Italian Kids Go On Strike


We found some Italian youth soccer players who came up with a new way to get their parents’ attention about inappropriate touchline behavior:

It’s not just in the U.S. that parents scream and yell, attack coaches and officials, and generally embarrass their kids (in addition to, you know, breaking laws) at youth sporting events. It happens in Italy, too, and one club has finally had enough. No, they’re not making rules about silence on the sidelines, or initiating cheering-only leagues. Instead, they went on strike.

The kids at Unione Sportiva Ponte a Elsa were apparently so scarred by the behavior of parents at their matches that they asked for something to be done — and the best solution, it was decided, was a strike. During the club’s Christmas party last week, the strike was announced, and members of the three teams that refused to play — the club’s eight-, nine- and 10-year-olds — appeared before their parents holding banners that said things like, “No to bad language, Yes to kids having fun,” and, “Parents: don’t argue, let us play.”

Ouch.

An interesting approach, and probably a very effective one. But the Guardian article makes it sound like this was a separate event (like they were walking on a stage with signs or something).

Heck with that — I’d have pulled it off on match day. Kids take the pitch with signs and sit down with them for 20 minutes. That would certainly put their parents in their place!