Kids get a bad rep for being unruly, but sometimes their parents can be just as bad, if not worse. One of the most common places to witness bad behavior from grown adults is at sports games where their kids are playing. They get pissed off at calls made by officials and think they know better, leading to some major drama. One New Jersey town had enough of badly behaving parents and decided to do something about it.
- Deptford Township in South Jersey was getting a lot of complaints about parents behaving badly. Whenever an umpire made a call that the parents didn’t agree with, the parents would start verbally abusing them or even threatening physical violence. It got to a point where the town knew it had to step in.
- Umpires and refs have been resigning due to the way many of the kids’ parents act. Tired of the harassment, they’ve quit their volunteer roles and declined to get involved. However, the Little League season has already started and the games need umpires. So, the town has put a clever rule into place.
- The rule is simple: If you argue with an umpire, you’ll have to volunteer to officiate three games. It’s only fair, after all. “They’re coming here, they’re being abused, they don’t need that. So they’re walking away,” Don Bozzufi, Deptford Township Little League president, told “Good Morning America” of the umpires who have resigned. Therefore, the parents doing the harassing are going to have to pitch in.
- If you don’t volunteer, you don’t get to watch any games. The rule has consequences: If you harass an umpire and don’t volunteer to ref three games, you won’t be able to watch your kids’ games until you do. “The main purpose is not for them to be able to call a baseball game but for them to see what’s going on out here, and it’s not that easy,” Bozzuffi said.
- Hopefully, this rule change will change the bad behavior. After all, shouldn’t parents be setting a good example for their kids? Enough of the terrible treatment — let’s show each other respect and good sportsmanship!