When did “sportsmanship” leave sports?

Answer me this LA sports fans. When did “Sportsmanship” leave the vocabulary and standards for playing or watching a sport? When did it become OK to be outright hostile, threatening and at times violent? What sort of lessons are being taught our kids?

I found this video while reviewing my local blogs. I had heard about the fight, actually near riot during a game with the Duarte and Gladstone (Covina). I found the information in the Crime Scene blog, details HERE and topically related HERE.

(a bit more after the jump?)

I’ve got kids in sports and spend a lot of time running around in circles in various communities in the LA Area for their games. Not all communities behave inappropriately, but there are some that stand out.

My middle was in the Monrovia Youth Baseball League. Some of the cities we played, Baldwin Park in particular did this really loud “hiss” like their heads were leaking whenever we got ahead to distract the pitcher or batter. This was the parents as well as the players doing that crap. They’d switch shirts to keep their strongest batters in play. On their field if we brought it to the regs attention, nothing happened and we were threatened for speaking up by the parents.

During our home games we (the parents) went to the refs and alerted them to the craziness. He in turn spoke with the opposing coaches and warned them it would not be tolerated. Guess what. They did it anyway. Usually stopped when warned. IT was so bad during one game that the coaches were tossed off the field, then they had to be told to leave the park under threat of forfeit as their awful behavior continued.

My youngest is in a travel Basketball League we’ve run into this during tournaments in Inglewood, Central LA and Bell. So far this year we’ve had one team have to forfeit when they had players using forged birth certificates who were 1-2 years older than the division they were in. When we hosted the tournaments at least once an entire team was booted out as they would not adhere to the posted standards of acceptable behavior at our “Y”. We now no longer participate in play with those cities.

Chime in. How do we fix this? Should we fix this?

3 Replies to “When did “sportsmanship” leave sports?”

  1. Maybe this unsportsmanlike behavior is new to you, but my friend’s dad coached a Little League team in Long Beach and the parents were so rude that he threatened to find a way to ban them from games…and this was all the way back in 1983.

    The “win at all costs” mentality is behind this behavior now, as it was then, and as it always has been. This rude behavior will continue to go on as long as it results in winning. I honestly think the only way to make it go away is to ensure that it causes the teams it is meant to help to lose. If other people have other ideas, I would love to hear them, too.

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