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Problems Outside the Touchline

Problems Outside the Touchline

 

We all know that the general behavior of players, spectators, and coaches in Region 418 is excellent. In fact, it is fair to say the behavior is actually improving. However, once in a great while there may come a time where behavior may be an issue. Loud, obnoxious, profane language and criticism of players, coaches, and referees undermines the sportsmanship and developmental benefits of youth soccer. Left uncontrolled, it leads to referee abuse and assault as well as attacks on players, coaches, and other spectators. It is the number one reason referees stop officiating. What should you do when there is inappropriate behavior?

WHEN A SPECTATOR IS BEHAVING INAPPROPRIATELY

Listed are techniques in order from least to most intervention

  • Send a quick body-language message that you heard it and don’t like it.
  • As soon as possible, position yourself near the touchline and quietly request the coach deal with the spectator.
  • Stop the game for a general announcement from the touchline that the match is in jeopardy because of inappropriate spectator behavior and ask spectators to remember they are in an AYSO Kids Zone where unsporting behavior is not tolerated. Request coaches from both teams stand with you just inside the touchline facing the spectators to present a visual perspective that the coaches support the referee.
  • Stop the game for a specific announcement to the spectator that if inappropriate behavior continues, he/she will be given 3 minutes to leave the area or the match will be canceled. Again, request the coaches from both teams stand with you to present a visual perspective that the coaches are supportive of the referee.
  • Stop the game and give the spectator 3 minutes to leave.
  • If the spectator has not left in 3 minutes, terminate the game.

WHEN A COACH IS BEHAVING INAPPROPRIATELY

Listed are techniques in order from least to most intervention

  • Send a quick body-language message that you heard it and don’t like it.
  • As soon as possible, position yourself near the touchline and quietly request the assistant coach speak with the disorderly coach.
  • If possible, have a quick run-by and quietly remind the coach to help maintain a positive Kids Zone environment.
  • Stop the game for a word in private with the coach. It is advisable to talk side by side rather than face to face. Ask the coach to come onto the field out of everyone’s earshot and ask the coach to help you maintain a positive Kids Zone environment.
  • Stop the game and tell the coach if the inappropriate behavior continues he/she will be given 3 minutes to leave the match or the match will be terminated.
  • Stop the game and give the coach 3 minutes to leave.
  • If the coach has not left in 3 minutes, terminate the game.

DISAPPOINTMENT VS. DISSENT

Remember there is a difference between disappointment and dissent. Much of the grumbling and frustration falls into the category of disappointment. You can wisely ignore disappointment, as in every game things aren’t going to go perfectly. We don’t expect coaches and spectators to show no emotion. However, when comments are persistent, personal, and public, this falls into the category of dissent and action is then required as listed above.

REFEREE SUPPORT SYSTEM

When things go wrong, do NOT feel that you are alone. Go to the Referee tent and discuss the matter with fellow referees. Members of the Referee Advisory Board, including Division Chairs, often can be seen wearing BLUE referee shirts. Discuss the situation with any of them. For name and email addresses of the Advisory Board and other referee contacts, please visit our Referee Contacts page .

Write a report on the incident, including as many facts as you can and as little editorializing as possible. Finally, know that our Region has made it official policy that any player or coach sent off for a disciplinary reason is not allowed, at a minimum, to attend the following game. Again, the purpose here is not to scare any ref but to prepare you for the worst-case scenario.