A South Jersey Little League organization has set a new rule to cut down on spectators in the stands screaming and arguing with umpires, according to reports.
Deptford Township Little League officials have implemented the rule after years of unruly parents going crazy whenever they disagree with a call. The new policy could find complainers suffering a penalty or face being barred from games, according to WPVI-TV.
“They think that the call was bad, which always amazes me that they can see a strike better over there than the umpire can one foot in back of them,” Deptford Township Little League President Don Bozzuffi said of those who attack the umps.
Bozzuffi added that the verbal assaults have gotten so bad that several volunteer umps have refused to officiate at league games.
So, the township just south of the Delaware River from Philadelphia has set in place a new rule requiring an argumentative spectator to volunteer to be an umpire for three games to be allowed back on the sidelines as a spectator.
“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,” said Bozzuffi.
“They’re not baseball players, they’re children. So always keep that in the back of your mind and let them play,” Bozzuffi added.
The TV station added that some of the parents of the little leaguers they talked to liked the idea.
“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,” player mom Kateland Tokley told the station.