Parental Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Here's a novel way to keep parents in check during kids' sports games. Make them watch the game from 100 yards away. At the end of last season, several parents of a 13-year old girl's soccer team in the D.C. suburbs got in the face of a referee. As the Washington Post reports:

After the game, a Bethesda parent approached the referee and accused him of making the wrong call, the report says. The parent "started to raise his voice," according to the report. More sniping occurred, and "the tone and behavior of the parents was aggressive." Then another Bethesda parent allegedly yelled at the referee's daughter, "Your father should be fired!"
"It's embarrassing," one of the parents said. "This is seventh-grade soccer."

The league decided to punish ALL of the team's parents. So for two games at the start of this season, those parents sat a football field length away from the action, some trying to follow along with binoculars.

Again, from the Post:

Potomac lawyer Philip Page watched his daughter Jacqueline play through binoculars, which was "very maddening." Especially because he wasn't even at the game where the unsportsmanlike conduct occurred.
"We accepted our punishment, and we're abiding by it," Page said. "One of the functions of sports is to teach sportsmanship. When we as parents violate that, the girls need to see there are consequences to those actions."



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