"Silent Saturdays" and Oaths
It was a Saturday afternoon at the local soccer field in Montgomery County, Maryland. The stands were filled, but the air was silent. Coaches were able to talk to their players and players talked to their teammates, but there was almost no interaction between the players and those on the sidelines.
This exercise, known as Silent Saturday, has been implemented in several counties in Maryland in an attempt to curb loud and obnoxious behavior from parents in the stands. Proponents of the concept say it allows kids to play without unnecessary distractions from overzealous parents. Opponents say it stifles not only negative comments from the stands, but also positive encouragement from parents which is important for their kids to hear.
Another solution which has
been met with less criticism is the implementation of oaths for parents.
Now, community members in Lynnfield, Mass., are supporting oaths for parents, similar to the oaths their children take. One resident is implementing Michaels Sportsmanship Awareness Program, named in memory of Michael Costin. The program, hoping to gain funding from NAYS, would establish consistent sportsmanship in youth sports guidelines for players, coaches, and parents.
The cities of Santa Clarita, Calif., and Glendale Heights, Ill,, among others, have already mandated that parents sign a binding code of conduct before their children are allowed to play on a sport team. Los Angeles mayoral candidate Steven Soboroff has even made parental oaths a part of his campaign platform.
17-year-old Tim Daniels thinks oaths are a good idea because oaths keep it fresh in peoples minds before every game that you need to stay calm and let them know that that kind of behavior wont be tolerated. However, Daniels doesnt expect the oaths to change everyones behavior.
Im not sure how much it will work with the people who are bound and determined to fight. I think there are some people who cant just get it through their head that kids sports are supposed to be for fun. Still, I think oaths will help to regulate some of the misconduct in the stands.
Eighth grader Mike Schifino agrees: I think oaths are a good idea to keep parents quieter and more calm during the game. At the beginning of hockey season, they already give out these pieces of paper that all players must sign that say I agree to be on my best behavior and not display any misconduct in the locker room or on the ice.
of the Lynnfield Public Schools, Dr. Richard Palermo, envisions an oath
and handbook just talking about general kinds of sportsmanship things
in terms of not making derogatory comments to any of your players or the