Formal procedures are being updated for Centralia youth sports, at least those under the aegis of the Centralia Parks Department.
During the October meeting of the Centralia Park Board, Parks Director Erle Bennett presented the board with an update on youth basketball.
The games will continue to be played at the Centralia Recreation Center. New policies, he said
will be enforced for the program.
Among them he said are separate contracts for parents and coaches.
“A zero-tolerance policy for poor sportsmanship, has been created,” Bennett said. “I repeat, zero tolerance.”
Contract points, he said “really they are just common sense,” included, but were not limited to:
• No profanity
• Not being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at events
• Coach each player on the team, regardless of skill or talent level
• No poor sportsmanship
Bennett said the points of the parents’ contract are basically the same, except for the coaching point.
He said the basketball contracts would lay the groundwork for those issued for baseball and softball. Parent meetings will also be part of the process.
Coaches will also have to undergo a background check, at the park department’s expense. The park department will use the Verify Volunteer firm for the background checks. Bennett said the coaches will have to enter their own information, then the company will contract the department once the background check is complete.
The department, Bennett said, should help attract quality volunteers to coach. “People aren’t going to sign up to volunteer to get screamed at by a parent.”
The result, he said, will be a program that helps children follow rules, be respectful of authority and respectful of how rules are enforced.
“This is an instructional, recreational league,” Bennett said of the parks youth sports programs. “We’re here for the kids, not for the adults to scrabble and scream – to set a good example for the kids. We are putting these policies in place to protect the experiences our kids will have.”
In other business, the board learned the dredging of the park’s north pond is complete and it is now approximately one foot deeper than before. They also unanimously voted to move forward with the installation of a 20-foot pier, including railings and a gate, on the southwest corner of pond. They also vote to transfer $20,000 from the park’s sales tax fund to pay for the project.