The epidemic of parents behaving very badly at youth sports events spread to Alabama, where a tight youth softball game for 14 and 15-year-olds led to a brawl involving both teams and parents of both squads, with a total of 40 people involved in violent clashes.
According to Mobile Fox affiliate WALA, the softball brawl began when a game between a team called Texas Street and Hillsdale was decided on a close play at third base. According to Texas Street coach Wayne Bowen, an unnamed player he had running bases was pushed by the Hillsdale third baseman, and responded by popping up as if squared for a fight.
By the time the dust settled, the brawl in question had ensnared at least 40 combatants, with players, coaches and parents all involved in a mass melee that quickly spiraled out of control.
Eventually the Mobile skirmish was snuffed out by police, but not until after a 32-year-old woman named Xylinda Pendleton was arrested for third degree assault for allegedly biting someone in the stomach.
Yes, the parent of a 14-year-old softball player allegedly bit someone in the stomach because of a close play at third base. If the world of youth and teenage sports hadn’t already gone completely mad, it clearly has now.
The teams compete in a city-sponsored league, and Mobile officials decided to ban both teams from competition for the remainder of the 2013 season in response to the fight. While that decision will directly affect him, one of the coaches involved was happy to praise the decision to eliminate the remainder of both teams’ seasons, calling it a “lesson” for both squads, all while standing by her players.
“Just for them to have to meet up with each other again and have to go through that again I would rather them not do that,” Hillsdale coach Wanda Bedgood told WALA. “It’s very unsportsmanship because that's one thing you are trying to teach the girls. You know, when they go up in high school or wherever they decide to play ball that don't take your attitude with you, leave it behind, but what was shown out here on the field is [what you take with you]. I think any school would actually want them playing ball for them.”