Leagues vary on enforcement

Tim Willert

When considering a sport for his two children, one of the things

Robert DeRosa found appealing about soccer was the amount of control

referees have over a game.

"If a parent is being abusive, the referees stop the game and

suspend play until the parent leaves," DeRosa said Thursday. "If a

player gets a red card he gets kicked out and cannot play the

following game."

DeRosa, a former American Youth Soccer Organization administrator

in Glendale, believes Little League baseball should adopt the same

type of control.

"I don't think Little League Baseball enforces it enough," DeRosa


Dave Ritchie oversees District 16 Little League, which includes

seven leagues in Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta and Sunland-Tujunga.

All but one of the leagues has an existing code of conduct in

place, but enforcement is discretionary and discipline varies,

depending on the infraction, Ritchie said.

"Some umpires will laugh if you tell them they need glasses," he

said. "But there are other umpires out there who are very sensitive

and will react differently."

"If a parent uses profanity, more than likely they will be asked

to leave, Ritchie said. "Umpires have that authority, but they don't

use it very often."

Ritchie endorses the Glendale Sports Accord -- a set of guidelines

and principles designed to promote sportsmanship and build character

-- but said the people who need it probably won't take it to heart.

"It's usually a select few who can't control themselves and they

are typically the ones who are most likely to cause trouble," he


The Glendale Unified School District requires coaches and players

to sign conduct codes, but not parents, according to Bob Canfield, a

former Crescenta Valley High athletic director who acts as a liaison

between the district and school athletic directors.

Canfield also endorses the sports accord, which includes a

training program for coaches.

"We don't have any mandates for parents at this time," Canfied

said, adding that coaches typically go over spectator behavior with

parents before the start of a season.

"We've got good people out there teaching good things, but there's

always room for improvement," he said.

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