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Iowa athletic association begs nasty parents to shape up at games


This news story was published on August 28, 2019.
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DES MOINES – The Iowa high school athletic association (IHSAA) is begging nasty parents, who are ruining the athletic experience for players, coaches and umpires, to shape up at games.

The IHSAA’s purpose, it says, it “to promote, develop, direct, protect, and regulate amateur interscholastic athletic relationships between member schools and to stimulate fair play, friendly rivalry, and good sportsmanship among contestants, schools, and communities throughout the state.” This week, the agency released a statement begging nasty, unruly, goulish parents to shape it up at games and stop ruining the experience for so many participants. Here is the statement that was published:

Aug 27, 2019

Parents and adult fans:

The biggest challenge facing high school sports today From Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations and Tom Keating, executive director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Inappropriate adult behaviors at high school athletic events across the country have reached epidemic proportion. When more than 2,000 high school athletic directors were asked in a recent national survey what they like least about their job, 62.3 percent said it was, “dealing with aggressive parents and adult fans.”

And the men and women who referee or umpire those contests agree. In fact, almost 60% of new officials registered in Iowa in 2016-17 did not return to officiate in 2017-18, and unruly parents are often cited as a major reason why. As a result, there is a growing shortage of high school officials here in Iowa, and in baseball, football, track and field, and wrestling, the IHSAA is seeing record lows. No officials means no games.

If you are a parent attending a high school athletic event this fall, you can help by following these six guidelines:

1. Act your age. You are, after all, an adult. Act in a way that makes your family and school proud.

2. Don’t live vicariously through your children. High school sports are for them, not you. Your family’s reputation is not determined by how well your children perform on the field of play.

3. Let your children talk to the coach instead of doing it for them. High school athletes learn how to become more confident, independent and capable—but only when their parents don’t jump in and solve their problems for them.

4. Stay in your own lane. No coaching or officiating from the sidelines. Your role is to be a responsible, supportive parent, not a coach or official.

5. Remember: Participating in a high school sport is not about a college scholarship. According to the NCAA, only about 2% of all high school athletes are awarded a sports scholarship, and the average total value of that scholarship is only around $18,000.

6. Make sure your children know you love watching them play. Do not critique your child’s performance on the car ride home. Participating in high school sports is about character development, learning and having fun—not winning and losing.

Purchasing a ticket to a high school sporting event does not give you the right to be rude, disrespectful, or verbally abusive. Cheer loud and be proud, but please also be responsible and considerate as a spectator. The future of high school sports in Iowa is dependent on you.

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2 Responses to Iowa athletic association begs nasty parents to shape up at games

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 28, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    No way, people who like sports are prone to aggressive self centered behavior? people trying to live vicariously through their childrens experiences are small minded inconsiderate and rude? these people are the same as stage parents or any other adult applying undue pressure onto their child in an attempt to reap some benefits. its a million to one youre going pro in any sport. parents should be getting this way about improving the quality of education their children are getting, they should be using that passion to fight for better art and music programs they should be fighting the systematic liberal brainwashing in public education they should be fighting for an end to public educations whitewash of history. instead they are groveling morons foaming at the mouth over something so unimportant and basic as sports. sports are for stupid people. enjoy your contest to see whos child can receive the worst type of brain injury and which ones will snap in their 40’s do to the child hood head trauma you payed for and fought for. dumb as hell. america doesnt need more athletes we need more educated youth with the future in mind. friday night lights are for meatheads and loser’s.

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    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 28, 2019 at 6:47 am

    My son is a high school ref for baseball and basketball. He says parents are absolutely crude, coarse and abusive. Just asking them to change won’t work. Parenting starts at home and we have generations who have had no parenting.