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Game Officials Deserve Respect of Parents, Players, and Coaches

Treat officials with respect 

  • There is only one acceptable way to treat youth sports officials: with respect.
  • The coach sets the tone. When the coach understands the principle of mutual respect, he or she is more likely to be in control of his players and the parents. The parents will take the cues from the coach. If the coach is abusive (and, unfortunately, some are), the parents are likely to follow suit and be abusive. If the coach does not tolerate this behavior, the parents will be better behaved. 
  • If the coach goes out of the way to tell the official that he or she appreciates what the official is doing, then the contest will start off on a positive note. The coach should also let the official know before the game starts that the parents will control themselves and not be abusive. That way the official will know that the coach is in control of the sidelines and that he or she wants a positive environment for the young players, as well as for the official.
  • When mutual respect is established, the official will be better able to give his or her best in calling a good and fair contest. If parents are generally supportive of the official and he or she then hears someone question a call from the sidelines, he or she is more likely to pay attention to this type of problem on the field. The parents have gained credibility with the official because they have not complained about every call. Consequently, the official will think more about the last call to determine if it was in error.


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