Opinion: It’s just a game

Emily Gold

We were playing Licking Valley. During the final seconds of this game, I fell and twisted my knee. The first thing I heard from the stands was a from the other team’s parent from the stands yelling curse words at me to get up. I did not know how to react, and I was just shocked that an actual adult yelled at a 15-year-old girl. Also, it was a JV girl basketball game, not a big playoff game to end an unbeaten record. I was in disbelief, but I shrugged it off like it was nothing.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) posted an interesting article aimed towards parents during their childrens’ sporting events. The article talked about the inappropriate adult behavior at high school events, and how over 2,000 athletic directors have to deal with the out of control parents. 62.3% of these 2,000 directors said they like least about their job is dealing with stubborn parents.

Another problem that these overeager parents create, is the lack of officials. More than 80% of referees quit after the first two years on the job, because of these out of control parents. The shortfall of these officials means fewer games to play during the season. The letter urges parents to stop verbally criticizing the refs, because it humiliates your child, and is irritating to fellow parents sitting around you. If a parent wants to be part of the solution sign up to become a licensed official for middle and high school events. 

OHSAA provided six guidelines for parents to follow while watching their children’s sporting events:

  1. Act your age
  2. Don’t live your life vicariously through your children
  3. Let your children talk to the coach instead of you doing it for them
  4. Stay in your own lane
  5. Participating in high school sports is not all about getting into college
  6. Make sure your children know you love watching them

Parents should keep in mind, the next time they are watching a child’s sports game, the players are not here for the parents’ personal entertainment. Let the kids fall in love with the game, and let the officials officiate.