By Karissa Niehoff, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations and David Anderson, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association
Inappropriate adult behavior at high school athletic events has reached epidemic proportion.
When more than 2,000 high school athletic directors were asked in a recent national survey what they like least about their job, 62.3 percent said it was “dealing with aggressive parents and adult fans.”
And the men and women who wear the black and white stripes agree. In fact, almost 80 percent of officials quit after the first two years on the job, and unruly parents are cited as the reason why. As a result, there is a growing shortage of high school officials here, and in some sports like wrestling, swimming, and track and field, the shortage is severe. No officials means no more games.
If you are a parent attending a high school athletic event this fall, you can help by following these six guidelines:
Purchasing a ticket to a high school athletic event does not give you the right to be rude, disrespectful or verbally abusive. Cheer loud and be proud, but be responsible and respectful. The future of high school sports in Wisconsin is dependent on you.