ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Youth Soccer Association (SLYSA) and its referees have had enough of the kicking and screaming youth soccer fans. It’s the type of behavior that sets a bad example for the players and something that’s starting to wear on officials of all ages.  

“I think it’s really rude for someone to be yelling at a 14-year-old girl just trying to get some money to go shopping and stuff and be like a teenager. Then have to just sit there and get yelled at the whole time,” Emma Bachmann, young referee, said.  

The SLSYA tweeted the following statement: “Unfortunately, too many coaches & parents’ warning & send-offs this weekend! Please give our 300 + new referees time to learn and develop just like the players on the field. No referee = no game!”

“Everyone makes mistakes. How would you feel if I started yelling at your kid on the field because they missed a goal, or because they messed up a play,” Bachmann said.   

She said SLYSA does its best to monitor the hecklers and remove them as needed. Recently, she gave one fan a yellow card.  

“There are bad refs, I’m not saying that all refs are good refs, but when someone that’s like way older than you (is yelling at you) I just feel like it’s really immature,” Bachmann said.  

Raychelle Cox played college soccer and coaches her kids now she said it should be about the kids learning.  

“It’s just about the kids this young age just let me have fun and just keep lighthearted. As long as they’re having a good time learning the sport, I’m all about it,” Cox said. 

Cox said the kicking and screaming parents need to stop.  

“It’s disheartening. It’s like what are you doing out here like we’re not here for that. Leave that at home,” she said.  

Bachmann agreed.  

“I get that it’s like really serious for you in the moment but afterward, it doesn’t stick with the parent. But it sticks with the referees we remember what’s said to us,” Bachmann said.