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Umpire abuse: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Umpire abuse refers to the act of abuse towards a umpire, referee, or other official in sport. The abuse can be verbal abuse (such as namecalling), or physical abuse (such as punching). For example, Australian Football League spectators use the term "white maggot" (derived from their formerly white uniforms) towards umpires at games,[1] when they do not agree with an umpire's decision.

Umpire abuse has become quite common in sport, practiced by players, coaches and spectators, with one Australian Football league having half the tribunal cases heard about umpire abuse.[2] There have also been some high profile cases of abuse towards the umpires in sport, with one Australian football player suspended for life after striking an umpire,[3] and two New York Yankees players suspended for two weeks and fined, for acting aggressively towards a first base umpire.[4]

Notable cases

In 1996, Major League Baseball (MLB) player Roberto Alomar spat in umpire John Hirschbeck's face during a dispute. Alomar received a five-game suspension for the incident, but the punishment was served during the following season, and not the 1996 playoffs. MLB umpires, upset over the lack of an immediate suspension, threatened to go on strike before a federal judge prevented them from doing so.[5]

During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Angel Valodia Matos from Cuba kicked a referee in the face during a Taekwondo match. He was disqualified for taking too much injury time in the bronze medal match by referee Chakir Chelbat, before kicking Chelbat in the face. The referee required stitches after the attack. The World Taekwondo Federation has banned Matos and his coach from taekwondo competitions for life.[6]

Dealing with Umpire Abuse

Leagues and the like are trying to stop abuse towards umpires.

In Australian Rules Football, attempting to strike or striking an umpire, abusing or threatening an umpire, or disputing an umpires decision is a reportable offense, per the Laws of Australian Football. It is also possible to send a player off for up to the remainder of the game for abusing an umpire, however this is only usually practiced at amateur and junior level. There have also been other programs trailed, such as making players suspended for umpire abuse attend umpire training sessions.[2]

In cricket, the preamble to the Laws of Cricket state that it is not within the spirit of cricket to abuse an umpire, and to dispute their decisions.


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