SHOOSH because…

SHOOSH because our kids are watching

Yelling negative comments from the sidelines is never OK. It is modelling disrespect for authority and showing kids that it’s OK to respond to a mistake – by a player or by an umpire – with abuse. As a Club, we won’t tolerate it. SHOOSH!

SHOOSH because our kids are listening

But what if it is just conversational complaints? Stop and think. Are the umpires really biased, or just learning? Is the push in the back by an opponent “deliberate”, while the push in the back by our player just a mistake?

We may not like an opposing team culture, but we need to remember that all players and umpires are still learning, and that team officials are volunteers doing their best for the love of the sport.

Focusing on complaints about umpires and the opposition teaches kids that it is OK to blame others for the result of a game and show them disrespect. SHOOSH!

SHOOSH because we want football relationships to be positive

Not many kids will grow up to be professional AFL players but we’d like to encourage them to play, umpire, coach or be involved in AFL in some capacity for many years to come.

People swap Clubs; Clubs form merger teams; development, representative and academy teams are selected. Those kids being criticised as “cheats” may soon be your child’s team mates. That “biased” umpire may one day mentor your team. That “dirty” team official? Meet your new coach.

Let’s make work to make AFL fun, and football relationships positive. SHOOSH!

SHOOSH because there’s a right way to address wrong behaviour

Sometimes there will be legitimate concerns about a player, an umpire, a parent or official. During a game, the team manager (and only the team manager) can approach the ground manager, who will then decide whether it’s an issue that needs monitoring and/or intervention.

Coaches also have access to a form to provide constructive feedback on umpiring, which directly informs umpire training sessions.

And if you ever have specific complaints after an AFL game, please contact our Club. If warranted, we’ll take it further on your behalf.

#shooshforkids