The Andie Summers Show

SOUTH WILLAMSPORT, PA - AUGUST 26: Danny Marzo #12 of the West team from Petaluma, California hits a double as catcher Juan Crisp #13 of team Panama and umpire Martin Weber look on during the fifth inning of their Little League World Series consolation game on August 26, 2012 in South Willamsport, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

This is either the worst or best idea of all time! This town in New Jersey is making parents become umpires if they become too unruly during their child’s Little League game. Do you think that this is fair or absolutely insane?

Little League World Series

SOUTHWILLIAMSPORT, PA – AUGUST 28: Zachary Rosete #22 of the Northwest team gets a hit against the Caribbean team during the Championship Game of the Little League World Series on August 28, 2005 at Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Northwest team from Ewa Beach, Hawaii defeated the Caribbean team from Curacao 7-6 in seven innings. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images).

Parents Become Umpires, But Where?

 Deptford Township in South Jersey

Anybody who argues with umpires at their baseball games will face a year suspension from attending games. In order to skip the suspension, they can umpire three games of their own.

This is gaining national news, being covered by the likes of Good Morning America and many other national publications.

GMA actually chatted with Little League International President and CEO Stephen Keener about the rule change and he had some very interesting thoughts.

“Little League International expects its participants and fans to adhere to the highest level of sportsmanship while attending local league events. … We applaud the volunteers at Deptford Township Little League for coming up with a creative, fun solution to shine a light on the importance of treating everyone with respect, on and off the Little League field,” Keener said.

Little League World Series - Championship

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, PA – AUGUST 24: Members of Team Asia-Pacific (L) throw an assistant coach in the air following their 8-4 win over the Great Lakes Team from Chicago, Illinois to win the Little League World Series Championship game at Lamade Stadium on August 24, 2014 in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

A “Fun” Solution? Really?

These changes have been met with both praise and criticism. But maybe this isn’t as formal as we think. Deptford Township Little League President Don Bozzuffi spoke to 6ABC, WPVI-TV about this new rule change.

“The main purpose is not for them to be able to call a baseball game, but for them to see what’s going on out here and it’s not that easy,” said Bozzuffi.


Here’s My Take, As A Former Umpire

If you didn’t know this about me, before working in radio, I was a long time little league umpire (that’s me in the picture right above here). I was an umpire as my very first job at 16 years old. I umpired Little League (as young as eight years old) all the way up to high school summer league games.

I did this job on and off for about eight years. It is one of the most difficult jobs I’ve ever had. The game moves so quickly, pitches come in fast, plays are bang-bang, you can’t be everyone at once as an official.

On top of the speed of the game, then you’ve got the parent factor. I can’t begin to tell you how many angry parents I’ve dealt with. Let me make TWO things clear here…

  • I am closer to the play, so I probably saw it better than you did
  • I do make mistakes, it’s true, but it’s part of the game

These are important to keep in mind. Some of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with would simply give me a look, I give one back, and they know I know I missed it, that’s all. They know that this is part of the game!

Final Word

You kid is not in the major leagues, this is supposed to be fun!

Coaches are volunteers, the players are kids and the umpires are human, remember that.

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