Facebook page calls attention to out-of-control parents that ruin youth sports

- A referee out of Oklahoma started a Facebook page called, “You’re Offside” as a way of shaming some of these parents to show just how ridiculous and out of hand things can get sometimes at youth games.

What you’re watching here is a group of fathers brawling at a youth softball tournament.

“From an adult to another adult, you need to stop,” said Barlow. “You’re negatively affecting your kids, your players, your teams and the sole purpose of youth sports.”

Brian Barlow paid the person that took that video $100 to highlight what he says has become an all too common inappropriate behavior from parents on the sidelines.

“Gladly. Because I want to shame people into understanding you look ridiculous,” Barlow added. “You are ridiculous. You’re sucking the life out of the game. You have to stop.”

Brian and Troy Pearson of the Positive Coaching Alliance say this sort of behavior starts happening when kids get to the fourth and fifth grade level.

“We started seeing, ‘I’m paying money, groups are making money and now things have to get serious,’” Pearson said. “We can’t just have quote, end quote, fun.’”

This type of investment can then lead to this type of intervention.

“Kids don’t want to play in the environment,” Pearson added. “Refs don’t want to referee in that environment. Coaches don’t want to coach in that environment and rational parents don’t want to parent in that environment.”

It’s now an environment where refs referee games and supervise adults, where coaches coach kids and supervise adults and kids try to be kids, but sometimes have to step in between adults.

“Just let the kids have fun,” said Pearson. “What we don’t hear enough is, ‘We just love watching you play. Did you have fun?’”

Pearson says studies show that about 70 percent of kids drop all youth sports by the age of 13 because the game isn’t fun anymore.

That, Pearson says, is worth noting. To combat that trend, he has already paid out more than $3,000 for videos and he says he gets more each week.

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