CHICAGO – It's not out of the ordinary to see signs at an athletic field about rules, perhaps about players and spectators. What is out of the ordinary is a sign that offers rules and reminders for parents, rather than the athletes.
In a humorous, and endearing response to madness that is parental overreaction to youth sporting events, a suburban Chicago park district has put up metal signs designed to remind parents that their young athletes are, well, young. Furthermore, the Buffalo Grove park signs insist that they come to grips with the fact that their young athlete will most likely not compete professionally.
Here is actual text from the sign:
"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. 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."
According to NBC Chicago, the signs were the brainchild of the Buffalo Grove park district PR manager Mike Terson.
"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," Terson told NBCChicago. "And hopefully for some, change how they look at youth sports altogether."