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What do I do if I see inappropriate conduct during a game?

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What do I do if I see inappropriate conduct during a game?

This is a question that I get a lot, conduct at sporting events. What happens when we see inappropriate conduct at a sporting event? Most of the time that inappropriate conduct is coming from one of three groups: the players, the coaches or the parents.

Now the players' conduct should be handled by the coach. They should be able to take care of that, and let's hope that the organization takes care of the coaches' conduct and in Competing with Character we actually have a set of expectations for the players, the coaches, and the parents. If you see things that are inappropriate, an adult needs to know this. It helps again, ahead of time, to know what is your organization about? If your organization is all about winning at any cost and any conduct at a sporting event is okay, then your child should probably not be in that organization, unless you want him to simulate that type of conduct. Because appropriate behavior at athletic contests by coaches and players are what children learn from. When they see a bad call at the plate in a softball game and the coach goes crazy over it and argues with the official and continues and continues, and parents from the crowd are yelling at the official, immediately our child learns that, you know what, we don't have to accept that, we can argue back, we can scream, throw a tantrum, and maybe things will go our way.

The thing is I tell adults is that they never change the call on the field, so it does no good yelling at the umpire or the official of the game. If you see that inappropriate conduct, you should have a league administrator or somebody that you can talk to. It helps ahead of time if the parents, in Competing with Character, we encourage our parents to form a parents' group and talk about appropriate behaviors at an athletic contest. Cheering for your team, not against the other team. One of our big rules in Competing with Character for parents is that officials are off limits. We don't talk about them, we don't yell at them, and those are just certain things that we want to do at athletic contests.

One of the new things that's popped up lately at youth athletic contests is the consumption of alcoholic beverages by parents at some events, and this has been brought to my attention just in the last year. And your organization should take a very, very strict stand on that because that is not a place for that to happen when children are around. So check ahead of time with your organization, and see what your organization is about, and see if there are some parameters and some expectations for adults' behavior. 

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