Q: Our family aspires to be socially gracious and we have taught our 13 and 14 year old boys to be well-mannered at all time (they generally are except occasionally within our immediate family as boys will be boys…). This weekend, the almost 13 year old son’s club soccer team played another team we have played before in a tournament. Each time, the boys on the opposing team were foul-mouthed, rude, and horrendously inappropriate in the things they voiced and performed while playing the game. Those boys don’t do these things within vision or earshot of their coach or the ref but we certainly could observe and hear them. Should we tell the coach so he can make the families aware or let this go? There are no sour grapes here as wins/losses are even. We just feel their behavior should not go on.
A: By all means, mention it to your coach or to an official the next time it happens. You could also mention it to the coach of the other team, if you’d like. Sportsmanship is one of the most important lessons of organized youth sports, and clearly the members of the other team are not demonstrating the kind of sportsmanship we expect that the league wants to promote.