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This situation has never happened to me in a game in 14 years. Has anyone here dealt a similar situation? How did you handle it?

14u tournament game, semi final, FED rules. I'm PU.

Home team on 1B side had a Bluetooth speaker with them and played music between innings or when new F1 was tossing warm-up pitches in the middle of an inning. No "walk up" music.

(Personally, I'm not a fan when teams do this period but unless a TD says something or maybe somehow music is being played in an unsporting manner, I wouldn't get involved.)

Most music was Hip-Hop / Top 40 genre. You could tell lyrics were being censored.

Then between 3th-4th inning, I'm standing up the 1B line watching warm-up throws as music plays when I'm like, "Did I just heard the n-word?" ~5 seconds later, there it was again. Plus two more words following that which could get a radio station fined by the FCC.

I turned to the bench, looked at the HC and made a couple throat-slashing motions while telling him to turn the music off. He walked out to talk with me and I told him what I heard. He replied sheepishly, "Yeah, that's not my playlist". Turns out an adult next to the bench (I'm guessing a player's dad) was controlling the music from a tablet. He must have seen my reaction because as the coach was coming out to talk to me the music stopped. I told the coach to cut out the music for the rest of the game. (I could rant about this coach showing zero responsibility or leadership, but that's not what we're talking about here...).

That team won the semi-final and played the final the next game. My partner and I switched up for that game. We could hear them playing music as we changed in the parking lot and figured they had learned their lesson and we wouldn't have problems during the final. After all, I never had that happen once in hundreds of games. I mean, c'mon, what are the chances it would happen again?

So this team made a pitching change around the 2nd or 3rd inning. While I was hanging out in deep C, they're playing their music. And mid-song now we've got some rapper yelling out "my n-word" about 5-6 times in a row. I'm stepping towards their bench ready to go off on the HC and the adult running the music, when some other fans yell out "turn that off!" and the music shuts off. I was pretty hot and probably did the prudent thing in that moment to walk back and get back to baseball.

That team ended up getting run-ruled by 15 in 4 innings so there's that.

Looking back, I wish I had handled this differently. I think my biggest mistake may have been not telling that HC at final game pregame conference to keep the music off.

I'm also curious if anyone would have EJ'd the HC during the semi or final game or asked the HC or TD to have the fan controlling the music sent to the parking lot. In my mind, if you can't say a word on the field you can't play it on a speaker. Especially that word.

Have at it...

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While it needs to be addressed, this seems more of a fan issue than an HC issue. I think you're putting too much blame on him. Once it happened the second time, I'd have worked through the TD to deal

At the risk of mis-reading the room, imma vote "yes" on this one.

Yes, a coach has no authority over parents. Even worse, parents might have authority over coaches given that they are spending their money.  If you choose not to understand hyperbole, I will go i

I've had this problem this year for the first time ever. I had a home team visiting team stereo competition in a game this year. Each team trying to out volume the other. It's extremely annoying to say the least. 

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2 hours ago, Scotty_Ump said:

This situation has never happened to me in a game in 14 years. Has anyone here dealt a similar situation? How did you handle it?

14u tournament game, semi final, FED rules. I'm PU.

Home team on 1B side had a Bluetooth speaker with them and played music between innings or when new F1 was tossing warm-up pitches in the middle of an inning. No "walk up" music.

(Personally, I'm not a fan when teams do this period but unless a TD says something or maybe somehow music is being played in an unsporting manner, I wouldn't get involved.)

Most music was Hip-Hop / Top 40 genre. You could tell lyrics were being censored.

Then between 3th-4th inning, I'm standing up the 1B line watching warm-up throws as music plays when I'm like, "Did I just heard the n-word?" ~5 seconds later, there it was again. Plus two more words following that which could get a radio station fined by the FCC.

I turned to the bench, looked at the HC and made a couple throat-slashing motions while telling him to turn the music off. He walked out to talk with me and I told him what I heard. He replied sheepishly, "Yeah, that's not my playlist". Turns out an adult next to the bench (I'm guessing a player's dad) was controlling the music from a tablet. He must have seen my reaction because as the coach was coming out to talk to me the music stopped. I told the coach to cut out the music for the rest of the game. (I could rant about this coach showing zero responsibility or leadership, but that's not what we're talking about here...).

That team won the semi-final and played the final the next game. My partner and I switched up for that game. We could hear them playing music as we changed in the parking lot and figured they had learned their lesson and we wouldn't have problems during the final. After all, I never had that happen once in hundreds of games. I mean, c'mon, what are the chances it would happen again?

So this team made a pitching change around the 2nd or 3rd inning. While I was hanging out in deep C, they're playing their music. And mid-song now we've got some rapper yelling out "my n-word" about 5-6 times in a row. I'm stepping towards their bench ready to go off on the HC and the adult running the music, when some other fans yell out "turn that off!" and the music shuts off. I was pretty hot and probably did the prudent thing in that moment to walk back and get back to baseball.

That team ended up getting run-ruled by 15 in 4 innings so there's that.

Looking back, I wish I had handled this differently. I think my biggest mistake may have been not telling that HC at final game pregame conference to keep the music off.

I'm also curious if anyone would have EJ'd the HC during the semi or final game or asked the HC or TD to have the fan controlling the music sent to the parking lot. In my mind, if you can't say a word on the field you can't play it on a speaker. Especially that word.

Have at it...

While it needs to be addressed, this seems more of a fan issue than an HC issue. I think you're putting too much blame on him. Once it happened the second time, I'd have worked through the TD to deal with a more permanent solution for the fan.

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I disagree. It’s unclear if the speaker was in the dugout or just outside of it. Either way, it’s not way down the line. It’s the team’s music for all intents and purposes, not some random fan’s music. That’s on the coach. You simply tell him to turn it off. I don’t need any sort of game admin for that. The coach is also responsible for the behavior of his fans, and therefore the music, even if it were to be down the line in a different situation. Only way I need TD there is if the coach doesn’t want to take care of it. 
 

Since you heard it between games, I would have told him no music this game, period. They don’t get another shot after what happened last game. 

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2 minutes ago, Thatsnotyou said:

I disagree. It’s unclear if the speaker was in the dugout or just outside of it. Either way, it’s not way down the line. It’s the team’s music for all intents and purposes, not some random fan’s music. That’s on the coach. You simply tell him to turn it off. I don’t need any sort of game admin for that. The coach is also responsible for the behavior of his fans, and therefore the music, even if it were to be down the line in a different situation. Only way I need TD there is if the coach doesn’t want to take care of it. 
 

Since you heard it between games, I would have told him no music this game, period. They don’t get another shot after what happened last game. 

Nope.

He did what he could. He tried to take care of it.

A coach has no authority over parents. What's he gonna do, shoot them? 

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11 hours ago, Matt said:

Nope.

He did what he could. He tried to take care of it.

A coach has no authority over parents. What's he gonna do, shoot them? 

A coach has no authority over parents? 

Yes, shoot them. Great talk. Really intelligent discourse. 

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I think what Matt was saying, and he is correct, technically a coach has no “official authority” over a fan.  In other words, you can tell the coach to deal with it, and it may work but is not a guarantee.

Personally I’d start with the coach, ask him to try and handle it, and if that doesn’t work; get the TD involved.

I think what Matt was getting at was that you can’t throw out a coach bc of his fans, so the coach theoretically could say no, he won’t talk to them, or he could talk to them and they tell him to shove it up his ***.
 

But id still try, in my limited times a fan needed addressed, a simple professional convo with the coach got it handled

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"I'm like, 'Did I just heard the n-word?' ~5 seconds later, there it was again. Plus two more words following that which could get a radio station fined by the FCC.... In my mind, if you can't say a word on the field you can't play it on a speaker. Especially that word."

Maybe I misread the OP, but it seems to me that the question concerned the content of the music, content that included socially unacceptable language, not the music itself. In other words, in the circumstances described, does the umpire enforce social morés?

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16 hours ago, Matt said:

A coach has no authority over parents. What's he gonna do, shoot them? 

At the risk of mis-reading the room, imma vote "yes" on this one.

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6 hours ago, Thatsnotyou said:

A coach has no authority over parents? 

Yes, shoot them. Great talk. Really intelligent discourse. 

Yes, a coach has no authority over parents. Even worse, parents might have authority over coaches given that they are spending their money. 

If you choose not to understand hyperbole, I will go into even more detail. We have two main options:

1. Use the HC.

2. Use the TD.

In 1, I'm relying on influence and persuasion. If it works, great. If not, what am I doing? Option 2 anyway. Now let's look at the collateral damage--you are holding what is most likely a subordinate responsible for their bosses' actions. Don't put people in a situation where there is an ethical dilemma or a conflict of interest. Just go the route where things will get done. 

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On 5/9/2021 at 10:42 AM, LRZ said:

Maybe I misread the OP, but it seems to me that the question concerned the content of the music, content that included socially unacceptable language, not the music itself. In other words, in the circumstances described, does the umpire enforce social morés?

I think you are correct. I also think that the umpire is in charge of the field and what occurs outside of the fences is not our problem...for the most part--I did have a situation where parents were on the opposing team's first baseman's 'size' in a HS playoff game.  That ultimately ended up with the sheriff breaking up parents. (Fun times)

However, if you have X-rated songs playing I think you have to do something about that as well.

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Appreciate all the feedback from everyone. Like I mentioned in the OP, this sitch is a first for me and getting multiple perspectives is helpful. Some of the situations we talk about on this forum are HTBT and it's tough to convey all the context.

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The stereo systems are mostly a travel ball issue, but it’s coming to HS more all the time. 

I had a team last week playing right up to first pitch and loud!  I made eye contact with the announcer and made a kill it signal. To my surprise and appreciation, he read me right and killed it and it wasn’t a problem the rest of the game.

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Most youth baseball organizations and at least our state high school association have Code of Conduct policies that apply to players, coaches, and fans at all sporting events. In my State, it goes even one step further. A fan who has been asked to leave for violating an established sports league or organization's Code of Conduct commits criminal trespass if they don't leave the field, stands, or complex. And those league or organization policies typically apply specifically to unacceptable language--and I'd think recorded words coming out of a speaker are controlled by whoever hit the "play" button.

I'm not disagreeing with the general principle that umpires should leave ultimate parent and crowd control to the TD's, coaches, AD's, or site administrators. I do disagree that coaches and officials have no authority over the fans, or that what happens on the other side of the fence is not our problem. Solving the problem (eliminating the source of the abusive or profane language) is not limited to an umpire shouting at the person and yarding them (seldom does much to de-escalate a situation). I know there are many umpires (on this site) who might vehemently disagree with me. I also know that we have a suffocating and exhausting shortage of paid and volunteer officials in baseball. I apologize, but if I'm working a youth game with minimal league oversite and maybe even coaches scared of the person causing the problem, I'm not going to leave the problem for a 1st year nervous colleague to have to deal with next week as well, and possibly lose a good future umpire. It's situation management. We need to manage the situation, because we're in charge of the game. We're amateur umpires, but we're professional situation managers!  We got lots of tools at our disposal:  The Rules of Play, accepted umpire mechanics, head coaches, tournament directors (if there's one even there), site administrators (if there's one even there), AD's (if there's one even there), a member of the LL Board (if there's one even there), League Code of Conduct policies (which we should all know, because we've hopefully read them), State law, etc.  If all else fails, we can simply stop the game till the problem is resolved.

Acknowledge the problem. Talk nicely to someone about the problem and the need to eliminate it. Go from there.

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5 hours ago, Recontra said:

Most youth baseball organizations and at least our state high school association have Code of Conduct policies that apply to players, coaches, and fans at all sporting events. In my State, it goes even one step further. A fan who has been asked to leave for violating an established sports league or organization's Code of Conduct commits criminal trespass if they don't leave the field, stands, or complex. And those league or organization policies typically apply specifically to unacceptable language--and I'd think recorded words coming out of a speaker are controlled by whoever hit the "play" button.

I'm not disagreeing with the general principle that umpires should leave ultimate parent and crowd control to the TD's, coaches, AD's, or site administrators. I do disagree that coaches and officials have no authority over the fans, or that what happens on the other side of the fence is not our problem. Solving the problem (eliminating the source of the abusive or profane language) is not limited to an umpire shouting at the person and yarding them (seldom does much to de-escalate a situation). I know there are many umpires (on this site) who might vehemently disagree with me. I also know that we have a suffocating and exhausting shortage of paid and volunteer officials in baseball. I apologize, but if I'm working a youth game with minimal league oversite and maybe even coaches scared of the person causing the problem, I'm not going to leave the problem for a 1st year nervous colleague to have to deal with next week as well, and possibly lose a good future umpire. It's situation management. We need to manage the situation, because we're in charge of the game. We're amateur umpires, but we're professional situation managers!  We got lots of tools at our disposal:  The Rules of Play, accepted umpire mechanics, head coaches, tournament directors (if there's one even there), site administrators (if there's one even there), AD's (if there's one even there), a member of the LL Board (if there's one even there), League Code of Conduct policies (which we should all know, because we've hopefully read them), State law, etc.  If all else fails, we can simply stop the game till the problem is resolved.

Acknowledge the problem. Talk nicely to someone about the problem and the need to eliminate it. Go from there.

Stopping the game is the answer if the other tools don't work. I don't recall seeing anyone here saying not to act on this or that it isn't our problem.  

If a parent won't listen to the coach who decides their kid's playing time (or even if they stay on the roster in some cases,) they aren't going to listen to some stranger wearing a funny shirt. 

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On 5/9/2021 at 10:42 AM, LRZ said:

"I'm like, 'Did I just heard the n-word?' ~5 seconds later, there it was again. Plus two more words following that which could get a radio station fined by the FCC.... In my mind, if you can't say a word on the field you can't play it on a speaker. Especially that word."

Maybe I misread the OP, but it seems to me that the question concerned the content of the music, content that included socially unacceptable language, not the music itself. In other words, in the circumstances described, does the umpire enforce social morés?

I'm not surprised that no one has addressed this, because I would guess that the demographics of this site probably to probably view the idea of these lyrics being unacceptable as a foregone conclusion, putting the profanity aside for a moment.

I am multiracial but look white (most of the time.) In many POC-majority cultures, that word is not considered inappropriate if not used derogatorily (and in many cases, its usage is racially-neutral.) There are legitimate arguments for using it as a matter of disempowering it or that it should be verboten for all, but that's not the point here--the point is my previous sentence is what reality is at this point (which may evolve and quite rapidly.) It is offensive for an outgroup member to tell that group what is acceptable when it comes to racial terms describing said group. That really should not be a controversial statement, but for some, it is.

That may or may not have come into play here (from the sounds of it, it didn't,) but please keep that in mind. 

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I will say this, I work in a very rough prison setting and I view its use this way. If I can be written up or punished for using a word, then that word is off limits for everyone in that same setting. I don't believe in the not ok for me but ok for thee rules. 

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