Parent body slams referee at youth football game

Parent body slams referee at youth football game

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE/CNN) - A youth football team in Albuquerque, NM, has been banned after a parent body-slammed a referee.

A penalty flag led to a push from a player. When the referee pushed back, the dad crossed a line that any responsible sports parent knows should never be crossed.

It all happened as cellphone cameras rolled and the 13-year-old football players looked on.

Parents say the fight happened in the middle of a Young America Football League game on Saturday between Rio Grande and Atrisco Heritage.

"Unfortunately, some people get too excited for these events and they decide to go on to the field and take matters into their own hands," said Simon Drobik, an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department.

As with any youth sports league, YAFL has a code of conduct where parents pledge to control their emotions and set a good example.

YAFL released a statement saying someone from the Rio Grande team violated those policies and because of that, the entire team is banned for the season.

According to police, they are being called to incidents like this more and more often.

"I think nationwide, you're seeing this behavior nationwide, not just Albuquerque," Drobik explained.

The New Mexico Activities Association, which does not oversee YAFL, said aggressive acts like these are scaring away referees.

"It's disappointing to see something like that occur at a youth sporting event. And unfortunately, it's one of those things, and other sportsmanship issues, that are causing the shortage of officials," said Dusty Young with the NMAA.

Parents also feel for the kids who are forced to see that kind of behavior.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office responded to the fight. No arrests have been made, but it's still investigating.

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