Texas tournament concludes behind closed doors without fans following parental squabbles

Cameron Smith

When the South Arlington (Texas) All Stars went to celebrate the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation boys basketball 12 & Under state title, the gym in which they found themselves was likely spookily quiet. There's a good reason for that: There weren't any parents or fans there to cheer on South Arlington, or any of the other teams competing.

Rudder High School — Classic Realty
Rudder High School — Classic Realty

It turns out the lack of parental support was the result of the most drastic step the TAAF could have taken: It kicked out all the parents attending en masse after a pair of ugly incidents in the stands.

As reported by the Bryan-College Station Eagle, all parents of teams competing at Bryan (Texas) James Earl Rudder High's gym -- where the TAAF youth boys basketball tournament was hosting the state finals for the 12 & Under bracket -- were banned from the site because of multiple disturbances breaking out in the gym's bleachers.

While the paper did not provide specific information about the incidents in question -- Bryan police failed to file an official report and a request for further clarification made by Prep Rally's Jonathan Wall was similarly unable to provide more information about the parental confrontations -- here's what is definitively known about what has to be one of the odder conclusions to a youth basketball tournament:

  • At two different points during Sunday's TAAF 12 & Under Division I Championship Tournament, which was being held at Rudder High, Bryan police were summoned to the Rudder gym to maintain peace between two different groups of arguing parents in the stands.
  • After the second call to police, TAAF officials took the rather extraordinary step of kicking all parents -- and not just those connected with the two teams in question -- out of the entire gym.
  • With the parents gone, the teams still had to determine a state champion, so they played the rest of the tournament as scheduled, just without any fan onlookers whatsoever.

It remains unknown which two teams were connected with the parents who precipitated the spur of the moment banning, though only 20 teams were competing in the 12 & Under bracket at Rudder High on Sunday. The South Arlington All Stars, from Arlington, eventually emerged victorious from the age grouping after topping the CG Wolves in the championship game.

Of course, the better question may have been if the South Arlington All Stars even feel as if they won a major title. After all, there was no one there besides themselves to celebrate the achievement.

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