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Proposed law increases penalties for assault against referees

They are called to officiate youth games all around the Greater Rochester area, yet nearly half of all referees and umpires say they’ve feared for their safety at those games.

The stress is so high that many are walking away from the profession.

“Right now, in nearly every sport, we’re struggling to cover our games,” said Pete McCabe, who has officiated several sports for decades.

He stood with a dozen other officials Tuesday to call out the behavior of parents and in support of new legislation to stiffen penalties for sideline violence.



“Sooner or later, someone’s going to get badly hurt or killed,” he said.

McCabe would know. He nearly died after officiating a football game in 2009. The helmet swung at his head by a player on the losing team broke every bone in his face.

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