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
- 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.
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).