Deptford Township Has a Unique Way to Deal with Unruly Little League Parents
If you have kids in any sports program, you know all about the loud-mouth parents. They're the ones who seem to be living their childhood sports fantasies through their kids.
They're the ones too busy to commit to coaching, yet don't seem to have any problem coaching from the stands and pointing out everything the coaches are doing wrong. Also, these are the parents that love to officiate from the stands. Gotta love it.
When my daughters were younger, I agreed to coach a youth volleyball team in Virginia Beach. I think the girls were 10, and admittedly, I was no volleyball savant. I volunteered because they needed coaches. My philosophy was simple, let the girls have fun.
Oh boy did I get a lesson in youth sports. I inherited a team where several girls were returning. We still needed a few more players, and they held a draft for that. I had parents reaching out to me with "suggestions" of which girls we "needed" on the team.
Most people who officiate for youth sports are volunteers, or if they do get paid, it's an amount that is too small to even buy a six-pack after the game.
They do it, much like I did, because they enjoy sports, and they want to help the kids in the community. Nobody gets into youth sports to get rich.
Deptford Township, like so many communities, has seen a rise in abuse towards their umpires and referees. They have come up with an ingenious way to handle this.
Parents who are abusive towards an umpire, will now be required to work as an umpire for three games, before they'll be allowed back in the sports complex. How cool is that? If a parent is brought in to do this, they will work their games with certified umpires. This stuff looks a lot easier from the stands.
Brian Barlow runs a Facebook page called offsides, told WPVI News,
People are very comfortable making officials uncomfortable, so it's about time that we've reversed the trend and started making people uncomfortable who are harassing officials
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