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Old Sat Apr 07, 2001, 01:09am
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Angry

A few days ago, I did a sophomore game which got very competitive. I worked alone and got a lot of "advice" from the fans. It was one of those games where close plays were the norm rather than the exception. Anyway, in the 5th, one visiting team fan whose conduct got more and more intolerable finally started yelling to the catcher with every pitch, asking "Where was that one?" and so forth. I ran him. On his way out, he told me he'd meet me in the parking lot. Rather than tell you what I did, I'll ask what would you do? Anyone else face this situation?
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Old Sat Apr 07, 2001, 06:27am
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Ignore him

You need to keep your nose out of the stands.

If the catcher is answering the fan, then you stop that part. But the fans? Don't exist, unless they are threatening or profane.

And if they are threatening or profane, you get the game administrator (either the AD or the home coach) to remove the fan. YOU have nothing to do with it.

Rich
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Old Sat Apr 07, 2001, 09:15am
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I agree with Rich on this one. But what if there is no school administrator on site and a fan is getting extrememly,agressively profane and abusive? The situation can get extremely volatile when it is a close game, you are working by yourself and the coaches and fans don't like your calls. In general, how do you get a game back under control when nothing seems to be working? It's a difficult situation.

[Edited by Gre144 on Apr 7th, 2001 at 09:18 AM]
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Old Sat Apr 07, 2001, 09:37am
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Gre,
Since this is a school game, there is always a representative of the school present - the coach. Rich is right, use the coach and stay out of the stands. Let the catcher know to keep out of the stands, too, or he can join them.

Steve M
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Old Sat Apr 07, 2001, 08:28pm
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The catcher ignored the fan. The coaches were uncooperative for the most part. The 'advice' level was certainly toned down following the ejection. As an umpire I'll listen to almost anything so for me to have gotten to the point of the ejection means it got pretty bad.
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Old Sun Apr 08, 2001, 01:18am
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An umpire has no authority to eject someone from the stands. If he/she is just being obnoxious, pull in your rabbit ears and ignore him/her. If the jerk gets profane, stop the game and tell the home team coach (it's his/her field) that the game won't continue until the person quiets down or leaves. If the coach won't comply, write the incident in the official scorebook and announce that the game is suspended at that point, and why. Call your assignor and instructional chairperson immediately, and write to the principals and athletic directors of both schools.

Bob
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Old Sun Apr 08, 2001, 12:19pm
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No authority?

Well, the umpire does have that authority, but indirectly, of course.

The umpire can ALWAYS have a profane or belligerent fan removed, but he must let the administrator or the home coach do the dirty work.

Make sure the fan's actions clearly cross that line before you get other people involved. Most times, just turn off your ears and keep your mind on your game.

Rich
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Old Sun Apr 08, 2001, 10:01pm
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Excuse me Rich, but I believe that's what I said.

bob
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Old Sun Apr 08, 2001, 10:51pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by bluezebra
An umpire has no authority to eject someone from the stands. If he/she is just being obnoxious, pull in your rabbit ears and ignore him/her. If the jerk gets profane, stop the game and tell the home team coach (it's his/her field) that the game won't continue until the person quiets down or leaves. If the coach won't comply, write the incident in the official scorebook and announce that the game is suspended at that point, and why. Call your assignor and instructional chairperson immediately, and write to the principals and athletic directors of both schools.

Bob

If you have the right to stop a game because of a out of control fan, you can eject that fan. If the game will not continue for that fan until he/she leaves, then basically you have the right to throw out a fan. Now, it is not practical to do it yourself, but you can do it. The game cannot continue until you want it to. If a fan is disrupting the game, whether that be disrupting you or any player, you have every right to have that person removed. I think all you are talking about is symatics. Whether you do it personally or the administrators do it, it still can be done.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2001, 06:56am
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I think we all agree....

...but to say that the umpire has no authority to eject the fan may influence someone who doesn't read the thread carefully. That person may think that he has to tolerate a threatening or profane fan.

That's why I clarified my position.

Rich

PS - We, as officials, ALWAYS have the last say at a field or court. There is nothing that says we have to stay in an atmosphere where we feel unsupported or endangered. We can always, in the words of my great Knoxville basketball supervisor, "put the ball on the table and go to the house."
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2001, 07:57am
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Originally posted by falsecut

A few days ago, I did a sophomore game which got very competitive. I worked alone and got a lot of "advice" from the fans. It was one of those games where close plays were the norm rather than the exception. Anyway, in the 5th, one visiting team fan whose conduct got more and more intolerable finally started yelling to the catcher with every pitch, asking "Where was that one?" and so forth. I ran him. On his way out, he told me he'd meet me in the parking lot. Rather than tell you what I did, I'll ask what would you do? Anyone else face this situation?

Individuals have given you good advice except the ultimate of advice.

File charges aginst this irate fan. If the AD or coach merely escorts this individual off the premises, IMO that alone does not solve the problem This particular fan will be at the next game and give the next umpiring crew a difficult time as well.

Maybe just maybe if fans start hearing or reading that so and so got arrested, spent a night (or 2) in jail, had his / her name in the local papers, and payed a hefty fine, perhaps that would send a message to fans that this type of behavior simply will not be tolerated.

Also, if one HS team is noted for it's irrate fans it's time for the umpires association to take a stand and not assign any umpires to this schools games until the situation is under control.

The problem sometimes is umpires or the umpies associations themselves because they do not want to get their hands dirty Some umpires and umpires associations have a blind eye and turn their cheek at the problem. If you turn back a game (for whatever reason), it seems as though there are plenty of others waiting for the assignment especially if it's a varsity game.

It's time once and for all to put a stop to this nonsense and do something about it. Umpires and umpires associations have to be united and get tough, otherwise this type of problem will continue until once again we read about or see on the news another horror story concerning fan violence.


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Old Mon Apr 09, 2001, 10:38am
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Ok . . .

So you're going to FILE CHARGES against a fan. Don't the courts have more important things to do than handle frivilious law suits.

We not talkin a gun toteing, drunk by the nature of the original post.

IF an umpire ever gets to the point where he wants a fan removed you go to the HOME TEAM coach and tell him you want the fan removed. Just removed. That's all.

When the coach says, "that's not my fan!" call the visiting coach out and tell both of them, "Agree to have this guy ejected or I'll call the game where it stands . . . you guys are adults, RIGHT!"

The situation will be taken care of - trust me.

Ejecting some fan from a game doesn't mean the actions of the fan should warrant charges filed. You would react to the fan and activity equal to the fans activity.

If you head to your car and the fan wants to continue after you . . . AGAIN get the school involved . . . AT LAST RESORT involve police.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2001, 10:46am
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Re: Ok . . .

Originally posted by Tim C

So you're going to FILE CHARGES against a fan. Don't the courts have more important things to do than handle frivilious law suits.

Ejecting some fan from a game doesn't mean the actions of the fan should warrant charges filed.


Tee it all depends upon what the Fan is doing. IMO Simply telling the coach to take of it does not solve the problem. This same fan will be back and it's just a matter of time before something ugly happens.

All I'm saying is that if people knew that they could get arrested, spend a night in jail and pay a heavy fine, they would start coming to the game and enjoying it without all that nonsense.

Too many fans are simply getting their wrists slapped . This isn't the PROS where they have top notch security and the umpires do not have to worry about someone following them to their cars.

Also, suppose this fan is the neighbor of the coach or one of his friends. Also, if the fans are angry at you, chances are the coach is also.

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Old Mon Apr 09, 2001, 07:51pm
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Wink I'm not sure filing charges is the way to go....

Pete,

Pardon the pun, but we have to be judicious when dealing with rowdy fans. I subscribe to Tim's philosophy. If there is no game administrator or field supervisor (I mean an adult athletics official, not a teenage scorekeeper, then you go to the home coach and tell him to quiet his fan down. If he claims no responsbility, follow Tim's strategy and get both coaches involved. You only need to call the police when you feel threatened for your safety. Otherwise, you'll seem to thin skinned and equipped with rabbit ears.

I understand where you're point is coming from. I have been at several games where I felt uncomfortable about certain fans. I think we can follow additional strategies when leaving games. First, if it's been a bad game for the crew, bust tail outta there. Don't run like you're scared, just double time it outta there. Second, if you're the base guy, wait for your partner to get out of his plate gear. I diffused a bad situation one night about 6 years ago by doing just that very thing. My partner (PU) had exchanged words during the game (wrong, dead wrong) with a fan behind HP during the game. I knew the fan from a prior league and knew he'd have to pop off at my partner after the game. Sure enough that's what happened and I got between both of them and sent the fan on his way. I've have only had to call the police once in 11 years and believe it or not it had nothing to do with a fan/umpire confrontation. It was a coach/parent confrontation and when I asked the coach "Is this guy capable of doing something?" He said "I don't know!". THat did it for me. Luckily, everyone went home safe.

Point is....use the coaches and field administrators. Crew support, Crew support, Crew support (back up your partner from the pre-game until the cars are in motion. Use law enforcement as a last ditch reponse...

L.G.
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Old Mon Apr 09, 2001, 10:12pm
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Get with the home team coach. IMO he is responsible for his fans. Let everyone know that the game is being suspended because of the actions of the crowd. Guarranteed they (the fans) will take actions with that individual to get the game going.

If this does not happen, tell the coach that if he does not remove the fan from the stands that you will start with removing him and then go down the line until know one is left to play.

But if you are vocal and let the crowd know where you stand with that individual, it is a sure thing that the sane adults in the stands (maybe from the other team) will quiet him down in their own way.

And I believe this will cut down on court costs!

Max
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