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You're at your middle school kid's game, which you love and dread. Love because of all the good things sports can do for kids. Dread because there are parents that just don't know when to shut it. They get right up there in the referee's face and (()).

All the parents have talked to that parent but it's no good. (()) won't knock it off. So what can you do? If you're in Wisconsin, maybe plenty.

There's already a way to punish these (( )), currently, harassing or hitting someone is a misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine (at highest). Back in January, the Wisconsin legislature started working on making that kind of foolishness punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and nine months in jail.

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According to CBS58 WDJT - Milwaukee

The danger faced by sports officials has led to a decline in younger people willing to join their ranks, according to the bill’s backers, which include WIAA, the National Association of Sports Officials, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.

So what sporting events are covered? High school games and ANY sporting event the public is welcomed at. Which pretty much covers all the bases.

What's a "sports official"? A referee, umpire, linesman, timekeeper, inspector, judge, or person who performs similar functions. Doesn't matter if it's a paid position or volunteer.

courtesy of Todd Walkingstick

21 of our 50 United States have laws like these already on the books. In Minnesota it's covered under Minnesota Chapter 128C.08 Subdivision 2

128C.08 ASSAULTING A SPORTS OFFICIAL PROHIBITED.

Subd. 2.Prohibited conduct. Any person who assaults a sports official in connection with an interscholastic athletic activity may be excluded from attending an activity for up to 12 months.

§Subd. 3.Sanction. The board of directors of the Minnesota State High School League or a school board may exclude any person except as provided in subdivision 5.

The board of directors of the Minnesota State High School League may exclude a person from:

(1) any activity of the kind in connection with which the assault occurred; or
(2) all interscholastic athletic activities.

A school board may exclude a person from any activity sponsored or participated in by the school district.

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Usually I'll do some kind of sound off about the that can't control themselves at sporting events, going so far as to scaring young people away from volunteering for youth sports. But...just be kind, OK?

If the question is, "Why do we need these laws?" my answer is...I don't know. Sometimes peer pressure is good...but seems to be useless against the self importance and lack of awareness of the balls.

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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