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Question Number: 26784

Character, Attitude and Control 9/17/2012

RE: Comp Under 19

Ref Michael of Twain Harte , ca USA asks...

Good morning,

I had the opportunity to center a U14 boys division 1 match this weekend. Our league has a policy that fans offer only positive encouragement to players on the field. We have all had that one parent that is 5 or 6 decibels above everyone else and this weekend was no different. Her yell the whole first half was 'Don't give up!' which rang through-out the county for 35 minutes. The boys were tied 0-0 at half and neither team showed any signs of giving up. I felt that she was being disrespectful to boys as they were playing their hearts out in 95 degree heat. At the half, I mentioned to her in passing to keep her comments 'positive' and that none of the boys were giving up.

I very rarely like to engage spectators and know that things can go down hill fast.
However, the second half was much more pleasant and only heard one 'Don't give up' but the rest of her comments were very positive.

Was I out of line in my request?

Ref Michael

Play Hard, Play sport and in life!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ref Michael
As the result was positive then the 'enagegment' was positive. However I would caution against engaging with spectators as it can develop into perhaps an unpleasant situation with other consequences.
If a spectator is effecting the game then the proper way is to ask the 'home' team officials to deal with the situation.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

While it sounds like you correctly identified a parent who needed a reminder about her conduct, was there another way you could have achieved the same result?

Could you have asked the coach to assist you with the parent at half-time?
A friendly request to the coach can often be more effective than a command or a threat to a parent.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

In general, don't engage parents. Have the coach do it.

If you think 'don't give up' is disrespectful, you haven't heard anything yet!

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