Show-Me Sportsmanship: "Let your kids enjoy the game"

An altercation between a parent and a teenage umpire Saturday after a young children's Show-Me State Games baseball game has Show-Me Games officials calling on parents, coaches and officiators to promote good sportsmanship.

"It's just a matter of putting it in the right perspective," Ken Ash, the executive director of the Show-Me State Games, said.

"These games are supposed to be fun, they are the statewide get undone, I guess like this person did, I don't really understand it but we don't want it to happen here in the games and we won't tolerate it."

Both Ash and Randy Lock, the Umpire in Charge at the Show-Me State Games, say altercations like Saturday's are rare.

"Do fans go beyond the cheering sometimes... and yell at umpires or maybe coaches or other fans? That does happen at times," Lock said.

"But to the extreme it went Saturday night that is extremely rare."

Lock tries to prepare the umpires to deal with rowdy crowds.

"The biggest thing that I tell all umpires, and I've been told in the past too, is you never turn around and address the fans," he said.

"When you turn around and address one, you're look at 10-50 of them looking right there at you. And that's not a safe thing."

Lock advises that the umpires go to the coaches to address fan problems, rather than the fans themselves.

Ash says the games overall try to promote good sportsmanship through positive reinforcement.

"We give out sportsmanship awards in every sport and then we have a sportsperson of the year award that's really prestigious," Ash said.

But it's also up to the parents.

"Just enjoy the game, let your kids enjoy the game, that's what it's all about. I assure you you're probably embarrassing your son or daughter, whichever it is, more than you are helping them," Lock said.