Rome youth basketball has rest of season canceled

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The city and school district have canceled the last two weeks of the season for the John Dellacontrada Boys 3rd & 4th Grade Basketball League and Stan Evans Boys 5th & 6th Grade Basketball League due to the behavior of parents on multiple occasions.

City of Rome Parks and Recreation Department Deputy Director Ryan Hickey sent a message out to those associated with the league that stated: “Due to the altercation that occurred on Saturday (Feb. 12, 2022), as well as, some of the other issues the league has had, the district has decided to cancel the remainder of the season for both leagues. I am sorry but basketball is done. No more practices or games. Thanks to all for giving your time and effort. Youth sports should be sacred to a community. It is so important to our children and their experience growing up. I think we have lost our way a little. We have to somehow come back together and remember we are all in this together.”

The cancellation affects the two boys leagues, which have a total participation of just over 200 players, Hickey said. The two leagues are run by the city at school district facilities.

The decision to end the season early, said Hickey, started with the district, but after a discussion between the mayor and district superintendent it was a shared decision.

Hickey said there was an incident involving a parent last weekend, but that was the culmination of multiple incidents this season. Two coaches resigned based on interactions with parents, he noted. And, a police report for an incident had to be made earlier this season. For the first time in the league, the city had begun assigning a police officer to each game, he added.

“We have to revisit the program,” said Hickey. “We were trying to prepare for a situation like this but not to this extent. We have to revamp. It’ll be back but it has to be organized a little bit different.”

The cancellation covers the last weekend of the season and the following weekend’s post-season games.

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