No Support for Calls to Jail Abusive Sideline Parents

The head of discipline for the Riverside Minor Hockey Association (RMHA) isn't sure the extreme penalty Louisiana is imposing for abusive sideline parents will work.

The state is about to create a law that in extreme situations, would allow for parents who cross that line to go to jail.

RMHA Executive Vice President and Director of Discipline Marc McLean told listeners on AM800's The Lynn Martin Show, he's dealt with many similar situations.

He agrees some parents simply lose their head in a situation where a referee or coach makes a call they don't agree with but says the law will at least let people know the consequences of their actions.

"It is the message, I'll tell you this much, every individual I've ever spoken to, coaches, parents, players. every single one of them comes in feeling regret about their actions," says McLean. "Nobody wants to do what they end up doing, they really don't."

McLean wonders how the law will work in real world situations.

"Where's the line in the sand where you can say this to a ref and then if you say something else you'll be in front of some tribunal and may end up in jailm," he says. I mean, it seems like a pretty extreme response to it but I just don't know.  It's a question, like I said, I don't think we're going to find an answer to."

McLean agrees the kind of abuse some parents hurl at referees and coaches pushes people away from wanting to take on those roles.

He says he's never had a case of physical abuse, but many of verbal insults. He also points out many of the referees are young and are often playing at an older level while refereeing younger kids.