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Fight between parents, umpires after baseball playoff game leads to calls for change in consequences

By Adrienne Moore

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    CARMICHAEL, California (KOVR) — A high school baseball playoff game was postponed after a parking lot scuffle between parents and an umpire in Carmichael.

The fight happened as Del Campo and Buhach Colony are in the middle of a three-game playoff series. But it’s now on hold all because one of the biggest lessons in sports didn’t seem to resonate with parents.

“We have never seen this amount of bad behavior, especially from parents of young athletes,” said Barry Mano, the founder and president of the National Association of Sports Officials.

This ugly scene played out after the game Monday where the Del Campo Cougars defeated the Buhach Colony Thunder 3-2. A Del Campo parent captured a video of the winning run on a close play at the plate.

“This cannot turn on the rightness or the wrongness of the calls that they’re making,” Mano said. “What are you expecting? NBA proficiency? MLB proficiency here?”

Mano said the Del Campo parent’s video highlights a growing problem.

“The main reason that people are getting out of officiating is because of this bad behavior,” he said. “Younger people playing sports and their parents acting out like complete idiots.”

The San Juan Unified School District said the parents involved were from Buhach Colony and added:

“This unfortunate incident is a reminder for us all to uphold a level of sportsmanship and respect for everyone involved in athletic competitions.”

In a statement from Merced Union High School District, it said it is “fully cooperating with the California Interscholastic Federation’s investigation. Any party or parties found responsible for Monday’s incident will be held accountable.”

Mano said the consequences may need to change.

“We’re going to have to put a line in the sand and say, ‘Look, if you act this way, not only will you be barred, your kid’s going to be barred,’ ” he said.

The disturbance outside the diamond is now leading to an unfortunate delay of game.

A number of youth leagues across the country have adopted what is known as “Silent Saturdays” where games are played with no parents and no other fans in the stands to help combat game-day violence.

Again, the CIF is investigating this incident.

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