Kentucky Passes Bill Allowing Teens to Referee

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Teenagers under 14 can referee youth sports leagues under a bill that passed the Kentucky General Assembly on Monday.

State law does not allow anyone under 14 to work. The law has various exceptions, including teens working for their parents or mowing the lawn. This bill adds youth referees to the list of exceptions.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Ryan Quarles of Georgetown, said the issue came up after an incident in Scott County last year where an off-duty police officer was charged with harassing a 13-year-old referee at a youth soccer game. The officer later pleaded guilty, paid a fine and apologized to the boy.

Quarles said about 20 percent of youth sports referees are younger than 14.

The bill will become law unless Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear vetoes it.

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