'Don’t attack the umpires': Parents warned to cool tempers at high school game

FOX 35 News is looking into violence toward umpires at high school baseball games.

After hearing complaints about angry parents, one of our crews went to check things out at a playoff game between Osceola High School and Harmony.  Parents, coaches, and umpires all told us, the amount of anger coming from people in the stands at high school games is getting worse. 

Brian Wright, who used to coach little league ball, told us he’d never want to be an umpire. "It’s a thankless job," said Wright. "You’re putting yourself out there and getting criticized nonstop."

But fan interaction, including yelling at refs, is part of any sports match.  So when do things cross a line? 


Florida umpire says angry parent knocked him out cold: 'Maybe tomorrow somebody gets killed, then what?'

A Florida parent was arrested Wednesday for allegedly punching an umpire during a baseball game at Liberty High School in Kissimmee, deputies said. 

Brett Palmi, who coached high school baseball in the past, and whose son was playing in the game FOX 35 went to Thursday, said the line is simple: Don’t attack the umpires personally.  "Any time a derogatory comment is directed toward a player, an umpire, a coach – that’s not happening," he explained. 

Umpire Rei Mora agrees with that standard.  "I will not accept degrading the opponent, I will not accept making disparaging remarks, racial slurs."

Mora was back on the field, after being attacked by a parent at a previous game. He says the reason why is simple: he loves his job, and he loves the game. "It’s not that I’m getting rich, that’s for sure," said Mora. 

People selling tickets and people at the concession stand also said parents had been rude to them too. Osceola High won Thursday’s baseball game. That means they’ll go on to regionals.

If you’re there to watch them, remember to be respectful.