Pros and Cons of Co-Ed games and mixed team sports

Pros and Cons of Co-Ed games and mixed team sports

One of the most important goals of amateur team sports is to get non-professionals to play their favorite sport in organized leagues. That goal is achieved only when the players can exercise, have fun and enjoy the games safely. To get there, amateur sport leagues are organized by level of play and/or by age group. In each division, we usually have men’s leagues and women’s leagues. However, in many adult divisions there are an increasing number of Co-ed or mixed leagues; these include both men and women and are rapidly gaining popularity.

In Co-ed or mixed team leagues, each team must have a minimum number of players of the opposite sex on the field at all times during the game.

Based upon our vast experience running and playing in Co-Ed leagues and Co-Ed drop in games in various cities and countries around the world with ShowUpAndPlaySports, we are going to answer the following questions:

Here are the Pros, Advantages, and positives of Co-Ed Games or mixed team sports:

Good Fair Play:


    • Players behave more responsibly when they play with or against the opposite sex. Most Co-ed leagues are recreational and it obliges stronger players to be less aggressive than when playing with players of the same sex.
    • Co-ed games bring out the best in players from both sexes: There are fewer complaints, almost no trash talk and very few fights in comparison with same-sex games.


  • Co-ed games encourage men to develop more patience. Women benefit by improving their skills and strength to keep up as men are generally faster and stronger players than women.
  • Fair play in Co-Ed games is very good and always above average, as men do their best to be seen as gentlemen and women do their best to be seen as nice.

Fewer Injuries

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  • There are generally fewer injuries in Co-ed games compared to same sex games. Stronger players either make a conscious effort to slow down, or do so subconsciously when faced with players of the opposite sex.
  • The speed of the game is always acceptable and enjoyable. At a given skill level, Co-ed games are generally slower than men’s games and faster than women’s games.

Social and Openness


  • Co-Ed Leagues are in average cheaper and less expensive that men or women leagues.
  • Couple who play together in Co-Ed Leagues or games save money while carpooling to games or practice.
  • Popular co-ed team sports are soccer and basketball and those sports don’t require much in term of equipment. Most co-ed teams equipment consist of simple t-shirts and players can play with their own sneakers for indoors.

Knowledge of the games

  • The disparity of skills and knowledge of the games from players playing in Co-Ed games help participants to better understand the games and the rules. Stronger players sometimes have to explain the rules to weaker or new players and it helps everyone understand the games better.

Pros and Cons of Co-Ed games or mixed team sports

Despite all the nice things said above, Co-ed games or mixed teams also have some disadvantages.

Here are the cons, advantages and negatives of CoEd games or mixed team Sports:

Less Efficient, Players availability:

  • Some teams have difficulty finding the requisite number of players of the opposite sex and end up losing the game by default because of it.
  • When Co-ed teams are lacking in players of a specific sex, the few players available are obliged to play much longer than usual. They are often very tired by the end of the game and team performance generally suffers for it.

Lack of Quality:

  • Many men, who are usually faster and stronger than women, get frustrated when they face women and find they have to slow down. They may end up not enjoying themselves and may also feel they can’t express themselves fully.
  • Women can experience frustration as well. Often, they are not taken seriously during the game by men who are afraid of hurting or overpowering them.
  • The fact that players in Co-ed leagues try to be gentle with one another can affect the game in a negative way. More competitive players might not enjoy the game as much.

Rare, but Severe Injuries:


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  • Sport injuries that occur when weaker players try to perform at the same level as stronger players of the opposite sex can be dangerous.
  • Some players who don’t understand the game and get invited just to fill the quota sometimes don’t understand the concept of tackle, shield, advantage, “First to the ball” and can create injuries by doing things that the opponents are not expecting. It sometimes results in very bad injuries.
  • Clumsy players who join the game to fill the quota or just to play with their date or partner usually end up hurting themselves or their opponent by not knowing when to slow down or get away from players who are very fast or skillful.


  • The potential attraction between players of opposing sexes can sometimes create conflicts and jealousy from other players and this can affect the game negatively.
  • Some players go to specific teams just to court other players from the opposite sex and the game is not their priority. This can affect the game negatively.
  • Some players can be rejected by a love interest in the same team and they don’t always cope well with the rejection. In those cases, the atmosphere of the team is sometimes ruined and the team ends up losing at least one of the players concerned. When teams lose female members, it is hard to replace them and they end up forfeiting some games by not having enough female members.

To conclude:


  • Co-ed games or mixed team sports have more positives than negatives. However, I recommend it for mature, older players as they are more likely to have the patience and self-control to enjoy this type of game.
  • On a recreational and amateur level, many sports feature co-ed teams and leagues and it is growing very fast. The most notables amateur sports with co-ed leagues and teams are soccer, basketball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, softball, flag football.
    Official competitions featuring co-ed or mixed teams so far are only limited to ultimate Frisbee.


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Here are some other resources about the Pros and Cons of Co-Ed games or mixed team sports:

Co-Ed Games videos

International Resources and perspectives about Co-Ed Games and mixed team sports

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Amateur Co-Ed Drop in games listing in various cities in the world

Find where to play Ice Hockey, Floor Hockey, Ball Hockey, Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Football, Baseball, Golf, Tennis, Cricket, Rugby, Softball, Slo-pitch, Pickle ball, Badminton, Squash, Lacrosse, Curling, Racing, Boxing, Skating and Swimming in your city:

Pros and Cons of couples playing in the same team

What are the pros and cons of couples playing in the same team?

Pros and Cons of couples playing in the same team


  • You have the opportunity to do something fun and useful as a couple
  • You exercise and play sports to get healthy as a couple
  • You encourage each other and protect each other during the game
  • You make common friend with the same passion quickly
  • You save on transportation costs by driving together on the field
  • You learn more about each other in a setting where you interact with other people in a physical and challenging way.
  • Playing as a couple can increase your winning mentality and increase your “fair play” attitude.
  • All the above advantage strengthen the relationship of couples who play together in the same team.

Pros and Cons of couples playing in the same team


  • Playing as a couple in the same team can hinder your  ability to be yourself  by trying hard to not embarrass your partner.
  • You might not enjoy the game as much  because you always try to protect your partner by having an eye on him or her at all times.
  • If you are going through a hard time in your couple, you might be tempted to stop going to the game together and it might affect your participation and reduce your enjoyment of the game.


There are more advantages than disadvantages to play amateur team sports as a couple.
By experience, couple who play team sports together in the same team are very successful, have a very strong relationship and are very fair play and easy going in life in general.

Read these excellents answers on Quora about games that couples can play together.

Pros and Cons of the offside rule

What are the pros and cons of the Offside rule in Soccer or football?

Pros and Cons of the offside rule

In Soccer or European football, the offside rule is one of the hot button issue during games. A game can be decided by that rule if it is not correctly applied.

Pros and Cons of the offside rule

Let’s start by explaining that rule: A player is in an offside position if he is closer to the opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second-to-last defender (which is usually the last outfield player), but only if the player is on his opponent’s half of the pitch. “Offside position” is a matter of fact, whereas committing an “offside offence” occurs when a player is “actively involved” and is subject to the interpretation of the referee. Goals scored after committing an offside offence are nullified if caught by the referee.

As you can see from that definition above, that rule is not simplistic and even the top rated referees get it wrong sometimes. The question is : Is it really necessary to have the offside rule? Who needs the offside rule? IS the game more or less fun without the offside rule?

In professional soccer, that rule is part of the DNA of the game. Its existence is not debatable, but is it really necessary to have it in amateur soccer ?

I’ll say no. As an amateur soccer league player, owner  and as a former soccer referee, I have noticed that the offside rule creates nothing but troubles. The game is constantly interrupted because of bickering about the call or non call of offside. Referees are abused whether they call it or not. Players engage in fights and insults because of that rule and at the end of the day it makes the game less fun. There are fewer goals scored when that rule is strictly applied.

Amateur soccer is supposed to be fun and that rule takes that away.

After cancelling the offside rule in my amateur soccer league, our games became so much fun. Players score more goals and enjoy the games more. All the bickering and fights and referee abuses have stopped.

To conclude, I think amateur soccer leagues don’t need the offside rule. Professional soccer leagues can keep using that rule but it must be enforced with video replay to help the referees call it correctly.

To learn more, read this excellent post on Quora about the pros and cons of offside rule.
Pros and Cons of the offside rule

Best amateur sport: Soccer or Hockey

What is the Best amateur sport: Soccer or Hockey?

Best amateur sport: Soccer or Hockey Find where to play soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, badminton, cricket, etc. anywhere in the world.

Best amateur sport: Soccer or HockeySoccer and Hockey are both great team sports and we sometimes face a dilemma when it is time to encourage our kids to choose between those 2 sports. Below are a set of facts and perceptions about those 2 excellent sports:

    • Popularity:
      Soccer is far more popular than hockey and is played all over the world. Hockey is popular only in Nordic and cold countries like Canada, Russia, Finland,… Advantage Soccer.
    • Cost:
      Mandatory Hockey equipment are very expensive (skates, sticks, puck, protective gear,…). Joining a hockey team is also very expensive compared to joining a soccer team. Ice Hockey fields  are far more expensive to rent compare to outdoor soccer field that are almost free. Advantage Soccer.
    • Physicality:
      Soccer requires players to have a lot of body strength and high levels of fitness because a soccer game entails many kilometers of running around the field. Hockey requires higher levels of complete athleticism, which is a combination of skating stamina and body strength, enabling players to hit their opponents on to the side boards.
      Advantage Hockey.
  • Objective: The essence of the game in both soccer and hockey is basically the same: to score, albeit using different objects. In soccer,  players will try to score as many goals as possible by putting the ball behind the opponent’s goal post which is guarded by a net, while in hockey a puck is shot towards a smaller goal of the opponent. Game progression also differs greatly. In soccer, a player uses his feet to move the ball forward towards opponent’s goal, making passes to teammates to maintain ball possession. Also, a player can dribble when he goes past opponents, although this requires a lot of personal skill. In hockey , however, progression is made by skating and a hockey stick is used to pass the puck to other teammates during play. The passing and shooting here happens at great speeds of the puck so the goal keeper requires great levels of concentration to stop it.
  • Playing Fields: Hockey is played on a not so usual surface of ice called a skating rink, and that is why it is mainly popular in those regions that are sufficiently cold for natural ice cover that can last a whole season. However, artificial ice rinks have made it possible for indoor games year round. Soccer on the other hand is played on a soccer pitch (field of play), which is essentially a rectangular field covered with leveled grass or an artificial turf.
    Advantage: Soccer
  • Safety/Injuries
    On a statistical perspective, there are more injuries (Concussions) in Hockey compared to Soccer. Fighting and Pushing players on the wall is acceptable in Hockey and this results in many concussions that can have a long term impact on players health. Most soccer injuries are reduced to knee, ankle, hamstring and usually have no long term effect on player’s health. Advantage: Soccer

What to Choose:

At the end of the day, we excel in a sport that we enjoy more. It is always about the love of the game. We should expose the kids at an early age to different sports and they will always gave us signal about their favorite sport.

Read more: Difference Between Soccer and Hockey | Soccer vs Hockey

Playing a game with 3 teams

What are the pros and cons of Playing a game with 3 teams?

Playing a game with 3 teamsThe conventional wisdom tells us that a team sport’s game requires 2 teams playing against each other in a certain amount of time. This has been going on for years  and it is the obvious way of playing and determining a winner for a game.

In amateur sport, playing a game with only 2 teams  has a lot of flaws:

  • Some players have more playing times than others who stay on the bench.
  • The games have a lot of boring sequences especially when both teams are tired.
  • Players get complacent because they know that they have enough  time to make up for their mistake or their lack of efforts.
  • Weaker teams are easily embarrassed by lopsided scores.
  • The winner of the game is known relatively to one opponent team only.

There is an alternative to that conventional game’s system and it consists of playing a game with 3 teams.

That game’s type is usually played in non organized pick up  games when there are not enough fields to organize multiple games at the same time.

ShowUpAndPlaySoccer has adopted the system of playing a game with 3 teams in their Drop in Soccer league and it is a huge success.

3 teams of 5, 6 or 7 players each rotate every 10 minutes and the winner of each sequence stays on the field for a maximum of 3 sequences in a row. In case of a tie, the most recent team on the field stays on the field. In case of a tie in the first sequence, a coin toss or gentleman agreement is used to determine which team leaves the field.

There are multiple advantages of playing this type of game:

  • A single game can be played with more players than a 2 team’s game. This is a financial boost for amateurs teams, because with more players in the same game, the fees per player can be reduced considerably.
  • The game is more competitive because if your team  wins, you  are rewarded by staying on the field and if you lose, you get out.
  • Each team has 10 minutes to give its best and win and have a shot to play another team in the same game.
  • After a loss, you have 10 minutes to regroup with your teammates, get some rest and come back better prepared for the next sequence.
  • The entire game is never boring because there is always a new fresh team team on the field that wants to win and send their opponent out.
  • When your team is out, you have time to talk to your teammate and get to know them better.
  • This type of game eliminates  the bench that usually frustrates a lot of players.
  • If your team plays well and wins, you are rewarded with more playing time.

There is a real possibility that this type of game will be implemented in professional leagues because of  the financial advantages  and mostly because  the game will be more competitive and more interesting.



Pros and Cons of Keeping the Score

What are the Pros and Cons of Keeping the Score?

Pros and Cons of Keeping the Score
Keeping the score when playing team sport is a natural thing to do, but more and more youth leagues are starting to throw the idea of playing without keeping the score.
There are pros and cons of that notion  and I’ll list them below.
Pros of Keeping the Score:

  • We play to win and keeping the score is the only way to determine the winner.
  • Knowing the score makes us play and  try harder, therefore helps us improve.
  • The games are more interesting and more competitive.
  • Players   improve their competitive spirit.
  • It feels good and it is exciting to score and to win a game.

Cons of Keeping the score:

  • Kids don’t learn the fundamentals of the game  because all they think about is to score goals.
  • Lopsided scores are humiliating for the loosing team and there is no fun playing when you are losing.
  • Kids loose their self confidence when they play in teams that are always loosing.
  • Playing itself is a win and we don’t need the score to validate that.
  • Keeping the score makes the games very competitive and players are more likely to be injured.

What to do: Based on my experience playing soccer and basket ball, I have noticed that the games are more fun when we keep the score or at least when we know who is winning. It is the ultimate drive to play harder. Even when we play drop in games ,  the intensity of the game goes up whenever someone  reminds us the score.

For kids under 10, not keeping the score can be a good idea to help them focus on learning to play. Scoreless soccer for kids is already considered in Calgary and you can click here to read this article at CBC to learn more about it.

An alternative of not  keeping the score at all  for some  soccer leagues   is to reset it or stop counting the goals when there is more than 10 goals difference.


Pros and Cons of Drop in Games

What are the Pros and Cons of Drop in Games?

Pros and Cons of Drop in Games


When it comes to playing our favorite team sport, the first thing that usually comes to our mind is to register for a team and play in a local league.
In theory, it sounds very easy to do, but in practice it is not that easy and before registering or signing up for a team, you need to consider certain relevant factors and make sure that you will get the most and be able to afford and  enjoy the games.

I have played  soccer and basketball with teams in local leagues for more than 10 years and  I have also  been playing and organizing   drop in games in the past 3 years.
I have learned and gathered enough data and information about those 2 different game types and I will outline their pros and cons in the following lines.

Below are the advantages of playing for a team in a regular non pick up league:

  • You play in a real team  in a league that has referees, that keeps the score of games with fixtures and rankings.
  • You play with the same group of people and you get to know them better and sometime become friends.
  • You travel around your city or state to play against different teams in your league.
  • You have a long term objective for your team  and you try to work as a team to achieve it.
  • You have a team color to defend and a great motivation to play to win something.
  • The leagues are organized by divisions (from lower to major ) and you can stick to the adequate division that matches your skill  to avoid being embarrassed when you play against stronger teams.
  • You have the chance to travel with your team and play exciting tournaments and win trophies.

As cool as it may sound, there are a lot of things and factors that can alter  the advantages of playing in a non pick up league and give you a very bad experience.

  • To play for a team in a non pick up league, you need to find a team first and sometimes you end up with a group of people who behave a certain way that is very different with your values and you are stuck with them for the season after paying your fees.
  • A lot of teams advertise open spots on their roster, but they never tell you  your responsibilities and duties  until you are selected to play. Sometimes, they let you bond well with the team and even let you  play a couple of games before telling you that you need to pay  your  fees that sometimes average 300$ per season (18 to 20 games in average).
  • Some games are played very late at night or very far and sometimes your work, school  or family duties don’t allow you to play those games, but you still need to pay for them.
  • A lot of  teams are sometimes created, led  or taken over by a couple of good friends and that circle of friends sometimes try to make sure that they always play and give other players (mostly new or non popular players)  very few playing time. It is very frustrating to pay the same fees as everybody else and stay on the bench most of the time.
  • In addition to paying your season fees, most teams participate in  different cups and tournaments during the season and you need to pay for those extra  games. Most of the time, you are not aware of that when you sign up for a team and it can be very expensive and time consuming down the road.
  • A lot of teams have at least 1 practice session per week and you need to attend those practices to have the chance to play. If you don’t have time to practice, you won’t play and will end up being frustrated for paying for the season and not playing.
  • If you pay for the season and for whatever reason you are unable to attend practices or games, you will very likely not get refunded.
  • Some team’s coaches are very strict and create a boring atmosphere by always substituting a player whenever he attempts to dribble or try a fancy trick. If you like having fun on the field by trying tricks , you will be sent to the bench very often and you won’t enjoy the games.

Drop in game or drop in leagues are the answers for those who want to avoid the drawbacks of playing for teams in non pick up league.
Pros and Cons of Drop in GamesThe main advantages of playing drop in sports are:

  • You play only when you feel like it and you pay exactly for what you play.
  • There are no practices and you just go and play whenever you want and when the games are scheduled.
  • You meet new players and play with different people all the time and it is very exciting.
  • Most of the time, the games and field locations don’t change very often and you can adapt your schedule to attend the games very easily.
  • Playing drop in games are a lot cheaper than playing for a team in a non pick up league. The average fee per game is 5$ per drop in game and you pay only for the games that you play. You spend in average 100$ for 20 games compared to 300$ for a 20 games season when you play for a team in a non pick up league.
  • Playing drop in games allows you to try tricks and take risks  because it is an open game and there is no big pressure to win the game.
  • You can invite friends to play with you in drop in games and have a lot of fun with your buddies.

Below are some inconvenient for opting to play drop in games:

  • Drop in games are not always available. A quick Google search proves how hard it is to find a reliable drop in or pick up league in your city. I have created a databases of drop in games and league in North America to help solving that problem. (See
  • Most drop in games are not well organized and sometimes you get to the field and few people show up.
  • The lack of team leaders or captains can give a bad impression that there is no game plan and that anyone can do whatever he wants.
  • There can be a huge skill gap between players of drop in games because it is usually open to anyone who wants to play.

Having played in both drop in and not drop in leagues, I came to the conclusion that you need to choose your sport league type based on your availabilities, your age and your budget.

  1. I recommend young players and minors to play mostly in organized non drop in leagues to work on their skill, their knowledge of the game and their competitive spirit.
  2. For students and adults under 25, if your budget allows, you will be better served by playing in a non drop in league to take full advantage of your strengths and be competitive.
  3. For adult over 25 and professionals, the best option is to play in organized drop in or pick up league to have more fun, build your network and choose to play only in certain games based on your availabilities.

3 vs 3 – Street Soccer

What is 3 vs 3 – Street Soccer ?

3 vs 3 - Street Soccer
Street soccer is the most basic and most popular pick up game type. It is easy to organize, inexpensive and more importantly, it allows you to try all your tricks and improve your technical abilities without necessarily disrespecting the game and your team mates.

Every region has a different name for it.  In the United States and Canada, we call it “pick-up soccer”  or “Drop in Soccer.”  In Trinidad, it is called “taking a sweat.”  In England, they call it  “having a kick-about.”  In Cameroon, they call it “Petit-Goal”. In Brazil,  it is “pelada”  which  means “naked”— the game stripped down to its core.  It’s the version of the game played by anyone, anywhere—and it’s a window into lives all around the world.

I have learned all my soccer tricks and developed my soccer instincts while playing soccer on the streets when i grew up. We used to play after school, during the break in high school and on week ends on the streets.

All we needed was a small surface and a ball. We were using our bags or whatever we could find (stones, cones,..) to set up the goal. The game was played most of the time without a referee and we  were calling our fouls ourselves.

Most street soccer games are played without a goal keeper and no hand ball is allowed anywhere on the field, even  in the goal area.

To challenge ourselves, we were always keeping the score and we were reminded the current score after every goal.

3 vs 3 - Street Soccer“If there’s one area Klinsmann fears the United States lags behind the rest of the world, it’s in the amount of time kids spend kicking the ball around — especially on their own. Basketball has a thriving pick-up culture in America;  soccer doesn’t.

That has been the difference even on the highest level when you have a men’s national team,” Klinsmann said. “What are their technical capabilities? What is their vision on the field? What is their spontaneous decisions — are they making the right calls? Can they deal with emotions on the field?”

I have compiled some interesting street soccer sites, articles and videos here: