• 2022-08-29

Abuse of referees (or, more generically, game officials) has continued to escalate and has become the #1 or #2 reason that game officials leave a sport.  Raised as an issue during the most recent AYSO Coaches’ Meeting it became very clear, as referees, we need to nip abuse in the bud.  While player, coach and spectator frustration over some of our calls is understandable and under-breath comments tolerated (e.g., “wow”, “Ugh, she really missed that call”, etc.), clear and personal dissent must not be tolerated (e.g., “You suck!”, “How much is that team paying you?”, “You’re an idiot!”, etc.).  We have tools to deal with dissent, and we must not be shy or hesitant to use them.

Warn, Caution, Dismiss

At the first instance of abuse (from a player, coach or spectator), warn them that their comments won’t be tolerated.  At the next instance of abuse (for players and coaches), issue them a Caution (Yellow card).  For spectators, ask the Coach to intervene, with a clear message that the next instance will result in their dismissal from the field.  And, obviously, if the dissent/abuse continues, book the player or coach with a Send-Off (Red card); and the spectator with a dismissal.  

And sometimes…Just Dismiss

However, if the abuse involves foul language or actions; racial, gender, ethnic or religious slurs; and is personally directed at you or a player – Send-Off or Dismiss the offender immediately.

Be vigilant and strong in your resolve.  Let’s do our part to put civility back into the beautiful game.

Courtesy of Scott Jarus, Area 1D Area Referee Administrator, Who Speaks for Us All!