Youth football team banned after parent body-slams referee

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Referee body-slammed during youth football game

A youth football team in Albuquerque, New Mexico has been banned after a parent body-slammed a referee.

Parents say a brawl broke out in the the middle of a Young America League game between Rio Grande and Artisco Heritage on Saturday.

Fans who were at the game say a player confronted the ref about a call, and then a parent completely lost his cool.

A flag on the play, then a push from a player, then a push back from a referee prompted a dad to cross a line while the 13-year-old football players looked on.

"Unfortunately, some people get too excited for these events and they decide to go on to the field and take matters into their own hands," Albuquerque police officer Simon Drobik said.

Like many youth sports leagues, YAFL has a code of conduct where parents pledge to control their emotions and set a good example to kids.

YAFL sent KRQE a statement saying that someone from the Rio Grande team violated policies and because of that the entire team is banned for the season.

"I think nationwide you're seeing this behavior, not just Albuquerque," Drobik said.

The New Mexico Activities Association, which does not oversee YAFL, says aggressive acts like these are scaring away referees.

"It's disappointing to see something like that occur at a youth sporting event, and unfortunately, it's one of those things that are causing the shortage of officials," activities association employee Dusty Young said.
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