BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - A viral video showing a brawl between parents at a Colorado Little League game is sparking conversation about sportsmanship in youth sports.
This weekend, 160 teams are preparing to compete in the Mississippi Gulf Coast World Series here on the Gulf Coast. With those players come passionate parents who will be on the sidelines to cheer them on.
All the game day tension and excitement is fun unless someone gets carried away.
On Saturday, two teams of seven-year-olds were playing a Little league game near Denver when a fight broke out. Video of the incident soon went viral. Police say parents stormed the field because they were unhappy with a call made by a 13-year-old umpire.
Most parents agree that incidents like the one in Colorado shouldn’t happen but youth sports, especially baseball, can get very competitive.
“It’s a little overwhelming at times," said youth baseball coach Chris Natel. "We always call travel ball a big old soap opera and a drug.”
“You take a lot of pride in what your kids do but you have to remember there’s no scholarships being given out today, there’s no Major League baseball contracts being given out," said parent Jeremy Andrews.
While most agree that violence is never the answer, some parents say they understand why people get so upset.
“It’s a highly competitive atmosphere, I totally understand," said parent Allan Baudoin. "There’s been times where, trust me, some people deserve it.”
Good sportsmanship is something coaches and parents should both show to set a good example for the young players.
“At home plate, we have a pre-game meeting every time,” said youth coach Michael Walker. "Umpires say, ‘It starts with you guys, it trickles down to kids and parents.’”
And for the most part, the kids agree. Like one Little League player said: “Just be quiet and let the umpires do their jobs."
The Mississippi Gulf Coast World Series start Thursday and will run through Sunday. Games are happening in D’Iberville but the teams will be enjoying fun events across South Mississippi throughout the weekend. To see a schedule of the games and events, click HERE.