The California Interscholastic Federation hit the right note with a public service announcement released Wednesday.
Sportsmanship and uncontrolled fan behavior directed at coaches, student-athletes and sports officials are issues the state’s governing body for high school athletics cannot ignore.
Why are more schools playing football on Thursdays across California?
Because there are not enough referees to cover Friday’s event.
Why are there not enough referees?
But the referee crisis wasn’t the only reason For PSA of CIFAs a new high school sports year is being released.
“Sportsmanship is simple, treat others the way you want you to be treated,” Cif wrote. “Respect the sport and everyone who participates—including the student-athletes, coaches, officials and spectators. Education-based athletics is much more than winning, it is about academic development, equity and character. Be responsible, be respectful, #BeTheChange!”
In a video accompanying the news release, several unnamed high school student-athletes talked about good and bad behavior in general.
“Hearing people cheering on our game really inspires me.”
“But being provoked to miss a play can be crushing.”
“I love it when my parents come for me.”
“But it’s embarrassing to hear them yell at the coach.”
“And remember that referees are people too.”
“They’re doing their best to say fair and fair play.”
“I hear all the crazy things parents say all the time.”
“The parents on my team were acting out… the referee told every parent to exit the facility and waited until every parent had done so, leaving half of us 10 to 15 minutes wasted.”
One student-athlete spoke of herself as a target of abuse.
“You’re trying your best and you’re putting yourself out there and you’re on the court, doing what you love and it’s really frustrating to hear and hear people belligerent,” she said. . “It doesn’t make you want to play anymore. It just makes you want to go over the edge and cry. It’s not a joke.”
Another said, “It feels like parents think about themselves rather than the players who are actually playing the game.”
“We should be able to hold our heads high after match, win or lose.”
“No one should feel humiliated or ashamed because of their race, ethnicity or gender.”
“Our games are the highlight of my week. There is no place for anger here.”
CIF Executive Director Ron Nosetti concluded the video by saying, “Let’s do what we do best, Calif. Great competition and the best fans in the country. Thanks for being part of the change and for raising us.” Thank you for being there.”