The Single Rule for Kid’s Sports: Don’t Be An Asshole

Sideline image via Shutterstock

As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one rule for adults who watch and coach kids’ organized sports: Don’t Be An Asshole.

We are currently in the midst of Little League season, and I’ve noticed that there are a large number of people who are either unfamiliar with this rule, or they need some education on exactly what this entails. Therefore, I’ve developed the following quiz to provide guidance on how you should behave at games.

1. A 7 year old on your opponent’s team is at bat against the pitching machine.  He strikes out. You pump your fist in the air and yell “YEAH!”. Are you the inventor of the pitching machine? Do you own stock in the company that manufactures it? If not, you’re an asshole.

2. Your team’s shortstop just dropped the ball.  Did you just scream out “WHAT THE FUCK, BEN” to 6 year old Ben?  Yep, You’re an asshole.  (Oh, and if Ben is 12, you’re still an asshole.)

3. Did your 9 year old just cheer when the opposing team’s goalie took a shot to the face? You’re an asshole. If your kid is being an asshole, I guarantee they learned it from you. There are enough assholes in this world;  please stop making more.

4. An 8 year old on the opposing team is up at bat, and you’re sitting 5 feet away. Are you purposefully creating a diversion to try to knock him off his game ? (“Finally! The ice cream man is here!”).  If so, you’re an asshole.

5. You’re driving home from your 10 year old’s game. Did you utter any of the following to him?

“What were you thinking with that last play at first?”

“Michael really needs to give up baseball; he’s bringing your whole team down.”

“That ref was blind; you were clearly safe.”

Congratulations, you’re an asshole.

6. Your daughter’s best friend is on the opposing team. She hits a grand slam. When she crosses home plate, you are standing a few feet away. Did you congratulate her? High-five her? If not, you’re an asshole.

7. During your 7 year old son’s lacrosse game, are you frantically pacing the sidelines like you are waiting for the results of a biopsy? If yes, you’re an asshole.

8. Your child’s coach tells your child “throw it to second!” Did you just yell for her to “throw it home!”? If you did, you’re an asshole.

9. A 7 year old second baseman stumbles and falls in his reach for the ball that was hit onto the baseline. Are you arguing with the umpire that it was obstruction? If so, you’re an asshole.

10. Have you ever uttered the phrase “Shit’s about to go down” during a pee wee football game? How about “Get some fucking glasses!” to the referee? If you answered yes to either question, you’re an asshole.

11. Have you been thrown out of a game or banned from coaching in a league? If so, you’re an asshole.

Seriously folks, if you can’t control your asshole behavior, stay home. It’s a game, they are kids. Life’s too short for this shit.


The Scary Mommy Community is built on support. If your comment doesn't add to the conversation in a positive or constructive way, please rethink submitting it. Basically? Don't be a dick, please.

  1. Kim says

    This was hilarious and disturbing at the same time. I can’t believe this kind of asshole stuff goes on with kids sports! I hope this is so widely shared across social media that by the time my kids are ready for baseball all the assholes will have reformed. One can hope.

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  2. says

    The other weekend I stopped by my neighborhood ball field while walking my dog to watch some if the little league game. There was a dad- sitting in a lounge chair, on his iPhone. But he would intermittently call out to the coach, “hey coach, where do you want Ian? You should move him over, this guy can hit hard to left” and other such coaching comments. And he was not the coach. And he was barely watching the game, never called out any encouragement to his kids team, never cheered or clapped, just on his phone and telling the coach what to do.
    He was an asshole.

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    • NinjaBill says

      Re the dad on the phone…it sounds like he may have been scoring the game for the coach. there are several excellent apps available that record and compile stats for youth baseball, softball and other sports. Believe it or not, these stats can be used to TREAT “assholeism” in coaches or parents, either leading coaches and parents to areas of a player’s game that need work, or, in more advanced teams, helping the coach decide things like batting order. Also, there can be strict rules on how many adults can be in the dugout, and the person running the stats app is often a parent doing so from the spectators area, away from the commotion of the dugout. Or, you could be right, he could have just been an asshole ;-)

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  3. says

    I live in a very small rural town in Texas. Parents are beyond assholes, especially during football & baseball. Sports are the only reason for living for some of these people. Education takes a back seat (very far back!)

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  4. Paul says

    The main reason behind this behavior is a deep seated spark of hope on the part of the dads who believe that little Elmo has a real shot at the pros, and less than stellar coaching, officiating or playing by everyone else involved is surely in impediment to Elmo’s eventual signing with the Yankees.

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    • matt says

      oh, it ain’t just dads, belieeeeeve me. Watching my 8 year old’s soccer games, while I’m actively listing phrases in my head that are encouraging to yell, all I hear on the sidelines are the screeches of moms yelling at the kids. I now hang out behind the kids on the sidelines pointing out the good things kids on both teams are doing at the moment. trying to drown out the incessant buzz of negative vibes coming from the parents.

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  5. says

    Last year my daughter, who was 6, had a coach who was an asshole. If they were loosing he would loose all interest in coaching and spend him time kicking the dirt on the sidelines. He also kept the kids who were not his best players out of the game until his team had a strong lead. THEY WERE 5 and 6 year olds! WTF.

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  6. cahren says

    Thank you for this. My son is 6 and playing in a Little League tournament this weekend. On a normal day, I love the parents on our team, but not that we are mixed up with kids from other teams, I appreciate our team parents even more. We cheer for the opposing team just as loudly as our own team. And if a kid makes a mistake, we let the coach teach, then cheer that it’s ok, they’ll do better next time. They are 6 and 7 year old kids still learning the game, but apparently, not all parents see it that way. Some are just assholes.

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  7. Stacy says

    Let’s add if you are screaming your child’s name repeatedly and so loud that’s all anyone can hear your an asshole. If you are screaming at other players to pass the ball to your child, if you are screaming that your child is “open”, your an asshole!

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  8. Samantha says

    I agree with all but 11. As my dad was yelling at a ref when my brother was in soccer after he had been kicked in the head. The ref didn’t even want to stop the game to get my brother off the field (he had to be carried by two people) to get him to the ER. He had a concussion. The yelling (to put it mildly) got my dad red carded and was banned from two games…same thing happened to my brothers coach (who was also yelling at the ref)

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    • David says

      I refereed my last soccer game 17 years ago, mainly because of behavior described in this article. In your situation, however, the moment your brother was kicked in the head, the ref should have stopped play immediately, whistling the foul, and given the player who kicked your brother at least a yellow card, for dangerous play, or if he/she deemed necessary, a red card for violent conduct/serious foul play, if, in his opinion (and yes, that phrase does (or did, when I was reffing) exist in the Laws of the Game), the kick was intentional. Neither your dad nor the coach should have gotten a red card, or any card, for that matter, because coaches are not carded, only cautioned or sent off (ejected), and members of the crowd are certainly not carded. If the ref had a problem with your dad (and I saw this actually happen in a game where I was a linesman/assistant ref, and had called offside on the home team, and a parent insinuated that the reffing crew was “on the take” (as an aside, the coach of the team which was called offside told me “That’s okay, there were two other players offside too (and there were).” :-P)), he should have told the coach to tell your dad to take it to the car, and spend the rest of the game there (or somewhere else away from the field). Neither your dad nor the coach was an a$$hole in this case; they were probably “collateral damage” for a ref with either an inflated ego, or a “god” complex, who didn’t like being shown up by people who either knew the rules better than he did, or called him out for something so obvious that he shouldn’t have missed it. Sorry for such a long post.

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