A new bill introduced in Minnesota could see increased penalties for bad behavior during youth sporting events.

Rep. John Huot from Roseville is the author of HF 3352, who has been a referee of youth sports for over 20 years,  is fighting for this new legislation saying in a Facebook post, "Youth activities are an extension of the classroom. My bill is about preserving a positive experience for students on the court, field, or stage. I'll continue to advocate for this legislation and Minnesota students this session."

The new bill aims to impose civil penalties on individuals who disrupt or interfere with youth athletic activities, establish a youth officiating account, and provide for grants.

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Here is a breakdown of what the new bill includes:

Violations and Penalties:

  • Penalties of up to $1,000 for intentionally disrupting a youth athletic activity, including entering the field of play or causing objects to disrupt the activity.
  • Assaulting or physically interfering with officials, game organizers, players, or coaches during the activity or in related settings is penalized.
  • Exemptions include officials, players, coaches actively participating, persons providing medical assistance, or actions to prevent emergencies.

Youth Officiating Program Grants:

  • Establishes a youth officiating account funded by collected civil penalties.
    Annual appropriations for the development of youth officiating programs or awarding grants for such programs.

Notification and Enforcement:

  • Requires notification to the commission by relevant authorities if a person is excluded from interscholastic athletic activities for related violations.
  • Officials, game organizers, coaches, or principals can notify the commission of violations.

Hearing Rights:

  • Individuals penalized have the right to a hearing if requested within 15 days of penalty notification.
  • Hearings are conducted by a non-commission employee appointed as a hearing officer, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

If passed in this legislative session, the law would go into effect starting in 2027.

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