Foul Play, Sideline and On Field Referee Abuse

article-2055133-0024C4A000000258-525_472x410All, there has been a onslaught of reported and unreported foul play and general obnoxious behavior on and off the field in recent weeks.

It must stop now.

Please see below a set of guidelines that need to be followed by referees when such incidents occur and tips on how to deal with bad behavior before during and after matches. We would ask that Coaches, Administrators, Players and fans review and strive to help emulate professional behavior.

Referees will:

  1. Arrive early (1 + hours prior to kickoff) and seek out the team coaches and establish “rules of engagement”.
  2. Identify the technical areas and inspect ropes or other objects that define the coaching boxes.
  3. Identify the captains and introduce yourself. Set your standards of communication.
  4. If foul language or calls to violence are happening in the warm up, call the captain(s) in and snuff it out.
  5. Remind coaches and players that foul language or calls to violence (beyond the spirit of the game) is inappropriate during the match.
  6. Remind coaches that they are not to roam outside the 22’s except to treat an injury as allowed by the referees.
  7. Instruct ARs (if provided) & TJs that they need to focus on the field of play and not spend time either explaining calls, defending calls or the center ref’s character. If the AR or TJ receives abuse, they should alert the center refere who deals with it through the captain as if it were abuse of themselves.
  8. Use the captain during the game to communicate to players and coaches that foul language, taunts, incitement to violence and petitioning for calls will not be tolerated.
  9. Coaches who persistently use the referee’s name to petition for calls MUST be dealt with through the captain:
    1. First instance: Stop time. Instruct captain to politely ask coach to cease any abusive behavior.
    2. Second offense: Use captain to deliver stern warning that the next incident will result in the coach’s expulsion.
    3. Third offense: Use the captain to deliver the message to the abusive coach that he/she must leave the playing enclosure. If he/she refuses, police or security may be called.
    4. Turn in detailed report
    5. After the match, allow emotions to quiet down before speaking with a coach or manager. You both need time to cool down. If there was an expulsion, don’t revisit this with coaches or players, just leave.

What is abuse?

  1. Coaches petitioning ARs or Touch Judges for calls or asking them to bring something to the referees attention.
    1. ARs & TJs need to focus on the field of play and not spend time either explaining calls, defending calls or the center ref’s character. If the AR or TJ receives abuse, they should alert the center refere who deals with it through the captain as if it were abuse of themselves.
  2. Coaches consistently outside of technical area.
  3. Coaches on field to argue call (Automatic ejection).
  4. Coaches, players in uniform or admins calling the referee by name to plead for a call their way at high volume.
  5. Personal insults to opponents or refs delivered by a coach, player or admin.
  6. Coaches, players or admins in the technical area inciting violence or revenge
  7. Failure to place fans and non players in the stands at a stadium venue.
    1. If matches are played in a stadium, ALL fans must be in the stands, no exceptions.
  8. Physical or verbal confrontation with referee before, during or after the match.
  9. Abuse of referee in social media or press before or after match.
  10. Habitually using the “third party” complaint technique. Shouting to captain or players from the sideline to “tell the ref to watch for this or that”.
  11. Habitual and high volume dispute of calls.

What if this becomes a team pattern?

Referee services will be withheld from habitual offenders (teams).

Thank you,
Jim Wolfinger
TRRA Chairman

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