Parents certainly get animated watching their children play. They invest time and money heavily in their child’s sports development. They want their child to win every time and build mountains of expectations around it. When expectations break, sudden obnoxious behaviors come out as frustration. Therefore, as a sports organizer, you should always prepare for what’s coming at you.

Here are some common problems caused by parents at youth sports tournaments, along with tips to avoid such incidents. So let’s start with the issues parents cause at youth sports tournaments.

#1 Abuse Referees

As fans, we get excited and start blaming the referees for the loss of our team. But parents go blind and cross their limits sometimes. They end up abusing the referees and disgrace them, which is unacceptable at sporting events. According to a survey, more than 75% of all high school officials say ‘adult behavior’ is the primary reason they quit.

#2 Bully Coaches

Coaches play an influential part in team selection. And no parents want to see their child sitting on the reserve bench. So they start bullying the coach for their decision and pressuring them to make their child play.

#3 Compete with Other Parents

At a sporting event, parents often try to flex their child’s abilities with each other. As a result, the parents become more competitive than their children. It can get a bit intense sometimes, and they often lose their cool over it. 

#4 Vandalize in the Gallery

Parents’ emotion intensifies when their child’s performance does not go as expected. Then, they start accusing the officials, coaches, and management of this out of frustration. Sometimes things can go out of control and lead to property damage.

#5 Overly Critical

Organizing a tournament is a tough job. You plan and expect everything should fall in place on the event day. However, some parents always complain about everything. Be it the food, schedule, or venue. They will criticize you for your sports management, ‘biased’ officials, and more. They even start yelling from the stand, complaining about the coach about how their child should play.

Prevent it before it starts!

Well, as a tournament organizer, it would be best for you to take precautionary measures to tackle obnoxious parents’ behavior. Here we will cover the most effective ways to prevent parents’ from misbehaving at sports tournaments. 

Parent Orientation

You can prepare a video or PPT for the parents about the tournament’s conduct. The collateral should incorporate things that you expect from them on the ground. For example, you can ask them to encourage the athletes and compliment officials, volunteers, and coaches. Communicate to them that they can be a positive role model to their child. Check out this parent orientation video as an example. 

Behavior Agreement

A behavior agreement with parents will prevent them from creating chaos at the event. For example, you can put a clause to ban them from being present at the venue if they violate the code of conduct. Make sure you have it signed at the time of player registration.

Accountability Agreement

Make policies to hold the parents accountable if their conscious or unconscious action leads to any penal offense. For example, if they damage any property, they should be bound to bear the penalties. You must communicate the accountability agreement in detail to the parents.

Train Coaches & Officials

A heated argument from both sides can put a halt to the game. Therefore, it would be wise to train your coaches and officials with techniques to tackle abuse from the parents and tone down confrontations among players. 

Tournament Insurance

Sports organizers should always opt for event insurance before organizing tournaments. Then, if any hooliganism from the parents happens at the venue, it will help you recover the finance of the property damage.  


Parents are one of the essential stakeholders of youth sports tournaments. Most parents come to enjoy the game and encourage young athletes. So dealing with them doesn’t have to be a struggle for sports organizers. Your approach should be proactive and make them feel involved from the very first moment. Take the help of sports management software for hassle-free registration and precise match scheduling. Keep them engaged more often with event-related information through Email, SMS & calls. 

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