This story was written by Matthew McGevna. It was posted by Jennifer Sloat.
In what has been described by numerous sources as "embarrassing" police were called to the Sachem Youth Soccer League complex in Holtsville on Saturday after a confrontation between two adults at the Shootout Tournament turned physical.
A reader sent Sachem Patch this video capturing the melee, which was also posted to YouTube by a user who identifies as "Mary OLeary." In the video you can see one parent being shoved away from the field as he attempts to continue the argument. The children, meanwhile, are called back to their sidelines by their respective coaches.
Toward the end of the video the irate man, whom sources identified as a parent from the West Islip soccer club, turns his anger to the amateur videographer and charges at her. The video cuts off but you can see he's being restrained just before the view drops toward the grass.
Police confirmed they were called to the scene and took down a report from a victim of the confrontation. The victim did not wish to press charges at this time, according to police.
Sachem Youth Soccer League Tournament Trustee Jim Szollosi said the fight broke out during a game between girls under 10 from the West Islip Soccer Club and a soccer club from Smithtown. Szollosi said the argument started between the West Islip parent and a volunteer who works the sideline flags when the ball goes out of bounds.
"I guess one of the parents had an issue with the guy and that's how it started," said Szollosi. "Over a silly soccer game between 10-year-old girls. It was quite embarrassing for the West Islip club." Szollosi added that incidents like this are the "exception to the rule."
"It was so bizarre and so off the cuff and out of the ordinary," Szollosi said. "I've been coaching for eight years and I've never seen anything approach that before."
According to the tournament schedule the West Islip Girls Under 10 travel team are called the Fury. Its head coach is Anthony Patricola. When contacted by Patch about the incident, Patricola declined comment. Calls to West Islip Soccer Club's president Gary Kofsky were not returned. Nor was an email to Smithtown's club president Pasquale LaManna.
The soccer clubs that participate in tournaments such as the one held at the SYSL complex are overseen by the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL). Szollosi said a report has been filed to the LIJSL and SYSL's president Vincent Lopreto has also contacted Kofsky about the incident.
The LIJSL has a zero tolerance policy for unruly, disruptive or inappropriate behavior from players, coaches or parents. According to the policy, the soccer club and the coach can be held responsible and penalized for the actions of a parent on the sidelines. Such penalties can include a fine, forfeiture of a game, suspension and in some cases banishment from the league. When contacted the LIJSL deferred Patch to the SYSL for comment.
Patch will have an update if any disciplinary action is taken by the LIJSL.