DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) — June has been a difficult month for umpires in youth baseball leagues. Over the weekend of June 10, 17 parents were ejected from baseball games run by Central Iowa Sports for heckling umpires and other bad behavior.
To combat this, Central Iowa Sports instituted a stricter no-tolerance policy, which seemed to have worked as the following weekend the number of ejections dropped to only two.
However having a high number of parents causing issues is something officials haven’t seen before according to Danny Kern, the Baseball Director at Central Iowa Sports.
“Last weekend was the worst weekend that we’ve had that I can remember for ejections,” Kern said, “It was pretty much 17-20 in one day.”
Parents adding extra pressure on umpires make their job harder, it also makes it more difficult to keep returning year after year.
“We try to retain them from year to year but a lot of the time they don’t come back is because of fan and coach behavior,” said Greg Davis, Central Iowa Sports Umpire Scheduler.
There is a long summer left for tournament baseball and little league and officials are hoping that the worst of parent behavior is in the past.