Sports from the past week.
Past sports article for the week of 4/12/06
Parents Demand Larger Roles In Matches
By, Grey Sports
Enthusiastic, encouraging, forceful, noisy, sabotaging and emotionally
scarring are all terms used in recent years to describe the majority of
parents at the sidelines of children’s sporting events.
While the enthusiasm and encouragement of their children is always welcome
the increasingly violent behaviour of many parents has become quite disturbing,
leading to measures ranging from restricting the worst parents from attending
their children’s games to blanket bans on parental involvement altogether.
Neither of which is seen as a viable long-term solution to the issue.
Attempts at educating parents on their poor behaviour has met with limited
success at best. The worst offenders refuse to attend and most of those
who do participate fail to recognise they are at fault and attempt to
enforce good behaviour on others.
Some have gone as far as attempting to formalise their place on the sidelines,
with mixed results.
Parents as cheerleaders has been mildly disturbing as many attempt to
recapture the glory days of their youth without first trying to recapture
their figures, talent, endurance or flexibility.
Of the nine cheer teams that were formed entirely from over enthusiastic
parents a total of two and a half combined teams, that is teams made up
from the shattered remains of the original nine, remain. Most of those
involved were severely injured, ranging from broken hips to mild heart
Similarly parent-coaching teams have been disastrous, with coaches being
replaced on a weekly, sometimes even hourly basis should teams start to
falter at crucial points.
All of these efforts share a common problem in that they fail to provide
a solution to the true issue, the poor behaviour of parents.
It has been suggested that the recent reduction of parental interference
(down to 15% on the 2002 session) has been due to the successful implementation
of new strategies.
First among them has been dangling bright shiny objects in front of selected
parents. Soon even those immune to the allure of the bright, twinkling,
shiny pieces of happiness will find themselves entranced as a part of
a peer pressure thing
Also successful was the provision of alcohol on Games grounds.
Wet bars were set up outside of appropriate stadiums and beer and liquor
were provided cheaply to parents of competitors.
The response from parents was enthusiastic, especially with the best super
screens available to show the sports. In this safe environment they could
yell and fight with each other as much as they pleased without disrupting
While such things are beyond the capabilities of most children’s sports
clubs a modified version of the plan involves getting the worst parents
smashed, record the game and keep them smashed as they watch the recording,
leaving them believing they have watched the game.
So far the most successful tactic has been to superglue parents to seats,
so that if they must cause trouble, they cooperate while causing trouble.
Thankfully none have thought of simply removing their pants.