A Parents Code Of Conduct For Youth Sports

Thanks to my sister-in-law, I have in my possession a “Sport Parent Code of Conduct” which has been implemented by one of the Little Leagues in her area of the world. The parents of the kids need to read and sign this document agreeing to abide by its terms and conditions or risk being

“… asked to leave the sports facility and be suspended from the following game.”

The tone of this document is lofty; the goals are noble indeed. I cannot imagine any parent refusing to sign the document; I also cannot imagine that all parents will behave in ways that are in concert with the document they signed. For example:

    “I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults”. I suspect they will remember that until the first and second place teams are squaring off near the end of the season with the “league championship” on the line.

    “I will learn the rules of the game and the policies of the league.” Having officiated youth sports for 37 years I can assure you that parents will never learn the rules of the game. Moreover, they will only learn the league policies in order to trash them or to attempt to circumvent them.

    “I (and my guests)will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player or parent such as booing, taunting, refusing to shake hands or using profane language or gestures.” The first violation of that covenant will probably occur in the 4th inning of the first game of the season.

    “I will demand that my child treat other players, coaches, officials and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability.” Good luck with the “ability” part of that statement.

    “I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during games and practices, unless I am one of the official coaches of the team.” This one will last until the 3rd inning of the first game…

There were 17 statements of this type that parents “agreed to” in this document; the dozen that I left out also had noble ends in mind with realistic expectations of conformity ranging from “perhaps” to “no way on the planet”. Nevertheless, I am sure that this makes the league administrators feel as if they have done something to make their league better than the one down the road. Hopefully, they will all sleep well in their delusional state…

Speaking of people living in a delusional state, Larry Brown was introduced to the world as the head basketball coach at SMU. To call Brown peripatetic would understate his coaching career. He has coached 9 NBA teams, 1 team in the old ABA that did not make the jump to the NBA and 3 college teams prior to surfacing at SMU at age 71. This is his 4th coaching position since 2003 – - and he took all of 2011 off. Asked about his commitment to this SMU job, here is what Larry Brown said:

“I don’t want people to think I’m just doing this for a little while. I don’t feel like, you know, one, two, three, four years. I want to be in this for the long haul.”

Larry Brown is an excellent basketball coach; the fact that he is in the Basketball Hall of Fame attests to that. However, the odds that he will be the coach at SMU in 2017 – - that is one year past the four years he dismissed as not the “long haul” – - are very big.

Bob Molinaro had this comment about SMU in his column in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:

“In case you didn’t know, and I needed reminding, SMU – still located in Dallas – joins the Big East in 2013. Makes about as much sense as most conference moves these days.”

Far too often, the owners of sports franchises and pro sports leagues play games with politicians at the local and state level seeking to get money from the public coffers to aid their teams’ bottom line. When the politicos do not knuckle under sufficiently, their jurisdictions face punishment from the leagues or the teams in the form of “leaving town”. Seattle lost the Sonics that way; Cleveland lost the Browns that way – - and only got an expansion team back once the local leaders found the money in the budgets to do what they had refused to do for the previous owners; Sacramento may lose the Kings if things do not settle down out there. Therefore, it is nice to hear one politician speak up and say what he really thinks about a sports franchise that is not going to hang around. Here is Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey:

“I’m not going to the Nets game (Monday night) and my message to the Nets is ‘Goodbye.’ They want to leave here and go to Brooklyn? Good riddance.”

Finally, here is a gem from Brad Rock in the Deseret News:

“A report in ESPN the Magazine estimates 40-60 percent of the Oregon football team smokes marijuana.

“Does that include the people who designed the uniforms?

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

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  • Brian  On April 25, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Sir: Agree 1000 percent on the Oregon uniforms comment. They are getting just plain ridiculous. And it’s infecting other schools…when is it going to stop??

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On April 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm


      It will stop when Nike – - designer of the Oregon uniforms and most of the other “offensive uniforms” – - decides that it is not getting its money’s worth from the exposure that such outrageous uniforms cost them.

      I do not mean to sound crass here, but I believe that is “The Bottom Line”…

  • Peter  On April 25, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I got married mostly because I got sick and tired of being right all the time. Officiating youth sports would be just piling on, IMHO.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On April 25, 2012 at 10:59 pm


      I used to conduct clinics for new basketball officials. I told them that there were two kinds of referees:

      A. Those that have made mistakes – - and – -

      B. Those that were just about to.

      Nonetheless, I could have officiated any youth game in a total state of inebriation and still have gotten more calls “right” than the ones I would constantly hear made by parents in the stands. As I said in the rant today, they do not know the rules; they will not take the time to learn the rules and they never seem to come down with laryngitis.

  • rugger9  On April 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Interesting that Larry’s coaching again. I’d take the Under for two years, shorter if a real NBA job [as opposed to Charlotte] opened up. Perhaps all of the stops were intended to diversify his 401K accounts….

    On Sacramento [and apropos for other cities] they really may not have the money, since budgets here in CA wait for what the state legislature is going to do. Usually, they’re late and these days full of cuts. The other part of the issue is what the city gets in return, there have been studies published recently about how tax breaks and other sweeteners don’t pay off, borne out by the baths taken by every Olympics since the Second World War and many other examples. Sometimes the methods to shovel out the $$$ are ridiculous, for example the 49er’s new stadium in Santa Clara was passed a couple years back as Measure J, which had a 67 million deficit admitted by the pooh-bahs behind the measure. That’s fiscally bad enough, but in the last couple of years since, the structure agreed to in Measure J has now “evolved administratively” into the City of Santa Clara being on the hook or 850 million dollars in loan debt, and the courts here saw nothing wrong with that. Keep in mind the city is already doing furlough days for the government and school districts in town. Add to that the possibility the Raiders might join the Niners here, raising the drunken lout population by an order of magnitude, and one can see just how bad it is.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On April 25, 2012 at 11:06 pm


      I think 2 years for Larry Brown is a reasonable expectation – - unless the team goes 3-27 in his first year and then starts out 1-9 in the second year. In that case, he is gone before conference play starts in that second year. After completing two years – - with just about any record – - I think the wanderlust will hit Larry Brown one more time…

      Taxpayer funded sports venues never pay off in terms of a return to the cities/states – - and therefore the taxpayers of those jurisdictions. The prospective studies that claim all those economic benefits are based on assumptions that are as far from reality as Alice’s white rabbit hurrying off to his “very important date”.

      Greece just finished hosting the Olympics in 2004; if the Olympics were such an economic bonanza, how come the Greek economy tanked? The reason is that the Olympics took an economy that was deep in debt to begin with and piled an unmanageable burden on top of that. There is no way the Olympics EVER pay for themselves let alone provide an economic dividend for the folks who live in the cities that host them.

  • Rich  On April 25, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I had the pleasure of seeing the Nets in their home arena in Newark, New Jersey this year. A very nice facility, but nearly empty. I can’t blame them for relocating, or blame Governor Christie for his comment. And to repeat a sentiment I’ve expressed in the past, I am so glad that they are not coming to Las Vegas to play their home games. Cities don’t need to spend money on these facilities.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On April 25, 2012 at 11:11 pm


      The emptiness of the Nets facility is caused in part by the fact that they are only temporary tenants there – - and have made that status perfectly clear for the past several years – - and by the fact that the team is barely competitive with the lower-tier teams in the NBA.

      I will be kind for the moment and point out only very gently that Newark NJ is not exactly a “garden-spot” and a “magnet for out-of-town folks” to come and see a game whilst also seeing the wonders of downtown Newark.

      The Nets are not coming to Las Vegas as a home venue – - but they MIGHT be coming to town to be the visiting team to play the Kings should the Kings choose to pick up stakes and move. Las Vegas is one of three landing spots for the Kings and more than a couple of folks think that Las Vegas is fist on the list of possibilities.

  • Tenacious P  On April 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Please remain standing for the Little League pledge: I trust in God. I love my country and will respect its laws. And I will always do my best to read Sports Curmudgeon.

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On April 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm


    I am going to hold you to the final statement in your pledge above…

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