West Virginia lawmakers passed legislation to increase the penalties for those who attack officials and coaches. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin approved House Bill 2548 late last month. It will go into effect July 11.
While West Virginia was already among the 21 states that had legislation addressing assaults on officials, under the previous law, assault and battery penalties against officials were misdemeanors with small fines and limited jail time.
The new law requires the person convicted of assault on an athletic official (including sports officials and coaches) to be fined not more than $500 or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined. If the person is convicted of battery on an athletic official, the penalty would jump to a fine of not more than $1,000 or jail confinement of not more than 12 months, or both a fine and jail time.