Sportsmanship Corner: Soccer for our kids HAS to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience or we as parents, coaches, administrators are doing something wrong. And that means every practice, every minikicker activity, every game, and especially the competitive league and tournament events win, lose or draw HAS to be thoroughly enjoyable. The single most important ingredient in that regard is RESPECT for all participants. Enjoy this article by Donna Olmstead from Soccer America "What to do about M's father?" at http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/the_consequences_of_negative_parents/ where she highlights just how damaging a poor attitude can be on this thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Silent sidelines: Please enjoy the story in the following link to understand what silent sidelines is all about. Youth soccer in Connecticut observes silent sidelines on the third weekend in October and the third weekend in May.
Please take a moment on your way into the SSSC fields to observe the sportsmanship sign and take heed. It will make for a more enjoyable afternoon for you and your fellow spectators, and for the players, referees and coaches.
Zero Tolerance: The following is an excerpt from the NE District Rules of Competition, Attachment Zero. It is intended to guide exemplary sportsmanship from players, coaches, spectators and referees at soccer matches throughout the NE District and throughout CJSA in Connecticut.
SUPPORT FOR REFEREES - ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY
Every person responsible for a team and each and every spectator and player will respect the authority of the referee. This respect is essential to the proper play of the game, the development of our players and the retention of quality, experienced referees. Failure to respect the authority of the referees, especially by the person(s) responsible for the team, undermines the authority of the referee, sets a bad example for everyone else, especially the players, and can rapidly lead into a hostile, negative game environment where playing the game of soccer is no longer the focus of the activity. This is entirely inconsistent with the sportsmanship goals that the Northeast District is trying to promote. Therefore, the basic rule is that spectators and persons responsible for the team will not address the referee at all before, during, and after a match. The prohibitions, exceptions, the penalties for violation, and policy execution are described as follows:
A. PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR A TEAM
With the exception of responding to a communication initiated by a referee, making a substitution, or pointing out an emergency safety issue during the play of a match, the persons responsible for a team should not say anything to a referee. Nor should they do anything that conveys in any way any criticism of the referee. Coaches may ask questions before the start of play or direct questions properly through their captains, but may not approach the referee at halftime or at the end of the match. Coaches who have concerns about a referee’s officiating may express those concerns verbally or in writing to the District Referee Administrator (DRA). They may not express those concerns to the Referee.
The Northeast District recommends that the referee deal with infractions of this rule in the following manner:
1. Instances of infrequent and reasonably low key dissent can be ignored.
2. The first instance of persistent dissent is to be acknowledged with a verbal warning. The second instance will result in the coach’s dismissal from the field. Coaches are not to be issued a card of any kind, but a referee must clearly indicate
3. Player dissent is to be dealt with according to FIFA law.
With the exception of responding to a communication initiated by a referee, or pointing out an emergency safety issue, spectators will not say anything to a referee. Nor will they do anything that in any way conveys criticism of the referee.
The Northeast District recommends that the referee deal with infractions in the following manner:
- Infrequent or reasonably low key dissent can be ignored.
- At the instance of the first infraction of persistent dissent, the referee will stop the match and ask the person responsible for the team to quiet the offending spectator.
- At the instance of the second infraction, the referee will stop the match and inform the person(s) responsible for the team that the spectator must immediately leave the match and surrounding area.
Failure to comply will result in the match being abandoned. The referee will file the necessary reports and send them to the DRA, who in turn will forward them to the District VP.
- Due to the age and experience of some officials, they may need the assistance of responsible people to help
if the spectator is not affiliated with either team.
C. UNBECOMING CONDUCT
If a member or members of a team, any persons responsible for a team, or a team’s spectators engage in unbecoming conduct before, during, or after a match, they will be subject to discipline by the N.E. District Discipline Committee. This discipline can include suspension of the entire team from their next scheduled match.
D. POLICY EXECUTION
Clubs are directed to post signs at all fields at places where coaches and spectators gather and can read publicizing the nature of the zero tolerance policy.