Psychologists say parent rage is a growing problem.
“Instead of just being a game that kids play and should play by the rules it’s a more important ego type of issue,” explains Dr. Robert Insull. “Parents being to feel that their identities depend on the success of their children.
Another part to the equation: sports involving travel teams are both competitive and expensive and as the play on the field intensifies so does the reaction of the stakeholders.
“We have a lot of rules in place because adult misconduct has been an issue for us,” says league president Mary Arter. She says spectators and coaches are held to the same “zero tolerance” regulations as players.
“We think it’s done some good in terms of coach behavior, but unfortunately not as much in terms of spectator behavior,” she says.
Greece Police filled out an incident report but with no arrests it left the issue of punishment back to the league. RDYSL is reviewing the police report, and its own internal documents.
The parents face fines and possible ejection from future games.
“We take this very seriously. We don’t want the actions of a few adults getting in the way of everyone having a good soccer experience,” says Arter.