The Happy Valley Youth Athletic League (HVYAL) has announced that the fall youth soccer league season has been cancelled due to, “immature, unsafe, and unsportsmanlike behavior from a large contingent of parents.”
According to eyewitnesses at the Benjamin Franklin Memorial Fields, week one started innocently enough, with most of the parents content to sit in their camp chairs sipping coffee and snapping the random photo with their iPhones and posting on Facebook. One mom brought a real camera though–a Canon T3i that had its share of bumps and bruises but still worked. With the kit lens and Green Mode she was the envy of the sidelines. More than one parent said, “Nice camera! It must take nice pictures!”
The next week, most of the parents sat on the sidelines just like the week before, but the T3i was joined by a Nikon D90 with a 70-300mm zoom, a Pentax K-50 with 55-300mm zoom and a Panasonic GH4 with a 100-300mm zoom. Many of the parents were surprised when the game was over, because they had spent most of their time peering through their viewfinders or debating the merits of phase detect autofocus during breaks in the action.
By Week 3, a number of Olympus OM-D EM-1s, Fuji XT-1s, Nikon D4s, Canon 1Ds, and long, fast telephotos were spotted on the sidelines. A number of parents mounted GoPro cameras to their children. Referees had to stop play a number of times because verbal arguments on the sidelines between parents were distracting the children. Bystanders said that they heard terms that they think were English but were not related to soccer and that they never heard before–circle of confusion, pixel well capacity, bokeh.
Week 4 was the final day of play before the rest of the season was cancelled. One mother rented a scissor lift that she parked on the sidelines and proceeded to hoist herself and her Pentax K-3 with a trio of weather sealed zooms to a vantage point twenty feet above the pitch. Another parent brought some Manfrotto SuperClamps and Magic Arms and proceeded to mount them high in the goals, complete with strobes and remote shutter releases, while another couple of parents had purchased DJI Phantom drones that they mounted their mirrorless cameras on flew over the field while the children played.
The game was called on account of a fight that had broken out on the sidelines between parents regarding the suitability of mirrorless cameras for shooting youth sports. That, and the drone being operated by an inexperienced pilot buzzed the referee and crashed into his car.
Despite the cancellation of the season, the Happy Valley Youth Athletic League is happy to announce the winner of their annual Youth Soccer Photo Contest. Twelve year old Jason Smith wins a brand new Chromebook for a photo of last week’s game-winning goal that he took with his iPhone.