MITCHELL, S.D. – Stiffer penalties will be enforced for players who verbally abuse umpires at amateur baseball games this season. The newly enacted rule was voted on Sunday during the annual amateur baseball winter meeting in Mitchell. It now states that players who verbally abuse umpires will receive suspensions of one to five league, district or state tournament games, depending on when the offense occurred. Previously, players who were found to have verbally attacked an umpire were given a suspension of one to five games that could be served in league or non-league. In other news from the winter meeting, both Classes A and B, will play with wood bats again this year. Last year was the first time in several years Class B amateur baseball players were forced to use wooden bats in all competition. Class A amateur players have always used wooden bats. And, Randy Sabers, of Salem, was selected to replace Gary Croon as the District 4 commissioner. Scott Healy, of Aberdeen, was tabbed as the new Class A commissioner, replacing Mike Held. Brock Greenfield, of Clark, was reappointed as District 1 commissioner and Herb Sundall, of Kennebec, was reelected as the state secretary and treasurer.
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