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How To Handle Parent Requests For Children's Friends To Be On The Same

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"We frequently receive 'friend requests' from parents registering their children for the season. Sometimes they claim it's necessary for carpooling, but sometimes requests extend to having five or six players put onto the same team. I would be interested to learn how other youth organizations have handled similar situations."

PCA Response by Joe Scally, PCA Trainer-Chicago
If we are to keep kids in sport, it is important that sports remain fun, and for many players, especially the younger ones, that means playing with friends. As those same players get older, fun for them may be more about balanced competition, or being on a team where everyone is striving for excellence together.

Also, meeting new teammates who become friends is fun as well as an opportunity to learn life lessons. Rules should be made to provide the experience that most benefits the players as broadly and fairly as possible, so it would be helpful to ask the players their opinions. No one said this was going to be easy!

It is important for organizations to adopt a policy regarding “friend requests.” Whether the selected approach includes allowance of “friend requests,” a one friend request per player limit, a draft, “coach requests,”or random selection, the policy should be widely published and disseminated. Rules and the reasons for those rules should be made clear to every parent and player. The policy should be consistently applied and followed by everyone in the organization.

Download a printable version of this resource, including any additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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