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TORONTO (Reuters) - Spectators at lacrosse games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, have been barred from games after a string of complaints from referees about abusive parents, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp reported on Wednesday.
The CBC's website said the Red River Lacrosse Association, which governs the sport in Winnipeg and the surrounding area, had received numerous reports of abusive behavior aimed at game officials, some whom are as young as 16.
Referees in the league, whose players range in age from six to 21 years, have been threatened with physical violence and have even been followed to their car after games, the CBC reported.
The behavior of some spectators has been so bad the league has had a hard time getting referees to officiate some lacrosse games -- a sport known for its often rough-and-tumble play.
"We have to do something, otherwise I'm not going to have officials going to games," a league official was quoted as saying. "And we feel the game is for the kids, not for the parents."
Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Rob Wilson