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Question Number: 33547

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/30/2019

RE: grandparent Adult

Don Moffat of Ste Anne de Bellevue, Quebec Canada asks...

The coach of the opposing team kept making derogatory comments about a player on the opposing team while she was playing. What are the players options?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Don,
the player could tell the coach to stuff it! However getting mad and upset throws their game off and affects their play so it could be unwise to react at all.
If the coach if actually heard or seen making derogatory comments or actions against an opposing player the officials managing that match should intervene. Not that thin skinned players should complain to the referee over everything but if these comments are hurtful, abusive, obscene or racial in origin and only spoken to her directly so the official is unaware I would make it publicly known to the CR such action was in fact occurring. The CR might not be able to take her word as FACT but it raises the awareness and an ear kept more open. The neutrality of ARS or a 4th if present, should also be used to manage this situation. It is a ploy to antagonize players to lose their cool and get tossed or sanctioned for retaliation. Just act better and have greater respect for the game than the putz coach!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Don
The player / team should bring this matter to the attention of the referee. Depending on what is alleged the referee may decide to take action by speaking with the coach to advise him to desist from his behaviour otherwise disciplinary action will be taken or he might just see it as a one off verbals based on an incident.
Now we know that players and opponents / coaches do engage in disparaging remarks towards each other many times connected with an incident such as a foul, time wasting etc. It is up to the referee to be aware of that and ascertain if the comments made constitute unsporting behaviour or if it is offensive, insulting and / or abusive.
In a recent game I was aware that a coach and an opponent had words about a foul that was committed close to the technical area. Once the game restarted that was the end of the matter with no need to take any further action.
If on the other hand a coach is constantly making derogatory comments at a particular player then that needs to be addressed and the referee needs to take action which is to ask the coach to desist from the behaviour. A repeat of the conduct results in a yellow card and further negative behaviour will result in a red card and the coach removed from the technical area.
If the comments are offensive, insulting and / or abusive the coach is red carded immediately, the coach removed and the matter reported.

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