Parents, be civil and support your refs and coaches



Signs are made to be read, and the one at the right is being seen alright.

You can’t miss it. Attached to a fence, it sits in plain view next to the beautiful soccer fields that just opened last month at the Westlake Village Community Park.

These are kids.

This is a game.

The coaches volunteer.

The umpires are human.

This is not professional soccer.

Period. Exclamation point.

We love this sign because it’s an in-your-face reminder that parents, after all they’ve been told, still get in the face of other mom and dad coaches who volunteer their time—or work for peanuts, as in the case of the refs—and in doing so not only embarrass themselves with their loutish behavior, but also set a miserable example for their kids on the field.

Soon, the spring youth sports will be upon us. Agoura PONY Baseball’s opening day is this Saturday.

So let’s review the basics: 1.) A bad call by an umpire or referee is not the end of the world. 2.) If your child doesn’t get the playing time you think they deserve, they’ll still be just fine, really. 3.) You don’t know everything about the game that you think you know.

There’s no question about it: Youth baseball, basketball, softball, soccer and football take time and commitment, not to mention patience. A coach who’s in charge of a group of 8-year-olds must be a parent, a babysitter and a teacher all rolled into one. Often it’s the parents, not the kids, who are the ones most obsessed with winning and who usually raise the biggest stink about stuff. When bickering and arguing come to play, nobody wins, and although we teach our kids that winning isn’t everything, we have yet to learn it ourselves.

So, play ball, play fair, play nice.