Show some respect at sports events

A letter from the Oregon State Athletics Association encouraging parents to stop criticizing the officials and coaches was recently sent out, claiming that poor adult behavior is the reason why there is a shortage of high school officials in Oregon.

Too many adults jeer, call out, scream, and curse at the officials. These adults are the parents, friends, and grandparents of the players on the court or field – do they realize how their crude behavior might affect those kids?

We are all for supporting your kid and getting into the game they’re playing in. Sports bring out a range of emotions; we love to celebrate and cry with the teams we support. But screaming at the officials because you are angry that the game isn’t going the direction you want isn’t the answer.

Most of the time, they’re just trying to do their job. That is the best anyone can ask of them. Of anyone, really.

There are more officials that are older than 60 than there are 30 years old, and it’s the younger officials who are throwing in the towel, so to speak. Which means that when the older referees retire, who will be there to take their place?

This could endanger the future of high school athletics if there aren’t enough officials for games.

Sports is meant to be enjoyable as much as it is meant to be competitive. Rude behavior doesn’t make it fun for anyone.

And while we’re on the topic of parental behavior at sporting events: parents, it’s OK if your child loses. And when they do, having a poor attitude only makes that loss worse.

Losing is a part of playing sports. Among other things, it teaches them how to cope in situations where things don’t go their way.

Dallas High School’s head wrestling coach, Tony Olliff has stated that he wants his wrestlers to lose at least once throughout the season so they can figure out where the chinks in their armor are.

Everyone has their opinions on losing and winning and how the games should go, but at the end of the day, try and be a little more respectful to the officials, and to the teams your child is playing against, and maybe consider the idea that high school sports are not an end-all, be-all.

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