Wisconsin bill makes harassing sports officials a crime


MADISON, Wis.- Harassing sports officials in Wisconsin would be a crime punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and nine months in jail under a new bipartisan proposal.

The bill introduced this week in the state Legislature is designed to protect referees and other officials from violent fans.

There have been an increasing number of incidents where fans have attacked officials in Wisconsin and across the country.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association and other sports organizations sought the proposal amid increasing incidents of referee harassment. They see the bill as a way to help stem a drop in people willing to be officials.