‘Chaos broke out’: Parents’ argument turns into brawl at girls softball tournament

Video captured a brawl that broke out during a youth softball tournament.
Video captured a brawl that broke out during a youth softball tournament. Screenshot from Facebook

A brawl broke out among parents from opposing teams at a youth girls softball tournament in Tennessee — and the fight seemed to have resulted in consequences for the children, according to reports and video footage.

Video posted Saturday on social media shows adults kicking, shoving and punching each other on a lawn outside the Kingsport field while others rush to the fracas to try to break it up. Shrieks can be heard in the background. When the fight eventually dies down, an adult is seen ushering a crying girl in softball gear away from the scene.

USA Softball Tournament Director Tina Gale told WJHL that both teams were disqualified from the tournament following the brawl.

The teams — the East Wilkes Cardinals and the Blue Ridge Explosion — were both from North Carolina and are made up of players ages 12 and under, Todd McLemore, athletic program coordinator for Kingsport’s Parks and Recreation Department, told the Times News.

McLemore told the newspaper the Cardinals had won their game and were supposed to play the winner of a game between Blue Ridge and another team. There was some heckling over umpire calls favoring Blue Ridge, which led to some Blue Ridge parents walking over to confront Cardinal parents, he said.

Someone got pushed near the field, McLemore told the Times News, “and then all chaos broke out.”

Though it’s unclear when the video started recording, it appears to show a man in a blue shirt getting shoved and then falling down. A man in a gray shirt starts attacking someone before multiple people get involved.

Kingsport police filed a report on the incident, but no arrests were made, according to WJHL. Gale told the news station that both teams can’t play in any future tournaments. The league is still investigating.

No one was injured, the Times News reported.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Facebook video had gotten more than 400,000 views since it was posted Saturday. Commenters came down hard on the parents, saying they should be embarrassed and ashamed of their behavior. “...Poor kids watching their parents acting more childish than them,” one user said.

Others said they felt bad for the children, who ended up losing the opportunity to play because of the fight.

“It’s a shame this had to happen,” McLemore said, the Times News reported.

Ex-Major League Baseball player Mat Latos was ejected from a Can-Am baseball game in Little Falls, New Jersey, on June 9, after he sparked a bench-clearing brawl between the his current team, the New Jersey Jackals, and the Rockland Boulders.

Related stories from Miami Herald