New NJ little league rule: If you confront the ump, step behind the plate yourself

A New Jersey little league is telling unruly fans to put up or shut up.

The Deptford Township Little League has instituted a new rule this season to combat the number of arguments between fans and umpires. Spectators who confront umpires during a baseball game must umpire three games before they are allowed back to watch, according to USA TODAY.

This comes in the wake of two volunteer umpires quitting from mid- to late-April, the league’s president Don Bozzuffi told WPVI.

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“They’re being abused, they don’t need that … So they’re walking away,” he said to the TV station.

Parents arguing with umpires is by no means a new phenomenon, but combativeness appears to be worsening in many areas. Bozzuffi said that the goal of the rule is not for parents to start calling baseball games but instead for them to see how difficult of a job it is.

For safe measure, if the rule does force a spectator to call the game, a certified umpire will also be at the game to ensure calls are correct.

Maybe fans will see that their usual vantage point from the stands is not as accurate as the one of an umpire behind the plate.

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“They think that the call was bad, which always amazes me that they can see a strike better over there than the umpire can one foot in back of them,” Bozzuffi said.

WPVI reported that people generally liked the rule. Bozzuffi said the kids are excited about it, and even some parents are looking forward to its implementation.

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Story originally appeared on High School Sports