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    January 29, 2014

    Off the Rim - "Parents - Part 1"

    By Hoops

    Last week I was reading another newspaper article about sports and parents -"Hooligan parent needs to stay away from kids' game". Once again, the focus was on hockey and how some parents are way too involved in their kids' sports and create problems at games with officials and other parents. It made me think - are things that much different in basketball? This is a delicate subject because, as Hoops has learned over the years, and despite the fact that I have no children, when a situation involves your own child, people sometimes can become very irrational and emotional.

    Can  we prevent these kinds of ugly occurrences from happening in basketball and, if so, how? Hockey Manitoba has suggested that they may make all parents take an on-line course, similar to the one many coaches have taken. It couldn't hurt, but I doubt if it would have much affect. How someone will answer in front of one's computer and how that same person would act in the crowd during an emotional game, could be very different.

    Why can't some parents allow their children to play without interference and without getting involved in conflicts during some games? We sometimes hear horror stories about how some young and promising referees leave officiating because of abuse from fans and coaches.

    The WMBA has a policy of "zero tolerance" as it relates to coaches and that seems to be a positive thing, even though it is unfortunate that such things have to be written. Hoops also believes that coaches should play a role in trying to influence the behaviour of fans. Many coaches have a pre-season meeting with parents and that probably would be a good opportunity to review a parents code of conduct. If there is a root of this problem it probably is that we don't discuss it in an open forum often enough. As with many things, we make assumptions that people already know this stuff instead of tackling it head on and making it clear to everyone that certain behaviours are unacceptable and detrimental to young children and sport in general, even if it involves your own son or daughter,.

    I hope we can all agree that, in general, adult values are too often imposed on youth sports. Maybe our provincial governing body, Basketball Manitoba, needs to deal with this issue before we become like hockey.

    I would be interested in hearing from you out there - comment below. Part 2 on this subject will be coming next week.

    We welcome your comments on this topic by posting them below!  Basketball Manitoba welcomes submissions from the basketball community to its website.  If you would like to become a regular contributor, please contact our webmaster.  

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    1. I have always felt basketball and the tolerance towards abusive parents and coaches has been way better than other sports my sons have participated in the past. I have seen referees eject parents (with threat of forfeit) from a venue and give technical to coaches. I believe this has to be to focus and to give the power to the referees to keep this behaviour in check.

    2. "I hope we can all agree that, in general, adult values are too often imposed on youth sports."

      While I think we can all agree on that point, I'm not sure it applies in this situation. When it comes to unruly or hooligan parents, in my opinion, it's not really a question of adult values being imposed upon youth sports. I would say it's the rather sad acceptance of allowing adults to continue to display the behavior of children. Reasonable adults should be able to comprehend that no form of competition (at any level or age) should serve as a justification for people to behave like adolescents who have no control over their emotions. Just because you're ID says you're over 18 or 21 doesn't mean everyone over that age acts like an adult.

      1. The stereotype of "hockey parent" is an unfortunate label for the world of hockey, it exists in hockey BUT it does exists in ALL SPORTS in today's society.
        Regardless of which sport is played, be it recreational, developmental, elite or just for sh#ts and giggles level(s), human nature will bring the worst out of the individual(s).
        Our role and responsability as ambassdors, educators, commitee members, convenors, officials, teamates, coaches and mangers of any game, is not only to educate/teach "our" athletes/youth but also extend "the" education of "the" philosophies and beliefs to the "parents/adults" or in this case the "hooligan parent".
        I stand tall and applaud (the slow one) clap...clap...clap...CHEERS to all or any individual(s), club(s), association(s) and league(s) that devote/commit/volunteer and SACRIFICE their time to improve the experience.
        To have an opportunity and be a part of building quality individuals/members of today/futures society is humbling.
        Hopefully, we have done our part and they understand, appreciate the "why" do this for those individuals.
        Maybe at the end of the day...they've won some games during "the expierence"....

      2. NOT JUST IN HOCKEY!!! There was a situation this year after telling a player to get into the game after committing three turnovers in a row. The parent yells from the stands "maybe if you played him more" My response was let me coach. The parent was not ejected from game. Following the game that we won, the same parent in front of all the parents and kids, confronts me and calls the team down by saying that the kids are not that good for everyone to hear, amonst other statements. I was shocked. After asking that the parent not to attend anymore games, this parent continued to come to games and being very vocal without any repercussion. This made for a very uncomfortable season for the players, parents and coaches. There is no room for holigan parents like this period.


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    Item Reviewed: Off the Rim - "Parents - Part 1" Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Adam Wedlake
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