Umpire Matt Kano struck by bat during state tournament

The swelling was immediate, but Matt Kano is hanging tough. The home plate umpire was struck by a flying bat during the Kailua-Kaiser consolation game at the state tournament on Friday morning. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser

Home plate umpire Matt Kano was hit by a thrown bat during the third inning of the Kailua-Kaiser consolation game Friday.

The batter had started running toward first base, flung his bat back toward the dugout — roughly 15 feet — and it hit the umpire on the side of the head. It was a fly ball toward left-center and Kano had left the plate area to track the ball when he was struck. He was treated by trainers and remained standing the whole time. The player apologized to Kano.

Umpire Matt Kano suffered a head injury when a Kailua batter flung his bat toward the dugout during consolation play with Kaiser. Kano was treated by trainers immediately and has been replaced. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser

This is the second time a Kailua player has flung a bat at head level in that direction after swinging. The first time, in the Kailua-Maui game on Wednesday night, nobody got hurt. Kano was then treated here in the press box. No blood, but swelling on the right side of his head was immediate, the trainer said. He’s talking. “The air conditioning in here feels good,” he said.

The game has been delayed as officials and the umpire crew determines what happens next. The swelling is concerning, even though he has kept the trainers laughing. Tough ump for sure. Though the bruise is higher, by his temple, Kano said it is his jaw that is having a problem. He was scheduled to work in the state semifinals tonight.

Trainers iced his injury and he will be taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure.


  1. Falcon Future May 10, 2019 1:00 pm

    This is inexcusable for the Kailua coaches and players. It is quite obvious that the Kailua boys are trotting up the line with their bat in hand and then flinging it back in frustration. I’ve seen it first hand. As stated in the story above, this is not the first time Kailua has did this. It is not a complete exaggeration to say that somebody can die if a bat hits them in the wrong spot.

  2. Falcon Future May 10, 2019 1:13 pm

    Best wishes to Mr. Kano. I hate to think what would happen if one of the old-timers was behind the plate.

  3. ILH May 10, 2019 2:02 pm

    Bush League shenanigans.


  4. Someone May 11, 2019 7:41 am

    I can tell that people will take this the wrong way so as someone who was there and has seen the whole thing he did not do it on purpose. The umpire was just there in the way he didn’t see him and flung the bat. The coaches immediately asked if he did it on purpose and were generally worried for the umpire, he said he did not do it on purpose.

  5. Beenaround May 11, 2019 8:31 am

    This falls directly on the coach, who has no discipline, and the parents. The father of the bat thrower yelled “At least you hit something”, exactly why the player do those things.
    This was an accident and the player did not intentionally try to hit anybody, but that’s exactly why you drop the bat.

  6. Matt's Friend May 11, 2019 9:41 am

    Update on my buddy Matt. He has no concussion, no broken bones, and got no apology from anyone (inspite of what’s reported above).

  7. ILH May 11, 2019 7:48 pm


  8. May 11, 2019 9:50 pm

    You stated the player FLUNG THE BAT, end of story. Intentional or not, bats get thrown out of frustration. Absolutely no discipline. The coaches asked the player if he did it on purpose? Really? What player is gonna say “yes coach I did it on purpose”? Sad that an umpire could have been horribly injured because of recklessness that went unpunished.

  9. Shawnee Lyman May 12, 2019 1:28 am

    I am a Kaiser parent, and was AT the game and witnessed the whole incident. The player did not intentionally hit the umpire. It seemed he MAY have flung his bat out of frustration, but he had no way of knowing the umpire was in the path of it. The player IMMEDIATELY apologized to the umpire, showing sincere concern as he was on his way back to his dugout. I, personally, saw no malice in the player’s actions. I’m sorry the umpire was injured (but luckily not seriously), and I am sure the player learned a valuable lesson.

    P.S. I wish you all would have the courage to use your real names when leaving comments. 🤷🏽‍♀️

  10. Say What May 12, 2019 3:44 pm

    @FalconFuture – Kailua is not even close to the only team who does this.

    @Matt’sFriend – Glad he’s ok. I don’t even know why his injury is a story. – You realize it is the umpires who need to control the throwing of bats? Frustrated or just hit a grand slam, throwing a bat is throwing a bat period. If umpire can enforce cheering from the dug out this season then I’m sure the flying of bats are well within their control too.

  11. Falcon Future May 13, 2019 7:49 am

    @Say What, nobody said Kailua is the only team who does this, and just because other teams do it does not make this excusable. However, Kailua is the only team that got caught doing this two times on the big stage, at the state tournament. Kailua is also the only team that is now publicly documented as injuring an umpire because of this reckless action. There is no denying those facts.

    Accident or not, an injury happened. Something needs to be done. The HHSAA should make a new rule (player is ejected from game for throwing a bat, intentional or not). If it becomes known as the “Kailua Rule” so be it because everyone will know what it means now.

  12. Paul Honda May 14, 2019 7:35 am

    Before he went back to the dugout, the player came to Matt and talked to him (on the field) after he was injured. He put his hand on Matt’s shoulder as he checked on him. Hoping Matt is doing better.

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