Parents play an invaluable role in club and community sports. Occasionally, however, some become over emotional, verbally abusive and sometimes even physically aggressive. It’s important that the inappropriate actions of a few parents don’t ruin the sporting experience for everyone else.

Information to help you understand the issue

Ugly parents:

  • sometimes use foul language make threatening gestures and remarks directed at the coach, umpire or other team
  • have a win at all costs mentality
  • are likely to ‘coach’ and ‘referee’ from the sidelines and concentrate on faults and failings rather than successes
  • diminish everyone’s enjoyment of the game.

Inappropriate behaviour by parents can result in:

  • children withdrawing from sport
  • reduced membership
  • fewer people willing to volunteer for coaching and official positions; and/or
  • an increased risk of legal action.

Information for:

The Law

Clubs have a legal responsibility to address behaviours that offend community standards or are against the law (e.g., racial vilification, sexual harassment, criminal or common assault).