In conversation with other club chairmen in the area we have sadly identified a growing problem of poor behaviour around the county by some parents which has led to unsavoury scenes at some matches in front of their children. This is unacceptable and must be stopped. It pains me to have to write this letter, but it seems that what was once seen as an assumed standard of behaviour must now be written down. I want Amersham to be at the forefront of this standard and working together with other clubs to stamp out this growing trend. Parents, coaches and players of all ages have a responsibility to behave appropriately.
Over the winter, in consultation with our current coaches, we will be putting in place clear written policies which will show parents what they can expect from the club in terms of fair opportunity and coaching for every colt. It will be similar to the Bucks CCC pathway guidelines. But this does not cover behaviour and we will also be putting in place our expectations of accepted behaviour from parents.
To lead the way, as of today, the following guidelines will apply at Amersham CC: -
Parents must not mingle with groups of children during a coaching session and keep “bending the ear” of the coaches. They can obviously observe from a suitable distance, but we can’t have adults who are probably not DBS checked mixing with the boys and girls. The coaches, mostly volunteers, must be allowed to get on with their job without interference.
Of course we encourage dialogue with the coaches but not during the session unless specifically approached by the coach. We also encourage anyone who wants to volunteer as a coach, go on a coaching course and go through the rigmarole of a DBS check to get in touch so if that is you, please contact the Colts chairman.
The main problem here is over enthusiastic parents “coaching” from the boundary. This is unacceptable and must stop, particularly loud coaching, and for four reasons.
- Parental advice from the boundary, often through lack of knowledge, may conflict with the coach’s advice and confuse the young boy or girl out on the pitch.
- Parental advice from the boundary may put undue pressure on the young cricketer who is on the pitch trying his or her best to learn, improve and enjoy cricket with, and often against, schoolfriends. They must be allowed to play the game as best they can, hopefully successfully. Encourage yes, but there is a difference between encouragement and over enthusiastic advice.
- Loud parental advice can often cause friction with parents of the opposing team, and this must be avoided.
- Under no circumstances must any barracking of opposition players take place. This will of course lead to tension between all the parents and must never happen. Sadly, it has.
When you are watching a match, as well as the players and coaches, you as parents are representing Amersham Cricket Club and our name must not be brought into disrepute. If you cannot abide by these simple rules of decent behaviour, you will be reported, and you may have your membership suspended or terminated.
I really am sorry that I have had to remind people how to behave but I’m sure that all of you want to be part of a club that sets the standards. What we all want is a situation where all our colts, boys and girls, can go home after a match having enjoyed themselves hopefully successfully while at the same time learning about our lovely game. The guidelines above will be reviewed at the end of the season and put in place for 2022. All parents will be expected to sign up to it.