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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

June 16, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Umpire ejects entire crowd at baseball game

An interesting story takes us to West Burlington, Iowa, where a baseball umpire booted more than 100 fans from a prep baseball game for unruly behavior.

The umpire, Don Briggs, said he had no issue with any of the players from Winfield-Mount Union or West Burlington but the people in the stands were “unruly, yelling and arguing.”

However, West Burlington Superintendent James Sleister said he didn’t see any unusual behavior and said he thought the umpire overreacted.

The game resumed after a 40-minute delay. West Burlington won 12-11.

The umpire called police as a precaution. West Burlington police officer Al Waterman says there were no arrests. He says he saw no unruliness himself.

It’s a situation that is hard to judge without being there, but from the accounts in the story it seems to be a bit of an overreaction.

On the positive side, that potential error in judgment would have a minimal effect on the game played. Some bad calls from officials unfairly cost kids their games and seasons.

What do you think about this one? What do you do when a ref/umpire appears to overreact and use his/her power in the wrong way? Certainly if personal safety is in danger it’s another issue, but should we expect officials to have shorter ‘rabbit ears’ in these situations?

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