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Attending Games While Following Rules and the Law

May 6, 2010
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I have been going to professional baseball games for 28 years, probably having been to  close to 100 games in my life.  Add to those numbers a bunch of professional football, baskeball, hockey and soccer games.  In all this time, I’ve never been Tased, arrested, ejected or otherwise removed from the stadium  (true, I almost got into an altercation with visiting fans at the Philadelphia Union soccer game last month, but that’s neither here nor there). 

And you know why none of that stuff has happened to me?  Because I follow the rules, stay in my seat and don’t trespass onto the playing field.  I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but it just seems like common sense not to interfere with the ongoing game.  It’s the equivalent of someone coming in off the street into our law offices to interrupt our work or read our privileged documents.  That behavior is asking for trouble. 

Having just attended a Phillies game in the last week, I have a ticket stub, and here’s what the back of the ticket reads:

  • Holder will comply with all applicable rquirements of law and the rules and regulationis of The Phillies and Major League Baseball.

Violation of the rules “will result in its termination without refund and holder’s removal from the premises, in addition to any other civil and criminal remedies.” 

That seems pretty clear cut.  You do something that violates the law (like trespassing onto the field), and you run the risk of  getting thrown and getting prosecuted criminally.  So there’s no specific mention of the possibility of being Tasered, but hey, if you trespass and then run from the police, you’re lucky if that’s all you get.  These days, you don’t know if someone interfering is an elusive but harmless 17 year old, a 34 year old who was possibly under the influence of drugs, a father and son armed with a pocket knife attacking a base coach, or a drunk looking to attack an umpire after there had already been fans who ran onto the field.  

Rather than waiting to ascertain the threat level, it makes more sense for police and security to better be safe than sorry.  If someone enters the field of play but then gives themself up quickly, then fine, throw out and arrest the perpetrator.   But if the person looks to run around and evade security, that person is fair game to be taken down and apprehended, so long as reasonable means are used.  

It’s good that the Phillies have clarified their security measures so that its own security will take care of trespassers and will call the police if necessary.  Still, it would be better if we, as fans, simply used common sense and follow the rules and the law.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 15, 2010 4:58 am

    It’s good that the Phillies have clarified their security measures so that its own security will take care of trespassers and will call the police if necessary.

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