Conduct of Parents

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Sean Hewitt

Conduct of Parents

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:24 am

Following on from BigMacgate yesterday, I have just had to stop two different sets of parents sitting in the hotel bar eating their own sandwiches. Is this common parental behaviour?

Perhaps we should ban children from these events if their parents are unable to conduct themselves properly.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:56 am

Perhaps you need to specify what is or is not acceptable on the entry form or equivalent for each event. As far as I'm aware, players and accompanying persons are permitted to bring and consume their own refreshments at Sunningdale, where play is in a separate building. I've not yet seen the High Wycombe venue, but I presume that the set-up there is different.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:40 am

David Sedgwick wrote:Perhaps you need to specify what is or is not acceptable on the entry form or equivalent for each event. As far as I'm aware, players and accompanying persons are permitted to bring and consume their own refreshments at Sunningdale, where play is in a separate building. I've not yet seen the High Wycombe venue, but I presume that the set-up there is different.
David - perhaps, but should we have to? Who else would bring sandwiches and McDonalds into a hotel bar or reception and sit there eating? It's like bringing your own alcohol into a pub!

People are not allowed to consume their own refreshments on the premises at Sunningdale either but, as you say, it's a separate building so perhaps it's less noticeable. The other thing I have noticed is it seems to be the parents who are not staying at the venue.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:42 am

David Sedgwick wrote:Perhaps you need to specify what is or is not acceptable on the entry form or equivalent for each event. As far as I'm aware, players and accompanying persons are permitted to bring and consume their own refreshments at Sunningdale, where play is in a separate building. I've not yet seen the High Wycombe venue, but I presume that the set-up there is different.
Presumably other food outlets are within walking distance? At Sunningdale, you are pretty much stuck with either bringing your own food, buying what's on offer, or walking to a local shop about 5-10 minutes walk away. At Brighton, you can get fish and chips on the sea front. :D

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:45 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:People are not allowed to bring their own refreshments to Sunningdale either [...]
It is relatively easy at Sunningdale to find quiet areas inside or outside buildings. Benches, and park areas as well. People who stay at a venue are probably also not supposed to take food back to their rooms and eat there, but I expect they do. I agree that eating food from outside in the hotel reception is going too far. I would put something on the entry form, or badge your players and let the hotel staff kick out people who aren't playing (including parents) if they do this sort of thing.

Richard Thursby
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Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by Richard Thursby » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:58 am

Sean Hewitt wrote: Perhaps we should ban children from these events if their parents are unable to conduct themselves properly.
That would be patently unfair. After all, it's not the child's fault if their parents can't behave themselves. Of course, if you ban the parent you might de facto ban the child as well since they will rely on the parents for transport and, in the case of the tournament in question, I don't think many hotels allow bookings from unaccompanied minors.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:06 pm

Richard Thursby wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote: Perhaps we should ban children from these events if their parents are unable to conduct themselves properly.
That would be patently unfair. After all, it's not the child's fault if their parents can't behave themselves. Of course, if you ban the parent you might de facto ban the child as well since they will rely on the parents for transport and, in the case of the tournament in question, I don't think many hotels allow bookings from unaccompanied minors.
Perhaps. It might make the parent think about their actions though. More importantly, I will not allow the actions of such people to adversely affect our ability to supply good quality venues to the majority of players and parents who do behave properly.

Paul Sanders
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Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by Paul Sanders » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:19 pm

If you treat them as people rather than as parents you might avoid the danger of casting your ban too wide! I speak as someone who has occasionally gritted my teeth and paid £12 or more for a very ordinary burger at a chess tournament rather than bring sandwiches and make my son sit in the car.

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Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by kishanpattni » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:24 pm

Although eating your own food in the bar of the hotel can be considered to be a little disrespectful, surely you are allowed to consume some food from outside? I have before been handed pizza takeaway leaflets before from reception.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:26 pm

Paul Sanders wrote:If you treat them as people rather than as parents you might avoid the danger of casting your ban too wide! I speak as someone who has occasionally gritted my teeth and paid £12 or more for a very ordinary burger at a chess tournament rather than bring sandwiches and make my son sit in the car.
Paul - I think if you read my previous post you will see that I have already said that the majority of players and parents act sensibly and responsibly. I am talking about the minority who do not. It is noticeable that this minority is almost exclusively parents of juniors who are not staying at the hotel.

Paul Cooksey

Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:28 pm

This thread is making me miss Seinfeld, its best episodes were based around a nuance of social convention. I can see the cast discussing this point :)

Everyone knows if you take sandwiches and a flask of weak lemon drink, you consume them in the car, surely?

Sean Hewitt

Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:30 pm

In fairness, this is not quite in the scale of a player at the first Uxbridge International who, armed with a sleeping bag, asked in all seriousness if there was anywhere he could sleep!

David Sedgwick
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Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:49 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
David Sedgwick wrote:Perhaps you need to specify what is or is not acceptable on the entry form or equivalent for each event. As far as I'm aware, players and accompanying persons are permitted to bring and consume their own refreshments at Sunningdale, where play is in a separate building. I've not yet seen the High Wycombe venue, but I presume that the set-up there is different.
David - perhaps, but should we have to? Who else would bring sandwiches and McDonalds into a hotel bar or reception and sit there eating? It's like bringing your own alcohol into a pub!

People are not allowed to consume their own refreshments on the premises at Sunningdale either but, as you say, it's a separate building so perhaps it's less noticeable. The other thing I have noticed is it seems to be the parents who are not staying at the venue.
I agree that it's ridiculous that you should have to tell people not to eat their own food in the hotel reception or bar.

However, if there is a blanket restriction on people consuming their own refreshments anywhere on the premises, then I do think you should say so in your Tournament Regulations. A similar prohibition usually applies at the British Championships and this is stated in the Programme.

You'll appreciate that I, a member of your control team, was previously unaware of the position at Sunningdale. When I wish or need to ascertain whether or not any such prohibition applies, my usual practice is to check the published documentation.

How rigorously you need to enforce such rules is a matter between you and De Vere (or whoever). However, if nothing else, publishing the rules clearly should make people more discreet about breaking them. That should at least spare you the sort of embarassment from which you've clearly suffered this weekend.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:34 pm

And now I've just found someone wandering the playing halls eating a pot noodle. And guess what? Surprise surprise they were a parent! Frankly, it's embarrassing.

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Re: Conduct of Parents

Post by John Upham » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:39 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote: At Brighton, you can get fish and chips on the sea front. :D
As an ex-University of Sussex (definitely not the University of Brighton in Sussex) post-doc I can reveal that much more than fish and chips is available on the sea front.
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