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Youth Sports a Place for Mature Role Models

As the summer moves on, Little League Baseball and other youth sports take center stage with fields, gymnasiums and swimming pools filled with children enjoying recreation sports.Along with the children – young athletes learning to play a sport and to coexist and compete as good sportsmen and sportswomen – come the parents and coaches, who are present to provide a fair and safe environment.On June 26, in Castle Rock, Colorado, several parents and young people engaged in a brawl during a youth baseball tournament for 12-year-old children resulting in arrests and minor injuries. According to the Associated Press, a mother and her son said they were trying to dispute an umpire's call when the fight erupted. Two teenage boys who were spectators got into a fight and one mother claimed the other boy, 15, attacked her son from behind, put him in a chokehold and punched him. The 16-year-old boy who was attacked was hospitalized with a concussion.Police charged three parents -- including the town’s prosecutor -- with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct.

In another recent incident, an irate Long Island baseball mother threatened a coach who did not choose her son for his traveling team. The woman was arrested after she sent a number of letters to the coach, threatening to harm his wife and his 14-year-old daughter.Locally, Main Street Connect sports reporters have covered dozens of youth sports events in the last month since we have been on line and, despite a few loudly-argued umpire’s calls and red-faced coaches and frustrated parents blowing off steam, the adults have been very adult.

Let’s keep it that way.We applaud the Westchester area officials and coaches who give their time to keep the games going while keeping their heads and we commend the parents who stand by and cheer without engaging in threats, verbal abuse or the mindless violence witnessed this past weekend in Colorado.The playing fields should be filled with happy children and adults who understand that good sportsmanship breeds good citizens.

Have you witnessed bad behavior from players, coaches or parents at youth sports events?

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