America is facing a crisis in prep and youth sports, where fewer and fewer people are willing to take on the thankless job of officiating games.
“The veterans are quitting by the droves. They’re sick of it,” said Moore, who oversees fast-pitch softball umpires for the state of Mississippi as well as the city of Laurel. “When we work to recruit new people, get ’em trained, get ’em out there on the field, they’re three or four games in when someone gives them a good cussing out or an invitation to get their tail beat. They’re like: ‘You know what? I’ll go cut grass on the weekend.’”
My first roommate at Texas A&M was a postman’s son from San Antonio. When his dad had braved the elements (to say nothing of the dogs) to deliver the mail and went to watch his son play sports, he watched from his truck because he was afraid, if something like a bad call by the ref or a bad play by his son happened, he would lose control and…well, go postal.
American parents’ behaviour at their children’s ball games (well, at least enough of them to be a problem) is one of the more distasteful aspects of suburban life. And I can’t see that herding Americans into high rises like the Russians have destroyed in Ukraine will make for an improvement. Americans are too quick to project their own desire for success on their children, when both parent and child need to learn two things: stuff happens, and we’ll recover from it. But recovery is greatly assisted by knowing there is a God who will come to our aid, and that knowledge is fading in our society.
In the meanwhile, if you can’t restrain yourself, stay in your truck. You’ll be glad to you did and so will everyone else. If we lose enough referees, everyone will end up on the bench or driving home in the truck, never to return to the field.