What a disturbing story. Parents brawl while injured player lays on the field. It happened this fall in Washington State. Presumably the parent who started the fight was the one whose student was laying injured on the field. Sports injury are no fun. But not nearly as ‘unfun’ as fighting in the grandstands at a youth game. Activities like this give “spectatoring” a bad name. Others have labeled such actions “parental involvement in youth sports.” But that just soft-soaps the word “involvement.” Parental Grandstand fights could better be called “Parental interference in youth sports” Frankly, I have a hunch the offending parent may have shown his hand earlier than at this specific late season game. One commentator suggested banning the family from the league. Clean, effective, a little more low-key and focused.
Here’s a better idea: Nip the bad behavior in the bud, early on. Families that exercise bad sportsmanship, bad spectatorship, etc, etc, should be removed from the roster immediately. They don’t play any more. Put this policy in place from the get-go; Long before the season even begins. Get everyone to sign off on it, and understand that playing on the team is a privilege.
If more teams adopted a code like that, then the league would not have to be so heavy handed. So, as I see it, a league level decision to ban the whole team from the play-offs can be bull horn broadcasted as a cautionary tale to the rest of the world. “Watch the game, and watch yourself!”
Grandstand fights may stem from some kind of misguided “sense of parental pride in a job well done,” but when the “chickens come home to roost,” is it really in the child’s best interests to see their parents as some kind of a rock ’em, sock ’em Godzilla out to pave the way for junior’s primrose trail to the Superbowl? I think not and the sooner that lesson is learned, the better for everyone.