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Sock her

Girls' soccer match ends in brawl

This is one of those stories you won't believe until I tell you why you should.

It comes from Rhode Island, where a brawl broke out at a girls high school soccer match. It started late in the game when two girls collided and started throwing down; it quickly spread to the stands, where more fights broke out.

Let me tell you why this shouldn't shock, dismay or make you say, "What the (bleep), it's girls soccer. How can you get so worked up about it?"

I'll tell you why.

Because, first of all, yes, it's soccer. Fights break out in the stands all the time -- although, admittedly, not often at girls high school games. On the other hand, I've been exposed to the infighting that goes on in the Fort Wayne soccer community. So nothing shocks me about this.

Second of all, it's soccer. Having watched a lot of high school soccer the last few weeks -- I covered the boys and girls state finals on Halloween -- I have to say I'm surprised more fisticuffs don't break out. I'm admittedly no soccer aficianado, but I've never covered any other sport where the officials' calls seem so arbitrary. One time a kid trips over his feet and it's a foul; the next time he gets blatantly flung to the turf and the ruling is "Play on."

There truly doesn't seem to be any pattern or consistency to it. So I can understand how fights sometimes erupt after a particularly hard collision.

The brawling in the stands, though, gets no such pass. Those people were just idiots.

Ben Smith's blog.