by Petie Wogan
Assistant Athletic Director, OES Golf coach, and former Girls Varsity basketball coach Missy Smith recently came to The Dig regarding parent behavior at girls basketball games.
For anyone who hasn’t gone to any games, there have been reports of OES parents yelling at officials throughout home games. It is highly appreciated and encouraged to have passionate fans come out to games — however, when fans make it personal with the opposing team, an unfortunate atmosphere can be formed.“We want fans to be passionate in a positive way, but not make it personal. We don’t want our OES fanbase to be known for that,” Missy said.
After the Catlin Gabel games last Saturday when something came up that really made Missy want to raise awareness on this topic, “The reason I came to Kara (Dig Advisor) was because a middle school parent came to me after the Catlin game and was appalled by the parent-fan behavior. This parent did not feel comfortable keeping their child in a program where parents acted like that at sports events”
This parent reported that they heard another parent making fun of a girl on the Catlin team. The fact that the girls team was losing the game — which was officiated erratically — most likely contributed to this irrational and poor form.
Sports can bring out both positive and negative in people. Most of the time this passion is a great show of school spirit and helps motivate the sports teams being cheered on. It seems that when the games get close, fans are quick to ridicule refs for many calls against our team. Missy also pointed out that yelling at officials does not make the officials call the game in our favor from that point on.
Of course parents and fans are very much encouraged to come to games, get loud and cheer on their teams. Missy and the Athletic Department aren’t planning on attempting to strike down on parents for their behavior or anything of that sort. Hopefully though, this article will raise awareness on this topic.
As we cheer on our teams, we need to be mindful about the atmosphere we create. Missy mentioned how she is planning on encouraging members of the lower school basketball program and their parents to attend home basketball games.
With lower schoolers coming to games hopefully fans will continue to show their great support and passion while not portraying the wrong image of our OES fanbase. Go ‘Varks and I encourage people to come to our upcoming games!