Youth football referee punched over call in Layton shares message

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LAYTON — A youth football referee is talking out, saying a participant punched him in the neck at a recreation final weekend, and he’s sharing a bigger message for fogeys in the youth football group. It’s the most recent reported incident of dangerous habits across the area in one weekend.

Nate Lewis mentioned he is been teaching and refereeing youth football video games for over a decade. For him, the love of the sport is de facto concerning the love for the youngsters.

He mentioned he enjoys “watching the youngsters rejoice successes and watching them develop and develop.”

The first group of youngsters he ever coached, Lewis mentioned, graduated highschool final yr. He mentioned he likes to look at them have enjoyable and succeed.

This season to date, Lewis defined noticing that keenness on the sidelines throughout youth football video games has been turning into stress.

“The emotion and the verbal assaults and the issues they’re saying are completely different. It’s extra private, and it is targeted extra on what call was made or wasn’t made. And I’m noticing that much more this yr,” he mentioned.

On Saturday, in Layton, Lewis recounted how he was refereeing a Ute Conference recreation, when he mentioned a 15-year-old participant was ejected from the sport for unsportsmanlike habits.

“I had talked about to him that he wanted to settle down and let the adults assist him. And his habits simply continued to escalate,” Lewis defined.

The participant mentioned he had calmed down, and Lewis mentioned, at that time, the grownup let the participant go.

“He took two steps and punched me,” Lewis mentioned, describing what occurred subsequent. “And then fortunately, different adults have been there and stepped in and have been capable of intervene and escorted him away from the sphere.”


He took two steps and punched me. And then fortunately, different adults have been there and stepped in and have been capable of intervene and escorted him away from the sphere.

– Nate Lewis


Lewis mentioned he was punched in the neck/throat space, and that the Ute Conference was nice in its fast response and couldn’t have dealt with the scenario any higher post-incident.

But he has issues about what led as much as it.

Lewis mentioned the sport had develop into emotional, and referees have been warning coaches that it was changing into emotional, however he didn’t see sufficient intervention to calm these feelings.

“It’s extra concerning the habits that led to this and the grownup interplay,” he mentioned. “As issues have been escalating, the adults might have stepped in and de-escalated it faster. As officers, we have been left on the market on our personal and there wasn’t loads of assist.”

KSL reported how a scenario boiled over in Herriman on Saturday at a Ute Conference Football recreation, additionally involving rising tensions. Witnesses mentioned it appeared coaches and oldsters rushed the sphere. A pair attending a unique recreation to look at a grandson play mentioned they noticed punches thrown and a 3rd witness described the battle as a “brawl.”

A video despatched to KSL by two sources who needed to stay nameless exhibits everything of the battle. Adults are seen working onto the sphere after a referee’s call. Several extra begin sprinting onto the sphere, after which individuals begin pushing one another with arms flailing in some instances. At one level, a crowd of individuals is pushing one another round with referees caught up in the chaos.

People are screaming profanities, as different adults try to interrupt up the instigators and transfer individuals away from one another.

The Ute Conference investigated the battle and reviewed footage of the sport. On Monday, the group decided that no punches have been thrown and no brawl ensued, however that coaches and oldsters have been on the sphere “appearing in an unruly and unsportsmanlike method.”

“The UC will act swiftly with ejections and suspensions for violating our code of conduct and guidelines of civility. Unfortunately, individuals ought to by no means act like this at any sporting occasion, particularly a 9-year-old football recreation,” Ute Conference Executive Director Jeff Gorringe wrote in a press release.

As far because the incident with Lewis in Layton, Gorringe wrote in a message that they won’t focus on conditions that pertain to minors.

“We don’t condone dangerous habits of any form and can take care of it appropriately,” he wrote.


The volatility in the mother and father and the coaches is the place this begins. It’s about coaches serving to us management the sidelines, and oldsters realizing if you cannot be there to help and cheer in your kids, then there’s one thing to be checked out there.

– Nate Lewis


The incident in Herriman, paired with what Lewis skilled, is why he is urging mother and father, coaches and different adults at youth football video games to not gas tensions or let feelings escalate.

He mentioned the youngsters are having enjoyable and seeing feelings off the sideline and feeding off of it. He firmly believes that sideline habits is what can set off conditions just like the one he ended up in with the participant.

Lewis is asking mother and father to do their finest to give attention to the sport and never feelings across the recreation.

“The volatility in the mother and father and the coaches is the place this begins,” he mentioned. “It’s about coaches serving to us management the sidelines, and oldsters realizing if you cannot be there to help and cheer in your kids, then there’s one thing to be checked out there,” he mentioned.

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Lauren Steinbrecher

Lauren Steinbrecher is an Emmy award-winning reporter and multimedia journalist who joined KSL in December 2021.

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