When it comes to youth sports, I thought I had seen it all

When it comes to youth sports, I thought I had seen it all

I thought I had seen it all.

I once saw a coach argue with a fifteen-year-old umpire over a missed call at home plate. There’s nothing so unusual about this except the argument went on for close to a half-hour. It also became more heated as it continued. This was after a pre-game chat about how parents were getting harder to control at our games. Oh Yeah, this happened at a third-grade girl’s softball game. It was a house league game, not even travel ball.

I thought I had seen it all.

I once had a basketball referee tell me my team was going to forfeit the game if I didn’t remove a disruptive parent from the gym. Apparently, he had been yelling at the teenage girl ref about what he perceived was her missed calls that were costing our team the game. When he was told he had to leave and why, he threw a fit and pouted until his wife finally told him to go. Oh yeah, this was at a sixth-grade girl’s basketball game.

I thought I had seen it all.

I once had a mother tell me that I needed to give her daughter more playing time than usual because scouts were coming to check out her game. When I played her the same amount of time as usual and also the same as the other players, mom had some choice and not so lovely words for me. Oh yeah, there were no scouts in attendance because this was at a seventh-grade girl’s house league basketball game.

I can tell many more stories like this, but I think you get the point. I coached ten of my daughter’s youth softball and basketball teams. There were enough incidents that I’ve lost track of all of them. Back then I never understood how people who were normal, rational and friendly humans could lose it over something that was set up to be a fun activity for their child. When and why did it become so serious? Didn’t they realize their child was not going to become the next Michael Jordan? Didn’t they realize there were no scholarships awarded at any of these games?

The reason for this rambling diatribe is there has been another incident in the news. The person in the photo at the top is Kristi Moore (no relation). She has been umpiring games for ten years. At a game, last Saturday, Kristi’s calls didn’t sit right with one of the mothers. Kiara Thomas constantly harassed the umpire and was asked to leave due to her profanity. Thomas then waited for Moore in the parking lot. She confronted the umpire and punched her in the face, leaving Moore with the bruise you see in the picture.

Kiara Thomas was arrested, charged with assault and fined more than four hundred dollars. Oh yeah, all this over a twelve-year-old girl’s softball game.

The sad thing is I was neither shocked nor surprised to see this. This behavior has been constant since parents decided it was better to have their children play organized sports instead of letting them head to the local park where they would hang out and play games with their friends. The sad thing is it will continue to occur. The sad and tragic thing is someone will be hurt even worse than what happened to Kristi Moore last weekend. It’s only a matter of time….and most likely sooner than later.

I thought I had seen it all.

Related post: What’s the matter with kids’ sports parents?

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