PARENTS BEHAVING BADLY: 30 Get Into Fight At Soccer Game. Really?

Have you ever gone to a soccer game and see a fight break out?

Well, okay, it happens at some wild Euro matches with hooligans, but can you imagine that sort of hooliganizing between parents at a kids’ soccer game?

A full on brawl erupted this week between 30 parents at a youth soccer tournament in Barrie, Ontario.

The fight was a result of a call made during a boys’ under-14 game involving teams from the Kitchener Soccer Club and the Barrie Soccer Club. Parents on the sidelines disagreed with the referee’s call and things escalated when one of the parents directed a racial slur at a black family from Kitchener, said Sgt. Curt Phillips of the Barrie Police.

“The parents of both teams had an opinion of what was happening on the field and they got in a confrontation about it,” said Kim Nicholl, administrative consultant for the Barrie Soccer Club.
[via CBC]

It got so out of hand, that tournament organizers had to call police to come and break up the fight.

We get it. We all love our kids, We’re passionate about them and want to see them succeed, but … right?

When parents fight at soccer gamem it’s time trot some reminders and highlights from Taking You Beyond The Game‘s sideline etiquette guide so we can show our kids how to win and lose with grace.

  • Have Fun Out There 1 of 9
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    Etiquette reminders for parents who cheer!

    via Taking You Beyond The Game

  • Let The Coaches Coach 2 of 9
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    If you are telling your son or daughter—or any other player for that matter—to do something different from what their coach is telling them, you create distraction and confusion.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Let The Kids Play 3 of 9
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    It is very unnerving for many young players to try and perform difficult tasks on the field on the spur of the moment when parents are yelling at them from the sidelines. Let the kids play. If they have been well coached, they should know what to do on the field. If they make a mistake, chances are they will learn from it.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Be Encouraging 4 of 9
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    Make positive comments from the sideline. Young athletes do not need to be reminded constantly about their perceived errors or mistakes. Their coaches will instruct them, either during the game or at half time, and during practices. You can often see a young player make that extra effort when they hear encouraging words from the sideline about their hustle.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Don’t Complain 5 of 9
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    Do your level best not to complain about other players or your son or daughter's coaches to other parents. Once that starts, it is like a disease that spreads. Before you know it, parents are talking constantly in a negative way behind a coach's back. (As an aside, if you have what you truly feel is a legitimate beef with your child's coach—either regarding game strategy or playing time, arrange an appointment to meet privately, away from a soccer field.)

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • The Ref Thing 6 of 9
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    What is the easiest thing to do in the youth sports world? Criticize the referees. Oh, there are times when calls are missed, absolutely. And that can, unfortunately, directly affect the outcome of a contest. That said, by and large those who officiate at youth soccer games are hardly over-compensated, and give it an honest—and often quite competent—effort. At worst, they at least try to be fair and objective.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Yelling 7 of 9
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    Walking up and down all game long along the sidelines, following the play, is unnerving to players and totally unnecessary—particularly so if you are trying to yell out instructions to various players, including your own son or daughter. It is likely embarrassing to the player/players involved and simply counterproductive. If you want to coach, obtain your coaching certification and then apply for a job.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Not The Enemy 8 of 9
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    Parents on the "other" team are not the enemy. Neither are the boys or girls on the other team. We should work to check any negative feelings at the door before we hit the pitch.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Meet Me In The Parking Lot 9 of 9
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    The parking lot is not the time to "fan the flame"'. Whether it is a coach's decision, a referee's call, a comment that was made, let it go. Don't harass the coach, or an official, or a parent on the other team after the game is over. Go home, relax, and unwind. Talk positively with your child. The ride home is sometimes as important as the game itself. Make that time a good memory for your son or daughter by discussing as many positives as you can about him/her, her coach, her teammates, etc.

    Image via iStockPhoto

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