To the Editor:
Your article “Angry Parents Place Coaches in Tough Spots,” April 20, 2005, addresses the problem of parental behavior toward coaches and administrators.
I agree that inappropriate behavior is often the result of parents’ unrealistic expectations for their children as well as poor sportsmanship from those in attendance at athletic events. These problems are symptomatic of a culture that fails to keep athletics in proper perspective, and they need to be addressed with a broad-based approach. Bad behavior at athletic events might be better controlled if administrators standardized game-management practices and defined, on a regional or state basis, what is acceptable behavior at such events. My experience has been that what is considered poor sportsmanship at some venues is actually encouraged at other locations.
Poor fan behavior could be curtailed further if districts and athletic associations took the initiative to improve the quality and professionalism of game officials. This would include a review of pay scales and qualifications as well as the implementation of a standardized system for evaluating performance. Improvements in these areas would lessen the frustration levels of those in attendance and mitigate the chances of an incident occurring.