COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - If you're headed to the soccer field this fall, it may be a little quieter than before.
That's because the South Carolina Youth Soccer Association is implementing a new rule, just for the month of September, called "Silent September."
The memorandum reads, in part, "Due to continuing problems/issues with sideline behaviors on the parent/spectator touchline – and the
impact that inappropriate behavior has upon our youth, especially upon youth referees; and the additional impact that inappropriate sideline behaviors have upon overall referee retention, SCYSA is implementing a SILENT SEPTEMBER for all SCYSA sponsored league games, statewide, at all levels."
That means no cheering and no jeering for the entire month.
"It doesn't affect more than a handful of games for their kids," said SCYSA's Rules and Compliance Board Chair, Burns Davison. "And it reaffirms the expectations of parental sideline behavior that has been in existence for years."
Most parents and kids WIS spoke to were not on board.
"I think that's kind of ridiculous," Tommy Williamson said. "Why wouldn't you wanna cheer for your kid?"
"I don't think it's necessary," Lauren Woldorf said. "I think something better they could do maybe would be to set some rules."
"I think it's motivation as long as it's towards your child," said Woldorf's son, Douglas.
"You should be allowed to cheer on for your team and for your kids as long as it's not disrespectful to the other team."
Youth referees can be as young as 14 years old. And for Mom, Teresa Muller, whose 18-year-old son is a referee and a college-bound player, she says the new rule is a welcome idea to her.
"I've actually seen kids shut down, because their parents are on the sidelines, yelling and screaming," Muller said. "If my child is out there on the field and another parent is heckling or getting them intimidated, it's not a good feeling...it may deter them from wanting to play."
You can read the full memorandum here: