Should Students Be Playing Fantasy Football?

Peyton Conn

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Photo Credit: Andrew Dupont (https://www.flickr.com/photos/savetheclocktower/)

According to our student handbook, gambling is not allowed for our students in Millburn Middle School. On a student’s first offense they will receive a one to three day suspension, and on the second offense a six to nine day suspension

However, there are multiple anonymous boys in the eighth grade who say that they have spent money on fantasy football leagues with their friends this year.

In a poll I conducted, I found that almost half, (48 out of 100) of 8th grade boys played fantasy football. And of those that played for money, 62.16% played for over $20!

A debate is whether putting some money into a league of fantasy football with your friends does or does not constitute as gambling, and whether it helps or hurts a child’s development. Some believe that fantasy football should count as gambling, however some do not.

According to dictionary.com, the definition of gambling is to play games of chance for money. For the people who believe that is should constitute as gambling, they use this definition to say that fantasy football is a game of chance, so it should be counted as gambling. For the people who think it should not count, they argue that it is not a game of chance, but it also includes skill, unlike many casino games which are referred to as gambling.

There are many different arguments for this, but one thing that can not be argued is the law. According kywnewsradio.com, fantasy football is not considered gambling by federal law:

Gambling is betting on a game of chance. Federal law sees fantasy football as a game of skill, so it’s not illegal under federal law; but many states disagree and say it is illegal gambling.

Another argument is whether fantasy football is good for your kid or not. According to “the football girl” she introduced her son to fantasy football as a way to try and have him keep a connection with his friends from home since they were moving. She thought that this would be a fun and exciting way to draw him into the NFL. Melissa Jacobs, the author of this website, says that she was very wrong with her hypothesis. In hindsight, she says “My son’s obsession with fantasy (and obsession is putting it mildly) has only grown exponentially since. It’s all he wants to discuss.”

From a different perspective, “Geek moms” says that she let her kids play fantasy football, and she was happy with the result. Nivi Engineer, the author of this website, says that as long as your son enjoys it, you should let him do it. She believes that there are advantages and disadvantages to kids doing fantasy football, and ultimately, they “do not have the power to corrupt your children”.

In conclusion, there are many pros and cons to playing fantasy football, but overall parents should learn what fantasy football is first, balance the issues and and try to make an informed decision for their children.

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