Thursday, November 21, 2019

Umpire Walks off Field After Fan Abuse at Youth Game

An umpire officiating a youth baseball game in Newport Beach, California walked off the field following abuse from parents, having warned that he would forfeit the game if the unsportsmanlike conduct continued. It did, and he followed through by leaving the Newport Harbor field.

The 13u or 14u game, reportedly, between the Nomar Garciaparra-infused GPG (Garciaparra Baseball Group) and a team called Riptide, took place on the campus of Newport Harbor High School over the weekend, and is just the latest example of poor sportsmanship at sporting events.

The event captured on video likely had been brewing far ahead of the recording, given that the coaches were on the field when the umpire called the game and the umpire's first comments on the video were an issuance of an ultimatum: "Enough. I'm not hearing another word out of anyone."

The problem started prior to the video.
The parents protested the umpire's warning ("then be fair!"), to which the umpire clarified the solemnity of the situation: "Did you hear me? If you want to have a game here, quiet down."

Though a parent quipped, "stay professional for the kids and do your job, that's it," what caused the umpire to terminate the game was one final taunt: "Are you mad 'cause the kids are taller than you?"

True to his word, the umpire stopped the game and walks off the field.

Gil's Call: At the MLB, NCAA level or equivalent, this probably doesn't turn into a forfeited game simply because the working conditions for umpires are superior to that of youth travel ball.

Here, the two youth teams playing on a Sunday are using a rented-out high school facility with likely little-to-no game management in attendance. Whereas Bob Davidson in 2016 could call for Phillies security to remove an abuse fan in Philadelphia, there is no such recourse here. The youth umpire is in a precarious position in a crew of one, with no administrative support, and little-to-no incentive to continue the game.
Related PostUnofficial Ejection - Bob Davidson Requests Fan Removal (11/21/19).

Codes of Conduct prohibit poor behavior.
Sportsmanship is a problem in modern sports, despite code of conducts imploring parents and others to maintain such decorum. For instance, the Little League Baseball Sport Parent Code of Conduct lists, amongst others, "I (and my guests) will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player, or parent such as booing and taunting; refusing to shake hands; or using profane language or gestures."

Earlier this year, 13-year-old umpire Josh Cordova game between seven-year-old teams in Lakewood, Colorado ended due to a massive stands-clearing brawl amongst parents, garnering national attention and a big league experience with Chris Guccione's crew during a Rockies game.
Related PostWorkplace Violence - Parents Brawl at Youth Game (6/20/19).
Related PostUmpires Host Cordova in Colorado (7/1/19).

If you have experienced issues of poor sportsmanship, bullying, abuse, anxiety, or depression in connection with officiating, visit our sponsor, The OSIP Foundation, where Outstanding Sportsmanship is Paramount.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Umpire Walks off Field During Youth Game After Parents' Abuse (CCS)


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