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The Sideline Project - Take the Pledge

By Heidi Lindahl, 06/24/21, 3:30PM CDT


Take the Pledge

With us past the halfway point of the spring season, we have seen good success for many teams on the field. It’s been encouraging to see our teams perform well, succeeding at many of the tournaments we participate in. For most of our players, the on-field experience has been good.

Unfortunately, a challenge we have this year is regarding parent/referee conduct and the referee shortage.  The number of referees is lower than it’s ever been.  For Shakopee Cup,  we spent over 30% more than previous years on referee fees. We have been encouraging players to become new referees to help solve this problem. But a challenge we face is the current perception that Shakopee games are more difficult to ref. It’s become a regular occurrence for me to receive emails from a ref assignor, a state referee representative, or from a neighboring club to provide us with feedback about bad conduct among parents, and in some cases coaches and players.

I appreciate the passion many of us have for the sport, and I understand refereeing can be less than perfect, but we need to do better than this.  As a club, we are taking this seriously, and will be addressing it with time and financial commitments to further ensure our sidelines represent proper sportsmanship and to develop a strong pool of referees.

As we work to take these additional steps, we are asking you to take the first step in parental education by taking the pledge at The Sideline Project.

We are also asking that if you see poor behavior, that you notify us so we can be aware and proactively address it. SSA will continue to increase measures to prevent this behavior including measures that may seem extreme, but to continue to host games at a competitive rate, more extreme steps may be warranted in the near future.

Thank you.