County police have charged seven teen-age girls with assault in connection with a brawl last month following a youth-league basketball game at Magothy Middle School.
Police also said that adult parents of players struck children from rival teams, and officials left open the possibility that further charges could be filed.
"We're not going to tolerate that kind of behavior," said EasternDistrict Sgt. Emerson Davis. "They have to learn that if they carry this beyond the confines of the court, they are going to be charged."
The brawl occurred after a Feb. 22 game between the Maryland CityMustangs and the Glen Burnie-based Gridiron Rebels.
Police and witnesses interviewed earlier this month said a group of Maryland City players ganged up on a 12-year-old Glen Burnie player in the hallway,which led to two parents nearly coming to blows.
The chairman of the Maryland City Recreational Council, Lance H. Sweigart, said one of his players was knocked down by an adult, hit in the face and needed several stitches to close a wound.
The game, which Maryland Citywon, 17-9, was nearly stopped several times because of rough play and unruly fans and ended with both teams suspended.
Davis said the situation was out of control.
"The players are young enough where someone should have taken control well in advance of this brawl taking place," he said. "Hopefully, we won't have a repeat performance."
The game was rough from the start, and made worse by a young Maryland City fan who taunted players from the sidelines, reports filed by the officials say.
After the game, Glen Burnie player Stephanie Hartman and the boy started yelling at each other on the court. Stephanie said she spit at the boy, who then ran away.
A short time later, in the hallway, Stephanie said, the boy spit at her and the boy's mother grabbed her. When she pulled away, she said, she was jumped by members of the Maryland City squad, who beat her and left her with a mild concussion.
Stephanie's mother, Angela Hartman, said she and the boy's mother nearly got into a fight.
The county Department ofRecreation and Parks, which sponsors the league, suspended both teams for the remainder of the season, a move that was criticized by GlenBurnie coach Dave Lanham.
Lanham said Stephanie should have been suspended for spitting at the boy, but the rest of his team should have been spared. He also criticized the referees for losing control ofthe game and not calling any technical fouls.
But police sided with recreation officials. Davis said players from both Glen Burnie andMaryland City were charged. All the girls were released to their parents.