Little League Coaches and Parents Need to Set a Better Example

It was a moderate, breezy day on Saturday. A perfect day for a football game.

The Champion Little Flashes were hosting the Hubbard Little Eagles at the Champion Athletic Club.

The afternoon started as any other, with the 100 lb Squiggy game commencing at 1 pm. This game ended with the Little Eagles triumphing 24-8.

The 120 lb Peewee game also ended in a blow-out, with Hubbard winning 36-0.

By now there was a little grumbling in the stands, but nothing that drew one’s attention. It wasn’t until about the second quarter of the 150 lb Midget game that the childishness began.

The parents on the Champion side of the field began calling the 10 to 12 year old players names and booing them.

As this continued and escalated unchecked, parents from the Hubbard side began yelling to the Champion parents, to “Grow up”, etc.

Naturally, this did not work and the home crowd became more belligerent as it became clear Hubbard was going to sweep the event, winning all 3 games. As the “adults” continued to behave poorly, with the coaches yelling at the referees, the children began acting like their parents.

Champion had the ball and it appeared that their runner was breaking loose, a Hubbard player came from out of nowhere, wrapped the runner up and took him down. The very next play almost mirrored this play, and the parents began calling the Hubbard player’s “Cheaters!” and other derogatory terms and booing and hissing.

As this second play ended and the players began to split up, a Little Flasher shoved the Little Eagle that made the tackle. The referee was, unfortunately, distracted at this time but heard the calls from the Hubbard side. He looked over just in time to see the Little Eagle shove him back and a penalty was called.

Hubbard went on to finish the game, winning 12-10.

As with any other game, the players gathered around their respective coaches, Champion headed into the end zone and Hubbard set up about mid-field. At this time, one of Champion’s coaches began yelling at Hubbard’s coaches that this was their field, ordering Hubbard to go to the other end zone.

This classic example of a sore loser is pathetic but not unique.

The National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) reports receiving more than 100 reports annually that involve physical contact between coaches, players, fans and officials.

According to the NASO website, The nearly 18,000 member organization is not the “clearinghouse for bad behavior,” says NASO President Barry Mano, but it is the belief by NASO that the reports it receives is only the “tip of the iceberg.”

Youth sports are supposed to teach, well, sportsmanship. Any 3 year old already knows how to throw a fit.

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