Unruly Maine Parents Having to Become Umpires? Yes, Please
It's not very often I say something actually good about the state of New Jersey, but here we are.
There's a town in the Garden State that has quite possibly the best idea ever to deal with the growing problem of unruly sports parents. This idea is so good that I urge EVERY town in Maine to adopt the same program.
According to New Jersey News 12, the town of Deptford got so tired of abusive parents at Little League games that a plan had to be put into place. However, it's unlike anything you have probably heard before. Instead of just kicking these parents out, they would be given a choice. These horrendous parents could either accept being thrown out of the stands for the year, or could choose the option of being an actual umpire in the league for three games.
This idea is downright genius. It's an opportunity to allow these heinous human beings to see how difficult it is to officiate a game, with the hope their toxic attitudes will be altered positively moving forward.
According to New Jersey News 12, this idea was enacted after two volunteer umpires quit due to the abuse and vitriol being thrown their way (again, this is Little League). The league realized it had to do something before it was too late. And now, if unruly parents want to be able to watch their kids play moving forward, they need to shut up, suit up, and take their turn officiating. The parent can go back to the crowd after three games, and hopefully at that time they have decided they actually want to be an adult, not a petulant little baby.
I wish I could express how much I love this. Nothing ruins youth sports like parents. And if you don't think this is a problem in Maine, then I have some great tropical real estate in the Arctic Circle to sell you.
For some reason, entitlement just continues to grow in our society. But it's not too late to try and right a few wrongs. It's time to silence these rabble-rousers now before we can't find any more officials.
I plead to all community leaders and sports league advisors; start enacting rules like this. Fight fire with fire. Make these miserable prats learn it's never okay to act like a jerk, especially in youth sports. Let the kids have fun, and leave the officials alone.