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Brawl at northern Mass baseball games, umpires quitting after southern Mass game shows youth sports are out of hand



Incidents at two Massachusetts youth sporting events recently show that youth sports have gotten out of control.

On Monday at approximately 7:30 p.m., Worcester Police were called to Kendrick Field on Brooks Street for a report of a large fight after a baseball game. When officers arrived, the fight was no longer active. Officers immediately began gathering information and interviewing witnesses. During the investigation, police learned that a fight broke out at the end of a baseball game as the players were shaking hands on the field. The brawl involved players and family members. One adult male sustained injuries after being tackled to the ground. The male was evaluated by paramedics at the scene. His injuries are considered minor.

As officers continued their investigation, a small group of family members started to aggressively walk toward the area after a relative told them that he was punched by someone on the field. The family appeared to be agitated and was asking where the person was who punched their relative. A 17-year-old male in the family then charged toward a group on the field. An officer chased after the teen and repeatedly told him to stop. The officer placed himself between the teen and the other party to protect the group. The teen continually tried to get past the officer while clenching his fists. The officer tried to grab onto the teen, but he escaped his grasp. As the situation escalated, the officer gave a warning that the teen would be tased. The officer perceived that the teen was about to run past him to assault the group. Therefore, the officer deployed his taser to stop the impending assault.

The juvenile was charged with two counts of assault and battery, disorderly conduct, and disturbing the peace.

Additionally, as a result of the investigation, a 22-year-old male of Worcester and a 45-year-old male of Worcester will be summonsed for assault and battery.

Also, according to multiple reports, the Greater Taunton Amateur Baseball Umpires stopped officiating games last week at the Taunton West Little League over threats of violence toward two umpires after a call.

Now of course these types of actions don’t happen every day at every youth sporting event, however, incidents such as these have become more common. Just in Massachusetts over the last few years, a parent punched a hockey referee, and a high school basketball player physically attacked an official. Parents yelling at umpires in a vulgar or violent manner is a frequent occurrence.

I understand that competition can lead to things getting heated at times, especially with parents and players having ideas that little league will lead to million-dollar contracts, but it has gone too far.

It is time that youth sports become more about learning, which is the intent, and less about violent outbursts.

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