Unfortunately, this week we have had reports that refer to the appalling behaviour of an age-group coach and a parent, both involving verbal abuse directed at the officials.
These complaints describe behaviour in the sporting environment that is often referred to as “side-line rage”. The loss of self-control by someone in the crowd is also known throughout the world as a feature of the “ugly parent syndrome”. For basketball the applicable term may be “court side rage” and in the majority of cases this consists of abusive language directed at referees, players, coaches or other spectators.
There is absolutely no excuse for such behaviour. Coaches and parents are role models for the young players that they come into contact with. If, as adults, they are unable to control themselves and their behaviour, the message passed on to young players is clear regarding what is acceptable.
Affiliated coaches must be aware of the contents of the Coaches Code of Conduct, located as section 1 of Basketball England's Code of Ethics and Conduct . We will act on substantiated complaints and we will do all that we can to protect our affiliated referees from this type of behaviour. We expect coaches to respect the game, to respect the officials and, as leaders, to set a good example.
At the same time we expect referees to take immediate action when required. They have the power to enforce a reasonable standard of behaviour simply by applying the FIBA rules. Referees must not tolerate this type of behaviour from anyone involved in matches under the jurisdiction of Basketball England – and they will be supported in their actions by the governing body.