View Full Version : 11-year-old banned from making touchdowns.

Alley Cat
September 30th, 2011, 7:13 PM

Usually we try to celebrate great young athletes and their prodigious potential. In Arkansas, one youth football league is instituting a dramatic rule to hold back its brightest star, all in an attempt to level the playing field for other competitors.

According to Arkansas Fox affiliate Fox 16, 11-year-old Demias Jimerson has emerged as such a dominant running back that the Wilson Intermediate Football League he plays in has reinstated a bylaw called the "Madre Hill rule," which bars him from scoring a touchdown if he has already scored three times and his team has a lead of 14 points or more.

The rule is named after former University of Arkansas star and Oakland Raider Madre Hill, who, like Jimerson, played youth football in the Malvern, Ark., area. Hill proved so adept at getting the ball into the end zone whenever he touched it that the WIFL came up with the rule to try and keep scores from getting too out of hand.

Now it has brought the same statute back for Jimerson, saying that the rule isn't meant to punish him, but rather to ensure that the other 21 players on the field stay involved.

"The other players on both teams, 21 are just left sort of, this is all Demias," WIFL commissioner Terri Bryant, who is also Jimerson's Intermediate School principal, told Fox 16. "So that's why the Madre Hill Rule has been implemented.

"[Jimerson] is going to score almost every time he touches the ball."
It turns out that Bryant's assessment of Jimerson's talent is only a slight exaggeration. In one of the two games the sixth-grader played before the Madre Hill rule was implemented, he scored an incredible seven touchdowns.

For his part, Jimerson said he's OK with the ruling, though he was surprised when it was first implemented. He also knows that when he becomes a seventh-grader in 2012 no limits will be applicable, so it will be impossible to penalize him for scoring too much.

"I got, kinda got shocked because I didn't know that was gonna happen, but it did," said Jimerson. Adding, "I'm ok with it."

Given his current production with a bizarre rule holding him back, the prospect of Demias Jimerson "unleashed" should be a terrifying prospect for any future opponents, both in the WIFL and across the state.

Is this fair? That they can just limit how he plays? Discuss.

September 30th, 2011, 7:27 PM
It's their league, they can do what they want. It is in the interest of sportsmanship and teamwork, after all, which is why the league was created in the first place.

Alley Cat
September 30th, 2011, 7:52 PM
I guess... but I wouldn't go for that. I'd go sign up in a different league if I was the kid then. Something more challenging. Something where they'd let me score points, as many as could. They wouldn't put a cap on my ability.

September 30th, 2011, 7:58 PM
This is not a cap on ability. It is a cap on individualism in a team-based scenario.

September 30th, 2011, 8:00 PM
They are more then likely instituting this for fair play. Yes I believe the kid should go to a league where he has more of a challenge, but also I think his team mates should also have equal opportunities to get a chance to score in the youth league. Not saying I would be happy being restrained like that but he has ample chances to score, and if it becomes a close game again they can just bring him back in and score.

Yeah he may have no limits when he reaches seventh grade, but I kind of doubt the coaches would run up the score which would be a bit classless on their part.

Alley Cat
September 30th, 2011, 10:08 PM
Yeah no doubt. They could still make fair-play that doesn't limit his playing like that. I know football isn't all about scoring, and there is plenty of other things that a player could do, leagues just should find a better way. A way that's more fair to him.

Mr. X
October 6th, 2011, 7:43 AM
Not a good idea to stunt a persons natural talent.

If the other players want to score more, they should practice more.

As for the kid, well, this is what i'd do. In 7th grade, play half season. Then quit, saying that you want the rest of the team to have a chance to score.

Or, wait until team is in playoff's and do the same thing.

October 6th, 2011, 7:51 AM
Not a good idea to stunt a persons natural talent.

That natural talent isn't going to develop very well anyway if he's not competing against a challenging level of talent, which this league clearly isn't.

Mr. X
October 6th, 2011, 8:09 AM
Some development>No development

October 17th, 2011, 2:21 PM
As long he they dont stop him from winning then id think it matters too much.

October 17th, 2011, 2:40 PM
Well, I don't think this rule is unfair. But if I were him I'd find a different league to play in ASAP, because the players just aren't challenging him.

Though I think preventing him from scoring further is harsh, they could just bench him for a quarter.

October 18th, 2011, 1:20 AM
Some development>No development
He's still playing until he gets at least three scores. And honestly? When playing in a youth league, it's not the development of the kid's athletic abilities that they care about but the development of critical skills like working as a team etc. Youth football isn't a one-kid highlight reel and I really agree with this. The kid will have plenty of opportunities to be great in the future, and a relatively unimportant issue like this isn't going to stunt him one bit.