Children First: Parental sportsmanship an issue in youth sports - KOTA Territory News

Children First: Parental sportsmanship an issue in youth sports

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In this age of Youtube, youth sports have become swarmed by outrageous behavior not on the court, but from the bleachers and from parents.

"When parents don't act appropriately at a sporting event it's basically bullying. And seeing other people acting inappropriately kinda negates what they are learning in a positive way in sports," said Burke Eilers, Director of Counceling at Youth and Family Services.

And a code of conduct letter is one step many leagues have taken to ensure a fun and safe environment.

"What we have in place for all of our parents as well our players and coaches is a code of conduct. And they all have to abide by that and sign it at the beginning. If you're going to yell at the refs you're probably going to be asked to leave," said Shawn Boyle, President of the Black Hills Youth Football League.

Randy Stanton has seen both good and bad from fans as an official and it's also helped him create an atmosphere at the YMCA based on sportsmanship.

"Because we are a YMCA and we approach things a little bit differently from the standpoint of winners, losers, and keeping score and things like that has made me develop the rules here so that we don't have any of that negative atmosphere," said Randy Stanton, Youth Sports Director at the Rapid City YMCA.

And to prevent a situation all it takes is a little peer pressure from fellow parents.

"Sometimes it may be appropriate to have another adult intervene," said Eilers.

"It's usually the parents that have to tattle tale on another parent. But there's different kinds of personalities and characters in the stands every game. And they do kind of police each other," said Boyle.

After all youth sports are about fun not Youtube hits.

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