As the father of 9 and local youth soccer referee, I've been to more than my share of youth sporting events. While disrespect for referees (and umpires) has always been there, I am disturbed by recent trends I've seen while watching my kids play or while refereeing games myself.
Our youth sport culture is changing for the worse, in my view. I think this is wrong and recently, I've taken to openly "correcting" parents who are sitting in the high school or youth sports stand with me and asking them "what message do you think you are sending."
One knucklehead told me that "refereeing was easy, after all he had done it." I sit there and listen to what he says in the stands and harken back to something my dad told me when I was young:
better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt
I'm on a mission here. Who will join me? I'm asking you to "call out" those parents and coaches who are not setting a good example for our youth.
When you do it, let me know.
By the way, we've started a little web project for young referees. You can check out TheRefMentor.com here.
If you have a youngster who is brave enough to face the idiots, show them this video about the success mindset of youth referees.