DALLAS -- If there's no yelling, screaming, hooping, or hollering, is a great sports moment truly great?
The South Carolina Youth Soccer Association hopes silence is truly golden, and they're enforcing rules to make sure of it.
They're calling it Silent September. For the entire month, fans aren't allowed to make noise at games. Nothing positive. Nothing negative. It's all being done in an effort to protect the emotional health of both young players and referees.
We wondered what Dallas sports psychologists thought about such a move. Turns out, even they couldn't agree.
"At first, I was like, 'This is the greatest thing ever.' Sounds pretty biased, but..." Mental Training Inc. Sports Psychologist Casey Horton laughed.
Horton is a soccer ref in his spare time, and he says the treatment of the people calling games continues to get worse and worse.
Mental Training Inc. CEO Mike Margolies was a soccer coach for many years, and he strongly disagreed with the idea.
"Putting the game in a vacuum tube doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to me," he said.
Now, both agreed that refs can take a beating, but they also both think the officials need better emotional training to handle those stressors.
"We have to learn how to have that thicker skin, how to be mentally tough, and if the referees had less rabbit ears, there would be less of a problem." Margolies said.
Let's not hate on the refs. After all, think of how much they ignore coming out of the stands. Yeah, parents, take Silent September as a wake-up call.
"This is in effect because of their behaviors," Horton said. "Their behaviors, regardless of what they think while sitting over there, absolutely tidal waves right onto the field."
The move is supposed to protect the kids, but what happens when Junior scores a game-winning goal, and he's rewarded with the sound of a pin drop?
I guess we'll see!