Citing out of hand parents, and an inability to retain referees from year-to-year, The South Carolina Youth Soccer Association is instituting a new rule to silence parents and fans on the sideline...
Literally. No yelling at kids from the stands...and no cheering allowed either.
Before the season, coaches and the team manager will be required to get parent signatures acknowledging the new rules and code of conduct.
Two of the five rules of the new silent games, being called "Silent September", are as follows, according to USA Today:
1 - All parents and visitors shall be silent during the game. No cheering, no jeering; just enjoy your player and the game that they love. Also during this Silent September, all parents and visitors shall be on that half of the parent touchline opposite their team’s bench.
2 - In the event of a parent or visitor violates this rule, on the first instance during a game the referee will ASK the coach to counsel his parents/visitors to remain silent, on the second instance during the game the referee will TELL the coach to counsel his parents/visitors to remain silent, upon the third instance during the game the referee will direct the coach to DISMISS the offending spectator(s)—if they do not leave or the coach refuses—then the coach will be sent off. If there is not an appropriately carded adult to continue coaching the game, the game will be abandoned and the circumstances reported to SCYSA. Likewise, if the offending spectator(s) still refuse to leave, even after the coach is sent off, then the game will be abandoned and the circumstances reported to SCYSA. If in the opinion of the referee the situation warrants, first two steps (ASK/TELL) are not required.
Can you imagine a kid scoring, parents cheering beaming with pride, and being told by a youth soccer referee to quiet down? That seem absolutely absurd. Granted, the aim of the rule is directed at the overbearing minority of parents, but asking a youth referee and volunteer coach to silence an entire crowd is asking for a near-impossible task, if you ask me.
The idea has been used in other parts of the country, and kids are huge fans of it in some instances.
See the other rules, and read more on Silent September, here.