Umpire recovering after being punched in the face at kids’ softball game

Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 10:54 AM EDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WLBT/Gray News) – An umpire in Mississippi is recovering after being punched in the face following a softball game for 12-year-old children.

According to WLBT, Kristie Moore was filling in for an umpire who got sick. She has been calling games for 10 years.

During the game, the coach asked one of the athlete’s mothers to leave the game for excessive cursing. Instead of going home, the woman is accused of waiting to confront Moore after the game, punching her and then running away.

The mother, Kiara Thomas, was arrested and charged with simple assault.

Moore said some parents are out of control and make it harder and harder for umpires to do their jobs.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “The verbal abuse. And even now, the physical abuse now, at this point, and enough is enough.”

Moore, who finds umpires for tournaments in Mississippi, said it is difficult to find people willing to officiate the games.

“No one wants to listen to the verbal abuse and run the risk of what happened to me happening to them,” Moore explained.

Moore said most umpires do the job because they love the game and the kids, not for the money as they get paid $40 a game at most.

A bill was introduced in the legislature earlier this year that would make assaulting a referee or umpire a felony as aggravated assault. That bill, however, died on the calendar.

Moore said she hopes that, after this, lawmakers will take a second look.

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