The possibility of a written code of conduct for volunteers who coach Archbold Parks & Recreation teams was discussed by the Archbold Park Board at its Wednesday, Oct. 26 meeting.
Vaughn Bentz, member of both Archbold Village Council and Park Board, brought the issue up, referring to a couple of incidents from the soccer program.
Bentz said one coach, becoming frustrated with fans from the opposing team yelling at his players, yelled across the field, calling the opposing fans a name that usually refers to male genitalia.
In another case, an Archbold Parks & Recreation junior high girls soccer team ran up the score to 29-0 on its opponents.
“They played a poor team, and they (the other team) gave up. I’ve heard about it from the league and others,” Bentz said.
“Some think it’s okay. I don’t. For 9-14-year-old girls, it’s a missed chance to teach humility,” he said.
Bentz, who both plays and coaches soccer, said he tries to cut off additional scoring when his team is ahead by seven goals.
“It’s not a magic number; it’s just my number,” he said.
He will cut scoring by requiring his team to complete 12 passes before attempting to score, or by requiring players to only shoot goals with their left feet.
Andrea Thiel, Park Board chairman, said Archbold teams “don’t need that reputation.”
Jennifer Hurst, a board member, said in eighth grade boys basketball, coaches don’t run up the score.
“This is why Archbold has the reputation it has, not 29- 0,” she said.
Jennifer Kidder, Parks & Recreation director, said she was thrilled at the success of the junior high girls soccer team, but the loss was devastating to the other team’s players.
She told the board two days after the 29-0 loss, the other team folded because so many of the girls quit the program.
Kidder said she discussed the issue with board members of the Northwest Ohio Youth Soccer League.
“I told the board members how sorry I was, and if the girls (other team’s players) needed a place to play, they could play with us and be one of the team.”
Kidder added the loss to Archbold wasn’t the only reason the other team folded; it was a culmination of “a lot of negative events.”
Hurst noted be a volunteer coach “is a thankless job.”
“Still,” she said, “we have to hold them to some level of accountability.”
Bentz called for getting the coaches together to write a code of conduct, including such things as not cursing and not yelling at the other team’s fans.
“That should be expected,” Hurst said.
Moses Rodriguez, a board member, was absent.
The next meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7 pm, in council chambers.–David Pugh