Code of Conduct for Parents, Coaches and Spectators
These are all qualities which will enable our young people to better enjoy and succeed in other aspects of life. However, these are also qualities which can be quickly undermined by poor parental example during the contests. If, at a game, parents engage in derisive and abusive conduct toward officials, opposing players or the parents of the opposing players, it will not be long before similar negative behaviour is exhibited by their youngsters playing the game. When this occurs, the real and lasting values of competition in baseball are lost.
Organized Baseball has provided our youngsters with an opportunity to derive the many worthwhile benefits and values inherently available through competing in this exciting sport. These “worthwhile benefits and values” are not peculiar to baseball. They may be developed through participation in most sports and include such outcomes as the development of fitness; improvement in skills; and the development of individual and group qualities including but not limited to, sportsmanship, responsibility, self-discipline and teamwork. Not to be overlooked in this opportunity afforded by baseball competition, to learn to compete within established rules and to seek interpretation or redress of officials’ decisions through proper channels.
Adherence to the code of conduct, which followed by parents of baseball participants, may help prevent the loss of these meaningful values.
As spectators, we will refrain from booing or yelling at officials, at any time during a game because we are aware of the following:
Ø Such behaviour on our part sets a poor example of sportsmanship for our children.
Ø Such behaviour reflects negatively on our local minor baseball organization, our team, our children and ourselves.
Ø Most minor baseball officials have had limited experience and formal training and are doing the best job they can, given these limitations.
Ø If officials do make poor calls in a game, the following circumstances usually apply;
o The number of “poor calls” are usually balanced out for both teams.
o The officials didn’t have the same observation vantage point afforded the spectators sitting in the bleachers.
o An occasional poor call seldom affects the outcome of a game.
o These are more effective channels of correcting poor officiating than verbal abuse during a game.
o WE don’t really know how difficult it is to officiate a game until we’ve “walked a mile in the official’s shoes”.
During a game, we will refrain from yelling at players from either team because we are aware of the following:
Ø They are only young children, not Major League professionals who, due to their limited age and playing experience, “may” make mistakes.
Ø Encouragement and praise should be made public; constructive criticism is best made in private.
Ø The coach is best equipped to analyze and correct deficiencies in baseball skills. Our attempts to be helpful in this respect may only confuse our youngsters.
Ø The “golden rule” applies. Treat other young players, with courtesy, respect and consideration which we would want other parents to show our own children.
At Baseball games, we will refrain from being argumentative or using abusive language toward other parents on either team, because we are aware of the following:
Ø We are being judged by others on our actions and words. We will always strive to insure that the result of this judgement is a verdict of “sportsmanship”.
Ø We will conduct ourselves in such a courteous and restrained manner that if called upon to do so, we could line up in front of the bleachers after a game and shake hands with each of the parents of the opposing team in the same manner our children are expected to do after each game.
If our team loses, we will demonstrate our ability to cope with the loss in both deed and word, because we are aware of the following:
Ø In athletics, as in other aspects of life, it is not always possible to win – no matter how supreme the effort.
Ø When victory eludes us, we must learn to accept it as graciously as we do our triumphs.
Ø It may just be possible that a loss is due to the fact that the opposing team played the better game better than our own team on this particular day.
Ø Our children should learn from our reactions to a loss that;
o We feel they played their best, which just wasn’t good enough today.
o They should hold their heads up high; there is no shame attached to honest effort There is always something beneficial to learn from a loss.
o There is nothing to gain from brooding, they should put the game behind them and look forward to the opportunity to play in the next game.
o Seeking scapegoats, such as poor officiating, poor field conditions, or poor performance by one or two of their teammates, is not a mature or healthy reaction to failure. Such as a crutch prevents the acceptance of reality throughout life.
Whether at home or at the park, our words and actions should convey a philosophy of athletics to our youngsters which includes:
Ø The real purpose of baseball competition is to have fun, to be able to participate, to improve skills, to learn sportsmanship, to develop a sense of responsibility and self-discipline, to develop group loyalty and comradeship, to learn to compete within the confines of established rules, to accept the decisions of authorized officials or to seek interpretation or change through proper channels and to develop sound minds and bodies.