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Parents: Totally Ignore?


-G-

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I'm umpiring Little League for the first time since I was a Junior Umpire 20 years ago. One of the things I didn't remember about those days is how intense parents are during the game.

Do you ever intervene when a parent says something out of line, or should I just ignore it? 

I had a parent this week get angry that I didn't call obstruction, then he tells his son to "mow down anyone in (his) way" if the same situation develops in the future. I ignored the parent the entire game, but left questioning myself... 

How do YOU handle parents/spectators? Would love to read your input. Thank you!

 

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  1. Don't talk to the fence.
  2. Ignore them as long as you can, and see #1.
  3. If they're preventing you from doing your job, speak to the coach and ask him to address his fans. And see #1.
  4. If the coach cannot rein them in, he can have them removed. Don't resume until they're gone. Also, #1.
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We teach a couple tools for LL umpires in our District:

1) this exact scenario I would loudly tell the manager for that kids team that if ANY player on his team does what was just suggested not only is the player going bye bye but so is he I want many people to hear this and notice I am not 'addressing' the fan.

2) other scenarios? ask the coach for help... but don't expect it. He has to live with this parent for the rest of the season...

3) get a league board member to handle the situation

4) if none of the above works call time. Place both teams in the dugout. Walk out to the mound and LOUDLY announce that the game will not continue until THAT MAN (point directly) leaves the field. Notice your not 'ejecting' the fan but stating your position. Watch how long it takes Grand Ma who drove an hour to see her baby's game to jump on that persons crap.

5) wait. If the person refuses to leave then suspend the game and refer it to the BOD for decisions.

 

Our league and district have strict policies in place for spectator behavior. We do not tolerate parents directing their kids to injure other kids, yelling profanities or other non-sportsmanlike or unethical behaviors. I have scolded fans who booed a 10 year old pitcher for walking the best batter of the opposing team during TOC which made the pitcher break down cry but that was a one off rarity. 

 

 

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In your scenario, I would pursue these items enumerated by MudIsFun.

 

I combine 3&4.  I can converse w/ a board member and give the board member a minute to make progress.  If no visible progress, I will put teams in the dugout and we will wait.  If anyone advocates intentional injury, the game waits until the situation is cleared up and that unsportsmanlike person is not around.

 

 

3) get a league board member to handle the situation

4) if none of the above works call time. Place both teams in the dugout. Walk out to the mound and LOUDLY announce that the game will not continue until THAT MAN (point directly) leaves the field. Notice your not 'ejecting' the fan but stating your position. Watch how long it takes Grand Ma who drove an hour to see her baby's game to jump on that persons crap.

5) wait. If the person refuses to leave then suspend the game and refer it to the BOD for decisions.

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I had a parent last year yelling loudly at his 10u kid pitching and at the batters when his team was at bat. He caused a few balks and because kids were listening to him, a few of them stepped out of the box mid pitch or were almost hit by the pitches because they were adjusting to what he was telling them instead of watching the ball. That was just during the first inning. After that inning I had a chat with the coach quietly and he went and grabbed the site director and moved the parent. Another game, 13u elites, I had a parent threatening the opposing catcher and threats going back and forth in the stands and on the field, it was a mess of a game. We called for the tournament director, paused the game, and both teams and parents were told any further unsportsmanlike conduct from fans, players, or coaches and both teams would be expelled from the tournament. It was THAT bad. I don't usually even hear anything past the invisible wall anymore, but if I do it's because it's affecting the game or the safety of players and that's when it's a directors job to step in, I'll never handle it myself.

Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk

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5 hours ago, maven said:
  1. Don't talk to the fence.
  2. Ignore them as long as you can, and see #1.
  3. If they're preventing you from doing your job, speak to the coach and ask him to address his fans. And see #1.
  4. If the coach cannot rein them in, he can have them removed. Don't resume until they're gone. Also, #1.

This is perfect. 

Hopefully, Maven has not patented his #1; I would like to use that with my association's young umpires. 

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I hate when parents are trying to throw a ball back over the backstop. I never listen for them and assume they're wanting to whine about something. Shoot, the other day, the Varsity game was at least a line into the Anthem when I was trying to figure out why the pitcher stepped off and was standing there with his hat off.

 

Maybe my anti-rabbit ears are too strong?

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I usually get a good laugh from their antics. My favorite thing about parents is when one is complaining and shouts out something to the field that is blatantly wrong and then a parent from the opposing team will also shout out to the field refuting the first obnoxious parent's statement.

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19 minutes ago, taa71458 said:

I usually get a good laugh from their antics. My favorite thing about parents is when one is complaining and shouts out something to the field that is blatantly wrong and then a parent from the opposing team will also shout out to the field refuting the first obnoxious parent's statement.

My favorite is when dad is yelling "just relax and throw strikes".  I'm always thinking a) you yelling, isn't going to relax anything, and b) He's TRYING to throw strikes. Do you really think he is trying to intentionally walk each batter?

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3 hours ago, basejester said:

This is incorrect in Little League.

 

How so?
I mean, he can't forcibly remove them, but we will send everybody home for the day if they don't leave.  9.01(f) covers this.

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The only time I pay attention to the fence is when it becomes belligerent, foul language, advocating injury to opposing players.  If it becomes too much, then I tell the coach that if I have to eject a fan, he will be ejected as well (local league rule).  They generally take care of the problem.  I have only ever ejected one fan and that's because he opened the gate that leads to the field to yell at me.  As soon as he did that, I tossed him and the coach.  Needless to say, the coach was not pleased because he did nothing wrong.

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4 hours ago, stevis said:

How so?
I mean, he can't forcibly remove them, but we will send everybody home for the day if they don't leave.  9.01(f) covers this.

You send the teams to the dugout.  You can only suspend the game if the league officials cannot restore order.

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On 5/4/2016 at 2:13 PM, -G- said:

I'm umpiring Little League for the first time since I was a Junior Umpire 20 years ago. One of the things I didn't remember about those days is how intense parents are during the game.

Do you ever intervene when a parent says something out of line, or should I just ignore it? 

I had a parent this week get angry that I didn't call obstruction, then he tells his son to "mow down anyone in (his) way" if the same situation develops in the future. I ignored the parent the entire game, but left questioning myself... 

How do YOU handle parents/spectators? Would love to read your input. Thank you!

As has been said repeatedly, outside the fence isn't your problem.  Directly.  What you CAN do is make it someone ELSE'S problem.

To avoid a long story, I was at a JV tournament at spring break time.  A fan of the home team was sitting at the opposite end of the visitor's dugout, out of sight lines, and was apparently chirping at the players.  "Threatening them," according to the coach.  So I made it the TD's problem - the HC of the home school's varsity.  Several people went down there - not me - and moved the guy away from their dugout.  (Now, there were at least three local sheriff's deputies there, and they did the sum total of eff-all during all this, but that's another story.)

However, to narc myself out:  as I walked back to the plate from the visitor's dugout, I addressed the monkeys.  "This may be JV, but these are still children!  Knock that crap off!"  <--- using the Big Voice.  Actually got decent applause.

It was another inning, inning and a half before the crowd volume got anywhere near the earlier volume.

So, do some of what I did.  Ignore when you can, get the local authorities involved if you need.  Ignore the part where I yelled at the crowd, though.

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1 hour ago, Rich Ives said:

You send the teams to the dugout.  You can only suspend the game if the league officials cannot restore order.

We're at fields all over the county rather than a complex.   I AM the league official. So watch me do it, after sending the teams to the dugout and giving the coaches a chance.

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9 hours ago, stevis said:

How so?
I mean, he can't forcibly remove them, but we will send everybody home for the day if they don't leave.  9.01(f) covers this.

It's all the way wrong.  The coach doesn't have authority over the spectators.

You reference this rule, which supports my point:

(f) Umpires may order both teams into their dugouts and suspend play until such time as League Officials deal with unruly
spectators. Failure of League Officials to adequately handle an unruly spectator can result in the game remaining suspended
until a later date.

See how this says nothing about managers or coaches?  Lots of you find yourselves in the unfortunate situation of there being no league officials at the game.  That sucks.  But don't bring that suckiness into a context that doesn't require it.  If you were in the bigs, would you send Sparky Anderson to go talk to the angry guy with the beer and the hot dog?  It's the same.

 

 

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Failure of Leauge Officials to be present certainly sounds like failure to adequately handle.   I'm sending teams home and letting the board sort it out later if I have.   You're going by the book instead of with the book.

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8 hours ago, stevis said:

Failure of Leauge Officials to be present certainly sounds like failure to adequately handle.   I'm sending teams home and letting the board sort it out later if I have.   You're going by the book instead of with the book.

There's no conflict between what I think is pragmatic and what's in the book, so that catch phrase doesn't apply.  If you have no league officials, then I agree that they have failed to adequately handle.  I don't agree that that this should be portrayed as standard operating procedure. 

 

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