Some youth sports teams have gone silent, reports the San Jose Mercury News. Parents and other spectators aren’t allowed to cheer or holler advice. Coaches think the only way to shut up screamers, trash talkers and self-appointed coaches is to shut up everyone.
On a recent silent-game weekend for an Oakland soccer team, 8-year-old Sophia Abelson was playing while her mom and other relatives watched. But she didn’t hear them cheering — because they’d been asked not to.”I felt less inspired,” says Sophia, who plays on the Rockridge Soccer League’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” team.
Her mother, Bibi Jackson, thought the e-mail she’d received before the game, asking all the adults to keep quiet, was a joke. It said that only players would be allowed to speak — and then only on the field.
Karl Hawkins of San Jose, a soccer parent and coach, doesn’t think it’s possible to turn fans into Trappists: “The people you want to control wouldn’t be able to control themselves.”