Youth sports can be an emotional experience. The physical activity of the kids can often spill onto the sidelines and into the stands and create strong reactions in coaches and parents. Each year 2.5 million people volunteer their time to help coach kids. These coaches are the vehicle that provide organized youth athletics an existence. As parents we will not always agree with a coach’s decision. However, it is important to recognize that the coaches role is to make decisions for the team first and a player second. Often, we tend to recognize the coaching staffs’ decisions through our player first and the team second.
Also, we need to understand that most players are not aware of any problem until we, as parents, bring it to their attention. For parents, it is important to separate their child's sports development from game emotions. For this reason, we adopted the "24 Hour Rule" which simply states that coaches will not discuss a game or situation in a game until at least 24 hours after the fact.
The 24 Hour Rule
Parents/guardians are not allowed to confront a coach, team or league official to discuss any ‘negative” game or practice situation with the coaching and Board of Directors until at least 24 hours has passed from the completion of the game or practice. A confrontation shall consist of any conversation, which elevated from a normal speaking tone and demeanor to one which involves yelling, profanity or derogatory comments toward said coach, team or league official.
Football is an emotional sport. Physical battles and tough calls among other things can spill on to the bench and stands and create strong reactions from coaches and parents. The intense emotional aspect of football is one of the reasons it makes exciting entertainment, but it is important to have a “cooling off” period so that emotions do not cloud judgment.
If parents respect the 24 hour rule, their concerns are more likely to be fully addressed in reasoned discussion. More importantly, the kids' enjoyment of a game won't be marred by an ill-timed confrontation. The intent of this rule is to move an emotional and confrontational discussion away from the presence of the players, and to allow the parties to “cool off”, compose themselves and put the incident or situation that occurred in the game in perspective before meeting to discuss it.
Violation of the 24 Hour Rule Policy can result in penalties for Parents and/or Players.
One last personal note, prior to becoming emotionally charged over playing time, position, etc..please take a moment and set your own instinctive emotions aside to ask your player " How was that game/practice?". You may be surprised that those little eyes saw the game/practice in a different light and he/she might actually be ecstatic at the playing time they got. They may surprise you with the pure emotional delight of being a part of something bigger, the team. Often our players have no reservation at bragging for the kid that scored the touchdown or made that wild interception. What they experienced was still positive in their eyes and to imbue them any other perception only serves to tarnish the experience.