August 9, 2011

Melee Ensues Following Little League Game

By - Kris Fletcher

Reports are beginning to surface in regards to an incident that took place last week in Sharpsburg, Maryland, where police had to be called because of a confrontation among parents and officials after a game between two 7-and-8-year-old Little League teams.

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Exactly what all happened and why isn't clear, but people who were there described a series of ugly moments that included:

- Racial and gay slurs directed at players.

- A slew of profanity, particularly by people trying to disperse an angry crowd of parents and league officials.

- A mother who was allegedly grabbed and pushed against a fence, causing an arm injury she later had examined at the hospital.

What's certain is that the scene started to get out of control, local police were called, and a Maryland state trooper showed up.

Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore said authorities received a call at about 8:15 p.m. that roughly twenty people were involved in a disturbance at the Little League field.

Boonsboro police Officer Shawn Faith said the initial report he got was of a fifty-person fight. When Faith and another Boonsboro officer arrived, he said things had cooled down, so they let the trooper handle the call.

It's unclear if a police report was actually filed however, because the responding trooper has yet to be reached for comment.

Some tension appears to have grown out of West End skepticism about getting a fair game at Sharpsburg. Manager Stevie Dillinger and several parents and grandparents said they thought the umpires made several calls to benefit the home team.

Sharpsburg won 13-9 to advance in the tournament, eliminating the West End team.

G.E. Ingram, the Sharpsburg league president, said the umpires who worked the game were qualified and had officiated plenty of other games in the past.

Following the contest, Nichole Valentine, the mother of a West End player, said she told a West End parent she wanted to find Sharpsburg's president and complain about the overall officiating. She said she ended up in a confrontation with a Sharpsburg parent who overheard her comment. As that unfolded, Valentine alleged that a man who umpired a previous game firmly grabbed and bruised her left arm, shoved her into a fence and used profanity while ordering her to leave the ballpark.

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Valentine also said people in the crowd used derogatory terms for homosexuals to describe West End's players, and others told the team to "go back to the ghetto."

Ingram said he was in the thick of things during and after the game, and that the allegations about the insults couldn't be true. Anyone making gay or racial slurs would have been immediately kicked out of the ballpark. "As president of the league, I wouldn't stand for it," he said.

The Sharpsburg Little League Code of Conduct, posted on the league's website, requires players, parents, coaches and managers to be respectful and good sports and not to use foul language.

Sounds like a lot of the folks that were in attendance don't have internet access...


  1. This is just crazy. Parents have got to learn to control their emotions in situations like this. These types of things are happening far too often nowadays. Gotta set a better example for the children.

  2. If someone made a racial or gay remark to one of my children, we'd be fighting. That is just totally uncalled for.

  3. This is just sad. What is wrong with these parents? Bad officiating or not, there's no need in this kind of stuff around children.

  4. Yeah, I basically do some kind of messed up Little League post every month or so. It's pretty disturbing.