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LEBANON, Ind. — You’ve been hearing about a referee shortage in many different youth sports in Indiana and you know that baseball has been no exception to that problem.

The IHSAA has touched on the fact that they are dealing with an umpire shortage for high school baseball games. They mainly blame the pandemic for the shortage with so many regular umpires opting out of this season.

However, in Lebanon the town’s Little League organization is fed up with heckling from fans, parents, and even coaches. So much so that they have decided to crack down and crack down hard.

“We’ve been getting several complaints that coaches, parents, and spectators are being very rude to our umpires,” said Lebanon Little League president Brian Tandy in a Facebook post. “I am sick of hearing about it.”

Tandy put his foot down that from now on if anyone is “caught yelling at, threatening, or heckling in any manner to an umpire, coach, or board member” you will not be allowed to return to a Little League event for a whole year.

Brian Barlow is a soccer referee in the college ranks and is the founder of Offside, which is a Facebook page dedicated to stories from across the country that show bad behavior by parents and fans at youth sporting events. He is applauding the move by Lebanon Little League.

“There has to be a level of accountability, there has to be,” he told WISH-TV. “You are going to lose the privilege, it is a privilege, it is a privilege, to get to watch your kid play youth sports in America and if you lose your right because you can’t behave responsibly and appropriately, then yeah I think the punishment should be severe.”