Monthly Article Archives: February 2002

Some Thoughts about Youth Sports – Part IRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

Recently a trial was held that involved a father who killed another father at a hockey rink in Reading, Massachusetts as their children looked on in horror. The trial received national media attention. Ironically, the argument began when the father convicted of involuntary manslaughter complained to the victim who was refereeing this supposedly “noncontact” pick-up game, that there was too much checking and body contact occurring. An argument and physical fight ensued between the two men that led to the death of one of the fathers. The incident and the subsequent publicity once more placed the spotlight on parental behavior and youth sports. As most of us are aware there have been numerous documented cases of so-called “sports rage” by parents at their children’’s games, including parents attacking referees, umpires, and coaches. On many occasions the anger is not expressed physically but instead through hostile, demeaning words and obscenities. In some cases parents have been banned by sports officials from attending future games as a consequence of their outbursts. A number of towns have required parents to attend a meeting to review appropriate behavior at youth sporting events and still others require that parents and their children sign a code

Article Archive