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Question Number: 26545

Character, Attitude and Control 7/9/2012

RE: Academy Under 11

Ryan of Dallas, TX USA asks...

Coach is warned in the first 3 minutes of play for screaming at me. (for a foul that had apparently happened right in front of her, but i could not see because of girls in the way and my AR did not see anything either). Later in the game a rough play happened, but no foul, ball goes out for a corner kick in favor of the screaming coach's team (blue team). Blue player is hurt and coach comes on field. A Blue parent gets up and approaches the field screaming at me. Itell the coach 'control your parents, this is your warning', She replies: 'they are just mad because of calls you haven't made.' and walks away, says nothing to the parents. (my assignor was watching this game and said i made all the calls i should have). should i have sent her off then because it was her second warning?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Probably not. It sounds like you handled the coach well.

Recognizing and dealing with an out of control coach in the first few minutes is a very good skill. Uncalled fouls in the danger area (right in front of the benches) usually lead to a greater level of frustration. A polite but firm warning when first confronted can be very helpful.

When a player is injured, the referee ought to sprint to the player and check on her condition. Then, indicate for the coach/trainer to enter the field. The next step is key: move away. The coach and parents will say something to you. But, if you are 30 yards away, they ordinarily won't put you in a position where you will end up dismissing the parent or coach. Moreover, if they move toward you - rather than the injured player - - it is clear to all that they aren't behaving correctly.

In my experience, the referee is better off not saying 'first' or 'last' warning. Why tie your hands by telling them in advance how you will respond. It is a 'lose- lose' situation for the referee. (You lose if you act disproportionately, you lose if you fail to act as promised.) Instead, measure what response is appropriate to what they do next. Do only what needs to be done. My sense is 'they are just mad because . . . ' does not require a dismissal. It even might be a true statement that they are mad - - even if they are wrong about what is a foul.

Now, if the parent doesn't behave responsibly and interferes with your ability to manage the match, stop the match and indicate that the match will be abandoned unless that person leaves within x minutes. Usually, the parent is fine once the child proves to be fine and uninjured.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I concur with my colleague. At the younger ages, you never get between the mother bear and her cub. Once you've determined there is an injury, get out of the way.

If a coach chooses to chase after you rather than taking care of her hurt player, you can tell the coach to take care of the player. If the coach does not comply, then you could dismiss her for not acting in a responsible manner. It would not even require a 'first warning'; the coach's responsibility should be to the player, not worrying about yelling at you. (But wait to dismiss her until after the player has been attended to, either by the coach or the parent.)

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ryan
Good advice here from my colleagues. I would add the following comments
1. Be very careful about sending away coaches in underage games. Under Child Protection guidelines there must be a certain number of responsible persons present. When that does not happen the game does not start or is abandoned
2. The game is an exercise in human relations. Communicating with the coach is part of the game. Perhaps the incident did happen. I would tell the coach that I nor my assistant saw the incident but that I will pay particular attention to that in future and that I need her assistance in acting in a responsible manner. Most are reasonable people and they will react depending on the way they are treated

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