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Monday, May 06, 2013

The Medical Dangers of Being a Referee, Umpire, or Athletics Official

In Utah, it was recently announced that Ricardo Portillo was killed due to a brain injury suffered after being punched in the face a week prior by a 17-year-old soccer player who was upset at being issued a penalty in the game. Unfortunately, refereeing can sometimes be a very dangerous activity. Here are 9 other examples highlighting the medical dangers of being a referee, umpire, or athletics official. As you will see, these types of deaths are unfortunately not new.

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1. In an eerily similar situation, another soccer referee (Richard Nieuwenhuizen) was killed by three teenage soccer players (ages 15, 16, and 16)  who attacked him with punches and kick during a game.

2. In 2012, soccer referee, Isaac Mbofana, was bludgeoned to death with a log by a fan after making an off sides call during a match.

3. In 2012, a 75-year-old German track and field official (Dieter Schmidt) died when a javelin struck him in the throat as he measured the throw of a competitor.

4. In 2010, a Swedish referee, a 62-year-old ice hockey referee was killed when hit in the back of the head/neck by a hockey puck.

5. In 1998, a 33-year-old basketball referee, Greg Vaughn, was beaten to death over a bad call.

6. In 1982, boxing referee, Richard Green committed suicide months after refereeing a match in which a South Korean Boxer named Duk Koo Kim was killed by Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini after a barrage of punches were unleashed in the third round, followed by devastating punches as the 4th round began. Most people believe the referee committed suicide due to feelings of guilt about the death in the ring, but there is no definitive evidence to prove this.

7. In 1909, baseball umpire John Donaldson was killed when a foul tip hit him in the nose causing a blood clot on the brain.

8. In 1906, an umpire was killed by a lightning strike shortly after a baseball game ended.

9. In 1899, an 18-year-old baseball umpire (Frank McCoy) was killed by 19-year-old Same Powell after being struck in the head with a baseball bat after a disputed call.

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