Ohio High School Athletic Association warns parents to ‘act their age’ in scathing letter

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association issued a scathing warning to parents and adult fans attending high school athletic events.

OHSAA published the letter on September 10 because they say inappropriate adult behavior at athletic events has reached an epidemic proportion.

According to OHSAA, almost 80% of officials quit after the first two years on the job, citing unruly parents as the reason. As a result, there is a growing shortage of high school officials.

OHSAA is asking parents and fans to follow these six guidelines:

  1. Act your age. “You are, after all, an adult. Act in a way that makes your family and school proud,” OHSAA wrote.
  2. Don’t live your life vicariously through your children. “High school sports are for them, not you. Your family’s reputation is not determined by how well your children perform on the field of play.”
  3. Let your children talk to the coach instead of you doing it for them. “High school athletes learn how to become more confident, independent and capable—but only when their parents don’t jump in and solve their problems for them.”
  4. Stay in your own lane. “No coaching or officiating from the sidelines. Your role is to be a responsible, supportive parent—not a coach or official.”
  5. Remember, participating in a high school sport is not about getting a college scholarship. “According to the NCAA, only about 2% of all high school athletes are awarded a sports scholarship, and the total value of the scholarship is only about $18,000.”
  6. Make sure your children know you love watching them play. “Do not critique your child’s performance on the car ride home. Participating in high school sports is about character development, learning and having fun—not winning and losing.”

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