I was recently watching the sports news on my local news station(Fox 17) when sports anchor Zach Harig was interviewing two high school sports officials. The topic was the shortage of officials in the area. The reason: Because officials are fed up with the verbal abuse and attacks from parents. One of the officials mentioned that games are now being cancelled or being moved to Saturday due to the shortage of officials. The verbal abuse and treatment of officials and even coaches has become a huge problem in this country. The even bigger problem is that these parents aren’t being held accountable and aren’t facing any consquences. There won’t be any solutions until the problems are addressed. The big question is how do you address them?
The first step I would take is creating an athletic handbook for the students on how they are suppose to have behave. In that handbook there should be a parent section that explains what the school expects from a parent when they attend their child’s sporting event. After that parent has read the handbook then they sign below the section, which means they agree to the terms that the school lays out. If they can’t abide by the rules than their child doesn’t play sports. Another solution is just banning the parents who are out of control and make it known they are not welcome to attend anymore events. We all know that parents want to see their children do well and be successful at sports. However, patents have to learn that these coaches and officials are investing in these kids as well. They should be treated with the same amount respect and considering that the parents want to be treated with. Respect both ways is the only there’s ever going to be a solution to the problem.
If problems keep continuing to happen with parents in the stands, the ultimate solution would be to have the sporting events in an empty facility where no one could see what was going on. I don’t think it will ever come to that, but stranger things have happened. I’ve heard so many horror stories about how coaches and officials have been treated in recent years. When you have parents trying to attack officials after the game or verbally attack a coaches family than that’s a line you just dont cross. This is not just a West Michigan problem. It’s an American problem and it’s a problem that needs to be solved quickly. Banning parents is the only solution that seems logical at this point. Anything less is a slap on the wrist with no consequences involved. It’s time we start respecting our coaches, officials and our student athletes. We owe it to them for the time they are putting into for something they love. I say, be a fan or be banned.