Park District Signs Remind Parents “It’s Just a Game”

Behavior Sign buffalo grove
Buffalo Grove Park District

A suburban Chicago park district is asking parents to keep themselves in check during their children’s sporting events.

The Buffalo Grove Park District installed a half-dozen metal “adult behavior” signs offering perspective for parents getting a little too into the event.

The signs, posted at Emmerich Park, read:

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“Of the hundreds of thousands of children who have ever played youth sports in Buffalo Grove, very few have gone on to play professionally. It is highly unlikely that any college recruiters or professional scouts are watching these games; so, let’s keep it all about having fun and being pressure-free.”

The signs were posted as a "self-check" for overbearing or hot-headed parents and are intended to curb inappropriate behavior, the park district said.

“We thought that if we put it in a way that people could relate to, as well as infuse a little humor, that the message would resonate and people might be more likely to comply," said Mike Terson, park district public relations and marketing manager, "and hopefully for some, change how they look at youth sports altogether."

Terson said the issue came to his attention while he was attending his son's soccer games and became more prevalent when he began coaching.

The signs also ask that parents respect the game’s officials.

“Referees umpires and officials are human and make mistakes, just like players, coaches and you. No one shouts at you in front of other people when you make a mistake, so please don’t yell at them. We do not have video replay; so, we will go with their calls,” the sign reads.

But the main goal of the signs is to allow children to enjoy their sport and have fun.

"Sometimes, we, the adults, need to be reminded as to what truly is important, and that it is just a game," Ryan Rinsinger, director of recreation and facilities, said in a statement.  

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