Monday Kickball Newport Beach League : New Year Season Opening Day December 4th, 2017

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Having now taken the time to also read all of the rules over, there are a few I would like to point out that confirm my suspicions that the referee was not following any kind of established rules and instead simply did whatever he felt like doing.

First, our game ended up taking approximately 67 minutes to complete seven innings, but the rules clearly state under the "GAME DURATION" section that "All games are SEVEN innings or a time limit of FIFTY minutes, whichever comes first (see below for championship games). This includes the optional warm-up/grace period time." This is quickly followed in the rules by the lines, "All innings once started must be finished" and "No inning will begin with less than 5 minutes remaining." It is troubling to me that all three of these rules were broken in some way or another.

A fifty minute time limit was clearly and obviously broken despite our complaints at every possible interval. We advocated to end the game with the fourth innings stats when the lights went out in the bottom of the fifth to avoid having any unfinished innings. Again, our input meant nothing to the referee or other employee. And then the last line regarding when innings can and cannot be started was also clearly violated as the total game length was a full 34% longer than regulation and two innings were started after regulation time had ended. Once more, our complaints about the time meant absolutely nothing to the referee. However, the worst offense is regarding the hit made on our player.

It is very clearly stated in the rules under the "Base Running" heading, and should be known by every referee, that "Runners must make every effort to avoid contact with a fielder trying to make a play on the ball, otherwise they will be called out if interfering." It is also further reiterated under the "Strikes and Foul Balls" heading when defining what is an out, that "Any runner who interferes with a fielder trying to make a play on a ball is out. This includes unsportsmanlike conduct, yelling, heckling, or anything else a player might do to try to intentionally distract a fielder and may be grounds for ejection from the game."

So, any type on interference is an out (which wasn't called) and any unsportsmanlike conduct (like a lowered shoulder on a player attempting to catch a ball) is grounds for immediate expulsion from the game. And yet, for some inexplicable reason, neither of these protocols were followed. It also also elsewhere noted that, "Sportsmanship ALWAYS comes first" and "Any overly reckless, aggressive, or dangerous conduct may result in the player being ejected from the game." What kind of organization does not enforce its own rules, especially those regarding reckless play?

I was angry during the time all of this occurred and in sending my initial email. However, at this point I am frankly appalled at the gross negligence displayed by the referee and other employee present. I look forward to your response.


I was told by several friends who played in this league that they enjoyed it and generally had a good time. Having played different sports since six, earning seven varsity letters in high school, and being a veteran of several recreational basketball and softball leagues, I thought kickball would be a fun addition to add to my game roster.

However, after our first game tonight I can say that I am extremely disappointed with the way our game was handled. The situation was handled very poorly by your staff in several different regards, and I would consider it to easily be my worst experience with the management of a recreational league game.

First of all, the lights for all of the fields were shut off at around 8:45 due to negligence regarding the clock or timer and adjusting it for daylight savings time, which was all the way back on November 4, a full month ago. Our game was in the bottom of the fifth at this point. Because the lights were shut off and no one could manage to get ahold of anyone regarding the situation, two of our players left before someone was finally reached just after 8:50.

It was eventually communicated that the lights would be turned back on and that the game could continue, however, several members of our team (myself included) protested given that the length of time we would have to wait for the lights and then the game would be much longer than anticipated or expected. In response, we were told point blank, by the referee, "I don't care if you're worried about the time. I'm not worried about the time. We are going to finish playing even if it's inconvenient." Are you kidding me? By this point every other team on every other field had already left.

We protested that since every other team had finished playing already and the lead of the game hadn't changed for at least the prior inning that the game should end. The referee denied us with essentially the same response. Furthermore, we suggested we finish only the remaining inning because, again, it would be later than expected and we wanted to leave. The referee once more denied us any kind of say in our own situation and told us we would be playing seven innings no matter what.

By this point it is already 8:55, the lights are not on anywhere and to top it off we are told we will have to be changing fields. In the middle of a game. The lights finally came back on around 9:00 on the field we were relocated to and we take the field.

Soon after play begins another incident was handled poorly by the referee and other employee present (he had a small white dog). Attempting to catch a fly ball that was landing in the baseline between second and third, our shortstop was purposefully and aggressively run into by a player on the opposing team. It was not a friendly hit, as it appeared to me on first base that the runner had lowered his shoulder going in to the hit with malicious intent. The referee did nothing. Our player, having been knocked to his knees from the blow, was obviously not alright. Obviously angry that nothing was said about the hit, our player yelled at the opposing player and referee. He left the game immediately after the next out which ended the inning and was advised by several of our players to visit a hospital because he seemed so poorly and in pain by the time the game was finally ended--more on that now.

You would think that a player removing themselves from play from a game that was delayed, relocated, and started against our wishes would maybe trigger that the game should end, especially considering it was the end of an inning and the time was now 9:07 or 9:08. We again stated that it was late, the inning had been completed, and the game should be over. And again, we were instead denied by the referee.

We took the time then to finish the sixth inning, which again, considering the time (around 9:14 or 9:15) should have ended the game. Especially if you factor those additional fourteen or fifteen minutes of play into the time the lights shut off, approximately 8:45, which would put total game length at one hour. Again, we protested the game was running long, the time spent was equivalent to that of a full-length game, and we had a player who was injured by the opposing team. The referee did not even attempt to listen to our concerns or complaints at any stage up to that point, I do not know why we thought it would make a difference then. The game finally finished at 9:22, and even though we had been leading for every inning after the first, the other team bunted enough base hits to score the winning run.

If the time of the game had not been so questionable, had the referee had any sense of responsibility to everybody on the field I would not be upset about losing. It is something that happens when you play sports. However, the circumstances surrounding our game were handled so poorly that I can't help but feel offended that this referee is even allowed to officiate games.

I was excited to start in a new league for a new sport. However, my first impression was that of a complete failure on your end and I believe something should be done in recompense for how terribly everything was handled. Award both teams the win if you have to or schedule us for a run-off re-do game at a later date, but please do something to correct this for us. I would also go so far to ask that we never be scheduled a game with that referee if possible because I do not believe any of us believe he is a fair judge.

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