Why don't parents set better examples for their kids? Why don't parents teach their kids how to follow the rules and do things the right way??
I've mentioned before how Orion bowls in the Junior Boys League down at the local candlepin lane, well today was one of those days where I end up shaking my head and walking away in frustration before I say something that makes my kid look bad.
Just some basic rules so you know what I'm talking about:
When a ball rolls into the gutter and then bounces back out and hits pins it's called a "gutter foul" The pins do not count and the gutter foul should be recorded using the gutter foul button on the computer, which will deduct those pins from the score.
Also, if your foot goes over the foul line it's called a "foot foul" and any pins hit do not count, you use the gutter foul button on the computer to record it and the number of pins you hit will be deducted.
Now all the kids should know these rules by the time they get to the Junior Leagues, these are 3rd grade through 8th grade boys, they aren't stupid and they should know how to play by the rules. Occassionally the boy won't pay attention and won't realize they have a gutter foul and their team mates should pay attention to this or the parents. I often pay attention for my sons team and remind them when they have a foul and either ask them or one of their team mates to record it and if they don't I will do it for them...it's only fair.
So today, as usual, I'm paying attention. The team that Orions team was playing against was NOT paying attention, they did not record their gutter fouls and one of the boys had 3 foot fouls that he did not record even though I nicely mentioned it to him and his team mates. So I started doing it for them. The boy that kept getting foot fouls went over the line and hit a pin so I recorded it knowing he wasn't going to. I even mentioned it to one of his team mates who was standing right in front of the computer and even though I metioned it he didn't record it so I did. Plain and simple, you aren't going to play against my kid and cheat, it's just not right and it's not fair to the kids who work hard to play an honest game and get an honest average! Well the kids mother comes up behind me and demands to know why I changed her kids score, I explained that he had gone over the line and that was a foul so the pins did not count. She started yelling at me that if that was the case then everyone should do it and that she had seen numerous people not recording those things, I told her I agreed with her, everyone SHOULD do it. She said that since not everyone does it then her kid didn't have to either, I told her that wasn't a very good attitude, that her kid should play by the rules. She tried to tell me that it was all for fun and that I shouldn't get so technical, I told her if her kid was only playing for fun then he shouldn't be on a league team where there are rules that are expected to be followed. She then got right in my face and told me not to mess with her kids score again! Well this got the owners attention and he came over to see what was going on. She told him that I had changed her kids score, what she didn't tell him was WHY I had changed the score. The kid started complaining at this point too. He told the owner that it wasn't him that went over the line, it was his shoe.....apparently his foot is not inside his shoe????....Anyway the owner then explained what I had already explained about it not counting if you go over the line, the boy continued to complain. The owner stayed there for most of the 3 games watching them and making them record their fouls. At one point the boy went over the line and then complained that it wasn't his fault, he had tripped on his pantleg, the owner told him it didn't matter it was a foul. The boy argued, and the mother as well and he asked the boy "Did you or did you not go over the line?" The boy says "It wasn't my fault, it was my pants" so the owner asks again "Did you or did you not go over the line?" The boy replies "Yes but it wasn't my fault" The owner then stands up and says to the entire team...."it does not matter WHY you go over the line, if you go over it you do not get to count those pins. It's a foul and you must record it!" So the boy then looks him square in the eye and says "And what if I don't record it?" The owner replies..."Then you're cheating and if you cheat too much I'll kick you off my league!"
Meanwhile the mother is seething, complaining about me to everyone around her that will listen and giving me and my son the dirtiest of looks. At one point Orion asked me what he had done and why the woman was giving him such nasty looks. Near the end of the last game the owner had to go take a phone call and left us there, and as soon as he walks away the boy makes a gutter foul and looks me square in the eyes, picks up another ball and proceeds to bowl. So I said to the boy in front of the computer "That was a gutter foul can you record it for him please?" The mother freaked right out on me. She jumps up, gets right in my face and says "Excuse me but I tought him how to do those and you don't have to do that. He would have taken care of it!" I pointed out that he hadn't and that he had just continued to bowl and that you had to record it before you bowled the next ball, and she again starts saying how it's just for fun, that they're just kids and I shouldn't make them follow every single little rule because it was messing up her kids average. At this point I needed to walk away, I was at the point where I ws ready to make a scene. This woman thinks it's ok for her kid to cheat just so he has a higher average?? What the hell is wrong with her? What kind of person will that boy grow up to be when he has a mother that thinks it's ok to cheat to get ahead? Say nothing about the fact that the owner just sat there and told the boys right in front of her (and I KNOW she heard him) that they need to follow the rules. It just pisses me off to no end when I see this casual attitude. I know it's just bowling and I know it's not life and death, but isn't there something to be said for honesty and playing a game by the rules? Shouldn't parents take these games and use them to teach children right from wrong? Isn't that part of why we let children play sports in the first place....so they can learn how to work with other people as a team, learn how to follow rules and be good honorable people? Seriously, even when my son was little and we played Candy Land he was tought not to cheat in order to win, in school he is told not to cheat, cheating (in any form) is not looked upon with respect. How can this mother expect her kids to understand that it's not ok to cheat when she has this kind of attitude?? I can only hope that the owners will keep a tight eye on this team for the remainder of the season and they learn a lesson that she is not willing to teach them herself.