Did you ever play hockey when you were younger? The leagues are set up in a weird way: they separate kids by calendar year, not school year. I was born in December; the majority of my best friends were born in the three or four months that follow. Not getting to play with my friends was pretty unlucky, having to play with kids that were, in some cases, almost a full year older than me.
I read an article this weekend that related the Matthew Effect to youth hockey leagues. For those who don’t know, the Matthew Effect is essentially the phenomenon where, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” In short: the article argued that kids born in early months (the rich) are getting better coaching and more playing time (richer) because they have a biological advantage to those born in the later months (the poor) who are not getting the same attention (poorer).
The point is this: some of these age groups create unfair advantages for the older kids and are actually potentially dangerous to younger, less mature players. So, my question to the blogosphere is: How would some of the authors we have read this semester evaluate this system?
I know this might be an extreme case for Locke’s moral theory, however I think he would find this system flawed. He would argue that it is the league’s responsibility to ensure the safety of all players – and the current system does not. Locke would advocate a system a universal equality. He would seek new regulations for age groups – one that does not sacrifice equality for convenience. I understand that these players have given their consent to play in this league, but they have only done so because there is no other choice. Would, in Locke’s view, the fact that these players haven given consent be more important than their safety? I do not think so. Do you?
Here is a link to the article.