Sports Outside the Beltway

You’re Out!- Umpire throws out entire crowd at high school baseball game

Whatever happened to Midwestern hospitality? From the Des Moines Register-

(Don) Briggs briefly ejected the entire crowd — estimated at more than 100 fans — during a game between Winfield-Mount Union and West Burlington on Thursday night in West Burlington.

“It was something else — I’ll tell you that,” Winfield-Mount Union coach Scott McCarty said.

Dave Anderson and Bud Legg of the Iowa High School Athletic Association said they know of no other sanctioned high school event in Iowa where an entire crowd has been asked to leave.

“I have no recollection of that ever happening,” Anderson said.

The ejection came in the fifth inning of the game, after McCarty left the dugout to argue whether a batted ball was fair or foul.

West Burlington coach Jeff Housel, who said he did not see or hear time called, tried to send a runner from third base to score during the debate — but Briggs sent the runner back.

Briggs said the crowd became unruly, and had been unruly during the game. McCarty and Housel, however, said the situation was overblown.

There was no school official, which by the rules in place in Iowa, was to be the person to make the decision about the crowd. Since no such person was there, Briggs took it upon himself.

What for? The article makes no mention of the fans becoming dangerous. So they were unhappy with a bad call? What’s new about that in a sporting event? No one was in danger, and if you believe what the article says, no one was doing anything worse than voicing their displeasure with the umpire’s decision. The fans were allowed back in the stands but told ‘anyone making a negative comment toward the officials would be ejected from the premises and could be charged with disorderly conduct’. So arguing with an umpire is now a criminal offense?

Sure sounds like an overreaction to me.

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