Opinion

Dodgeball? How about dodge the parents

Tabitha Barr

As you’ve probably noticed, this week I will not be publishing “The Women’s Corner” column. Which is something I’m kind of bummed about, but I have a topic that literally rattles my cage to the point where I’m ready to fight someone at the drop of a hat.

And, for those who know me, I am not a fighter. I may talk big, but seriously, my 12-year-old brother could probably take me.

However, parents at kids’ dodgeball games are the most insane and competitive people I have ever met. And they need to calm the hell down.

So grab your popcorn, sit down, and relax while I rant and call these immature parents out for their behavior.

This past Tuesday, I was attending my little brother’s dodgeball game. Now, this is the only sport I actually enjoy watching. It’s a fast-paced game that has no practices before hand and is just for fun. To me, that’s what sports should be – fun. But people tend to twist the fun into a competitive situation that makes it as fun as doing homework. And there just so happened to be these types of people in the audience that night, and it’s what sparked this column topic.

Now. this has happened before. And I seriously thought that some mom was about to throw hands with me last year. But in this instance, it was more than just one adult that was acting immature.

The games are simple. A game runs for 45 minutes with the kids playing as many games in that time span. There are two teams, both with coaches, and two high school aged refs.

So, the game is in progress and it’s been going well. The kids seem to be having fun and it’s just all around a good vibe. But this wouldn’t be my column topic if it ended in sunshine and rainbows.

Everything was fine, when a kid dodged a ball just barely. From where I was sitting, it didn’t look like it hit him, and the refs saw it, but didn’t think it hit him either. But some adults above me disagreed very loudly and wouldn’t shut up. They continued to yell out that the kid was “clearly out” and how he needed to “get off the court”. The game continues but these people keep making sly comments about every little thing that is questionable. But I think what really sent me off was that they came for my brother.

As a ball was thrown at him, he ducked just enough where it didn’t hit him. And I’m not just being biased because he’s my brother, because it clearly didn’t hit him. But these trash people yelled through the gym, “Get off the court! You’re out!” with agreements from the rest of their little posse.

Oh boy, did my anger spike.

Listen here, you middle-aged couple and the grandma to follow, you need to sit down and shut up. This is a kids dodgeball game! It is just for fun and should be played as such. Your incessant comments about our team are immature and unnecessary to the point where you are setting a poor example for your child and making complete fools of yourselves.

You are not the refs. You are not on the court. You are not your child. So calm yourself down and reevaluate your actions, because you are acting worse than kindergarteners.

What topped this whole thing off, was to see how the kids followed in their childish parent’s footsteps. I’m just going to come out and say it – baiting in dodgeball is a coward move and should be treated as such. These parents kept rooting the kids on to bait our team, making them come get a ball while they stood there and waited for us to come and get it so they could hit us.

Now, not only has the Hutchinson Recreation Commission stated before that baiting is no longer accepted, but it is clearly bad sportsmanship and some might even say cheating.

The night ended with a baiting situation that just ended with a tie between the two teams. But in my mind, there was a clear winner.

This situation literally makes no sense to me. Why can’t we just let kids play sports to have fun, instead of turning it into the biggest deal in the world?

For future reference, let your kids have fun and don’t make people hate you by being a a–hole to everyone you disagree with because you aren’t getting your way.

Thank you, and goodnight.

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The student newspaper at Hutchinson Community College.
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