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Soon it could be illegal to yell at referees in Wisconsin

Posted at 11:07 AM, Dec 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 13:32:01-05

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is putting its support behind a new bill that would make yelling at referees a misdemeanor.

If this bill passes, it would be considered a crime for anyone to harass or intimidate a sports official with intent to influence them.

Harrassing, intimidating, striking, shoving, or kicking a sports official only warrants a fine right now. However, this new bill would make those offense punishable by up to 40 hours of community service in addition to possible counseling or anger management intervention.

“Responding to the national crisis as a result of the shortage of amateur and youth sport officials, we applaud and recognize the Wisconsin legislature’s bipartisan efforts to create protections for the men and women that officiate these events,” WIAA Executive Director Dave Anderson said.