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New consequences set for abuse towards referees

Posted at 6:18 PM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 21:16:37-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Whether you’re a player dribbling or kicking a ball on the field, stadium or court, or a coach on the sidelines, or perhaps a spectator cheering the team on, there are new guidelines for games that the Texas Association of Sports Officials has set.

TASO is hoping to protect sports officials like umpires and referees from physical and verbal abuse by setting some new consequences.

Similar to baseball with three strikes, if a school has more than three physical or verbal abuse incidents, TASO’s presidents council will review them.

“If necessary, they will send a letter to that school that they have a certain amount of time to change the culture,” Joel Hilliard, TASO’s Vice President of the football division said.

Hilliard said if the school doesn’t respond, teams could lose the privilege of playing home games for any sports.

“If they don’t respond or if their response is not satisfactory, TASO could take the measures of removing all sports officials from all sports for that school for a minimum of one year,” he said.

However, Hilliard said TASO does not have the power to suspend players from the season, but can disqualify them from a game.

“But it’s up to the individual districts and the UIL to determine if that player is out for any type of suspension,” he said.

He added they get reports every week and review hundreds a year.

Corpus Christi Independent School District senior director of athletics Brenda Marshall said CCISD implemented the rules last year.

“Just because you buy a ticket doesn’t entitle you to be able to say and do whatever you might want to do at a stadium or inside a gym.”

She said the guidelines lowered abuse at games because players and spectators can face a minimum of a two year suspension from games.

“Anyone that we do ask to leave the stadium, we’re going to get the information of who they are and what school they might be affiliated with because like I say, they’re going to have to meet with the principal of that school,” Marshall said.