Zero Tolerance Policy

Because of physical and verbal abuse against referees, MASSACHUSETTS YOUTH SOCCER
ASSOCIATION along with ESSEX COUNTY YOUTH SOCCER ASSOCIATION other soccer organizations have adopted a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY ON OFFICIALS. This policy as described below is in effect for METHUEN YOUTH SOCCER ASSOCIATION.

It is the responsibility of ALL coaches to maintain the highest standards of conduct for themselves, their players and supporters in all matches. Abusive and obscene language, violent play, violent conduct, fighting and other behavior detrimental to the game will not be tolerated. A coach’s responsibility for referee support and spectator control includes the times prior to, during and after the game at the field and surrounding areas.

All persons responsible for a team and all the spectators shall support the referee. Failure to do so will undermine the referee’s authority and has the potential of creating a hostile environment for the players, the referee and all the other participants and spectators.

Consequently, ECYSA and Methuen Youth Soccer Association have adopted the following rule:
No one is to address the referee during the game!!

Persons Responsible for a team (Coach and Assistant Coaches)

• During the Game:

- Responding to a referee initiating a communication.
- Making Substitutions.
- Pointing out emergencies or safety issues.

• At Half Time or at the end of the game:
- A coach or assistant coach can ask a referee to explain a rule(s) in a
polite and constructive way.
- A polite and friendly feedback can be given to the referee.
- Absolutely no sarcasm, no harassment and no intimidation.

• Any Major Infraction: Warning (Caution) or Dismissal (Ejection) depending on the
seriousness of the infraction (FIFA).
• Initial Minor Infraction: A verbal warning.
• Any Subsequent Infraction will warrant the following actions:
• Warning (Caution). (Must be told by the referee that this is their WARNING and must be reported to ECYSA)
• Dismissal (Ejection). (Must be told by the referee that they are DISMISSED, their pass card must be kept and reported to ECYSA)


• During the Game:
- Referee initiating a communication.
- Pointing out emergencies or safety issues.

• 1st Infraction: The Referee, at the next stoppage of play, should ask the coach to
quiet the offending spectator.
• 2nd Infraction: A verbal warning. The Referee, at the next stoppage of play,
should ask the coach to warn the spectator that the next infraction will be a
removal of the spectator or the referee will abandon the game.
• 3rd Infraction: The Referee, at the next stoppage of play, shall instruct the coach
to direct the spectator to leave the field. The referee should abandon the game if
the spectator does not leave the field.
• If the referee abandons the game, the referee shall file a report and ECYSA may
impose a forfeit on the spectator’s team.

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