Tag Archives: conduct

No Mercy!

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no-mercy

I’m reffing yet another game at yet another summer tournament. One U11 team is clearly superior to their opponent and the score quickly becomes one-sided. Yet the entire coaching staff of the leading team, led on by their head coach, repeatedly yells out “No Mercy!” after every goal they score. In what would eventually be a 15-2 beating these outbursts got old really quick. From what I could tell this behavior started with the head coach. He was the first to start yelling out “No Mercy!” and was quickly followed by his assistant coaches, who were then followed by the players on the bench. Everyone on the dominating team was thoroughly enjoying their epic victory.

Maybe my years as an official help me maintain a level of cool when I’m on the sidelines coaching, but that isn’t the core reason. If I behaved like a child during a youth game my dad would pull me out of the game and park my behind on the bench. He was acting like an adult while the coaches in my summer tournament game were acting like children. Winning wasn’t enough for these thirty to forty-five year old men. They needed to humiliate their opponent while on the road to victory.

After hearing all I cared to hear during the first half I told the head coach at halftime that the next time I heard “No Mercy!” I would issue a conduct foul on his team. He seemed perplexed when I gave him my ultimatum, but I was even more perplexed. I was struggling to understand why I, a twenty-five year old, had to explain to a forty-five year old that screaming “No Mercy!” when their team is up by ten goals is distasteful in a game with eight, nine and ten year olds.

It has been my experience that kids naturally gloat over one another. Most of the time it is good-natured ribbing, but sometimes an adult needs to step in and explain to the kids involved that there is a line that should not be crossed when you are the better player or on the better team. Kids need to learn that how you win is far more important that just winning. Mariano Rivera is finishing his last season with the Yankees. He has been a dominate closer for his entire career, and he wins with class. A-Rod, on the other hand, is a very accomplished baseball player but is now forever tarnished by PED usage. Both are winners, but Mo is the one who will be remembered fondly.

I can’t stand adult coaches acting like children in youth games. I am constantly amazed that the parents of these players even stick with the program when this behavior is evident, but their team is winning so what is the harm really? The harm is that when these kids get to high school I repeatedly send them to the box for unsportsmanlike behavior. They never learned to win with class as youngsters and they bring an overinflated view of themselves into high school ball.

If you’re unfamiliar with the featured image above go watch the original Karate Kid. You can yell “No Mercy” all you want, but eventually someone is going to out work you while you were spending all your time coming up with new insults.

Bow To Your Sensei!
Gordon

Rules Breakdown and Game Expectations

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Tomorrow is the big day because its GAME DAY! That’s right, Atlanta Youth Lacrosse’s Fall Ball season gets underway Saturday with U9, U11, and U13 games. With games comes responsibility. Everyone, including players, coaches, parents, fans and staff must take responsibility for following the rules for games and conduct at our fields. So let’s breakdown the rules for each division with this handy chart:

rules-chart

If anyone has any questions about the rules of the game, feel free to email me at rules@ayllax.com or find me or Andy Halperin at the fields. We are always willing to answer questions.

Also, if you are new to the game please check out Tadpole Lacrosse. This is a document that I put together that is an introduction to lacrosse for new players and parents.

Now onto rules for everyone while down at our fields:

  • Unless you are a Pre K (Incredibles) parent, we ask that you stay behind the fence surrounding the fields. Our STAR volunteers will be on hand to assist players with gearing up.
  • No dogs, unless you have a service/assistance dog.
  • No score. We will not be keeping score during any of the games. We want Fall Ball to be centered around player improvement. Having a score gets in the way of what players should be focusing on during games.
  • We are guests of Riverwood High School. Please do not leave any trash at these facilities. We expect everyone involved with our program to be respectful and courteous to all Riverwood staff.
  • Please park only in the upper parking lot.
  • Please review the Positive cheering and How To Yell When Watching From The Sidelines posts. We expect all fans to be good sports before, during and after each game. We do not want to stop or terminate a game because of poor behavior from one individual or group of people, but we will do so if necessary.

I believe that covers everything. If I missed anything, we will notify everyone via our weekly newsletter. I hope everyone is as excited for the first day of Fall Ball as I am. Let’s make tomorrow a great day for everyone involved!

Cheers,
Gordon

AYL TV – Unsportsmanlike Conduct

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Rule 5, Section 9 – Unsportsmanlike Conduct (NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rule Book)

Art. 1 – No player, substitute, nonplaying member of a squad, coach or anyone officially connected with a competing team shall:

A – Enter into an argument with an official as to any decision that has been made or in any way attempt to influence the decision of an official.

B – Use threatening, profane or obscene language or gestures at any time during the game.

C – Bait or call undue attention to oneself, or any other act considered unsportsmanlike by the officials.

Rule 6, Section 11 – Ejection (NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rule Book)

Art. 1 – A player, substitute, coach, nonplaying member of a team or anyone officially connected with the team shall be ejected for:

A – Deliberately striking or attempting to strike anyone or leaving the bench area during an altercation.

B – Use of tobacco or smokeless tobacco.

C – Second non-releasable, unsportsmanlike foul.

D – Any action deemed by the officials to be flagrant misconduct.

Unless punches are thrown, which is an automatic ejectable USC,  many officials will avoid giving an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty right away. Often the officials will give a verbal warning first, then move onto a 30-second conduct foul, and finally give a USC for the third offense. However, if the player, coach, or fan is especially belligerent or if the action is excessively violent that progression may not always be used.

In the youth game officials are supposed to help educate the player. Just giving them a USC and sending them to the box is not an education. It is punishment. When these situations occur our officials will make the effort during or after the game to explain the penalty to the player and how that player can avoid getting another in the future.

Remember players, your actions effect your teammates both positively and negatively. Make sure your actions stay positive.

Cheers,
Gordon