Bad parents and umpires

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May 5, 2023 by jacklovelace

One of my earliest youth sports memories was while visiting relatives in southern California. After the game and a lot of bitching about the umpires, one parent was so mad he raced his car back and forth kicking up dust as the umpire went to the car to pack up and leave.

I always loathed parents screaming at umps at youth games. When my kids played I made it a point to sit away from others so any moaning by me was heard by no one.

All this came to mind today when I read a column in the Wall Street Journal about the head of a little league who is losing umpires in droves from crazed parents. So he established a policy, if you are disruptive, you have to umpire three games before you can come back to watch a game. Things have calmed down.

It reminded me of when I coached my kids team.

I never complained about the umpires or refs. Ever. One of my pet peeves is blaming losses on umps and refs, but that is another topic.

One time coaching my son’s team I was busy getting all the 9 year olds in an out of the game and all the details and distractions.

At one point a parent behind the bench started razzing me to keep my head in the game.

I calmly turned around and went up to him and said “It’s yours”.

“What?, ” he said off balance.

“The team. It’s yours. No one else would do it so I agreed. But I can see you should take over.”

“I uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”.

I never heard another word out of him.


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