Los Angeles Times

A coach’s rules for his parents


Re “Angry parents are ruining youth sports. Here's how to rein them in,” April 25

In the early 1990s, I coached my young son’s soccer team. At the first practice, I gathered all the parents and told them my rules:

There will be a fixed rotation, which I will set before the first game, so that every child will play in every game, and every child will play in every position at least once during the season.

Parents will not call out their child’s name during a game.

When the opponents score, parents will applaud politely. When our team scores, please feel free to go wild.

No one will address any remarks to the referee. If there is need for a discussion with a referee, I will do it.

If any parent breaks these rules, I will pull their child from the game.

I had to pull only three kids from games before the parents realized I was serious and became supportive.

We won some games, lost some games, but won the award for “best and fairest” team three years in a row. I had parents asking to have their children on my team. Lawrence Pane


At the beginning of the sports season, each team’s coaches should advise all the parents that any violence or profanity toward referees will result in them being prohibited from attending their children’s games until after they have completed volunteer referee training and actually volunteere­d as a referee in their community.

This would probably deter this kind of behavior, as the most badly behaved parents also tend to be the least willing to volunteer. It’d also help them to see things from a referee’s perspectiv­e.

Ann Payson Santa Monica

In olden times in our San Gabriel Valley community, all elementary schools and parks were open after school and in summer with supervisio­n. We could check out a ball and play to our heart’s desire.

We chose teams, made up the rules and played any game we could dream up for hours on end. No scoreboard, no coaches, no umps or refs, no parents. If we got a bruise, we rubbed it; if we got a scrape, we washed it.

If we struck out or dropped a pass, no Tommy Lasorda wannabe yelled at us. There was no groan from the grandstand. A home run or a touchdown was pure joy for its own sake.

Sadly, those halcyon days are gone. Therefore, it is incumbent upon parents, coaches and officials to remain true to the spirit of play while developing a healthy attitude toward competitio­n. These are youth sports, not showcases for parents’ ambitions.

Dave Sanderson La Cañada Flintridge

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States