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Question Number: 31541

Mechanics 5/17/2017

RE: rec, select Under 15

Gary of nashua, NH usa asks...

If a coach that you have asked to leave refuses to do so, is the only option to abandon the match? I once regretted not ejecting a coach for verbal mistreatment, fearing he wouldn't leave and continue to mock me in front of young players.I did however, give him a below average rating (in game report) and mention a verbal warning in game report.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gary
Abandoning a game is the last resort for referees and it is the only option available to the referee once the Ask and Tell options have been exhausted. We do all in our power to ensure the game gets completed yet there can be times when that is not just possible.
Now no referee has to endure maltreatment from anyone and certainly not from participants in the game. If a referee sent off a player who refused to leave then there would be no option but to abandon. With a coach the fact he is not on the field of play leaves us with the option of continuing albeit in unpleasant circumstances. That though is not the major consideration in the decision yet rather the continuing misconduct which is affecting the game.
If it got to the point of ejecting the coach then I would be standing my ground and ensuring the coach leaves. If he rufuses to leave then the game is abandonded. As a referee it can be difficult in these situations and we are subjected at times to all sorts of unsatisfactory misconduct. I can assure you this. The decent players and individuals will recognise misconduct and support the referee. Those that do not support the referee in such circumstances do not deserve our respect or care as to what they think.
In addition Leagues will take a very dim view of anyone who causes a game to be abandoned and certainly will pay much more attention to that than a rating or a report. In fact Leagues say to me that referees need to take action by ejecting team officials for misconduct if they want the League to deal with it. I suppose it is somewhat like writing to the League saying that a player was constantly misbehaving with no disciplinary action taken by the referee and then asking that League should deal with him. It either deserved sanction or it does not.
A few seasons ago I was being questioned by a coach on decisions throughout the game with constant shouting about every decision that did not go his way. I warned him that if he persisted then I would abandon the game as once he was removed there needed to be a second adult present. Anyway he overreacted to an offside call, running up the line. I told him the game was over and walked off. I got some abuse from one individual as I walked off yet I was none too bothered nor was I concerned as to what the players thought. I went into the changing room, changed my kit , went home and wrote out my report. Thought about it for a while afterwards and then moved on.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I had to abandon 3 youth games over a 16 year career when someone wouldn't leave. One was a coach, who decided rather than leave, he'd take up our time cleaning up his gear on the sideline. I told him he needed to go to the parking lot now, but he continued to dawdle.

The other 2 games were when a coach would not control his spectators, and refused to make a spectator leave the sidelines.

It's not an easy decision to make, and it's not an easy thing to apply once the decision has been made. That goes even more so for a younger referee, who may not even have a way to leave the field until Mom comes back to pick him up. The entire ref crew should band together to protect each other when something like this happens.

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