We’re in it for the kids
We love that spectators are invested in the outcome of their child’s games, but negative comments from the sidelines won’t be tolerated.
In competitive grades, teams can even be docked premiership points because of poor behaviour by players, team officials or spectators.
You are not the coach
Unless you have put up your hand to coach a team and you’re wearing a blue bib, you’re not the coach. Don’t try to be. Your instructions from the sidelines aren’t helping.
You are not the umpire
The umpires are human. They are also very often under the age of 18. That means they are CHILDREN. They’re also learning, so cut them some slack. What if it was YOUR child umpiring? How would you want other parents on the sideline to treat them?
You are a role model
Your behaviour teaches kids what is acceptable on the sporting field and what is not.Don’t want them to be bad sports? Then don’t BE a bad sport.
The results don’t matter.
Really, they don’t.
We want kids to enjoy their footy. Only a tiny fraction of players will go on to play AFL at an elite level, so let them have fun.
Whether the umpire makes good calls or not, in the scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that your child learns to respect the authority of the coach, respect the umpire, respect their team-mates and respect their opposition.
One of the reasons we encourage our children to play sport is because we recognise that sport is a great developer of character. Let’s just make sure we’re doing all we can to ensure that character development is positive.