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OHSAA Issues Parent or Adult Fan Behavior Article


This morning I read following article put out by the Ohio High School Athletic Association concerning parent and adult fan behavior at high school sporting events. Excellent read.

Jerry Snodgrass has been a player, an assistant coach, a head coach, and an athletics director. He brings fairness, a concern for kids, a love of high school sports, but, most of all, structure to his position as Executive Director of the OHSAA. He is working really hard on parent and adult fan behavior.

The saddest part of this article is that bad behavior does happen or exist. Maybe, even a more saddest point is that this type of behavior goes on in youth sports. Everyday!

I would question that “80% of officials quit after the first two years, because of unruly parents or adult fan behavior. ” There seem to be other reasons why, as well. But not the topic here.

Another point worth mentioning is that other sports take a beating, other than football and basketball. I wonder about soccer parents and adult fans in this sport.

Officiating does take a hit. Sometimes this seems worse in the Olympic type sports.

Began working with kids, as an 18 year old head little league coach. Actually, umpired little league baseball a year before(17 years old). Now I am 71. Do the math – 54 years working with kids. My biggest concern – “how does it affect the kids.” My father died early in my life. My mom was “church mouse” at games.

Mom or dad – it does not matter! I always wonder – Does it bother the kid if his parent or parents act like the “north end of horse facing

south?” Sad! if it does or if it doesn’t. Sad either way

The OHSAA release

When more than 2,000 high school athletic directors were asked in a recent national survey what they like least about their job, 62.3-percent said it was “dealing with aggressive parents and adult fans.”

The men and women who wear the black and white stripes agree. In fact, almost 80-percent of officials quit after the first two years on the job and unruly parents are cited as the reason why. As a result, there is a growing shortage of high school officials here in Ohio and in some sports like wrestling, swimming, and track and field, the shortage is severe. No officials means no more games.

If you are a parent attending a high school athletic event this fall, you can help by following these six guidelines:

  • Act Your Age. You are, after all, an adult. Act in a way that makes your family and school proud.
  • Don’t Live Your Life Vicariously Through Your Children. High school sports are for them, not you. Your family’s reputation is not determined by how well your children perform on the field of play.
  • Let Your Children Talk to the Coach Instead of You Doing It for Them. High school athletes learn how to become more confident, independent and capable—but only when their parents don’t jump in and solve their problems for them.
  • Stay in Your Own Lane. No coaching or officiating from the sidelines. Your role is to be a responsible, supportive parent—not a coach or official.
  • Remember, Participating in a High School Sport Is Not About Getting a College Scholarship. According to the NCAA, only about 2% of all high school athletes are awarded a sports scholarship, and the total value of the scholarship is only about $18,000.
  • Make Sure Your Children Know You Love Watching Them Play. Do not critique your child’s performance on the car ride home. Participating in high school sports is about character development, learning and having fun—not winning and losing.

Purchasing a ticket to a high school athletic event does not give you the right to be rude, disrespectful or verbally abusive. Cheer loud and be proud, but be responsible and respectful. The future of high school sports in Ohio is dependent on you.

If you, as a parent or adult fan, get really annoyed or upset, go talk with security or find the the athletics director. Don’t cause a scene with the loud and obnoxious fan or parent. In today’s world, do not try to a hero. Get security.

Finally, my situation is bad at times, because I still have that competitive drive inside. I work at it all of the time. I still say some silly or really stupid things at officials. Not loud for the fans, but the officials can hear. Hopefully, people attribute my negative comments to old age rather than to being the “north end of a horse looking south.”

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