Teaching, learning, participating, good sportsmanship and having fun are words that are synonymous with objectives and objectives sometimes become tainted and often sidetracked as programs progress through their seasons. Managers, coaches, players, parents and spectators occasionally lose sight of what youth sports are truly about. Most problems generally occur when there is an over emphasis on winning.
We must remember that sports programs for youth should not be carbon copies of highly aggressive college and professional programs. Activities should provide a healthy recreational and asocial learning experience for young people. We must protect the rights of the young athlete!
Coaches, in particular, must always be aware of the age group that they are working with. Practices and instructions must be at the level of that age group - be familiar with the physical characteristics and mental capabilities of the young people you are coaching. Youth coaches must be able to teach basic skills with clarity, simplicity and a great deal of patience. Lead by example!
Most parents enjoy watching their children compete in sports. Occasionally, some undesirable parental actions can be embarrassing to other parents, officials, and most importantly, to their own children. Parents and/or fan behavior in some areas of the county have caused administrators to ban them from attending games. This really is not the solution. Parents should be encouraged to watch their children participate, provided their behavior meets acceptable standards.
A word about game officials. They are critical. You can play a game with less players than the rules state, without a coach, certainly without fans - but consider what happens when the umpire or referee doesn't show! No doubt officials make mistakes, some are more qualified than others, all have varying degrees of experience - in Parks and Recreation, officiating often involves many young people who themselves are getting their first exposure to this activity. Arguing, threatening or berating an official is unlikely to help and sets a poor example for the youngster to whom we are trying to teach sportsmanship.
Individuals may lose the right to participate in programs and activities for any of the following:
- Failure to abide by program rules as established by the Recreation Council.
- Failure to comply with the direction given by Recreation Council representatives in the performance of their duties.
- Misuse, destruction, damage or theft of Recreation Council property, or the property of others.
- Indecent or obscene conduct, including profanity.
- Any action which, in the judgement of the Recreation Council, places oneself or others at risk. This includes but is not limited to physical and/or verbal abuse, intimidation, and coercion, inciting others to violence or disruption, and sexual harassment. Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to the following: verbal or physical sexual advances, including pressure for sexual activity; unwelcome sexually-motivated touching, pinching, patting or intentional brushing against; verbal harassment or abuse; and remarks or gestures of a sexual nature.
- Possession, use or distribution of weapons, instruments used as weapons, fireworks or explosives.
- Possession, use or distribution of alcohol (except by special permit), or controlled dangerous substances.
- Any action that disrupts or obstructs participation in a Recreation Council program or activity.
- Any action that constitutes a violation of local, state, or federal law.
Violations of the Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action including but not limited to the following:
- Verbal warning.
- Limited suspension from programs and activities.
- Permanent expulsion from programs and activities.
An individual may face permanent expulsion without verbal warning and/or suspension if, in the judgement of the Recreation Council, the violation is significant enough to warrant such action.
The Aberdeen Board of Parks and Recreation has unanimously decided to support all of its programs. We will no longer tolerate demonstrative, unacceptable behavior on the part of any of its coaching personnel, players, parents and spectators. We will support programs in their efforts to remove any personnel who flagrantly violate established standards of conduct.