How's your sportsmanship? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

How's your sportsmanship?

June 13, 2005

Albany-- Sports is a fun outlet for kids. "We just come out here just have fun and a good time," says 11-year-old Lamarques Tillman.

Of course when kids are having fun, their parents want to be involved. "Normally, I don't stand still. I move from one side of the field to the other," says parent Sam Bass. A watching parent usually gives kids that extra push to win. "Well my Dad does," says Tillman.

But sometimes a friendly game can bring out the hard, competitive side in parents. "I wouldn't necessarily say aggressive. Maybe a little helpful, maybe a little bit of coaching. That type of thing," says Bass. That type of thing can come off as bad sportsmanship when a parent goes overboard at a game.

"I've seen some bad things, physical altercations, fights, just things from the stands thrown from the stands, taunting players. These are adults," says Dave Wallace of the YMCA.

As an umpire for twenty years, Dave Wallace has seen the worst come out in both mothers and fathers when it comes to their child competing. After all, we are in a competitive society.

"There's nothing wrong with teaching kids competition. We need to teach them the right way to compete," says Wallace. The right way includes playing by the rules, respecting peers and opponents and telling them when they did a good job. It's a cooperative effort in sportsmanship between parents, coaches and kids.

"If the kids aren't complaining, the kids are having a good time, then the parents should just sit back and relax," says Bass. After all, it is just a game.

"I just come out here to play a good game and try to win," says Tillman. If he doesn't win, he's o.k. because he showed good sportsmanship

Parents and athletes who don't follow the rules of sportsmanship could be ejected from the game.

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