RFC: Dealing with middle school parents

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btressler
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RFC: Dealing with middle school parents

Post by btressler »

My foresight scares me occasionally.

In the other thread, I said the big drawback of our middle school event was "soccer moms" and "hockey dads". At yesterday's tournament I had the displeasure of dealing with some of the most disgusting behavior I have ever seen. So distasteful in fact, that I do not wish to relive the details here unless you need some to evaluate my new rules.

Please look at the bottom of this page and tell me if you think I've spelled out clearly enough my expectations about parental participation.

If anyone else has similar rules, I wouldn't mind hearing about them.
Bill Tressler,
Dickinson ('97) Carnegie Mellon ('99) Delaware ('06)
Seen moderating at various SE Pennsylvania events.

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Re: RFC: Dealing with middle school parents

Post by Matthew D »

Bill,
I can totally understand the frustration at the behavior of some of these "win at all cost" parents, they are truly pieces of work but I am not sure about the 100 point deduction of points. I don't know the format exactly but in our state format, 100 points would almost automatically result in the offending team losing. Might want to consider something like a 50 point fine and one free toss up and bonus. We had a incident like this at the first tournament I ever hosted totally on my own but it was a coach that was mouthing answers to the team. Strangely enough they haven't ever returned to any of the tournaments I have hosted since then... umm :wink:
I have been in the same place that you have been but with mine, I had a parent of accuse me of cheating as the TD when I had to rule against them. It got heated enough that the last words out of my mouth were, "Sir, if you don't stop, I will call the cops and have you removed from the building and banned from the school permanently!". But on an up note, I think he finally did see what I was saying because at the next tournament, we were on speaking terms.
Matt Dennis
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Re: RFC: Dealing with middle school parents

Post by Deviant Insider »

Those rules are fair. Penalties for repeat offenders should be harsh, especially when they are doing something that completely violates the spirit and meaning of the match. If you have a morning meeting with announcements where everybody is present, make sure you are very explicit about that rule. If not, make sure that each moderator mentions it at the beginning of the first match.

Two percent of parents are completely insane. Being a parent myself, I can see how they get that way, but adults should act like adults. It's not good when you visit the sins of the parent on the child, but you can't run a tournament that allows such behavior.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)

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Re: RFC: Dealing with middle school parents

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Bad Boy Bill wrote:My foresight scares me occasionally.

In the other thread, I said the big drawback of our middle school event was "soccer moms" and "hockey dads". At yesterday's tournament I had the displeasure of dealing with some of the most disgusting behavior I have ever seen. So distasteful in fact, that I do not wish to relive the details here unless you need some to evaluate my new rules.

Please look at the bottom of this page and tell me if you think I've spelled out clearly enough my expectations about parental participation.

If anyone else has similar rules, I wouldn't mind hearing about them.
Seems totally reasonable. Teams are responsible for the adults they bring with them.
Andrew Watkins

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Re: RFC: Dealing with middle school parents

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Bill, i still hope that putting on the Charter Challenge was worth it.

I'm really sorry i couldn't convince any of the schools in our stupid non-academic district just to get a few kids together and play. I'll try again next year.
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Re: RFC: Dealing with middle school parents

Post by at your pleasure »

The rules all look very reasonable. Incidentally, where did anyone get the idea that mouthing answers was not inappropriate? Parents not being familar with mixed teams I can understand.
Douglas Graebner, Walt Whitman HS 10, Uchicago 14
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Re: RFC: Dealing with middle school parents

Post by First Chairman »

I'd throw all adults from that school out of game rooms throughout the rest of the tournament.

I'd make it clear also in the team meetings that such behavior is tantamount to cheating, and no one wants cheating in sports or academic competitions.

The other thing is set up the rooms so that the students' backs are to the audience. I also make it clear to turn off all phones, cameras, and so on. I specifically had parents video-recording a match, and I said "no recording devices" straight into the camera. The parent understood that meaning.
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Re: RFC: Dealing with middle school parents

Post by btressler »

First Chairman wrote:The other thing is set up the rooms so that the students' backs are to the audience.
I like this.

My students always seem to set up the desks so that teams are facing each other, as if you were sitting at a long table. I've always thought both teams should be facing the moderator (but since setting up is their job, in the past I've let them handle it).
Bill Tressler,
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Seen moderating at various SE Pennsylvania events.

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Re: RFC: Dealing with middle school parents

Post by Joshua Rutsky »

It is ABSOLUTELY VITAL to make sure that you have clearly conveyed to your coaches that any outside interference in a match will result in immediate negative consequences. We have had serious problems with parents arguing/protesting during matches, often with the team's coach looking on placidly. We now make it clear in our rules that while we welcome observers and supporters, we do NOT welcome their voices, and that any such interruptions will result in the moderator stopping the match until the disruption's source has been removed from the room. We also reserve the right to disqualify a team if the coach is unable to keep parents under control. It amazes me that this is an issue, but I suppose it's only a short trip to "buzzer rage" incidents from here....
Joshua Rutsky
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Hoover HS Coach, 2007-2019
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