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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 02, 2016, 04:44pm
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5 Minutes for Fighting!

There have been 2 game fights in a span of 2 weeks in my Association. Prior to this it has been at least 5 years since we had a fight in a game.

Do you try and break up the fight as an MMA referee would do? Or stand back and let the parents and coaches break it up and observe players involved?

How have you handled fights in your games?
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Old Tue Feb 02, 2016, 04:51pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Rookie View Post
There have been 2 game fights in a span of 2 weeks in my Association. Prior to this it has been at least 5 years since we had a fight in a game.

Do you try and break up the fight as an MMA referee would do? Or stand back and let the parents and coaches break it up and observe players involved?

How have you handled fights in your games?
I'm staying away from kids who are fighting (and I've had a bench clearing, bleacher clearing brawl). First, I don't want to be accused of hurting a kid by grabbing them off a pile, or holding them while someone else comes in and punches them in the face - you will be on video and you will get in some trouble if something happens. Nothing good can come from trying to break up a fight. That's for the coaches, administrators, and cops to sort out. Second, I don't want to give anyone an opportunity to throw a sucker punch at me. That's not how I want my viral video on YouTube to play out.

Last edited by Smitty; Tue Feb 02, 2016 at 04:54pm.
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Old Tue Feb 02, 2016, 04:55pm
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What are we "officially" supposed to do in a situation like that? Are we obligated to try and break it up? Obviously if it gets bad enough, I'm getting away for my own safety.
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Old Tue Feb 02, 2016, 04:59pm
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Originally Posted by RedAndWhiteRef View Post
What are we "officially" supposed to do in a situation like that? Are we obligated to try and break it up? Obviously if it gets bad enough, I'm getting away for my own safety.
In this lawsuit loving country I am running as far away as I can. I don't want some moron to claim I hurt their kid by grabbing them and/or restraining them.

I don't need to get sued. You will find me back by the locker room.
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Old Tue Feb 02, 2016, 05:03pm
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Originally Posted by RedAndWhiteRef View Post
What are we "officially" supposed to do in a situation like that? Are we obligated to try and break it up? Obviously if it gets bad enough, I'm getting away for my own safety.
1. Get the head coaches off the bench.

2. Get the hell out of the way.

3. Start taking numbers of anyone participating.

4. Hope that game management and police get things under control.


If you get involved, it may be hard to stay neutral as to what happened during and throughout the ensuing aftermath.

The only time I might get involved is in a case where there is an opportunity to get between two players who are about to go at it, but even then I would proceed with extreme caution.
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Old Tue Feb 02, 2016, 07:35pm
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Originally Posted by SD Referee View Post
In this lawsuit loving country I am running as far away as I can. I don't want some moron to claim I hurt their kid by grabbing them and/or restraining them.

I don't need to get sued. You will find me back by the locker room.
You really think running from the game you're supposed to be managing is going to *protect* you from liability?!?

A loud whistle from close in can often stem the tide and keep others from joining. (May be more effective with boys who may be more likely to be looking for an excuse not to fight/keep fighting without losing face.) I'm *not* advocating putting hands on players or stepping between two guys swinging fists, and agree the only ones who should do that are coaches.

(But with respect to *parents* -- WTF are they doing on the court?!? They are more likely to expand to a fight among parents than solve the problem.)
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2016, 08:19am
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If I can get between them before there's a punch thrown, I will. Once the punch is thrown, our responsibilities shift to trying to prevent escalation (by keeping bench personnel on the bench), observing, and reporting. Let the head coaches break them up.

That said, it's difficult to fight the instinct to be more involved in restoring order. I've had a varsity soccer contest go to a bench clearing shoving match. I think there were punches thrown but both my partner and I got sucked to far into the scrum to have observed it properly.

Don't make my mistake. Stay back and take numbers.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2016, 11:11am
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Originally Posted by The_Rookie View Post
There have been 2 game fights in a span of 2 weeks in my Association. Prior to this it has been at least 5 years since we had a fight in a game.

Do you try and break up the fight as an MMA referee would do? Or stand back and let the parents and coaches break it up and observe players involved?

How have you handled fights in your games?
Parents? No, never, not a chance. Anyone coming down from the stands during a fight needs to be escorted from the gym.

I do not get into a fight. If I can stop it from happening, I will, but I'm not getting my nose in there, and I'm certainly not grabbing a child to pull him or her out of a fight. Waaaay too much can go wrong.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2016, 11:20am
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All I will ever try to stop is the initial dead ball situation between two players. After that, if others come into the confrontation, I am sitting back and taking names and notes.

Yes I have had a fight in a game and we tried to stop the initial action and let the security or coaches stop the rest of the players.

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Old Wed Feb 03, 2016, 11:31am
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This might be below many posters here, but I've always wondered (thinking back to kid rec league ball days): Would your answers be as stoic if you saw a much, much bigger kid going after (or even begin pounding) a much, much smaller kid? There can be huge size differences at some of these younger ages.

If you're at the far corner of the floor, away from benches and any stands, there could be some serious damage inflicted on a kid before other help arrives ... while the big man in the stripes is seen clearing out for his own safety/consideration. Stepping back and taking numbers in that case would strike many as less than prudent (some might even say cowardly), liability and lawsuits be damned.

This isn't out of the realm of possibility, so just wondering how you would handle.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2016, 11:34am
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Originally Posted by Amesman View Post
This might be below many posters here, but I've always wondered (thinking back to kid rec league ball days): Would your answers be as stoic if you saw a much, much bigger kid going after (or even begin pounding) a much, much smaller kid? There can be huge size differences at some of these younger ages.

If you're at the far corner of the floor, away from benches and any stands, there could be some serious damage inflicted on a kid before other help arrives ... while the big man in the stripes is seen clearing out for his own safety/consideration. Stepping back and taking numbers in that case would strike many as less than prudent (some might even say cowardly), liability and lawsuits be damned.

This isn't out of the realm of possibility, so just wondering how you would handle.
Hard to say. As a 99.9999% rule, I'm going with what the consensus has been. The once-in-five-lifetimes situation could change that, though.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2016, 11:37am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amesman View Post
This might be below many posters here, but I've always wondered (thinking back to kid rec league ball days): Would your answers be as stoic if you saw a much, much bigger kid going after (or even begin pounding) a much, much smaller kid? There can be huge size differences at some of these younger ages.
I'm still not touching a kid to break up a fight. It will be on video and I will not put myself into that situation.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2016, 01:11pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amesman View Post
This might be below many posters here, but I've always wondered (thinking back to kid rec league ball days): Would your answers be as stoic if you saw a much, much bigger kid going after (or even begin pounding) a much, much smaller kid? There can be huge size differences at some of these younger ages.

If you're at the far corner of the floor, away from benches and any stands, there could be some serious damage inflicted on a kid before other help arrives ... while the big man in the stripes is seen clearing out for his own safety/consideration. Stepping back and taking numbers in that case would strike many as less than prudent (some might even say cowardly), liability and lawsuits be damned.

This isn't out of the realm of possibility, so just wondering how you would handle.
If I didn't do anything my lawyer would point toward the coach's incompetence. Coaches are allowed to leave the bench and handle this situation. If I was a coach I'd get anywhere on the court to stop a fight in under 2-3 seconds.

In reality? I'm throwing the bigger kid off if the coach is frozen/slow, which some do, because they're bad.
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