The other day I went for a walk in the local park. The main grass areas are marked out for soccer pitches and there were a couple of games going on. One seemed to be pub teams of adults, while the other had teams of 9-11 year olds.
The game with the younger players caught my attention - well not really the game itself, but the fathers who stalked the touch-lines, shouting instructions at their hard-pressed sons. I detest this, it really stirs something in me.
Anyway, as I wandered past one of the dads was shouting "get him, tackle him". Looking over I saw the tackle - it went in hard and the kid with the ball went flying, landing face-first in the mud.
What happened next surprised even me!
The dad of the boy who had been tackled hit the father of the tackler! And it spread, until there was a mob of a dozen or so fathers pushing, grabbing and punching each other! It was amazing!
Meanwhile, the kid that had landed on his face, picked himself up, unnoticed, and watched the fighting with the other kids, many in tears at the sight of it all.
What is wrong with these people? Now I have nothing against people supporting their children in what they do, in fact I normally think it is great for kids to get support and encouragement in what they do. But this "competitive Dad" syndrome really does go too far, IMO.
So, what do you think? Would you hit another parent in a similar situation? Have you really really wanted to but stopped yourself? If you don't have kids or if they are too young at the moment, how do you think you would deal with this sort of thing?