Really? Why do we have to celebrate when kids lose? First, second, and third has been the norm. Why do we have to make kids feel like they are winners when they lost the race. By a LOT?
I played a lot of sports as a child. I knew I had to work hard to get in the top three. So when I earned my first place ribbons I knew I had truly accomplished a feat. I remember winning in high jump and then having to jump over and over to see if I could beat the city record. Almost but I didn't. But it gave me a goal to strive towards.
What does getting a sixth place ribbon tell my daughter? It tells her that she doesn't have to swim hard and fast to get a medal and that the half assed attempts she made on Saturday are good enough to get a ribbon. I saw her swimming. She was coasting. I want my kids to work hard and get rewarded for their efforts, not coddled. Let them have real goals to work towards.
Sports are supposed to teach kids about the value of hard work. Don't devalue the lesson by dumbing it down.