CHINO - Dozens of children and parents again took to Ruben S. Ayala Park on Sunday to cheer on their teams in the Best of the Best youth football tournament just one day after a fight between adults brought the competition to a screeching halt.

"We were here for it," said Richard Aguilera, who sat bundled up against the cold as he watched the Covina Vikings take the field. "Ridiculous. I mean it's only a game."

Chino police donned riot helmets on Saturday afternoon when they received reports of a large brawl possibly involving 200 to 300 adults had broken out at the tournament.

According to Aguilera and other parents, though, the fight was actually between a handful of adults who may have been drinking.

"From what I knew, it was two or three guys against one of the parents," said Hazel Gunn, who also was cheering Covina on Sunday afternoon. "I can't say if alcohol was or wasn't involved because I didn't see it or smell it so I can't say one way or another, but I know it's against the rules to have it at the games."

However, another father, who didn't want to be identified, said the fight began when two women drinking from red plastic cups became belligerent with several parents from various visiting teams.

"These women said something to one of the fathers from Alhambra and when he responded to them, `Whatever,' one of the women got offended and told her husband," the father said.


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"I don't know what she told her husband, but from what I understand and saw, they kind of sucker-punched (the Alhambra parent.)"

Several adults at Ayala Park on Sunday said they saw a small group of men begin to attack a lone father.

"I know some of our guys ran over and began pulling people off someone," said Gunn. "Maybe that's why people thought the fight was bigger than it was."

Witnesses said most of the brawlers were from Covina.

"They're not supposed to have alcohol but they do it," Aguilera said. "Sometimes in the parking lot, but they do it sometimes."

With one game yet to be played Saturday, parents and team officials with the Alhambra Thunderbirds decided to leave the tournament, said one parent who did not want to be identified.

"It wasn't worth it to have the kids see that," the parent said. "It wasn't safe."

Despite first reports that identified the tournament as being affiliated with Pop Warner, parents and team officials said the Best of the Best Tournament has no such affiliation and aims to pull teams from across Southern California, San Diego.

"Sometimes parents get really emotional over games and sometimes the parents get more upset than the kids," said Gunn. "And it shouldn't be that way."

Neal Jerry, vice president of the Chino Pop Warner league, said there have been times when parents or other adults in the organization have begun to "get out of hand," but quick action by officials can help quell any potential violent outbursts.

"Adults and youth sports don't always mix very well. We've been lucky to have some really good people associated with our league at Chino Pop Warner," he said in an email exchange. "Setting the tone early really does make the difference. Football is an intense sport. We want the kids to play that sport and let mom and dad cheer for their kids in a positive way."

No arrests were made in connection with the brawl. Anyone with information on the brawl is asked to contact the Chino Police Department at 909-591-9874.


Reach Beatriz via email, call her at 909-386-3921, or find her on Twitter @IEBeatriz.