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Old Fri Jun 02, 2000, 05:35pm
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As a result of the email I received below I am looking for stories on abuse or assults on officials.
Please respond my sending the stories to me and my email thanks.

I am a sports columnist for the Eastside Journal in Bellevue and South
County Journal in Kent. I was given your name by Dan Ivanis as someone
who might help me out for a column I'm doing on sports officials and
their dealings with out-of-control parents and coaches.
I understand there was a bill in the State House addressing that issue
and am trying to find out if that bill passed or where it stands. Do you
know the status of that bill or any others like it?
Also, any personal knowledge you might have of officials who've been
attacked by parents or coaches would be helpful. My column is prompted by
an incident I witnessed at my son's Little League game last week, when a
coach who'd been kicked out of the game waited around and then tried to
go after the umpire when the game ended.
I know this kind of stuff happens, but it was shocking to see it first
hand and I'd like to address the issue sometime soon.

------------------
Ron
Seattle Officials - Women's Basketball


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jun 11, 2000, 03:18pm
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Location: Houghton, U.P., Michigan
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ron Pilo:
[B]As a result of the email I received below I am looking for stories on abuse or assults on officials.
Please respond my sending the stories to me and my email thanks.

Ron,
There was a good "Coach loses it" story over there.
mick
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Thu Jul 06, 2000, 02:16pm
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Posts: 3
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Ron-

Here in California, we have a special assault-on-a-sports-official statute, but, as a lawyer, I think that most people do not understand the nature of it. All is does is increase the MAXIMUM possible jail time for an assault on a sports official compared to an ordinary assault on anyone else, from 6 months to 12 months. (The possible fine remains exactly the same.)

Now, practically speaking, no first or even second offender is likely to get even the 6-month term that was already available under the ordinary assault and battery statute. My feeling is that a person would have to be a three-time assault convictee before a term beyond 6 months would even be considered.

I also believe that the Legislature knew this full well when it passed this legislation. It's the sort of legislation that passes unanimously without opposition, makes a special group of constituents (in this case, sports officials) happy, and doesn't cost any money. In other words, for state legislators, it's a no-cost, no-hassle, feel-good, vote getter.

I tell my fellow umpires not to feel any safer now than they did before this legislation was passed. (By the way, it's been in effect 8 years now, and I cannot locate any record of it ever having been used.) -Jack Clark, Idyllwild, CA
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Old Fri Jul 07, 2000, 02:30pm
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I remember my first state championship game. It was the 14 and 15-year-old age level. The competition was intense but there were very few problems in the early going. I was the plate umpire.

The game ran into extra innings. We were playing on a field with no lights.

It was the bottom of the 10th inning, 2 outs, with a runner on third base. It was getting dark - real dark. Playing baseball was no longer a good idea.

I called my partners in and told them I just had to suspend play. They agreed. It was way too dark.

The game was scheduled to be continued on the very next day at 10 o'clock in the morning. It was a gorgeous summer day, the kind of day custom-tailored for baseball.

The runner took his place at third base, the batter stepped into the box and the pitcher was ready. "Play!" I hollered.

The pitcher wound up, kicked his leg high and threw his first pitch to the backstop. The runner from third took off and a close play at the plate was inevitable.

The catcher retrieved the ball and why he didn't toss it to his pitcher I'll never know. Instead he tried a footrace to beat the winning run to the plate.

The runner slid - a perfect slide - just under the very close tag by the catcher.

"Safe!"

One pitch and the game was over.

At this point all I really remember was utter confusion. The home team converged on home plate to celebrate their win. I tried to make my way off the field but was mobbed by players and coaches.

What I didn't know was that half of the players and coaches converging at home plate was from the losing team. Parents entered the field, ran really, and got right up into my face.

One was screaming obscenities and pointing violently with his finger right at my nose. Another was competing with the first adult for the position right in front of me. Even more adults and some players were all around me yelling and screaming and swearing and kicking dirt and carrying on.

I tried desperately to get off the field. The onslaught of angry adults seemed to never end and they created an unintentional human blockade. No matter which way I turned there were more adults screaming and yelling in my face.

Then it happened. From above the crowd around me I could see a clenched fist on a collision course for my face. How I saw this fist in all that confusion I'll never know. I ducked and the blow just slightly grazed the side of my head.

As I began to push my way through the angry crowd the attacker tried with all his might to get to me. Luckily the tournament director and my partners could see my dilemma and started trying to control the crowd to get me out of there.

I finally made it to the concession stand. Some of the adults threatened that they would see me in the parking lot. They made more angry comments into the concession stand doorway hoping that I would hear them. I did.

The police were called and twenty minutes later I had a uniformed escort to my car. The angry adults were there waiting as they had promised but they said and did nothing thanks to the presence of the area's finest officers.

That day made me think long and hard about umpiring. That was nearly the end of my career. I took a year off before I felt comfortable putting the gear on again.

That was 1988.

Although I have not experienced anything even close to the events of that day since 1988, that incident is in the back of my mind everytime I put on the gear for a big game. I will never forget the angry faces or the clenched fist headed in my direction. I'll never forget the threats or the police escort. I'll never forget - never.

And the thought that pops into my mind anytime I think about that fateful summer day in 1988 is, "All that over kids hitting a ball with a stick."

Sincerely,
Jim Porter

Never forget Rule 1.01 "Baseball is a game..."



[This message has been edited by Jim Porter (edited July 07, 2000).]
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 10, 2000, 04:43pm
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The problem with many players and coaches is they see big league managers like Bobby Cox shove an umpire and get off with little more than a slap on the wrist. I was involved in a situation in a 13&14 rec league game in which I ejected a coach who proceded to follow me around the field screaming, yelling,and pushing me. There was no security at the game so my partner and I had to push our way through the dugout and hustle to our cars the whole time being pursued by angry parents. The league suspended the coach for the rest of the year but upon appeal was reduced to 8 games. The reduction prompted my association to refuse to umpire any games in which that coach was involved. The point I am trying to make is,when we're on the field the only friend you have is your partner and the only support we can expect is from other umpires,so the only way to exact real change is for us as a group to take a stand.

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