Being on the sidelines for junior sport since my son was very little has taught me a thing or two. First of all I know the rules of rugby just enough now to cheer and not sound like a dunce. I also learned a thing or two about taking action photos.
But what I learned about the lessons in sportsmanship are ugly. Parents are the culprits here, not the kids. I once saw a 15 yr old soccer referee called a "c*nt" by a parent on the sideline. The kids playing would've been 7yrs old. The referee stopped the game and the parent was removed by his (mortified) wife.
I was at a Rugby 7s carnival when two parents ran onto the field and had a punch up. Classy.
But the kicker lately seems to be the rather unsavoury practice of poaching players. We're talking about 13 and 14 year olds. The latest show of unsportsmanlike behaviour involves boys playing sport for a private school team even though they don't attend it. The result is that they play for a super strong team with almost as many reserves as there are players on the field. And it means that the "public" clubs struggle for numbers. Indeed this season our mob has taken orphans from a couple of other clubs unable to field a team. Wake up parents, winning isn't everything. And karma comes around eventually.
I'm unapologetic about these comments. A certain college should be ashamed of themselves for letting this happen. I saw plenty of their players getting only 5 mins game time because the imports played the majority of the match.