Boston hockey father to face criminal charges for laser pointer incident

Most parents would go to significant lengths to help their child succeed at sports, whether that means buying them the best soccer sporting goods and youth basketball equipment available, or driving them to and from extra practices that will help them refine their skills.

What they should not do, though, is follow the lead of one Boston parent who now faces criminal charges for his actions at a high school hockey game.

At a girls hockey game between two Massachusetts high schools – Medway and Winthrop – last week, Joseph Cordes, a parent of one of the Winthrop players, shined a laser pointer into the eyes of the Medway goalie. Wintrop went on to win the game 3-1, and the state body that regulates high school athletics said that the match would not be replayed.

Immediately after Cordes' actions, a school official ordered him out of the facility. Since then, the school department has banned Cordes from all future sporting events and local police have said they plan to charge the parent with disturbing the peace.

"I wish I could undo it," Joseph Cordes told Boston's CBS affiliate WBZ. "I feel like a complete jerk. It was very stupid, completely immature for a 42-year-old man to be doing that. … My daughter, the humiliation I put her through is sickening to tell you the truth."

Although few parents would ever consider resorting to actions similar to those of Cordes, they should still be wary of interfering too greatly with the outcome of a particular sporting event. Parents and coaches should try to strike a balance between supporting their youth athletes and not getting out of control at games and practices, in order to ensure that children are protected and games are played fairly.

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