I sat there in the hot sun getting burnt to a crisp hour after hour watching my kid out on the field. I was surrounded by parents who were there to do the same, some quiet, some encouraging, and some angry…. Angry, you say? Yes, very…. And out of control and out of line.
They are angry because their team is losing, the kids are playing a bit rough, they don’t think the ref is good, or they just feel like yelling or cursing in a public place is what we do at a children’s soccer match.
One of the main reasons they are angry is because they don’t know the rules of the game… They don’t understand what really constitutes a foul and they think that if their kid falls down or gets hurt it must be someone’s fault. They are angry because the refs can’t see everything and don’t have time to explain the rules to a crowd of screaming parents.
Last Monday, as I watched my kid on the field an angry father got up and marched onto the pitch… his kid had been bumped and was on the ground (it is a contact sport)… the ref had stopped the game and called a foul… but everyone was yelling at him and at each other… the father was cursing and yelling at the coaches and the ref as he walked all the way across the field to his kid, and again as he walked back to the sidelines. The ref calmly walked over to the dad, gave him a red card and told him that if he didn’t leave the field the game would not go on. The man left. The crowd (from the opposing team) went wild cheering. The ref went to tell the coaches to talk to the parents… it’s only a game he said… it is supposed to be fun…
I turned to the man next to me… who is your kid out there? He smiled and pointed, ‘Rose, she’s 9 years old’… who’s your kid? … I smiled and pointed, ‘He’s 17…he’s the ref’