Parents upset about handling of soccer tourney

Dear Editor,

This letter is in regard to the Lindsay Youth Association's handling of this past season and, specifically the end of the soccer season tournament; held Saturday May 22 at the Lindsay City Park.

Youth sports typically foster values we all hold in high regard. Such as: Good Sportsmanship, Teamwork, Respect, Fair-play and Hard Work.

Attitudes also desired are: competitiveness and the drive to win.

However, we cannot and should not trade competitiveness and the drive to win, in exchange for any of the above mentioned values.

We were disappointed by the total disregard of these values and the physical safety of our young athletes; all in the pursuit of seeking a first place position.

A team coached by a board member refused to line up to shake hands with the opposing team (as is customary) after losing a qualifying game. At the end of this game, the referee was "fired" by the board for reasons unknown. When parents from the losing team expressed their support for this referee, he was "re-hired."

Children in the two upper divisions (ages 7-9 and 9-12), had to play three games to qualify for the finals, while only scheduled, at times, 10 minutes to rest between games. When asked for an additional 5-10 minutes of rest, a board member became agitated and parents had to assist coaches in asking for more rest time.

Two teams automatically passed to the final round without having to play a single game that day - while others had to play three back-to-back games with very minimal rest between games; with only 10 minutes to rest before the championship game against an opponent who had not played at all. Exhausted children laying on the field of play don't offer much opposition to anyone.

These are only samples of what needs to change so that we can be convinced that the board is interested in the safety of our children and that the ethics and integrity of the sport are maintained.

Competition in sports is good - as long as safety and fair play are ensured.

Questions:

David Solis (559) 359-1398

Sandra Solis (559) 359-1398

Ron Cortez (559) 562-0770

Laurie Cortez (559) 562-0770

Daniel Lemus (559) 562-5551

Hugo Salda

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