Article and description of law protecting coaches and officials.
State Rep. and Travel Baseball Commissioner Froehlich introduces bills to protect umpires and coaches from fan rage:
Schaumburg, Illinois On January 15, 2004, Illinois State Representative Paul Froehlich introduced two bills that will add protection to umpires, referees and coaches by upgrading assault and battery of these officials to aggravated offenses. Rep. Froehlich had help drafting the bills from John Lawson, who is a Travel Baseball Commissioner for Schaumburg Athletic Association and a Police Sergeant, and from the Illinois State Crime Commission (ISCC).
HB 4024, Aggravated Assault to a Game Official or Coach, will add protection by making it a class A misdemeanor criminal offense to assault a game official or coach while they are participating in an organized game. HB 4023, Aggravated Battery to a Game Official or Coach, will add protection by making it a class 3 Felony to strike a Game Official or Coach while they are participating in an organized game. The bills prescribe both a mandatory fine and anger management treatment.
Rep. Froehlich and Commissioner Lawson believe that the abuse of referees and coaches is a growing problem through out the United States at every level of competition. "Parents and fans need to understand that sporting events are a game, nothing more than a game. The umpires and coaches are human,” said Lawson. “Even if they make a mistake, in the eyes of fans, these officials should never be threatened or attacked.”
Rep. Froehlich is optimistic that the General Assembly will be receptive to this legislation, which is supported by the Illinois State Crime Commission (ISCC). Referees in children's sporting leagues are often high school students, noted ISCC Executive Director Jerry Elsner. “These young officials should not have their well-being threatened by irate fans.”
Law Protecting Game Officials and Coaches
Passed March 24, 2004 by the Illinois Legislature, by a vote of 117-1:
Aggravated Assault to a game official – If a person verbally assaults a game official and/or coach, the charge has been upgraded from a Class C to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by 364 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Aggravated Battery to a game official – If a person strikes a game official and/or coach, and if found guilty, the penalty is up to 364 days in jail, $2,000 fine, and anger management classes.
Tag(s): Bylaws & Policies