Unexpected opposition to a bill which would increase the penalty for assaulting an athletic official prompted leaders in the Iowa House to call a “time out” last night. Debate on the bill was suspended, but may resume today. One critic, Representative Minnette Doderer of Iowa City, said the bill was unnecessary. She asked if someone has been injured or if officials were just “scaredy cats.” Doderer says officials have to expect to be called names from time to time.Others, like Representative Dave Schrader of Monroe, said youngsters participating in athletic events should not be subject to the tougher penalties if they take a swing at a ref in a moment of Little League pique.Representative Pat Murphy of Dubuque said his experience as an umpire in leagues for eight to 14-year-olds taught him kids all too often mimic adults. He said he had kids who would kick dirt on him after seeing a coach do so.
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