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"Bad Acts" in Youth Sports: 1st Quarter 2008 Edition

A Selective Listing Of Some Of The Worst Behavior In Youth Sports

The worst acts in youth sports from January through March, 2008 were:

1.         In January, two fans were shot after an Indianapolis basketball game.  The spectators created an intense atmosphere.  Indeed, the game was stopped three times due to fights in the stands.  The two teams, Broad Ripple and Arlington, had to be escorted off the court twice for their safety.  The shooting occurred outside the stadium after the game.


2.         Four youth hockey officials were physically assaulted by players during Canadian youth hockey games played between January 6th and 16th.  In the worst incident, a midget hockey player broke linesman Kyle Dearing’s jaw with a hard punch.


3.         Officials in the U.S. also came under attack.  In February, a spectator assaulted a referee at a high school game in Pacific, Missouri.  In March, a parent was arrested and charged with attacking a teenage boy who was officiating a third grade basketball game in Charleston, Arkansas.


4.         In January, a series of fights led to 15 teenage spectators being arrested following a Proviso High School basketball game in the Chicago suburbs.


5.         In February, a student at Sweet Home High School in Amherst, New York was tasered, then arrested by police after allegedly spitting on an opposing school’s spectator and making a mad dash to escape the police.


6.         In January, San Ysidro High School and Otay High School in California had a wild fight involving players, a coach, and at least twenty spectators during a high school soccer game.  The San Ysidro Coach was later arrested for allegedly choking one of the Otay players.  The coach contended that he was trying to break up the fight.  The coach was ultimately released, and not charged.

             It is important to note that these were not the only bad acts that occurred during this time period.  Space and time considerations preclude a more extensive listing.  Many youth organizations, high schools, and sports governing bodies are taking strong proactive measures to reduce bad acts.  In each listing of “bad acts” I will point out a good act, program or organization.  In this listing, let me refer to you the Positive Coaching Alliance.  The PCA works with coaches, parents, and schools to help them provide sportsmanship training.