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Odd umpire behavior????

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Guest Danny D.

Fellas....I have a rather odd scenario. For the past month I have been running a U12 wooden bat league. I do all the scheduling of the umps and what not. I have been using a pretty consistent ump crew for the last few years or so. One of the umps is a very talkative and outgoing person. He always asks the kids questions and generally shoots the breeze between plays. Some kids find it annoying but we have just grown to accept that this particular ump is chatty and outgoing. He is kind of a grandfatherly dude....old, grey, and talkative :) Last night I had the opposing coach come to me and say the ump tried to rub his first basemens shoulders during the change of innings. I also had a kid on my team complain that the ump was asking semi inappropriate questions while he was a runner on first. He asked him if he liked girls and if he drank beer. It was very odd. I talked to ump after the game and told him not to come back to any more of the games. It was tough because as I said, I have been working with this guy for a long time and we have always had a good working relationship. Anyways....I told him my concerns and cut him loose. Did I over react? I just thought it was odd behavior for a U12 game.

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Good job. He obviously doesn't know how to keep quiet.

No need to be "friendly" like that.
Umpires are there to be approachable, do their job and remain silent!

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Fellas....I have a rather odd scenario. For the past month I have been running a U12 wooden bat league. I do all the scheduling of the umps and what not. I have been using a pretty consistent ump crew for the last few years or so. One of the umps is a very talkative and outgoing person. He always asks the kids questions and generally shoots the breeze between plays. Some kids find it annoying but we have just grown to accept that this particular ump is chatty and outgoing. He is kind of a grandfatherly dude....old, grey, and talkative :) Last night I had the opposing coach come to me and say the ump tried to rub his first basemens shoulders during the change of innings. I also had a kid on my team complain that the ump was asking semi inappropriate questions while he was a runner on first. He asked him if he liked girls and if he drank beer. It was very odd. I talked to ump after the game and told him not to come back to any more of the games. It was tough because as I said, I have been working with this guy for a long time and we have always had a good working relationship. Anyways....I told him my concerns and cut him loose. Did I over react? I just thought it was odd behavior for a U12 game.

Do you run sex offender checks on your umps? Might want to check that guy.

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YES....I did that and found nothing. I was thinking the same thing and was very happy to find nothing. That would have been a dosey!

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This is much more than just a chatty and outgoing umpire. These are warning signs for some very inappropriate behavior. Rubbing shoulders and asking about alcohol are things no stranger should be doing to children. The fact that some kids have been annoyed shows they were uncomfortable with this person's behavior.  I do not want to come out and accuse this person because this is a public forum. However, I have been a police officer for almost three decades, and in general terms very often child predators are in positions of trust and authority.

You absolutely did the correct thing. This umpire should not be around children. If it were me I would have contacted local authorities.   I would also contact other assignors / associations or leagues in your area. Again I am not accusing this person; but this is more than odd behavior. This is disturbing and suspicious behavior.

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Guest Danny D.

This is much more than just a chatty and outgoing umpire. These are warning signs for some very inappropriate behavior. Rubbing shoulders and asking about alcohol are things no stranger should be doing to children. The fact that some kids have been annoyed shows they were uncomfortable with this person's behavior.  I do not want to come out and accuse this person because this is a public forum. However, I have been a police officer for almost three decades, and in general terms very often child predators are in positions of trust and authority.

You absolutely did the correct thing. This umpire should not be around children. If it were me I would have contacted local authorities.   I would also contact other assignors / associations or leagues in your area. Again I am not accusing this person; but this is more than odd behavior. This is disturbing and suspicious behavior.

Last night I did email our league president and the U12 pony league coordinator for our region. I gave them all of the details and have been told he won't be working any more in our league. I just got a text from the opposing coach and he apparently called the police this morning. I still can't believe it happened. I am sort of in shock. Thanks for your comments. Sometimes you can't believe what you just saw or heard. Good to know I am not nuts.

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When you talked to this umpire, did he admit to asking if the boy liked girls ? Did you ask him if he asked about drinking beer ? Did you ask him if he tried to give a U12 boy a shoulder massage ?  What did he say to these accusations ? 

If he said/did any of these things, he shouldn't be allowed to umpire and the police should be alerted (though I don't see any actual crime here). If he denies all of it, you have a sticky wicket, but depending on how he handled these accusations, I'd not be inclined to assign him games. 

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The worst court of them all is the court of public opinion.  You are guilty until proven innocent. I  feel we are living under the Dominican Republic Constitution.

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Guest Danny D.

When you talked to this umpire, did he admit to asking if the boy liked girls ? Did you ask him if he asked about drinking beer ? Did you ask him if he tried to give a U12 boy a shoulder massage ?  What did he say to these accusations ? 

If he said/did any of these things, he shouldn't be allowed to umpire and the police should be alerted (though I don't see any actual crime). If he denies all of it, you have a sticky wicket, but depending on how handled these accusations, I'd not be inclined to assign him games. 

He said he was just teasing the boys. He got mad at me for questioning his integrity as he has been umping a long time. To answer your question....he never denied making the comments. The shoulder rub thing came down to this...he said he only slapped the kid on the shoulders. He said there was no massage. I told him we couldn't have any touching of any kind. That and the odd comments got him removed from umping any more in our league.

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He said he was just teasing the boys. He got mad at me for questioning his integrity as he has been umping a long time. To answer your question....he never denied making the comments. The shoulder rub thing came down to this...he said he only slapped the kid on the shoulders. He said there was no massage. I told him we couldn't have any touching of any kind. That and the odd comments got him removed from umping any more in our league.

You told him (correctly) the way it is. He disagreed.

I think he's gotta go.

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He said he was just teasing the boys. He got mad at me for questioning his integrity as he has been umping a long time. To answer your question....he never denied making the comments. The shoulder rub thing came down to this...he said he only slapped the kid on the shoulders. He said there was no massage. I told him we couldn't have any touching of any kind. That and the odd comments got him removed from umping any more in our league.

Him getting mad at you pointing out the inappropriateness of his behavior would be enough for me.

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You absolutely did the right thing.  Kudos to you for having the stones to talk to the guy and making the right call.   Could absolutely just be a guy with no bad intentions who just doesn't get that this stuff is wrong, but that doesn't make it OK.  You owe it to the kids to do what you did. 

 

 

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No doubt you did the absolutely correct thing. If, God forbid, this situation took a bad turn and it was discovered that you had information regarding his inappropriate behavior and did nothing, YOU would be in a a disastrous situation. 

PIAA now requires ALL officials to obtain three (3) different child safety clearances.  One is an FBI check that includes fingerprinting. They are the same clearances required of teachers and must be renewed every five (5) years. No clearances, no officiating.

Our summer ball association has adopted similar requirements for summer leagues. Most members are PIAA officials and have them already. 

Sad to say, it is a different world and you cannot be too careful.

You did the right thing. One thing I would suggest is that you do not, in any way, shape or form, discuss with the general public WHY this individual no longer works your league.  He had not been convicted of any crime, and you may open yourself up to a slander suit if you make it public. Come up with a reason suitable for public consumption and stick to it.

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Sounds like a classic deflection denial, and you 100% did the right thing.

Something sticks out for me though--you said he was older, and he'd been working for you for a while.  Is this a recent change in behavior?  You may not be able to answer that, but if you can and it is, consider this--developing lack of boundaries might be indicative of some dementia related issues.   If you have any way of contacting his friends or family discretely, you might consider doing so.  I don't think you have any duty to do so, certainly not to go out of your way to find a contact, but it might be a kindness if you did.

Also, I know I'm giving a thirdhand armchair amateur diagnosis here, so take it with the entire shaker of salt.

 

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Your simple act may have saved a kid or kids from some serious trauma.  Good on you for seeing it, realizing what it could be and taking the action you did.

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No doubt you did the absolutely correct thing. If, God forbid, this situation took a bad turn and it was discovered that you had information regarding his inappropriate behavior and did nothing, YOU would be in a a disastrous situation. 

PIAA now requires ALL officials to obtain three (3) different child safety clearances.  One is an FBI check that includes fingerprinting. They are the same clearances required of teachers and must be renewed every five (5) years. No clearances, no officiating.

Our summer ball association has adopted similar requirements for summer leagues. Most members are PIAA officials and have them already. 

Sad to say, it is a different world and you cannot be too careful.

You did the right thing. One thing I would suggest is that you do not, in any way, shape or form, discuss with the general public WHY this individual no longer works your league.  He had not been convicted of any crime, and you may open yourself up to a slander suit if you make it public. Come up with a reason suitable for public consumption and stick to it.

I agree with the above.  Just be careful by not saying anything in public. 

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I'm glad that you handled it quickly and swiftly, as you may have prevented something more serious from happening.  It all sounds very suspicious the way you describe it - it's not worth the risk.  

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