Monday, June 20, 2011

Softball Etiquette, According to Dawn

1. If you are not wearing a uniform and are not sitting in the dugout, you probably shouldn’t be leading the cheers.
2. When your game is finished, please quickly pack up your things and move so the next set of fans can get arranged for the next game in a timely manner. Since you probably have some warning that the game is ending, you can even anticipate your move before the game ends. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you when the game is over.
3. Try not to coach your kid from the bleachers. That is why you have her on a team in the first place. And, chances are, if you are not coaching that team, you probably DON’T know more than the coach.
4. Cowbells are not appropriate softball game accessories. Ever.
5. If I can hear you cheering, “Baby Girl” from the parking lot, you’re probably cheering too loudly, embarrassing yourself AND your daughter, and also annoying everyone on the other team, quite possibly even members of your own team.
6. If your team just beat our team, please, please, please don’t ask us out to the field to pray with you. It’s not that we don’t like God or anything, but we’re probably not in the right frame of mind to discuss the outcome of the game with Him while you’re sitting with us. Really, if we could just say a simple, “good game” and call it a night, that would probably suffice.
7. Oh, and about those, “We are proud of you” tunnels/cheers: Not a good idea, either.
8. Cheering when a member of the opposing team makes an error is usually in bad taste.
9. We KNOW your daughter’s team is good. That’s why we’re all here. Some days some teams are better than others. Don’t take it personally when you get beat – that’s one of the many lessons we are trying to teach our daughters by encouraging them to play a team sport. If we parents are bad sports, then our children will be bad sports, too. At the end of the day, what is the point if we don’t all learn to work together toward a common goal and treat those around us with respect?
10. Unfortunately for them, yelling at the umpires can be therapeutic for fans. Be careful, though. You may find an occasional umpire who doesn’t appreciate it when a fan informs him that he must be blind because of what his wife looks like. As a result, the calls may get even worse for your team, making a bad situation even worse for the whole team, which brings me back to rule #9.
Softball can be a really great game – it’s a wonderful combination of athleticism and intelligence as teams try to use their best tools in the most strategic manner in order to win. It is really fun to watch, and when you see your child participate and succeed, well, it’s downright amazing. Try to relax and remember the purpose of the game: to teach girls the benefits of working hard as individuals as well as a team in order to achieve a common goal. It is, after all, only a game.


  1. Noted! Thank you, Dawn.

    As one who never really played a team sport (unless you consider fishing and tambourine-shaking in this group), I cannot personally relate. However, as an avid, sometimes rabid St. Louis Cardinal fan, I have witnessed these crazies and may have even unknowingly married one! ;)

    How about you print your rules on the back of your shirt and sit in front of "those people" at the next game. Or better yet, hand out copies of the rules to all who enter the stands with posted fines for violators. This could potentially bring in enough funds to build a full wing at the new Joplin high school!!

  2. LOL - Beth, I think I need a book, not a t-shirt!