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Parents and bad sportsmanship

posted 10/18/2009 4:43:09 PM |
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Last week I helped a friend out by taking her son to a soccer game. While watching this game, I had the misfortune of sitting next to one of those parents who cannot contain themselves when they are in disagreement with the official. Now, I consider myself a very patient person but after this had been going on for approximately 15 minutes, I simply could not contain myself any longer.

I stood up and loudly stated, “Hey Buddy, could you please sit down and hush, I can’t hear the game over your insults? Thanks!” (I was really thinking 'Hey Asshole' ) Well, if looks could kill I’d be a dead woman, but it worked and he sat down and was much quieter for the rest of the game.

Now this incident got me to thinking. There were at least a dozen other parents present and no one was saying anything to this jerk. What happened to parents teaching their children good sportsmanship? It’s almost as if it no longer exists at certain sporting events.

When I was a kid, good sportsmanship was just as important as scoring and you were punished if you stepped out of line. Today, it seems as if it’s the status quo and our society just tolerates it. This is really lousy because these out of control parents can ruin the sports experience for the rest of us.

Later in the week, I decided to Google this topic online to see what popped up. I was amused when I found a story covered by the Washington Post where some parents were banished to a nearby hill as punishment because of bad behavior they exhibited during the previous soccer season. It seems this group of parents berated a referee for a call, and the Washington Area Girls Soccer League decided to ban these naughty parents from the sidelines for two games.

I love it! I wish I heard these stories more often.

The full story

So how do feel about this topic?

Do you think parents have forgotten about good sportsmanship?

Do you think we need to punish those parents who can’t control themselves during a game?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading.

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Oct 18 @ 5:02PM  
About a week ago there was a coach that got into it with some of the fans near by at an high school football game. He was suspended and then there was talk about putting up a fence to separate the crowd from the field. You would have thought that the school would have had the fence there already.

Oct 18 @ 5:13PM  
Do you think parents have forgotten about good sportsmanship?
Many have.

Do you think we need to punish those parents who can’t control themselves during a game?


Oct 18 @ 5:30PM  
I forgot to answer a couple of your questions

Do you think parents have forgotten about good sportsmanship?

In todays society, I'm seeing more and more of this crap.

Do you think we need to punish those parents who can’t control themselves during a game? For the most part, yes!

I screwed up on my previous comment. Feel free to delete that one.

Oct 18 @ 8:20PM  
If you want to have a career in studying childish behavior, just observe some of the so called adults, in a heated sports game!


Oct 18 @ 8:50PM  
My best friend's 2 younger sons are both on their schools football teams. I went to one of the games a couple of weeks back and wow! There was a parent there that would yell and swear up a storm on every call he didn't agree with. It got so bad that we were quite surprised to see the local cops show up and ask him to leave. He got a little belligerent, and ended up in handcuffs and led out.

Scenes like that make me mad. The kids are out there playing a game, and some joker like that takes the attention away from the kids.

btw...My friend's son's teams both won their games that night.

Oct 19 @ 9:47AM  
You can thank Major League Sports for a lot of it. A lot of parents think their kids are Gods gift to the sports world where there are millions and millions of dollars to be made. That doesn't excuse it though.

Oct 19 @ 10:48AM  
I tend to feel that behavior like that has evolved over decades and generations. If we don't recall the days personally, we have certainly heard and read about changes in society concerning upbringing of children. One major one involves the consequences a child faces when behaving badly in public, smarting off/back talking adults, etc. Well, many kids that did this in the past are now the adults and parents of today. I feel that you see this in these people because their parents ignored this sort of bad behavior in them in their youth.

I am recalling a wonderful comment in a recent blog on a related subject to the effect of the commentator recalling when a time out was the time between when you got knocked into next week and regained awareness. I am not advocating abuse by any means. But I am advocating accountability and consequences for unacceptable behavior. Over time, deferring this leads to some very ill mannered and poorly behaved people.

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Parents and bad sportsmanship