I write this primarily as a think piece concerning some users' attitudes about the editing process here on E2. There are some who think the editors and gods are becoming too quick to pull the trigger on deleting writeups as well as deleting user accounts when they feel the writeup was inappropriate or the user was becoming a detriment to the process here.
When I lived the single life as a young adult in Memphis, TN, I had moved there and didn't really know anyone in town. I rode my bicycle around the parks on the weekends looking for something to do and some people to meet, outside of my job. I came across a pick-up volleyball game at Overton Park. There were around 15 or 20 folks having a good time, and I thought I'd try and join in. I'd never really played a whole lot of volleyball, but I was always pretty good at sports and figured I could hold my own. They were quite friendly, and I wound up going there every Sunday afternoon to play.
There were a couple of real volleyball players there, and I began to sense their frustration at the level of play. I got these players to show me how to serve correctly, set the ball, and spike without touching the net. Others who were interested in getting better at the game did the same. Over the course of a couple of years, the quality of the games improved dramatically. In fact, it became such a big draw every Sunday that some of us decided to move the game to a smaller, more secluded park and just not bother to tell the more disruptive and careless (drunken) groups about where we were going. They could stay there and have their own game.
When we got set up at the new location, we got a better net and put the poles in some concrete set in old car tires. We got a couple of new balls, and some rope with tent stakes to mark the boundaries so that there would be less bitching about "out" calls when the ball hit the ground. We would designate one person not playing (whom we trusted) to referee and decide when an illegal act had occurred, such as hitting the net, stepping over the service line, or carrying the ball. It was considered very bad form to question the designated referee, even though some questionable calls were made, as they always are in situations such as this.
The game became more intense, for sure. There would usually be enough folks for 3 or 4 teams, and it was "winner keeps the court." There were arguments and hurt feelings at times. But there was also a sense of accomplishment and teamwork that was so much more rewarding than back when the game was unstructured and winning meant very little. There were lifelong friendships made; even marriages between players who did not know each other before joining that Sunday game.
The point is this: We all became damn good volleyball players. And we could all take that skill with us the rest of our lives. The ones who fell by the wayside were usually the sort of folks who fail to fit in any social situation, due to either temperament or lack of concern for what was right and wrong.
Did we make it too competitive? I guess we did. . . Is that a bad thing? I don't think so. . . I considered it a valuable life lesson.