I was disappointed to read in this paper last week that the Howick Pakuranga Principals' Association is introducing a Fair Play Charter to East Auckland primary schools.
Not that I don't think playing fair is an important lesson for kids to learn. Playing by the rules, winning and losing graciously, giving it your best and most honest effort - these are all essential rules for life.
But the principals' idea of fair play is utterly squirmworthy - and possibly another indication of the over-feminisation of education.
Under the charter, coaches are permitted to intervene when one team is getting snotted by another. If the points differential is 40 in rugby, 15 goals in netball and seven goals in soccer, good players from the winning team will be put into the losing team and the bunnies will be put among the winners.
It sounds a recipe for disaster.
The charter states: "Sport is about doing your best, but in primary and intermediate school competitions a successful game is when everyone does their best and enjoys the game, looking forward to the next competition."
The principals don't seem to understand that not everyone will do their best on any given day. Some will do better than others and therefore they will win.
I accept the association president's point that some schools have larger rolls and a greater pool of talent from which to draw. Smaller schools, she says, wouldn't enter competitions if they knew their teams were going to be annihilated week in, week out.
Leyette Callister says they want winners to win, but they don't want children to be devastated and give up participating in the sport.
Well, if children learn from a young age that there are winners and losers and some are better at certain skills than others, the easier it will be for them later in life.
What are they going to do when they start a job, and discover that they're not as good as selling as the rest of the sales team?
The deck is not going to be shuffled and stacked in their favour as happened all through their (eastern) schooling life.
I pity the employers who will be taking on these children a few years from now. Having learned that everybody's going to get a chocolate fish and a player of the day certificate, whether or not they give their all on the field, they will surely expect praise, rewards and promotion for simply turning up to their jobs. They will have learned they don't have to be the best. They don't have to improve on their skills or work hard or strive to succeed - merely turning up will bring rewards.
Imagine having to handle the disappointment and devastation of a generation of kids with an over-inflated sense of entitlement.
And it's all very well and good looking after the kids who are average at best; hapless at worst. What about the children who excel at their chosen activity?
They could just as easily be turned off the sport if they know that mediocrity rather than talent or hard work is being rewarded.
I was never particularly good at sport, but I was in the school swimming team at intermediate. My one trophy, a big silver cup, meant nothing to me because there were only two of us in the race.
But I do remember feeling pleased at a swim meet in Ngatea where I came fourth, beaten by three much better swimmers. As I got out of the water, I resolved I wouldn't skip a single training session over the next few weeks and really put in the effort because if I was that close to the good ones, the next time I might get a ribbon for placing.
Kids know what matters and what doesn't and getting a trophy without having to work for it takes the shine off it almost immediately.
In 2013, the trophy and award business in the United States and Canada was worth US$3 billion a year, according to the New York Times.
Hardly surprising, the author wrote, when American Youth Soccer branches spend 12 per cent of their budget every year on trophies to hand out to each and every one of their players - whether they have done anything trophy-worthy or not.
Britain has seen the danger of promoting participation over competition - in the 1980s, educators saw competition in sport as bad for character and that resulted in a "whatevs" approach to sport from British school children.
The new curriculum now states that one of the fundamental goals of PE should be that pupils engage in competitive sports and activities.
So really, the Howick and Pakuranga principals are engaging in outmoded thinking with their participation-at-all-costs approach. Cushioning children from reality does them no favours. It merely ensures they'll settle for mediocrity if it spares them the fleeting pain of losing.
What an awful prospect - future generations aiming for average. Living in the Land of the Long Beige Cloud is not an appealing prospect.
• Kerre McIvor is on Newstalk ZB, Monday-Thursday, 8pm-midnight.