Measures introduced to deal with sideline behaviour

Sport Otago says there is a problem with sideline behaviour at children's sports games and is introducing measures to fix the issue.

At the weekend Football South said it would investigate allegations a children's football coach made a child put his nose in the dirt during a game in Dunedin.

Sport Otago would not comment on that particular incident until more was known.

However, Sport Otago community sport adviser Mitch Carroll said it recognised there was a lot of negative behaviour in many sports and was trying to ``stamp that out''.

``It's a response to general feedback that there is negative behaviour in sports ... people start yelling out things that they usually wouldn't.''

Sports Otago had several new initiatives to improve sideline behaviour, she said.

One was to get referees to gather coaches, players and parents together before matches to ``have a chat about what their role'' was.

``The fact that they're volunteers and they're going to do their best to be consistent and fair and just remind them the game is supposed to be fun.''

Such pre-game meetings were being introduced in rugby and football for 11- and 12-year-olds, she said.

It was unlikely this initiative occurred at the game on the weekend where the alleged incident occurred, as it was slightly above the age group where it had been introduced.

However, Sport Otago hoped to bring the meetings to a range of ages and sports, she said.

It was also giving drink bottles containing ``positive sideline behaviour'' slogans to players to reinforce the message and had launched three videos outlining positive behaviour and impacts it had on players and parents.

Football South chief executive Chris Wright yesterday said the organisation was still working through a process regarding the alleged weekend incident.


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