Evans: Bill On Assaulting Officials Needed

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa  Senate Judiciary Committee has taken up a bill to boost the penalty for assaulting a referee or umpire.

Senator Lynn Evans of Aurelia is a licensed official for football, basketball, baseball, softball and track. He’s never been assaulted over a call he’s made, but Evans says the escalation of these kind of incidents is discouraging people from becoming a sports official.

Troy Scheuermann of Farmington is urging lawmakers to make this move for sports officials. Scheuermann, who’s a basketball referee, cites what happened after he and a partner volunteered to referee a three-on-three tournament for fifth graders in Fort Madison last March.

Fort Madison’s newspaper has reported that a Burlington man was arrested and charged with a serious misdemeanor.

Senator Nate Boulton of Des Moines says police in Des Moines had to be called this past year after an umpire was assaulted at a slow pitch softball game.

Senator Mike Bousselot of Ankeny says the bill will draw a line of protection for sports officials.

The bill has cleared a Senate subcommittee and is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Twenty-three other states have already made assaulting a sports official a felony.

Senator Evans was elected in 2022, and represents Osceola, O’Brien, and Buena Vista counties, as well as a portion of Cherokee county, including the city of Cherokee, and a portion of Clay county, including the city of Spencer.


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