Angry Grownups Are Real Spoilsports
Field of Screams
"It's been real effective," says Jeff Leslie, president of the athletic association. The proof, he says, is the dramatic decrease in the number of serious incidents that have occurred, from 12 in 1999 to none last year.
And while minor incidents still arise, the association board or even the parents themselves quickly resolve them, says Leslie, who calls the overall effect "a blessing for our league."
In El Paso, parent Powell says the sportsmanship classes have been a big hit with everyone.
"The parents needed to be brought down to reality," she says. "They were getting too competitive and thinking only of winning, and not why they were really there."
Perhaps no one likes the program better than the kids, she says. Now when their moms and dads come to watch them play, they aren't embarrassed anymore.
Kathy Bunch is a freelance writer in Philadelphia.