Earlier this month a fight broke out at a youth baseball game near Denver, leading to a manhunt for one of the parents involved.
According to CNN, the brawl began in response to disagreements over the calls made by the 13-year-old umpire. Lakewood (Colorado) police spokesman John Romero told CBS News he believes the specific incident that preceded the brawl was about a player potentially batting out of order. Parents then stormed the field and and began punching each other.
The 7-year-old players stood still and watched on.
Lakewood police arrived to de-escalate the scene, later calling for the parents to “grow up.” According to CNN, Romero said, “We were disgusted. It’s the parents that need to grow up here. That’s the saddest part.”
Multiple injuries were sustained and several people were cited for disorderly conduct, said the Lakewood police department.
One parent who threw multiple punches during the incident is wanted by the police and a manhunt has been called to find and charge him. This video shows the brawl as it unfolded. It is graphic and viewer discretion is advised:
In January, STACK published an article in which youth sports referees outlined some of the worst incidents they have witnessed involving overzealous parents. Things had gotten so bad around the leagues that the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OSHAA) had to issue a letter addressing the situations among parents.
Two key points and statistics in that letter stood out to us:
- 75 percent of officials quit due to “adult behavior” according to the National Association of Sports Officials. 80 percent quit after only two years of reffing.
- There are more officials over 60 than under 30 in many areas. Meaning there aren’t enough younger refs to replace older ones when they retire. And the shortage of refs as a whole has caused there to be more canceled or postponed games in some areas.