Ohio may make assaulting a sports referee a felony


Sports officials of all levels – youth through high school – have two new best friends: state reps Joe Miller, D-Amherst, and and Bill Roemer, R-Richfield.

They introduced House Bill 208 on Monday to the House Rules and Reference Committee.

It’s a bipartisan effort that addresses the penalty for “assaulting a referee on the job or in retaliation for a prior incident.”

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This would be in line with current legislation that protects school administrators, teachers and bus drivers.

Ohio is playing catch up on its overdue nod to refereeing safety and acceptable spectator decorum.

At least 23 other states already have similar legislation, according to the National Association of Sports Officials.

Miller has been a basketball official for 20 years. “It’s important that we support our officials and send a message that physical confrontations are never an acceptable recourse,” he said in a release.

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