Sherry Kurz: Sportsmanship not just for children

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My 14-year-old daughter was hired by the Craig Parks and Recreation Department to referee basketball games at Sunset Elementary School and Craig Intermediate School.

Last week was her first experience at CIS and I have to admit that it is hard to believe how poorly some of the parents, coaches and children behaved during the games. Some of the players, coaches and parents were yelling at the referees and questioning calls they were making.

One team only had five players show up. One player became so tired that the coach had him sit out and rest (thank you). I honestly thought the other coach would have pulled out one of his players and let them play four-on-four. But apparently, winning was all that mattered. And win they did -- they beat the pants off of them. Wow, what a victory -- win at all costs --hat is something I want my children to learn. Not.

How sad that my daughter and the other young people that are refereeing for Parks and Recreation have to be subjected to a poor display of sportsmanship.

Sportsmanship is not just for the kids and coaches on the court, either.

People in the stands need to be aware of how they behave and how it affects everyone around them, on and off the court. I believe good sportsmanship takes maturity and courage and can have a positive or negative influence.

Please allow my daughter and the others that are learning to referee the opportunity to do so in a positive manner. Do the referees miss calls? Absolutely. Are they perfect? Absolutely not. But they do deserve the chance to learn how to do their jobs, just as your children deserve to learn the fundamentals of the game.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the coach of the first game that my daughter refereed. He did not gripe, yell at or humiliate her. He approached her at the end of the game and gave her some great tips, using humor and kindness to get his points across.

Sportsmanship is:

  • Playing fair
  • Following the rules
  • Respecting the judgment of referees and officials
  • Treating opponents with respect

Sherry Kurz

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