NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH)– The Norwich Youth Basketball League has been in the city for 25 years but in the last couple of years parents have become unruly. They have broken longtime rules during games which are played at Kelly Middle School.
Play has now been suspended for at least a year.
The head of programming for Norwich’s Department of Recreation, Victoria Daniels, says parents have been caught cursing and yelling at the games and bringing in food, which is banned in the gym.
The league is for boys and girls from eight years old, up to high school. A lot of the problems were at the little girls’ games.
Many are surprised by the cancellation and the actions of the parents.
“Wow that’s terrible to do that to the kids,” said Dave Gillis of Norwich.
“Well I think in sports there’s been, there are always a few,” said local parent Joann Ballinger.
The city says the rec department shut down the league before the problems escalated into anything violent.
“Things like that can happen,” said Gillis. “You get fights at sports events. You don’t want the parents getting involved in disagreements and arguments over plays and scores and things.”
There are alternatives for the kids though. The Randy Deglin Basketball Camp starts next month at Norwich Free Academy. The kids can play ball without league competition which sparked the confrontations.
“That may be okay but you have to make sure you don’t take anything away from the kids when you do,” said Gillis.
“It’s unfortunate for the children,” said Ballinger. “So maybe they’ll change.”
“You think this might make the parents change?” we asked.
“Yeah it might, yeah,” answered Ballinger
In addition to the camp which starts on Nov. 1 at NFA, we’re told there will also be basketball camps in the spring and summer, so there will actually be more opportunity for the students to play.