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.
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“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?
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