A junior football league club in Victoria has finally had enough of the pushy parents on the sideline each week.

Melbourne’s Eastern Football League has introduced ‘Silent Sundays’, where shouting, talking to the umpire and coaching from the sidelines is banned.

Respectful clapping and cheering after a goal is allowed.

Dyson Baker, General Manager of Football Operations at the League, said the move aims to target aggressive and inappropriate spectator behaviour.

“We’ve got parents who are, in one way or another, abusing children,” he told Sunrise.

“This is a way of starting a conversation, building an awareness and making people understand that what’s going on isn’t going to be tolerated”

Mr Baker hopes the silent games will also make it easier for umpires and referees, who are often abused by parents from the sideline.

“The retention rate for umpires isn’t great. The more positive environment we can create, the better it is for everyone,” he said.

Parents have shared their thoughts on the change

“Kids are wrapped up in cotton wool these days.. Got back to the 80’s – 90’s sports were fun, enjoyable and a great outing for the family..”

“Always a few idiots that ruin it for everyone else, I support my daughter and her team, I also cheer when the other team does something good.”

“This means parents won’t come a watch there kids play, so sad.”

“For gods sake, what a precious and soft society we are creating for our children. Surely cheering a barracking, without abuse, for your child and his or her team is what competitive sport is all about. Silent Sunday.”

“OMG……what are we preparing our children for ???? I do appreciate that some parents are ‘feral’ but on the whole most are just there supporting their own child and team mates……..this is absurd!”

“Just to clarify, as my son is a member of this league. ALL encouragement and support to the players is still very much encouraged. This is about parents who scream instructions to their kids on the field, or who yell abuse at coaches and umpires. Many of the umpires of junior games are minors themselves. I think it’s a fabulous initiative. It’s basically about respect and manners. They are not snowflakes, they are talented kids who should be surrounded by support.”

Do you think this is a smart move or just another case of PC going too far?

Share your comments below

Image via Auskick

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  • sad that it is needed


  • I think it’s sad this is necessary but kids don’t need to be exposed to screaming adults.


  • I think it’s fair enough. It should be a place where people are comfortable, not subjected to shouting etc.


  • Its not PC to expect the officials to be respected doing their jobs and some of the parents are way out of line


  • Maybe they should have security staff (hopefully volunteers) with authority to “evict” people who display bad behaviour.
    I wonder if this will apply to some sports. I know of one case at a Netball game where a player and her Mum approached the umpire. The player’s opponent was jabbing her in the ribs with her elbow every time the centre threw the ball and was causing quite a lot of pain by 1/2 time. The umpire watched and caught the opponent on more than one occasion. The next day the victim had severe bruising in two areas.


  • These rules are made in response to the misbehaviour of parents, it’s sad that this is necessary.


  • It’s sad that things go so far that they need to implement this type of strategy – why can’t parents chill out.


  • If they decided to make such a rule, it means there was a need for it. So I’m fine with it.


  • It’s probably a rule that needs to be followed every game!


  • Watching my nephews football I have seen how horrible some of these parents can be. It’s just a game and let the kids have some fun


  • oh that’s part of the fun and the learning for the kids. well it must be severe that they’ve decided to have this as a rule.


  • Its really sad that they feel the need to do this. Ban the idiot parents so the kids can learn to behave properly from the more mature spectators.


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