SATURDAY APRIL 29, 2017
 
Blog SPORTS EXTRAS
AGE AND SPORTSMANSHIP: THE TRUTH
Peter_Eastgate.jpg

When it comes to playing any kind of game whatsoever, kids are taught at a very young age that the real winners are the ones who exhibit the greatest amount of sportsmanship. That is why the coveted “Sportsman of the Year” trophy came into being. However, in recent years there has been a rash of bold, talented and seemingly tireless athletes and gamers on the scene, many of which have begun taking home the titles. This leads to a very interesting question. Which is more important in any game, sportsmanship or title? And does age really have anything to do with a person’s ability to win? Here’s what you might want to know about age and sportsmanship – the truth.

WHEN IS TOO OLD TO COMPETE?

Some games it is only logical to understand that there comes an age when it’s literally too old to compete. A true player knows when that time comes and generally steps out of the game gracefully. It’s not a sign of defeat but rather a virtue of good sportsmanship. While there have been 15 athletes who took the MVP award in the United States all over the age of 30 (an age many consider to be too old in such a high energy game) most are younger but few are rookies younger than 23. The same holds true in any sport or any game. Energy is a key factor in determining a player’s ability to come out as champ and so that really does need to factor in.

YOUNG PLAYERS MAY HAVE ENERGY, STAMINA BUT ...

One game to look at is the game of poker, online and in card rooms around the world. When it comes to an event like the World Series of Poker that can take hundreds and hundreds of days competing at table after table (virtual or real) stamina is a key factor. Old players do tire out more easily and have complained they lose their focus. For years it was those players in their 40s and 50s who brought home the trophy and of course that very, very large cash prize, but suddenly the tables turned (literally as well as figuratively) and players as young as 22 brought home the gold – the spendable kind that is. Now there seems to be a better blend of age and sportsmanship that will tell the truth in the coming years.

While Michael Jordan won his fifth and final MVP as an old man over the age of 30, young bucks like Derrick Rose won the league’s youngest MVP at just 22 (and five months but who’s counting) and in 2008 another 22-year-old became the youngest winner of the WSOP, Peter Eastgate. So then, does age matter? Some say it does especially when strength, stamina and physical endurance are in the mix. However, in a game like poker where strategy and experience are key factors in ‘reading’ the table, age might not be such a bad thing. For this reason, most critics of any type of sport or game are looking towards a future where there will be a good mix of both – around the ripe old age of 30.

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