Posted: July 31, 2000

Sporting-event outbursts Over the years, I have witnessed a definite increase in the frequency and severity of parental confrontations with coaches, referees and spectators (Inquirer, July 16).

Where we seem to have the greatest number of malcontents present are at matches involving our younger players. Most arguments appear to stem from coaches and parents not fully understanding the rules of the game. They feel they have a right to be heard regardless of the impact on the children and others around them. They forget that all are present for the enjoyment of the sport.

If a referee feels that an individual is interfering with the area of play, he or she has the right to ask them to leave. If they do not comply, then the referee has the option to cancel the remainder of the match. As you can imagine, this can cause things to escalate. However, no referee is compensated enough to have to tolerate the abusive behavior that has become almost part of the job description.

With the help of the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association (EPYSA), we are combating this problem. We offer frequent educational programs aimed at coaches that emphasize a positive approach to the game. Coaches are made aware of our zero-tolerance policy toward any negative behavior and are reminded that they are responsible for themselves, their players and their sidelines.

With many of our club referees being minors, we have requested the aid of local police in developing a formal policy to handle confrontations that have the potential to turn physical. Our young members should not have to deal with those who can't control their emotions. Let police professionals deal with these individuals, and let us all get on with the game.

The folks at EPYSA and the Referee Committee of the Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association are willing to help all soccer clubs combat this problem. They offer excellent programs for the beginner as well as the seasoned veteran.

Michael Scott

Vice President and Director of Coaching

Marple Newtown Soccer Association

Newtown Square


Road rage The editorial "Chill, drivers" (Inquirer, July 27) on road rage was timely. However, may I offer some effective and original solutions?

* Nationwide registration of automobiles.

* Equip all cars with ignition locks.

* Ban the private sales of automobiles and car shows.

* Ban imported cars with high capacity engines.

* Ban "assault" vehicles such as the truck driven in the latest road-rage case.

This will make some people angry. Others will argue unconvincingly, as does your editorial, "But mostly, it comes down to drivers themselves." Right, that old nonsense about how "cars don't kill people..." And let's not forget the completely specious argument that the Constitution gives every yahoo the right to own cars.

Thomas A. Sica


Phillies management I would like to thank the Phillies ownership for continuing to take baseball away from me, as well as from most of its local fan base (Inquirer, July 27).

If management would only admit that it is financially incapable of fielding a team capable of competing with the Braves and Mets, it might have some credibility. But don't trade the only marquee player for a potpourri of mediocrity in order to save money and then tell us it's a good deal.

M. Jellinek

Merion Station

Good neighbors There is a lot of angry talk and a lot of hard feelings in our city just now. But I had a wonderful experience recently that renewed my hopes for more civil relationships among the races, and it made me feel proud.

I was on the 42 bus going to Center City. A young black mother struggled to get on with a sleeping baby and a recalcitrant baby stroller that she could not fold up. On the bus, a pair of white arms reached out. The mother handed the baby into those arms, whereupon the good Samaritan's purse opened and out fell her wallet, cosmetics, etc. A young white girl handed her ice cream cone to the elderly woman next to her, got down on the floor of the bus and replaced all the spilled items in the purse. Soon after, a young black man helped the mother fold the stroller, and the baby was returned to the mother.

Not a word was spoken and the baby slept through it all, of course. But we were all involved in a neighborly happy experience and we all smiled.

Belle Parmet

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