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"Bad Acts" in Youth Sports: 2nd Quarter 2008 Edition

A Selective Listing Of Some Of The Worst Behavior In Youth Sports

Here are the worst "bad acts" in youth sports for the period  from April to June, 2008:

  1. In June, a plate umpire was hit by a pitch in a Georgia high school game.  Did the catcher intentionally miss the ball?  It sure looked like it.  The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) looked at the film; they thought it was on purpose.  The GHSA fined the school.  The catcher lost his college scholarship – the college didn’t want to be affiliated with a player who would do something like this.

  2. Think the Georgia catcher was the only one who purposely missed a pitch?  Think again.  A California catcher told the ump what was coming.  That’s right.  He allegedly told the umpire that he was going to miss the pitch and let the umpire get nailed.  The catcher backed up his words, missing a pitch and letting the umpire get nailed.  The California Interscholastic Federation’s North Coast Section did the right thing.  They suspended the catcher for life.  The appeal is pending as of the date of this article.

  3. If you think organized sports have problems, sometimes the pickup games are worse.  In Detroit, an adult shot a man over a dispute about a youth pickup football game in June.

  4. In April, a parent shot a cheer coach with a stun gun in Putnam City, Oklahoma.  The parent was mad because her daughter was cut from the team.

  5. The Oklahoma men got in on the act, too.  In May, an off-duty Oklahoma highway patrol officer allegedly attacked the coach who cut his son from the baseball team.

  6. Post-game handshake problems reared their ugly head in a youth baseball game.  In May, a Snohomish County, Washington baseball player sucker-punched an opponent in a post-game handshake line.  A lot of players know that a post-game handshake is a good time to get in a sneaky punch – the opponents are near them, their guards are down, and nobody’s really watching.  This player knew that, but he had bad luck: someone caught his sucker punch on film.  Whoopsie.

  7. In May, a New Jersey dad was jailed for assaulting an umpire during a high school game.

  8. A Nashville, Tennessee youth baseball coach went one step further: In May, he knocked out an umpire.

It is important to note that these were not the only bad acts that occurred during this time period.  Space and time considerations preclude a more extensive listing.  Many youth organizations, high schools, and sports governing bodies are taking strong proactive measures to reduce bad acts.  In each listing of “bad acts” I will point out a good act, program or organization.  In this listing, special mention goes to the Central Washington University softball team. for exhibiting good sportsmanship. In April, two members of the Central Washington softball team carried an injured opponent around the bases after she homered, but, because she blew her knee out, was unable to circle the bases.  The Central Washington players cost themselves the game, but they did the right thing. 

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