Good morning and happy Thursday, everyone.
This will be my last Hoddle in Pardeep’s absence. She has returned from her trip so you get one more rant from me before I pass the baton, and today’s topic is one that hits a little close to home for me: Youth sports and officiating.
I’ve mentioned it before in various comment sections that I am a 15 year veteran of officiating various sports. I started out reffing youth basketball in high school at 17 years old and really sank my teeth into it in college. I even have a couple of All-Americas to my name for collegiate flag football, complete with a banner in the RPAC at The Ohio State University that my name is on.
I officiated up until 2014 and finally hung my whistle up. Having officiated football, basketball, baseball and soccer, I’ve been exposed to a lot of different situations. Normally I’d tell you how it’s a great practice to get into because you learn a different side of sports and you learn some discipline....but that leads us to today’s rant: Sports parents are insane.
During some downtime at work, I came across this article that shows a full-on brawl at a baseball game.
The age level? Seven.
Seven years old.
The referee was 13, by the way. That kid probably won’t be asking to come back to whatever league that is and may never ref again.
Police expect more arrest this week. The five men cited were 24, 26, 29, 46 and 55.
”You know, you have 7-year-olds playing a baseball game and it’s the parents that need to grow up,” Romero said.
The contest between teams of 7-year-olds from Lakewood and Bear Creek took a violent turn at about 11:54 a.m. MT when some parents apparently became enraged over a call by the game’s 13-year-old umpire, according to police.
So, five grown men, separated by 31 years, decided that calls made by a teenager at a seven year old baseball league warranted getting into a brawl and end up in jail. The worst part of the video, besides the obvious, is watching the poor kids run to the outfield out of fear because these men just had to go at each other.
I’ve experienced something like this once before, also in little league. I tossed three men for dropping f-bombs at me after a call. They waited for me in the parking lot and one of them had a bat. Thankfully, there was a police officer on duty and he escorted me to my car, making sure to clear the men out and remind them how stupid it was to even suggest what they were going to do.
Youth sports are fun when they kids can just play. I’ve heard of leagues where parents aren’t even allowed to watch, which is a good move. I’ve also officiated in a league where the parents had to attend a few rules classes and pass an exam at the end in order to earn the right to watch. That league was paradise, let me tell you.
There are plenty of incidents involving crazy parents and even coaches, but here’s a little hit list of ones to check out:
- Coach tells softball pitcher to deliberately hit umpire; Umpire ends the game.
- Basketball referee ejects coaches and gets gatorade bottle thrown at him.
- More stupidity from dads fighting over a game. (Warning for language/blood)
- Football coach punches referee.
- No idea what happened here, but a brawl ensued.
It’s inevitable that you’ll run into people who act like complete morons at youth sporting events, and it’s also a reason why there is a major referee shortage in the United States currently. The pay is crap, the schedule is rough and the abuse just isn’t worth it.
And now the “news”...
Matthijs de Ligt rejects Barcelona despite deal with Ajax - 90min
Mino Raiola, ladies and gentlemen. He won’t be happy until he has that 14th penthouse.
Skip Bayless falls for a fake tweet about Chris Paul mocking James Harden - Deadspin
There was a time when Bayless was a respected sports journalist in Dallas. That is an eternity ago.
Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra have a good jazz album - WRTI
I’m cheating on this one a bit because the album came out some time ago, but if you like jazz, you should check this out.