Fans handle questionable officiating differently.
There’s the fan who ignores it and continues to play through it, there’s the fan who ignores it because it’s benefiting his team, and there’s the fan who lets the ref know exactly how poor a job he’s doing.
Then there’s youth softball tournament fans in Kingsport, Tennessee.
These fans combat questionable calls by engaging in combat themselves.
Tennessee Youth Softball Fight
North Carolina’s East Wilkes Cardinal Heat and Blue Ridge Explosion squared off in a 12-and-under USA Softball tournament. It was a regular weekend these softball teams have become accustomed to in the summer.
Bill and Fred got together for beer before the game. Sandy and Debbie got the snacks ready for the kids. Neil set up the camera. Carl cleared his throat and cracked his knuckles to prep for his piercing whistle.
All was good and well, until some of the Heat fans figured the umpire was giving the Explosion too many calls.
Things escalated quickly.
Yelling ensued, and the noise increased. Parents were screaming back and forth. These types of things would traditionally be handled in the parking lot. Seeing as the parking lot was on the other side of the Brickyard Park, they settled for the knoll by the first-base dugout.
Punches starting flying and the scene turned into chaos. Parents were throwing right hooks, left hooks, and kicks. Bystanders were throwing accessories to try to break up the brawl. Players made attempts to pull fighters away from the madness.
One of the bystanders, Bryan Sayers of Virginia, filmed the fight and posted it to Facebook. The video shows how quickly the gnarly softball game brawl erupted and diffused.
Kingsport Police responded to the conundrum, but no one claimed to be a victim nor needed medical help.
“It’s a shame this had to happen,” Todd McLemore, athletic program coordinator for Kingsport’s Parks and Recreation Department, told the Kingsport Times-News.
Tournament director Tina Gale confirmed the girls softball teams were disqualified from this tournament as well as future tournaments.
“I’ve done this for 10 years and never once had a physical altercation. This was the first and hopefully the last,” Gale said. “We run a very clean organization, we run good tournaments, but unfortunately it happened on our dime and we don’t take things like this lightly. We would never condone that kind of conduct.”
The viral video amassed hundreds of thousands of views on social media within hours of posting.
Going out on a limb here, but there could be some things more worthy of fighting for than a bad call at a 12-year-old girls softball tournament.