Parents behaved so badly this week at a T-ball championship game in Eastern Kentucky that city officials have amended the rules of play for 5- and 6-year-old games.
Video of a massive brawl amongst parents at the game was posted online. The video shows more than a dozen adults on the baseball field, shouting obscenities at each other.
The fight was so intense that the Stanton Parks and Recreation Board on Tuesday announced that it will no longer keep score for T-ball games for 5- and 6-year-old players. The board also promised discipline for those who participated in the events.
The city also announced a new zero-tolerance policy for verbally assaulting umpires, referees, scorekeepers or any other game officials at any sports league hosted by the parks department.
Hours after everyone had been sent home, parents and coaches alike continued the dispute online, with many of them posting additional videos.
“I never touched anyone,” Jimmy Smith, one of the team’s coaches who appeared to be involved in the dispute, said in a Facebook post. “Yes, I was upset over a bad call, but I would never fistfight anyone in front of kids! I will stand up for my team 10/10 times, and you tell me one coach who wouldn’t?”
Steve Randall, the coach of the opposing team, messaged Smith, asking if they could make it up to the kids.
“You call me tomorrow and let’s schedule a time we can have both teams at the field and hand them their deserved trophy,” Randall said in the Facebook post to Smith. “What you did was wrong. What I did was wrong, and it was a disservice to the kids. We name the Rangers and Reds co-champions and be done with it.”
Smith said he hoped both teams could be honored.
“I hope there can be an award ceremony for both teams,” he told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “I’m done with all the negative comments. I’m not going through comments or any tags. I’m man enough to admit I made a mistake last night and share half the blame, and I will gladly shake hands and squash this whole ordeal.”
Stanton police sergeant Ian Morton said that his department is speaking with every witness that will talk, noting that charges are “possible.”
“We’re going to speak to everybody that we can, and if the (Powell) county attorney recommends charges, that’s what we’ll do,” he said.