Fines for fans

Fines for finicky fans

A comprehensive look of the day's local, regional and national news, detailed events, late-breaking stories and weather updates are provided by the ABC 6 News Team.

(ABC 6 News) – Parents and students a staple of high school and youth sports, cheering on their hometown team.

But it’s situations like the one during a youth hockey tournament last fall that has lawmakers moving forward to keep them from happening.

“I don’t do it for the money. We don’t do it for the money. I do it to give back,” said president of the Gopher State Officials Association Matt Olson.

Now, HF 3352, if passed, would not only have those unruly fans tossed out of the game, but also slapped with a $1000 fine.

“We’re not talking about “bad call referee,” or “they make fun of my eyesight all the time” or they might say “coach, why did you put him in?” That’s not what we are talking, about we are talking about that line that gets crossed,” said DFL Rep. John Huot.

Huot, who has been an official for 20 years, is carrying this bill in the Minnesota house.

Officials would report these incidents to the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission and from there disciplinary action would take place.

“You know, you think that we are so far apart politically, but everybody that’s been at a youth activity and so this they go I get it and yeah we got to do something about it,” said Rep. Huot.

— RELATED: Mason City face referee shortage and possible solution

Some say officials’ shortages are partially due to how they are treated by fans. Matt Olson says the shortage has been impacting game scheduling as well.

“Everybody knows Friday night lights. Well, we’re going to Thursdays, we’re going to Saturdays. Basketball, we are doing games on Mondays, they are doing Wednesdays when, you know, Wednesdays a day you really didn’t do anything,” said Olson.

Huot says this bill is about taking attention away from the fans and putting it back on the players.

“The field the playing surface, the debate stages the dance area. That’s all about the kids. It’s all about their experience and making it positive,” said Huot.

The bill has a committee hearing on Tuesday and there is also a similar bill in the senate.