JEFFERSON, Ga. -- A heated dispute between coaches at a weekend girls’ softball tournament near Athens resulted in the ejection of two opposing coaches and the forfeiture of the tournament’s championship game, according to a Jackson County Sheriff’s Office report.
Deputies were dispatched about 9 p.m. Saturday to Lamar Murphy Park, where a tournament official said he had to physically restrain two of the men coaching in the girls’ 10-year-old league. The tournament was put on by a private tournament company and wasn’t part of any county league, said Jackson County Recreation Department Assistant Director Cathy Robinson.
One of the coaches, ejected by a 22-year-old tournament official, told the official, “It will take someone much bigger than you to make me leave.” The other coach grabbed a bat during the dispute, but did not directly threaten anyone, witnesses told deputies.
A deputy spoke to the coaches off the field, and one admitted to reacting inappropriately “in the heat of the moment.” The other coach said he became upset when opposing coaches loudly protested the age of a player on his team.
Robinson told the deputy she wanted the two coaches ejected for the duration of the tournament, at which point one of the teams forfeited the championship game. Both teams then left the field, according to deputies.
Robinson noted that only the two coaches were asked to leave the park, and it was the teams’ choice not to play the game.