EUGENE, Ore. – Poor sportsmanship by parents remains an issue at youth sporting events.
Across the country, there are now reports of parents abusing referees to the point that some youth leagues are having a hard time recruiting and retaining referees.
Kidsports, a nonprofit in Lane County, hasn’t reached that level, but they are seeing continued problems with parents acting childish.
Executive director Bev Smith said parents need to have their voices heard for the right reasons.
“We ask that our parents really observe the game. They can cheer,” Smith said. “We ask they try not to use verbs like jump run dribble, and cheer unilaterally for your team and the other team because there's kids on both sides that are trying their best. Also, see the official for what they are, who are also, at times, young people trying to learn the game.”
The Kidsports parent code of conduct reads: “I will respect my child’s teammates and fellow parents as well as the players, parents and coaches from opposing teams. I will give only encouragement and applaud only positive accomplishments whether for my child, his or her teammates, their opponents or the officials.”