Kids' sports and officiating

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Alcott, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. Alcott

    Alcott
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    I just watched an episode of The Andy Griffith Show in which he umpired his son's championship baseball game. His son's team was behind by one run, his son hit a long ball and it was a close play at the plate and Andy ruled he was out, so they lost. The whole team jumped on him, then the town treated him like dirt for a while. Eventually they put the game into perspective, but at the end someone produced a photo showing that the play was actually safe. Andy had contemplated how he 'might' have been bending over backwards to be impartial.

    Has anyone here been in that time of situation? I assume that's still a significant part of children's sports leagues, for parents to officiate, and I have heard of similar things. "He was cheating for his son", et al. And then, in cases where a parent is not involved, I have heard and read of parents being so vicarious as to argue every decision that goes against their son or daughter, and sometimes even coming to physical violence...I remember one case where a parent broke the umpire's leg.

    Since most of the discussion on this forum is about pro sports, or "big time" college sports, maybe this is a different type of topic that is more personally or more directly relevant.
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

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    I would not put myself in the position of officiating a game in which my child participated.

    In my opinion parents are some of the worst examples of sportsmanship around. It is amazing what you will see and hear at games for children.

    I am thankful I had 2 loving parents that always supported me in any sport I participated. But they never once yelled at an offical or a coach. They let me play and have fun. I greatly respect them for that and as my daughters grow and participate in activities I plan on following their example, even in situations where it may be hard to keep my mouth closed.
     
  3. rbell

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    [rant] I'm in my mid-30's. I was the last of the generation that, when we wanted to play baseball, we got a group, went to the lot, and played. Wish that our society was such that we could go back to that.

    As a former high school, college, and recreational athlete, I think...

    ..."organized sports" has turned into a god for thousands of families. "Travel ball" takes several families out of our church--sometimes for weeks at a time. Hard feelings and shouting matches are a normal thing in these parts, over a bunch of six year-old tee-ballers, no less. And parents seem to have NO objectivity...what the heck are you letting a SEVEN year-old practice FIVE DAYS A WEEK, THREE HOURS A DAY for?!? Some parental units are nutsoid.

    It makes me sick at how adults can totally screw up childhood.

    I will say this, though...leaders in our church have been known to confront church folks who act like jerks and bring reproach to God's name or our church's name.

    [/rant]
     
  4. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    I coach Pop Warner football, and last year my kids lost the championship game on two or three bad calls. (The video showed a TD being called on the 3 yard line, and the other two were also caught on tape.) Mistakes happen. However, a few days later, the opposing coach overheard the referee who made the bad calls telling a parent that "he did everything he could to help them win". He had the honor to refuse to participate in the state championships. It was too late to forfeit the game, but he was not going to let his kids learn the lesson that it's OK to benefit from cheating.

    However, most referees and coaches around here are fantastic. The whole community becomes involved. Even those without kids who are playing.
     
  5. Plain Old Bill

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    Well last saturday my 9 year old grandson played his first basketball game.The skill level on both teams was nowhere near the desire level.The official was a nice young man who coached both teams on the floor and explained the game to the kids as they played it. The ref was also a fan of each of the kids as he cheered them along when they did something well.It was a totally enjoyable experience.Now that's SPORTS!
     
  6. NateT

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    I ref'd soccer for 4 seasons (2 years) and always tried to get the kindergarten games. The parents didn't usually care that much about calls, and they were quick games so I could squeeze more in a day.

    The worst coach I ever had to ref was a fellow ref in the league. I hated doing his games. By and large the parents were decent. There were a few bad ones, but it wasn't too bad.
     
  7. Scott J

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    I coach Baseball and Basketball. It is always risky to have family members officiate... but here, most people are somehow related to someone on the team.

    Some have integrity. Some don't.

    I hate seeing kids on either team be on the receiving end of intentionally bad officiating. Like HoG illustrated, it is a terrible lesson to teach a kid.
     
  8. Mike McK

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    I've coached Little League and Cal Ripkin baseball and was an assistant hockey coach one season.

    I love sports and I love to teach kids.

    I haven't done it in about two years, but my coaching career lasted about seven or eight years. In all of that time, I guess I was lucky in that I never experienced the horror stories I hear so much about. The biggest problem I had was when the parents of one of my players showed up, each not knowing the other was there. They were going through a nasty divorce and got into a big fight in the stands. It upset the boy so much that he just got up, got on his bike and left.

    I was going to step out of the dugout and say something to them, but luckily, one of the other players' dad read him the riot act.

    My dad was my coach in baseball and football for many years and he also coached my brother.

    He never showed either of us any favoritism and was always fair with all of his players, so I do know that it can be done.

    Coaching is one thing, but I wouldn't have a parent officiate. Not because I believe he would cheat or show favoritism, but just because it puts the parent in an awkward spot.

    If you want to read a great book on the subject, go check out Cal Ripkin's new book, "Coaching Kids the Ripkin Way".

    I just got it and it has chapters for coaches, parents and officials.
     

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