Should we be Shouting Pitch-side?

In recent weeks, parents at rugby matches around Yorkshire were asked to stay silent during play, in a bid to tackle wayward pitch-side behaviour from spectators. However, many players are encouraged by those watching their games and the Loose Women panel were keen to discuss their take on off-pitch family relationships, and whether fans cheering actually help the performances of those on-pitch.

Ruth pointed out that the reason the shouting had been banned, was to stop referees being intimidated, parents getting het up and to stop the “fruity” and offensive language.

Gloria couldn’t understand why the cheering had been forbidden “I would never shout obscenities but I can’t imagine a silent side line and for me, you’d have to put a big bit of tape across my mouth…which would be a good long-term solution I think,” she cheekily added.

“I get so excited at sport, so for me [being] on the side line, I’d have to shout.”

The Loose Women ladies’ attention was then drawn to a sign at a recent Kidderminster ground stating “Please remember. These are kids. This is a game. The coaches are volunteers. The referee is human. This is not the six nations.”

Ruth wanted to hear Jane’s opinion, as her daughter plays a lot of sports:

“I’m pretty bad, but my husband is appalling.”

“Who does he shout at, the refs or the coaches?” Ruth questioned.

“No, no, he’d never shout at the refs or the umpires, it’s just our daughter, he’s like ‘come on’ and pretends it’s a joke. He gets the whole team together (these girls are ten by the way) and says ‘losing is disease!’” Jane said. “They all look at me, and ask ‘Mum is he joking?’ ”

Ruth agreed: “Eamon’s like that, Eamon’s favourite one is, ‘first is first ware, and second is nowhere son’. I’d look at him and go ‘he’s six!’ ”

“I’ve stood on a football pitch for the last fifteen years with the boys, and I have to say I did see some disgraceful behaviour,” Coleen smiled. “I’ve seen parents squaring up to each other and like you said [Ruth] these are six year olds. To them though, it’s a premiere league game.”

“Saying that I have found myself going ‘Oh referee! Do you need glasses?’ ” She added.

Jane thought it was more of a form of encouragement for those taking part:

“If you talk to every successful sports person, man or woman, they will always say, my mother or father was the one that drove me, literally and by shouting on the side lines.”

“I think it was Gareth Bale, who’s one of the most successful footballers, and he was saying his dad was an absolute nightmare, but look what he’s achieved” Jane finished.

“Surely any team wouldn’t want to play in silence?” Ruth queried. “You need people there.”

Coleen was thinking long term: If they do want to go on to be professional football players, they have to get used to being up against 80,000 people shouting obscenities, so it just makes them stronger!”

Dawn Howe, from tombola’s marketing department, feels much the same:

“Any kind of positive encouragement from the side-lines is surely a good thing; praise and encouragement help to spur people on. That said, any comments should be kept positive. There’s no need to be mean – after all – would we want our children to behave like that?

Take the Olympics: the athletes said the roar of the crowd’s support on super Saturday contributed to push athletes to gold. It’s crazy for us to let a few silly adults spoil it for the rest!”

Do you push your child to win their matches from the side of the pitch, or do you think it’s too overwhelming for children of a young age? Perhaps you feel that the parents shouting unsupportive jibes that should be given the red card? Let us know!


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