Sunday, September 8, 2013

Youth Soccer: Is Field 6 Cursed?

Field #6 is cursed at the Mead CUSA Cup Invitational in Beavercreek, OH. 

What is wrong with field #6 at the Ankeney soccer complex in Beavercreek. Was it built on an ancient indian burial ground? Something ugly always seems to happen on this field when I stand on the sidelines.

Flash Back

On April 20, 2010, my son played in what I think was the dirtiest game of soccer that I have ever seen. It was a U17 match that became more and more violent as the game progressed because the ref did not call any fouls. 

In the second half, one of our players took out a kid with a hard slide tackle. It was not malicious, but it most definitely a foul. No foul was called. A few minutes later, number 6 from the other team retaliated by taking out one of our players with a malicious foul. Our player did not even have the ball when he was leveled. No foul was called.

Both sets of parents voiced their opinions about the poor officiating. I have to say that the parents had a right to be upset. 

A few minutes later, number 6 flipped our best offensive player over his hip right near the corner flag that stands to the left of the goal by the row of trees. Our player fell and broke his wrist. The ref finally issued a yellow card. The parent of the kid who was injured was not satisfied with a yellow card. He thought that the foul deserved a red card and immediate ejection. The ref and the dad exchanged words. Then the dad decided to eject the ref. He chased after the ref for a beat down. The ref eluded  the dad by zig zagging through a row of trees and to his car. The sideline refs called the game a forfeit and we lost.

Last week

My daughter plays U13, so she plays on full size fields now, and her team was assigned to play on field 6. Before the game, my wife asked me if this was the same field that ugly game was played on years ago. I looked up a saw the row of trees that the ref used to escape the irate dad and concluded that it was.

There was a game in progress on the field. We watched two teams in our division play a very evenly matched game. Late in the game, a player from the team dressed in red, made a perfectly timed break to get behind the defense for a one on one breakaway goal. The sideline judge wrongly raised his flag to call offsides. The head ref called it off. I assume that he had decided that the player ran behind the defense after the long pass was already made which was the right call. An extremely large dad who looked like he never played a game of soccer in his life, screamed at the ref with a powerfully loud voice. He continued on and on, until the entire crowd went quiet when a girl fell awkwardly and broke her arm. It was an ugly compound fracture. Guess where this injury took place. You guess it, near the same corner flag where my son's teammate broke his wrist years before.

After they took the little girl away in a cart, the crowd gave the obligatory round of applause and the game resumed. As soon as the game started back up, the irate dad started in on the ref again. The ref ignored him for a while then issued the team a red card and threw the dad out. He picked up his chair and slowly made his way out as he threatened the ref over and over again.

At the conclusion of that game, our girls took the field knowing that they only needed a tie to win the pool and advance. The game was evenly contested with very few shots made on goal. Late in the first half, one of our bigger players, who falls down when the wind blows, got knocked down in the box. Our team was awarded a penalty kick. It was a terrible call. Our best player buried the ball in the back of the net for a 1-0 gift goal. 

The parents of the other team were boiling after the goal and they took out their frustrations on the ref with a relentless barrage of ugly remarks. The second half, neither team could get anything going so we held on to win the game 1-0. The PK goal turned out to be meaningless because a 0-0 tie would have knocked out the other team anyway, yet one of the dads kept giving the ref an earful after the game. He screamed, "Way to go ref, you determined the result instead of the girls. You are an incompetent #@%#@&"

I am not a confrontational person, but I could not contain myself. I tried to calm the dad and make the dad feel better by telling him that the goal did not matter because our team would have advanced with a 0-0 tie. 

Let's just say he did not appreciate my information and started barking at me. I ignored him, but one of our more confrontational dads who was sitting on a soccer chair in the shade behind me started chirping back at the dad. The irate dad could not see the other dad and thought I was bantering with him. He started coming toward me. I continued to ignore him, but the dad behind me kept chirping. The dad got within 20 yards of me and said, I am going to teach you a lesson tomorrow.

I said, "OK" I was not concerned because this moron still did not realize he is not coming back tomorrow. His daughter's team was eliminated. I did not remind him.

The Main Point

Don't play on field #6 at the Mead Cup without a policeman, your lawyer and a doctor close by. 


  1. Sounds to me like the typical poor reffing, and poor sports parents are to blame more than any possible curse.
    My kids both play travel soccer, and we have witnessed this same issue. Refs don't seem interested or capable of containing the aggession of the players, and are not supported enough to stop the irrate parents. If the refs would call the game properly and stop the inappropriate aggresive behavior early it would prevent escalation, but a lot of them don't.
    Too many parents are a crappy example of how to act and teach our kids. They seem more concerned with breeding superstars and living vicariously through their children. Reprehensible behaviour. Some of these parents should be banned from the sidelines. If parents or coaches disciplined the kids for acting poorly, and backed up the refs that try to call the game properly it would solve the issues, but intstead a lot of parents and coaches encourage the bad behaviour and do it themselves.
    Really is a shame how our society is allowing sports to be tarnished this way. Shameful!!!
    Good luck next season, and steer clear of the drama.

    1. Thanks for adding to the conversation. I typically try to avoid the drama, but unfortunately in youth sports the drama is hard to avoid.

  2. I'm not always as silent as I'd like to be when coaching or spectating. But, it amazes me when parents take it to that level of continuing on or making threats. Mostly, I feel badly for the kids in that situation. I remember getting the business from another team's parent, when as a coach I was discussing a call with an umpire. (The ump had blown a call pretty badly.) The parent was yelling, "It was the right call. Shut up. Don't listen to him. Blah, blah, blah." I made the mistake of looking at the guy, putting my hand up and calmly saying, "Stop." Yeah, that didn't work. "Why don't you come here and make me stop. Come on, let's go, and so on." Lesson learned. They aren't going to listen to reason, especially if you're the "enemy." I think it comes down to the team's coach -- long after the dust has settled -- talking to that parent and clarify what is acceptable behavior.

    1. It is not easy to stay silent when an idiot is yapping, but it is probably the best thing to do. Thanks for adding to the conversation

  3. Those parents that get a little too involved in their children's sports upset me. It is only a game after-all. Sure you want to see your kid win, but I think teaching, being a team player and sportsmanship are also very important. And if we can't get the parents to show these skills we are in trouble.


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