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Question Number: 31244

Law 5 - The Referee 2/9/2017

RE: Intermediate Under 14

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31237

For what it's worth, AYSO allows a referee to eject a parent. The normal procedure is to first get the coach to control the parent. It usually starts with a parent standing near one end of the field yelling instructions, which is not permitted. If the parent doesn't listen to the coach, the referee intervenes. If the parent persists, the referee follows the 'ask, tell, eject' approach. If the parent still refuses, a regional manager or person in charge will be called.

I have to say that in high school, we never had a game manager that I was aware of. We only had the coach, assistant coach, players, & parents. Some of our games were played at a park, away from both schools (especially in junior high). In junior high, it was our coach that was usually unruly (muttering things that the parents could here). In high school (& possibly junior high), the referee can show yellow or red cards to the coach, so that can help.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
Thanks for input.
The AYSO advice as I understand it is
Stop the game for a general announcement from the touchline regarding the match being in jeopardy because of inappropriate spectator behavior and request everyone to remember thet are in an AYSO *Kids Zone* where unsporting behavior is not tolerated. If the referee feel certain of their cooperation, he request coaches from both teams to stand just inside the touch line facing the spectators while the referee make the general announcement to present a visual perspective that the coaches are supportive of the referee.The referee stops the game for a specific announcement to the spectator that if their inappropriate behavior continues they will be given three minutes to leave the area or the match will be cancelled. Again the referee request the coaches from both teams stand with the referee just inside the touch line facing the spectators to present a visual perspective that the coaches are supportive of the referee.
Stop the game and give the spectator three minutes to leave. If the spectator has not left in three minutes, the referee terminates the game.
You will note that the referee does not directly confront but does so at a distance with support from the coaches.
I feel that it is not good practise for referees to confront directly as
1. It looks unprofessional and confrontational
2. The referee is on his own dealing with someone that he does not know.
3. The power to remove someone from a location rests with those in control of the facility not the referee.
4. Personal safety suggests that those in charge of the facility deal with spectators etc.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Phil,
The AYSO procedure sounds reasonable and since it is available and (hopefully) understood by the coaches/home team management as well then using it in AYSO games would seem appropriate. In other jurisdictions however it obviously would not be directly applicable.

Although I suppose there could be some games, such as for younger players at recreational level and with only a small number of spectators, where it might be able work out OK, for all the reasons ref McHugh gives, it would not usually be recommended for a referee to deal with a spectator directly.

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