The Cougars and Hawks were playing each other for the division title...for 4th grade boys' basketball.
The Hawks were getting crushed. It looked like the Cougars were going to win the game easily, thereby winning the division.
There was a call that the Cougars' head coach didn't like, and he was making sure everyone knew he didn't like the call. The refs gave a warning, but he wouldn't let it drop. The refs called the game and the Cougars had to forfeit, making the Hawks the winners of the game and the division.
The actions of the Cougars' head coach - the person who is supposed to have his players best interests at heart - had caused his team to forfeit the game.
Unfortunately the story doesn't end there...
Parents were clearly upset, so the refs decided it would be best to have the teams leave separately. The Hawks were to leave quickly so the Cougars could then leave. As the Hawks were in the parking lot, one of the players cautiously said
"I have cupcakes...today's my birthday..."
The Hawks were frantically trying to have the boys grab the cupcakes and say "Happy Birthday" as they were being rushed along to leave so the Cougars could then leave.
Not only had the Cougars' head coach eliminated his team as the winners of the division, he ruined the birthday of a 4th grade boy from the other team.
This is 4th grade. What was on the line here?
Everyone agrees this was unacceptable, but what are we doing about it?
I don't want to focus on the negative here at all - especially since the goal of There's More at Stake than a Game is to Promote Positivity in Youth Sports - but we have to face the reality that incidences like the one mentioned here are happening too frequently. Ask anyone who is a referee...if you can find one. There are frequently shortages of referees because hostility from parents and coaches has become so frequent.
Let's change the culture!!
By wearing our apparel and using our products, you are pledging to only say positive things at sporting events.
Not only are you making a pledge, you are a visual reminder to others to do the same! Positive peer pressure among the parents and coaches.
Just that one reminder may be all it takes to make the difference in the life of a child who may end up on the wrong end of hurtful actions.
Thank you in advance for your support!!