Parents/Coaches Put On Notice

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by HIGH-TECH TENNIS, May 8, 2012.

  1. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    Late Sunday afternoon at the Spring Southern Closed in Mobile, AL, some monsoon-ish weather quickly approached and wiped out the remainder of the day.

    Monday morning, we were told there would be a short meeting before play began.

    TD Scott Novack notified what he estimated to be 60% of parents/coaches whose behavior was completely over the top that they were not permitted to come to this tournament and abuse children. He spoke in very strong terms and said the PD was just down the street and if he see more of it that day, he would have the person arrested and removed from this facility.

    He very plainly said this: You are ruining this event for the CHILDREN - It ends here and it ends now.

    Have never, ever, ever heard this before------After he finished, small round of applause (presumably from the 40% of parents/coaches who realize this is a GAME and these are CHILDREN. Also saw at least one parent approach the TD afterward to thank him + shake his hand.

    I posted it on our FB page and it generated much discussion...One person said he deserved the tennis equivalent of the medal of honor for taking a stand and demanding respect.

    WHAT IS GOING ON???????? I can't even tell you how bad some of the behavior was. Of course we are somewhat used to the atrocious behavior of some of the players, but we're talking PARENTS AND COACHES. :( Whoa.
     
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  2. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I am all in favor of ZERO TOLERANCE. The ONLY issue I have with this approach is the complete lack of consistency in the message that is delivered from one tournament to the next.
     
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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Parents should be given a form to sign which informs them about prohibited actions and consequences for them. Private security should be hired and the expenses added to the tournament fees in an explicit fashion so that parents feel the pinch and get outraged at such behavior. I think a situation in which children are abused by strangers would automatically result in arrest in other cases.
     
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  4. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Is this what junior tennis has come to?
     
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  5. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    Many Sections have a zero tolerance policy, but it does need to be enforced and that will end some of the craziness.
     
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  6. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Great hope he holds a tougher guideline for the things that will be on the court using some of the worst lango and have outburst of uncontrolable attitudes that scream''Bad parenting''
     
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  7. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Wait that would clear out most of the competitors!!!,
     
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  8. ChiefAce

    ChiefAce Semi-Pro

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    Unfortunately many people have lost a certain amount of respect for others when it comes to competition. Tennis parents need to be served notice that they're indeed ruining the game for the kids. I'm glad the TD called the meeting and said something; sportsmanship, loyalty, and respect are seriously lacking in the junior game right now.
     
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  9. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Yep I personally almost lost my temper with a club member yesterday when he came down and started berating his 10 year old during a clinic. I didn't want to blow up in front of the kids so I told him parents were not permitted on the courts during clinics and then told the tennis director after that he should speak with him. I do not understand what these people are thinking.
     
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  10. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    Many people complain about inconsistencies in officiating - a real problem, to be sure - but wish folks would stop and realize this: it is not the job of an official to teach the children to follow the rules of the game and to treat each other with basic respect!!! Speaking of respect (or lack thereof), I overheard officials discussing the need to ban booty shorts to the already very specific dress code in force at Mobile Tennis Center... And they were talking about players AND parents!!! WHAT ARE PEOPLE THINKING??? :(
     
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  11. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    If really that bad, highlights would be a youtube hit. Shame the parents into behaving.
     
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  12. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    It's about time! I've seen awful behavior from parents and children in the 12 and unders. The "win at all costs" mentality is too strong, too pervasive. Coaches, parents, tennis needs to emphasize sportsmanship, playing your best, learning life skills, love of the game and not get so strung up about WINNING matches all the time.
     
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  13. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    COOPERATION over competition. People are out of control. Where are the manners and formality of how to carry yourself in public. Umpires also need to use point penalties for parental infractions and well as player infractions.
     
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  14. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    That's interesting. And a very good suggestion too. Most of the time it's the parents that are out of control, so a point penalty will really shut them up.
     
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  15. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I don't believe that the masses expect the officials to teach the kids the rules. But, they need to enforce them at every tournament, not just Mobile.
     
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  16. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Yes, enforcement is all over the place, tournament to tournament.
     
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  17. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Bingo.

    Last National L2 tournament I walked towards the courts.......

    We just get there, 30 seconds in, as I am walking into the complex, I see a boy's tennis racquet fly out of his hand.

    One second later, I hear the ref say, " Hold onto your racquet".

    Hello? How about some kind of point penalty.

    How bizarre that beyond the spiking of the balls into the stands, cheating, cursing ( love the F word too),
    we have racquets flying around the court..........
     
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  18. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Mobile has a dress code for the kids. Not a white dress code,
    but no short shorts, and the boys are not allowed to wear shorts so low that you can see their underwear.

    They also have a no deity word ban .....
    But, I have been there three times, and heard the word ( Jesus, God) used a lot....
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
    #18
  19. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    The price to live in the south.

    When I lived in Texas, we had to address our teachers, Yes sir, yes ma'am.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
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  20. Sunbeam

    Sunbeam New User

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    I have three kids who have been playing tournaments over the past 8 years.

    Three times I have been in a pool of new parents. For most it is their very first experince with tournament play and conduct.

    The parents of the younger kids are clueless on how to conduct themselves at these events.

    Most of them I do not blame. They are green, they love their kid and want them to succeed and they end up getting too involved where it is no longer a match between two eleven-year-olds, but a match between an 11-year-old and a 40-year-old.

    I think some have the idea that they can act like this because they mistakenly think they will 'never see these people again'. Most deliberate bad behavior cools down over time when the parents realize that this is their new lonnnnnng-term group of acquaintances.

    However, with the very new parents, I was always wishing I could have at least a paper that outlined parent behavior to hand to that well meaning new dad hanging on the fence giving his 10-year-old tips during the match... the mom thinking it is ok to sit on the change-over bench while the kids played the match... the parent trying to help two young kids figure out the score....


    Why has this not been addressed yet?

    All new parents should be given an informational book on the correct conduct at these tournaments. I am sure it would be well received.

    To reinforce that the code of conduct is serious, parents and players should sign a Code of Conduct Statement at EACH TOURNAMENT. This could be taped on the TD desk with the code and a lot of lines for the parentals and coaches to sign before the player can be put on the court.

    Pamphlets/booklets about this should be handed out often in the younger age groups to new players and parents.

    This is done for soccer and Little League and over the years I have noticed that parent behavior is MUCH better than it was when my first was starting out.

    Maybe this should be a new thread -- or two new threads, but

    From the trenches,

    What should the Code of Conduct list as unacceptable behavior?

    What are suggested behaviors?

    I'd be interested in hearing everyone's input.
     
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  21. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    ^^^yes simple solution, but unfortunately not important to USTA.
     
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  22. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    I like the idea of reminding the parents and kids about the code of conduct, and doing it at every tournament. Could also add enforcement eg. point penalties for infractions. This will benefit EVERYONE and make tournaments a nicer experience for all.
     
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  23. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    ^^^
    And also not important to some of the parents.
     
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  24. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Many/Most little league type fields have posted signs with their no tolerance policies - alcohol, verbal abuse, etc. Many new parents don't know the rules and even for those that do it can be painful to watch two 11 year olds struggle with the score, play a tie break, correct a wrong side serve, etc. without offering well meaning advice.
     
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  25. Staidhup

    Staidhup New User

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    Sad to think that this issue is still prevalent. In most cases the parent never played junior tennis themselves and live vicariously through the accomplishments and failures of their child, and coach can see is wallet shrinking. What becomes more apparent is that the pressure to win, as a result of parental pressure and coach conduct, translates into poor line calls. The code of conduct is very specific as to how parents and coach's are to conduct themselves during a match, unfortunately there are simply just not enough referees available to monitor all courts continuously, and few referees are willing to disqualify or penalize a player as a result. The oldest game in the book is that convenient bathroom break, and conversing in a foreign language. One fact remains, a talented athletic player will rise to the top on their own, without the garbage and malfeasance, and child who is subjected to this behaviour will never develop the skills required to be competitive at a higher level. What always disgust me the most was post match behaviour by coach and or parent. It is after all only a game.
     
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  26. Flat Top

    Flat Top New User

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    Is this a problem of Junior tennis in the U.S. only or is it also very common in other countries?
     
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  27. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Just what I was thinking. Someone needs to start a website - "badtennisparents.com" and post videos of these idiots.
     
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  28. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Hate to be a jerk... but how about www.badref.com too.

    Quite a few refs see terrible behavior and I only see warnings given to the kids, and the parents seem to get a free pass.

    My son had a ref on his court and between sets, the dad of the opponent spoke to his son in Russian for the entire break...

    Ref was still there on court and said nothing.

    On a different note, it is heartwarming that the USTA spends millions and millions on a few PD kids,

    but they can't throw some money at the tournaments to hire some more refs?

    One ref for 8 courts?

    Plus, our refs up here get paid nothing... Honestly, it is disgusting.

    And imagine that little money and they still have to pay gas and tolls to get to the tournament, could be two hours away.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
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  29. treeman10

    treeman10 Semi-Pro

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    ---------------
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
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  30. Staidhup

    Staidhup New User

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    Excellent, well stated, sad, but true. The primary issue , as I see it, is that it's no longer an open field based on the quality of play and player development. The USTA has a problem, they need desperately to find another great American player and have yet to comprehend that more referee's and strong adherence to the rules is imperative in the development of quality players. Look at the ranks of D1 college players, how many are American, ask yourself why, the answer is burn out, and frustration. Children and adults are told if they haven't made it by 16 their toast, come on, give it a break, players need the high school and college experience to develop their game and yet the USTA tennis culture says no, forget college, make the jump into the pro's during high school, forget college, we will develop you. When the playing field is honest, equal, embraces all participants equally, the cream will rise based on work ethic, desire, athleticism, and love for the game, not by parents, coach's, or the USTA junior development program.
     
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  31. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    It's all about the parents. More referee's is not the answer. How many PD kids went on to college last year? I believe Efferding, Harrington, and Newman all went on to college as did other part-timers Evan King and Nathan Pasha (Georgia).
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
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  32. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    By contrast, we went to the Atlanta Open Wheelchair Championships today in Atlanta. This event draws the most gifted wheelchair tennis players IN THE WORLD. They play FOR MONEY and it was just amazing, outstanding tennis with absolutely NO DRAMA whatsoever.

    How can this be? Two reasons: 1) the players were adults and 2) there were no parents. :( Would have to agree with the vast majority that say tennis has many, many problems (to be sure) but there is no question about it: parents cause the biggest single problem at the junior tournaments we attend. :(
     
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  33. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    I applaud the TD. I was once a TD for a big junior tournament and the behavior of some of the parents and coaches was terrible. The following year they asked me again to run the tournament. I said I would under 1 condition--parents and/or coaches had to drop their kid off and leave. The tournament organizer said 'I don't think we can do that'--I said, 'Then find a new TD'.
     
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  34. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Signing a parental code of conduct is standard procedure for most youth sports leagues, why not tennis? I've seen parents asked to leave little league games, kids basketball and soccer games - even saw one who wouldn't go and the police were called to remove him. It isn't unique to tennis. Tennis has just gotten a free pass.

    The US has an epidemic of a-hole parents. I spend months each year in Europe and this behavior from parents is rare there in my experience.
     
    #34
  35. High Rustler

    High Rustler New User

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    During junior's first match this weekend I would give him either a smile, a thumbs up, and or fist pump on good points, all with full view of the ref, who watched this match for abotu 30m (very small tournament), without incident. In match #2 junior was on the middle court and i was "one court over" on the sideline. He was getting beat, not terribly bad but the other kid was definately in control. On a particulary tough point my son won I gave him an overhead fistpump, nothing verbal. The same ref immedartely told me that was not permissable, that it was "in your face" and she thought it was too much.

    I asked her a few questions and the upshot is that, in her view, you are always permitted to, out loud, and even loudly say "good point" regardless of who wins the point. She seemed to think that was fine even if the point ends on a close call and the call had not been made. I did not think to ask, and wonder if the silent smile/thumbs up gesture from the sideline is permissible? A more sedate, non-overhead fist pump on a good point?

    Thoughts?

    (also, it's amazing to me, how all the readers of this forum are not guilty of any infraction, ever, and are quick to piont out the injustices against thier children. Personally I've been reading here, re-evaluating my own behavor and expectations, and trying to improve same.

    To that end I provide the contribution above. Respond if you care to, thanks for considering)
     
    #35
  36. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    In the 10s and 12s I was guilty of being more of a cheerleader. In the 14s and 16s I converted to becoming just an interested fan. No more fist pumps, chest bumps, 360 spins into the splits from this ol' dad.
     
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  37. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    An overhead fist pump is bordering on crass, obnoxious, in your face behaviour. A fist pump is meant for yourself, an overhead fist pump is to show up the opponent and their family.

    There's really no need for that... and if you have to ask the ref about all of this, you're really missing the point of these junior tournaments.
     
    #37
  38. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    bad behavior is more common and overt in the 12s. the parents are usually new to tennis and bring their personal baggage over. once they've played a year or so, they tend to realize what jacka$$es they've been and (hopefully) wise up.
     
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  39. High Rustler

    High Rustler New User

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    YOUR comments are similarly "obnoxious, in yoru face behavor." Why do you need to read so much into a situation? Why do you, and several others on here, have such a need to point out the faults of others?
     
    #39
  40. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I can't comment on the fist pump but, you did solicit comments from the forum. As soon as you ask for an opinion, you are inviting comments from both the left and the right (and sometimes below the belt).

    Advice: Listen. Learn. Laugh.
     
    #40
  41. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    I am not sure what you are looking for? Are you looking for other folks to agree with you?
    Or do you realize on some level that your behavior is not sportsmanlike and want some advice?

    First, a ref told you it was ok, "fine", if you loudly say "good point" on a point that ends on a close call,
    and the call has not been made.

    Let me explain...... some refs are really good and some are not.
    I can give many examples of bad refs, but that is a different thread....

    As a parent, yelling "good point" before the call has been made on a close call
    would appear to many that the parent is trying to sway the call and intimidate the other player.

    Now on to fist pumping....
    You are the parent......... not the junior on the court playing tennis.
    Why are you fist pumping? Overhead fist pumping?
    This would be a first for me if I saw the parent doing it, and I would think the parents are exhibiting bad sportsmanship
    and mostly, THEY WERE TOO INVOLVED IN JUNIOR'S GAME.

    I am a fan of being silent...... I don't clap for my kid, I don't clap for the other kid.
    The kids are playing, it is not my game......
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
    #41
  42. High Rustler

    High Rustler New User

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    Based on the comments I got out the rulebook and I am trying to find the specfic section referred to. I note in the regulations Table 9 section I.P. notes under "Verbal or Physical Abuse" (this is the exact text and emphaisis added)

    "words and gestures that are in the face of a person such as a strong pumped fist directed at close range to an opponent."
     
    #42
  43. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    You might want to check the Parent's rulebook instead. :)
     
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