Wild parents. Over-the-top coaches. Brawls. The game isn't the only action happening when you watch youth sports.

A series of proposed laws introduced in the New Jersey Legislature aims to rein in poor adult behavior during and after games, at the school level and within private and public leagues.

"I want to put youth sports back where it should be — in a positive light, doing what's good for kids so they can have a strong future after youth sports is all over," Assemblywoman Vicky Flynn, R-Monmouth, told New Jersey 101.5.

Flynn is the primary sponsor of the package of bills known as the Penalty Box Act. Her own experience as a student-athlete was a positive one, but she says kids on the field or court today are constantly exposed to toxic behaviors, mainly exhibited by coaches and parents.

"I want to put the kids' interests first," Flynn said. "And I want New Jersey to lead on this issue."

One measure under the Penalty Box umbrella would increase the penalties for assault and harassment against sports officials and players, from disorderly persons offenses to third- or fourth-degree crimes.

Under the bill, someone convicted of these acts could be blocked from all youth sports events for years, beyond having to pay a fine and/or serve jail time.

Another measure ensures that a school district's anti-bullying policy doesn't only relate to student-on-student situations — it would also apply to the actions of adults such as teachers, coaches, and trainers.

When reached for comment on the package of bills, a spokesman for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association said it supports all efforts to provide a safe and secure environment to all students, including student athletes.

"The NJSIAA will closely review the legislation, monitor the committee discussions related to these bills and work with the sponsor to share our experiences with these issues and to better the environment surrounding youth sport programs to help bring these programs better in line with interscholastic sports," a spokesman said.

Under another piece of legislation from Flynn, coaches of school athletic programs will have to undergo training on the district's harassment, intimidation and bullying policy. And the "school safety team" at each school would have to include at least one coach (if applicable).

On Thursday, New Jersey 101.5 ran a town hall on-air — "Don't Be a Bad Sport" — about the dangers and benefits of participating in youth sports. Watch the full replay below.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

Solar eclipse mania! What NJ sungazers need to know for April 8, 2024

Gallery Credit: Dan Zarrow

Don't get fooled: Here's 24 scam texts I received in just one month

Although some may be humorous, others appear legit. Here are 24 texts I received in just one month's time, as well as one I'm surprised I never got.

Spam texts are listed in the same order that was received.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

It's here! The complete 2024 NJ county fair summer schedule

A list of county fairs happening across the Garden State for 2024. From rides, food, animals, and hot air balloons, each county fair has something unique to offer.

(Fairs are listed in geographical order from South NJ to North NJ)

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM