Sunday, December 11, 2016

*This* Is Why It's Hard To Find Volunteer Coaches

All three of my kids play Rec basketball in the winter.  I like for there to be at least one season in which their primary sport is not soccer just from a muscle development standpoint, and this way they get to play a sport with their friends from school as well.  Their travel soccer club is based in a town about 30 minutes from home, so they don't go to school with any of those kids.

Anyway, both Thing Two and Petunia had their first basketball games of the season yesterday.  Thing One is on hiatus from his team until the orthopedic surgeon gives him the all-clear to go back, so I volunteered him to run the clock/scoreboard for Thing Two's game, something he's done many times before.  The scorer's table is located between the two benches, so the coaches of the two teams are effectively sitting only a few feet to his left and to his right respectively when he does this.  

I had to drop Thing Two off half an hour early for warmups, so I just sat and watched the two teams getting ready for the game rather than trying to go home and come back.  Now, I played basketball in junior high and high school.  I was never all that great at it, but I'm a decent judge of what I'm seeing on a basketball court and I was pretty sure from just watching the warmups that Thing Two's team was going to come out ahead in the game. They had ten players compared to the opponents' seven, their team was physically bigger on average, and a couple of the boys Thing Two plays with have some serious skills.  From talking to the parents on the other team that were sitting near me in the bleachers, it also turns out that their team had had a couple fewer practices under their belts going into the first game as well, so most rational people would predict a loss for them, and that did in fact turn out to be what happened.  I think the final score was something like 33-12.  

What was *not* rational, however, was the reaction to the loss by one of the dads on the other team.  In case you were wondering, this is where Thing One's location on the court becomes relevant.  Please also bear in mind that Thing One is 13 and the boys who were actually playing in this game are fifth and sixth graders, so most of them are only ten or eleven.

As reported to me by a wide-eyed Thing One after the fact, this total flaming jackass of a dad (my words, not his) storms up to the other coach after the game and starts ripping him a new one right in front of the ref, Thing One, AND the boys on his own son's team.  (At least our team was in a huddle on the other end of the court and missed it.)  "These boys played like fucking shit today!  You actually have to fucking *coach* them!"

This dad is not being paid to coach; this is a recreational league and he's a volunteer who signed up to help out.  He's only got seven boys, and they actually played pretty well, too--there's no shame in losing to a bigger, better team and they did their best.

One of the many things I like about travel soccer is that the ref has the power to immediately eject an obnoxious parent from the sideline.  If he or she is not gone within two minutes, the ref can call the game in favor of the other team.  I have no idea what power a rec basketball official has (especially after a game is over) but I would have loved to see that asshole tossed out into the street.  What a horrible example for his son and every other boy there, and (speaking as a rec basketball coach, which I was for five years straight) that would be more than enough to get me to say "Fuck this," and quit.  

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