LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – When Nick Prosser first saw the video of parents duking it out at a youth baseball game, he reacted just like most.
“My stomach dropped,” he said. “It’s a little disheartening, if nothing else, to watch a bunch of adults act like that.”
Prosser also worries what the now-viral video taken at a Westgate Elementary School field during a Bear Creek Junior Baseball game could do to his line of work.
“A lot of parents kind of ruin sports for kids,” he told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
Prosser is a co-owner of Mile High Umpires, a Colorado-based group that assigns umps to youth league games. Last weekend’s brawl apparently erupted over a controversial call made by the 13-year-old umpire, according to Lakewood police.
“We try to promote that this is a good job for kids,” Prosser said. “Then this is the kind of thing that goes viral. It makes our job a little more difficult recruiting younger kids.”
There is a great need for teenage umpires, Prosser explained, as many adults do not want to take the job with long summer hours. His hope is the out-of-control fight doesn’t tarnish what is ordinarily a fun job, even when mistakes are made.
“Umpires are going to make bad calls,” Prosser said. “We’re all human.”
Yet those bad calls don’t have to lead to bad parents.
“Parents need to understand that their kids aren’t going pro tomorrow,” Prosser added. “They need to let the kids play the game, that’s what it is. It’s not life or death. There’s a lot more important things than a game of baseball.”