New Jersey Little League Forces Angry Parents To Umpire

Little League batter swinging at ball

Photo: Getty Images

Little League season is in full swing and that means kids on the baseball field and unfortunately, their parents often shouting from the stands. After parents were caught on camera berating and yelling at referees and umpires at youth games, one New Jersey town has come up with a creative way to crack down on the bad behavior. In Deptford Township, they have a new rule that if a parent or spectator fights with an umpire, they have to volunteer to officiate for at least three future games.

The thing is, a lot of referees and umpires are volunteers and more of them have been resigning as a result of these shouting matches, including two umpires who recently quit in Deptford Township. So Little League officials came up with the new rule to try to encourage parents to behave. "You’re not allowed to come onto our complex until you complete three umpire assignments,” explains Deptford Township Little League President Don Bozzuffi. “Once you do that, then we’ll let you come back.”

Locals seem to be on board with the rule, including mom Kateland Tokley, who says, “If the parents are going to be sitting there, yelling the whole entire game, they might as well use that energy out on the field.” Little League International President and CEO Stephen Keener also thinks the “creative, fun solution” is a home run idea. But don’t worry, parents won’t be the only one making the calls. If someone does end up having to do it, officials say a certified umpire will also be on the field to make sure any calls are correct.


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