strange sight for the finals. The two were: A brawny but smarmy guy with a baseball cap, and a nondescript girl who wasn't wearing a team shirt for some reason.
They were good, very good. This was strange, because they were the LAST PLACE team in the league. We were suspect of the fact that there were just two of them, because they played every frame and got to learn the field while we had to rotate. Also, it seemed as if they sent their best two players to play all night while leaving their crappy players at home.
Also, according to my teammates, apparently they were cheating as well. You are supposed to play behind a line and not step forward - this is pretty important because the field is small and even leaning in a few inches can make a big deal if the play is close. The guy on their team was apparently leaning over so much that our teammate Jemma kicked him lightly and told him to back up.
We were neck and neck in the first few rounds of the game. At one point I asked them where the rest of their team was.
"Oh, they are out of town on business," the guy said.
"I'm not even on the team," the girl said. "I just showed up to play."

I smiled, but inside my mind was churning. When I had a moment to slip away I went over to the refs and asked if a team needs at least two registered players to win. They said yes, and without two registrees they automatically forfeit.

"So," the refs asked me as the captain-in-charge. "What do you want to do about this?"

So the question for you, my readers, is

Should I have:

A. Told them they need to forfeit so we automatically advance to the next round. Rules are rules.

B. Played out the game. Winning is important, but so is skill. We want to win because we're the best, not on a technicality

I'll tell you what happened in a few days.

11 comments:

Jess said...

Ohhh that's a tough one. Did you just deal with it and kick their cheating butts anyway?

Dianna said...

Well, you know how I feel about this. Here's the deal, if I had found out about her illigitmacy, I would have called the refs over and ended the game right there. But since we played out the game and were losing, it would have looked like we were merely sore losers and were just trying to advance to the next round.

As a mostly by-the-rules Midwesterner, I can say that they broke a big rule and should not have been allowed to advance. But you handled it as best you could with the situation.

The highlight of the evening truly was Jemma kicking that smarmy guy. And he wouldn't even shake my hand.

Shannon said...

I'm with Dianna. I'm a "by-the-rules" midwesterner. Sure, it may have looked like you were searching for any excuse to advance since you were trailing but I may add that the referees should have checked if everyone was a registered team player before the game began.

I usually hate to "blame" outcomes of games on refs (but I do anyway) but their job is to call out "cheating" and playing without a registered player is just that.

shesthesheriff said...

The bocce world is indeed filled with staggering ethical conundrums.

Since this is probably the highest level of organized sport that most of us have ever competed in or will in the future, we deserve a fair shake.

In the real sports world, you would never see like, Shaq, Lebron James, KG, and Kobe Bryant all deciding to join the same team the week before the playoffs.

Jonathan Rubin said...

Sheriff, that reminds me of the Simpsons episode when Mr. Burns got 12 Major League All Stars as ringers for his softball game.

Dianna said...

I should also mention that I'm going to raise holy hell if that team wins the whole thing. There will be petitions and me pouting. Mostly just the latter.

brent443 said...

Just win. Throw that big ball at the little ball like we all would have done. I love bocce ball leagues - http://www.thedayofgames.com/bocceballleague.html

shesthesheriff said...

wait--so you didn't snitch on them? I can't handle this suspense!

Colleen said...

In the words of Zazu from the Liong King, "Cheetahs never prosper!"

Patrice said...

Ehhh....play out the game. Yes, maybe they are breeching a technicality..but really, it makes your team no more heoric for 'winning' because you guys win on account of whining to the ref... Play it out like men..and women:) Karma is a bitch for the other team..they'll eventually get theirs at some point if they do continue to advance

Dianna said...

The 8-year-old tattletale in me really wishes we would have ratted them out. Feh.