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Dillsburg Dual Shootout

Zero Tolerance

Zero Tolerance Policy on Referee Abuse

Purpose of the Policy

This policy is being implemented to eliminate referee abuse, both physical and verbal, and to discourage public dissent of a referee. The purpose is to make clear that verbal abuse or negative criticism of referees is as unacceptable as verbal abuse or negative criticism of players and to adopt basic standard sanctions for improper conduct. Even though public dissent may not be considered abuse it is not in keeping with the tournament principles of positive coaching and good sportsmanship and therefore will not be tolerated.

This policy is not intended to imply that referees are always right and the adult spectator or coach is always wrong. However, we must remember that just as youth players will make mistakes during play, youth referees will make mistakes in officiating, particularly in the younger divisions where they are learning how to referee. It is never acceptable to verbally abuse referees in any situation. There are appropriate avenues for coaches or spectators to share concerns about the quality of officiating. Each tournament site has a Senior referee in charge and is welcome to hear any constructive comments on referees. But, any criticism or critique of a youth referees performance should only be communicated to the youth by a properly trained Referee Mentor.

The Zero Tolerance Policy of Referee Abuse highlights the special circumstances for youth players as referees. As youth referees are players, they should only be talked to positively and constructively. Therefore, abuse or dissent of youth referees will not be tolerated. Guidelines for disciplinary action range from a one-game  suspension for verbal abuse to expulsion from the tournament for egregious offenses. The details are outlined in the policy below.

Policy on Referee Abuse

1. The Senior Referee or Referee Assignor shall, if necessary, intervene if a coach or spectator is verbally abusing a referee.
Handling general dissent is part of a referee's job. If the referee appears to be managing the dissent appropriately, no intervention is necessary. However, in the case of a youth referee, dissent is not allowed. Only positive, instructive, and encouraging comments are allowed to be directed at youth referees.

2. Field Marshals will report any incident of abuse of referees to the Senior Referee, Site Coordinator, Tournament Director, and Referee Assignor for proper action.

3. The Senior Referee and the Referee Assignor, upon investigating the incident and after hearing from all parties, shall implement appropriate discipline before the next game if possible. The offending parent or coach, shall be notified of the disciplinary action. The following are guidelines for disciplinary action:

            a. Verbal abuse of a referee = 1 game suspension

            b. Serious verbal abuse of a referee (e.g. using foul language) = 2 game suspension

            c. Stepping onto the field or other threat to a referee (by word or action) = 2 game suspension

            d. A letter of apology and/or public apology to the referee is recommended.

            e. Immediate and sincere remorse on the part of the offending spectator or coach may be taken into consideration when                  implementing the discipline.

4. Egregious offenses (e.g. multiple abusive situations, physical contact with a referee, or exceptional misbehavior directed toward a referee) shall result in immediate removal from the tournament site of the offending spectator/coach by the Field Marshal or Senior Referee or Site Coordinator or Tournament Director or  Referee Assignor.  If necessary local law enforcement will be called in for assistance. The incident will be reported to the team's club administrator, league's administrator, and state association board for further review and action. An egregious offense violates the fundamental mission of US Youth Soccer and the tournament and requires strong action.

5. Suspension: This is defined as being suspended from attending any tournament game in the division where the incident occurred. Therefore, if a spectator is suspended, he or she may not attend any game at that division level during the suspension. A coach may not coach nor attend any tournament game at that division level during the suspension. For egregious offenses, the suspension can include a ban from attending all tournament events and may be asked to leave the site.

6. This policy only applies to the discipline of adult spectators and coaches. The policy does not apply to players or youth spectators. The Laws of the Game and Tournament specify actions that can be taken, including a red card dismissal, for player misconduct that occurs anywhere, at any time.

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Dillsburg Dual Shootout

75 Acomo Drive 
Dillsburg, Pennsylvania 17019

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 717-502-0521
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