COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--The Ohio High School Athletic Association is asking parents and fans of student-athletes to improve their behavior at athletic events.
A letter from Jerry Snodgrass, OHSAA Executive Director, and Karissa Niehoff, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, asks parents to "act their age" and not criticize officials or their children.
They cite the reduction of officials, with 80-percent of them quitting after two years, citing unruly parents at sporting events.
They also cite a survey of athletic directors, with over 60-percent saying they least liked "dealing with aggressive parents and adult fans".
Snodgrass and Niehoff lay out their pleas in several points:
"1. Act Your Age. You are, after all, an adult. Act in a way that makes your family and school proud.
2. Don’t Live Your Life Vicariously Through Your Children. High school sports are for them, not you. Your family’s reputation is not determined by how well your children perform on the field of play.
3. Let Your Children Talk to the Coach Instead of You Doing It for Them. High school athletes learn how to become more confident, independent and capable—but only when their parents don’t jump in and solve their problems for them.
4. Stay in Your Own Lane. No coaching or officiating from the sidelines. Your role is to be a responsible, supportive parent—not a coach or official.
5. Remember, Participating in a High School Sport Is Not About Getting a College Scholarship. According to the NCAA, only about 2% of all high school athletes are awarded a sports scholarship, and the total value of the scholarship is only about $18,000.
6. Make Sure Your Children Know You Love Watching Them Play. Do not critique your child’s performance on the car ride home. Participating in high school sports is about character development, learning and having fun—not winning and losing."