The National Federation of State High School Associations approved a new rule that requires umpires to give baseball coaches a warning before ejecting them from games.
Previously, umpires were given the freedom to determine whether they would issue a warning or go straight to ejecting a coach or restricting him or her to the bench/dugout. The new rule will be enforced beginning with the 2016 season.
From the NFHS:
“The new rule change has initiated a penalty progression, starting with a written warning, restriction to the bench/dugout and subsequent ejection from the contest,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee.
The changes to Rule 3-3-1 Penalty will help to de-escalate contentious situations and allow coaches to dictate their status in the game by their behavior, Hopkins said.
“A successful game official practices preventive officiating, and this new penalty progression will allow the official to issue penalties that give the coach the opportunity to remain in the game and teach his players.”
Another change approved by the NFHS Board of Directors states that a coach, player or any other personnel may not “have any physical contact, spitting, kicking of dirt or any other physical action directed toward an umpire,” according to a news release.
“Bad behavior that is being imitated from other levels has no place in education-based athletics and will not be tolerated,” Hopkins said in the press release. “If we are to continue to use sport to teach life lessons, then we have to ensure that appropriate behavior and conduct are modeled from those adults in the role of coach/teacher.”
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