Sunday, January 25, 2009

The One Where Adults Act Like Children

This weekend has had to have been one of the roughest weekends on records for us. So far. There had been discussion with Bryce's team on whether or not they were going to participate in a fundraising tournament through another elementary school this weekend. The tournament was originally scheduled to run through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, the county had to change their tournament plans for the entire little league program and decided to hold games starting today as well. Bryce's coach had already said that if the fundraising tournament was to run through Sunday, they would not be participating because of conflicting games (younger siblings that were to play today) and his personal interest of going to watch tournament games. He was to call and let us know. He didn't. He announced to the kids at practice on Friday afternoon that they had added a second game for that tournament at 2 on Saturday. I suspected more.

Saturday morning, my neighbor was nice enough to drop Bryce and I off at the school (Hubby had taken Brady and Belle to his game thirty minutes away) prior to his game. The coach's wife came in and she I were talking about the day since she knew I had three kids playing and her daughter's team had a game scheduled that morning. She mentioned that in addition to the games they had at 11 and 2 they also had one at 4. So now things are getting a little hectic. Brady had a game at 10 and a 3 at two different schools, Belle had a game at 4 immediately following Brady's at their school and Bryce was playing 15 minutes away. So I dropped Hubby and Bryce off for his game at 1:30 and headed to their school to watch the game before his. While Brady was on the floor, I got a message from Hubby letting me know that if Bryce's team won their games they would be playing again at 7 and maybe later. And they did. So I got Hubby, Bryce and a teammate after the 4:00 games ended for a quick dinner.

At just after six, Bryce, his teammate, Belle and I headed back to the school for the next game. This made Bryce's 4th game for yesterday. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the gym was the temperature. It was suffocating in there! So hot that I couldn't believe the kids could play without getting over-heated. When we got there, another one of our school's teams were playing a team that had a few boys Bryce knew from a previous life when he attended that school. His schoolmates lost their game and would be playing against the team who lost Bryce's game. Bryce's team won and went on to play his friends from his former school. This is where things went bad.

By this point the teams were tired. Kids were cranky. Parents were cranky. Everyone was stuffy because of the amount of heat in the room. They gave a twenty minute break between the last two games for parents to get up, stretch their legs, kids time to warm up and so on. When the game got started, it was pretty uneventful. Our team was slow on the go because it was their 5th game of the day. They were exhausted. After a few minutes, they warmed up and really got on the ball. Then the fouls started coming in from both teams. Then boys started getting hurt. One boy from the other team got hurt and ended up on the floor and his mother was understandably upset. I can't tell you what happened because honestly I missed the play that landed the kid on the floor, but I didn't miss the mother start to harass the referees to the point that she was even flipping them off. Now not condoning her actions, but I understand how hard it is to not get upset when the kids are playing football on the court and referees don't call a single foul against the players. It is especially bad with the actual league games. The referees for the tournament games were on a voluntary basis, and actually called a better game than the ones who are paid to ref the regular games. But this is a sport. And kids are going to get hurt, including my own (who have gotten hurt). This mother took it a little too far. She started making comments to other parents on our team, including "when it is your kid," which of course got reactions of "it just was my kid!" It got to the point that she was defending herself from parents on her own team. Ones that felt she had said more than enough and needed to calm down. It was at this point the "lead" referee came around and announced to all parents and coaches that from then on, the game would be called on everything. If they had to finish the tournament one on one they would do so. And they did. They were calling things that the weren't normally called on a weekend game such as lane violations (against the other team). Now on to round two.

Bryce is usually the kid who takes the ball out of bounds when he is playing. After the ball went out of play, Bryce was making his way to the back of the court so that he could throw the ball in and he placed his hand on the back of one the players on the other team. He didn't push him. He didn't taunt him. He simply laid his hand there so the kid didn't step back on him as he walked by. And the kid threw an elbow. So my kid threw one back. Neither elbow did any damage short of removing the offending parties hand/arm from themselves. A short time later, Bryce's coach pulled him out and while the referees were discussing yet another incident, I had Belle walk around the court and tell Bryce to control his temper. I saw the elbow fly and while Hubby tells him to finish it when someone else starts it, I have told him before, there is no place on the court for tempers. Bryce was down while he was sitting there and she asked him what his problem was. He explained one of the mothers from the other team made the remark "Number so and so blue is acting like sh**." Number so and so was my kid and I had missed the remark. I was livid. My kid had no right throwing the elbow I will be the first to admit but he didn't throw it first, the other teams player did. Regardless of what was said and done on that court, no parent had any right to single out a player like that and say what she did. She has no consideration for the kind of damage she can do to the ego of a child by making remarks like that, especially within earshot of the child. Bryce is a very tender hearted child and he was devastated by the remark. He spent the rest of the game upset because of it. All because a mother couldn't act like a mother but had to act like one of the children on the floor. This is the point that I hate about sports. The part where the parents can't act their age and take their childishness out on the child of another team. My blood still boils at the thought of it.

Am I overreacting because it was my kid or was she way out of line?


janjanmom said...

It is my least favorite part of kids playing sports-the parents. IT is so hard not to get mad and throw a two-year-old tantrum. On one hand, you want to take up for your kid and the team. On the other hand, it is just a game. I hate it.

The lady was out-of-line calling your child a name. Way out of line. Totally uncalled for.

ShortyMom said...

Thanks Jan! I've seen them make comments about/to the refs. I've been one of them but I would never dream of making a comment about a player!

Ladybird said...

I agree whole heartedly! She is not setting a good example for her child....and making a reputation for herself. It is making me mad just thinking about it. Poor Bryce!

Jennifer said...

Good GOD!!! Not that I can say anything considering my own behavior at my own child's sporting event last week....still, I know when to give myself a time out. That's what really needs to happen!!