Youth leagues try to rein in 'bad news parents' with signs, codes of conduct, pledges

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  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    June 21, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    My parents never interfered because they never came. Mostly I played with my friends at the school or out on the street. It was fun and I didn't need my parents to watch me. We had some conflicts now and then but we learned to work it out ourselves.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    June 21, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    No issue about this article regarding parental behavior at youth sporting events, up to a point. If it's about sportsmanship and parents getting involved in the heat of the game, yep, I'll all for better sideline behavior. However, I have noticed there is always 1 aspect of parental sideline behavior that is ignored in these types of articles. That is regarding the safe conduct of the game. Parents are asked to turn over their children to the safety supervision of the referees and coaches of the game. That is a serious commitmen on the part of the refs and coaches. When they are negligent in their efforts to 1) enforce the laws of the game to provide appropriate safety to the youth or 2) continue to encourage or demand injured players to stay in the game , I believe they have violated that commitment, and parents displaying their disagreement with that sort of negligence to protect the healt of their children is more than justified.

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    June 21, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    I coached girls softball for about 7 years, boys baseball for 4, and I saw it all. A couple of us set up our own girls softball league because we were unhappy with a number of things with the other leagues, and we had to address this very issue.

    We noticed at some big tournaments that parents were required to sign codes of conduct, and they were enforced by any of a number of people - umpires, coaches, even sometimes the girls. There were a bunch of "don't"s (no alcohol, no drugs, no tobacco around the field), but there were a lot of positive things parents agreed to do. An umpire stopping a game to single out a parent in the stands can have a big impact. A coach threatening a parent to remove a girl from a game or from the team is pretty powerful, but embarrassing for the girl.

    The most effective was when the entire team stood up and stared down an offending parent - of one of their own! That probably had the most lasting effect on a parent.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    June 21, 2013 6:37 a.m.

    To: utahprincipal801, I agree with you totally. What happened to the good example we have a responsibility to set? I don't go to any type of activity anymore because it is humiliating to watch these grownups act like children and the sad thing is that the children or adults do not appreciate this kind of out of control behavior. What happened to enjoyment without embarrassment? My heart goes out to these kids who have parents who are guilty of this.

  • utahprincipal801 Sandy, UT
    June 20, 2013 2:10 p.m.

    If parental behavior has deteriorated since my 30's daughter played competition soccer, I think this might be necessary. I wish I had had more courage back then to express my displeasure at three or four parents who's lack of respect for their kids, the game, the refs, and the community, often made me embarrassed and ashamed.

  • FatMan86 West Jordan, UT
    June 20, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    I think this is badly needed in high school and youth sports. I don't think you need to require coaches and parents to be silent, but clearly many of them just cannot get a clue as to when they are "over the line" clearly they need some help.

    I also can't help but wonder if this isn't affected by the political discourse in this country. There is so much angry rhetoric and disrespect toward those who have differing opinions. We have lost the most basic sense of professionalism and courtesy toward one another. It is beyond time to reign it in.