Hartman: Here’s a terrible idea from the world of soccer

KANSAS CITY, KS - APRIL 02:  Justen Glad #15 of Real Salt Lake celebrates shoots past a diving Tim Melia #29 of Sporting Kansas City for a goal during the 1st half of the Major League Soccer match at Children's Mercy Park on April 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Credit: Jamie Squire

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KANSAS CITY, KS - APRIL 02: Justen Glad #15 of Real Salt Lake celebrates shoots past a diving Tim Melia #29 of Sporting Kansas City for a goal during the 1st half of the Major League Soccer match at Children's Mercy Park on April 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Credit: Jamie Squire

Credit: Jamie Squire

The South Carolina Youth Soccer Association has an astonishingly dumb idea to try to solve what I assume is a really serious problem.

USA Today has all the details on "Silent September" being planned for this fall, but here's the gist:

  1. No spectators will be allowed to make any noise during games in September.
  2. Violating that rule will result in two warnings then a request to leave if behavior persists. The warnings could be bypassed if actions are egregious.
  3. The responsibility to enforce these rules falls on the coaches for some reason.

This qualifies as one of those ideas that is reasonable to bring up in a brainstorming session but shouldn’t be approved by any governing body run by competent adults.

Don’t get me wrong – I understand this is a serious issue.

Stories of parents behaving badly at youth sporting events are unfortunately common, and adults ruining things for kids is not new.

But this probably unenforceable solution makes no sense.

First of all, silencing everyone to deal with a few is pretty obviously overkill.

When there’s a rabbit in my garden, I chase it away. I don’t burn down all the plants to keep it from eating them.

Second, blaming the coaches for bad behavior by adult fans is ridiculous.

Those who can’t control themselves have no one to blame but, you guessed it, themselves.

And yet the coach will be ejected from the game if an unruly fan won’t follow his/her directions to be quiet.

Huh?

Looking beyond the fact a fan might actually prefer to see a coach “sent off” if they don’t approve of the job their doing, how is eliminating positive cheers to avoid negative ones a good idea?

On what planet does that make sense?

It’s not like telling the difference between what is acceptable and what is not should be difficult for anyone, kids included.

Neither kids nor referees or coaches deserve to be berated during games, but positive reinforcement is important for everyone.

And yet instead of taking an opportunity to teach youngsters the difference between right and wrong, we have another lesson from adults about how not to handle a situation.

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