The worst part of youth sports, as everybody knows, are the parents. Specifically loudmouth parents who take out their frustrations on the umpires, the players or their own children.
A Colorado company that produces youth sporting events around the country has begun throwing those people right out at never-before-seen-rates.
This is the letter the company, Triple Crown, sent to teams and umpires about the policy change, per the Coloradoan:
Officials and TCS staff will have an expanded commitment to enforce good behavior through:
Ejecting parents, coaches and possibly their respective players when parents demonstrate bad behavior (i.e. parents could cause coaches and/or players to be ejected).
Forfeiting the game if the coach can’t help the parent(s) to demonstrate good behavior.
Removing coaches or parents for the entire event for confrontations in-game or post-game.
Why is TCS doing this? Two main reasons:
1. To improve the player experience with respectful behavior in the stands.
2. Officials are in a major shortage, partly because of bad behavior by parents and coaches.
Can I still debate a call with the official?
Are you a head coach? Then yes, go for it. Do it in a positive manner and not to ridicule or belittle the official. If you’re a parent then please enjoy the game and don’t confront the official.
What is considered bad behavior?
Verbal or physical abuse
Foul or profane language
Relentless questioning and ridicule of the official
We know that you don’t always agree with the official and we acknowledge that they make mistakes. That said, sports officials rarely, if ever, determine the outcome of a game. Players and coaches cause the true outcome of a game.
Triple Crown’s purpose is to “bring athletes and families together in competition and create experiences that embed lasting lifetime valued memories”. Our “Respect of All” value says that there’s “no grunts, no servants and we’re all equal, real people”. These two guiding principles lead us to the decision to crack down on poor treatment of officials and we’re excited to improve the youth experience.
Thank you and enjoy the game.
There is some teeth to the policy, too.
Triple Crown instituted the stricter enforcement Memorial Day Weekend, which is one of its biggest event weekends of the year. King said he has not seen reports from all tournaments since the policy was implemented but that preliminary reports show 30 parents were ejected from games based on the new policy from among 16 events the first two weekends the policy was in place.
That’s approximately 30 more than would have been ejected before the new policy went into effect, and umpires told the Coloradoan they’ve seen an improvement in the way they’re treated by parents. One of the concerns Triple Crown brought up when implementing the new policy was that it’s getting more and more difficult to find officials, especially young ones, willing to put up with what Triple Crown sees as increasingly abusive behavior from parents.
Triple Crown has a large reach of its own, but it’s hoping other associations will adopt similar policies.