Join the discussion.

Inklings News

Join the discussion.

Inklings News

Join the discussion.

Inklings News

A Game without Fans?

Austin Alianiello 10 focuses on a chip near the green. |Photo by Lucas Hammerman
Austin Alianiello ’10 focuses on a chip near the green. |Photo by Lucas Hammerman

Jesse Heussner ’11
Sports Editor

Austin Alianiello '10 focuses on a chip near the green. |Photo by Lucas Hammerman

Even though the boy’s golf team has had plenty to cheer about in their undefeated 2010 season, you would not have known it based on their crowd support.

Why? Because the boy’s golf team has no fans—the state has banned all spectators from watching regular season play.

At first glance, this situation seems absolutely ludicrous. Fans––parents–– banned from their child’s own competition? It just seems wrong. That is, until the facts came out.

The real issue here is not the state’s decision to deny parents the right to watch their kids play; it’s the parent’s actions that prompted this decision.

Parents and fans from various Connecticut schools have been allegedly assisting their sons in cheating and heckling, actions that are obviously impermissible in high school sports. Staples junior Eric Gallanty ’11 has seen parents “kick” competitors balls into the fairway to give their kid an advantage.

Even though the parents that take part in this misconduct are surely in the minority, this type of situation is not an aberration either. Take it from a kid that has played every type of little-league sport imaginable: parents will do anything to help their kids win. I have witnessed a fist-fight between coaches in a 5th grade baseball game. I’m not kidding.

And while this type of protective instinct is only natural, it stems back to a problem that has plagued Westport sports since, well, forever.

Parents care more about winning than their kids do. This is not a good thing. While it is to be expected for parents to live life vicariously through their children, it sets a horrible example to be cheating on their behalf. What type of precedent does this set for the future? If parents can’t stop themselves at a regular season golf match, it’s hard to say that the state acted improperly.

The sport also plays a role in the decision too. If this was basketball or football or baseball or soccer than yes, this decision would have been ridiculous. However, golf is a different animal.

Golf is a sport that is already prone to this type of incident. It’s a “gentlemen’s” game that can become very un-gentlemen like very quickly. Scores are easy to butcher, balls are easy to move and strokes are easy to fabricate. Add parents into the mix and it’s easy to see how a regular season golf match can get out of hand.

In fact, it seems as if the state’s biggest mistake was its decision to let parents attend the state tournament. While only two golfers participate in this tournament, it is odd that the state would choose to trust parents in an intense, playoff atmosphere over a more relaxed regular season match.

Regardless, the state acted appropriately in banning spectators from regular season matches. At the very least, it should be sending parents a message.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Inklings News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *