Youth sports parents in St. Louis region rally for return of games

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CLAYTON, MO (KMOX) - Prompted by new guidelines in St. Louis County limiting competition for youth athletes, a group of parents plans a march to demand that games continue.

"We've all been frustrated with everything else that's been going on and I think this is kind of the final straw for a lot of people," says Dan Pettibone.  Pettibone is a coach and has a degree in sports and recreation management.  He's not part of the group organizing the march, but the event has been widely shared in a Facebook group Pettibone launched last week.  That group of St. Louis area sports parents already has roughly 11,000 members. 

"We're taking away the kids' ability to escape from the world around them and encompass themselves in an environment for an hour or two hours, whatever it may be, where they can forget about everything else that's going on," he says.

While Pettibone is calling for unity, some members of the group have launched threats against St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page's family, including his son who is a youth athlete. 

"Any of the posts that involve Sam Page's kid, those are being removed as soon as I see them," says Pettibone, who has added more moderators to the group to control comments.  "This has nothing to do with Sam Page's son.  It has nothing to do with Sam Page's family.  This is strictly based on the policies that he's put in place against youth sports."

The March is set to begin at noon Monday in front of the St. Louis County Courthouse in Clayton.

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