A Message from the South Shore Soccer League's Referee Retention Committee
TO: All Players, Coaches, Parents and Spectators
FROM: Randolph Youth Soccer Association
SUBJECT: Zero Tolerance Policy
We are all passionate about soccer … a brilliant breakaway goal or a spectacular save, excites our emotions about the how the game is played. We must guard against our emotions turning into abusive comments or actions by players, coaches, parents and spectators against participants in the game including the referees.
Your role as parents: is to cheer on your sons and daughters.
Your role as coaches: is to teach the game within the limits of the rules and promote a sense of fair play and sportsmanship. Coaches are also responsible for the conduct of their spectators.
Your role as players: is to play by the rules and demonstrate good sportsmanship.
Referees perform a critical role in the game of soccer but are often the targets of verbal abuse from players, parents, and coaches. While we are lucky to have a dedicated cadre of experienced referees we also have a large number of young boys and girls (minimum age to be a referee is 14) learning how to be a referee. These younger referees have an extremely high turnover rate (approaching 50% some years) due to the verbal abuse leveled at them by adults. These younger referees are our sons and daughters. As a parent you would probably not let another adult yell at your child so we ask that you don’t verbally abuse any referee, especially the young referees.
The basic rule is “No one is to address the referee during the Game!” There are a few exceptions for coaches; they can speak when spoken to by a referee, making substitutions, pointing out emergencies, at the half time or at the end of a game.
There are consequences for not following the Zero Tolerance Policy including a verbal warning, a Yellow card, a Red card, and abandoning a game. The towns may also face a monetary penalty depending on the severity of the infraction.
Penalties for spectators include a stoppage of the game while the coaches are required to address the applicability of the Zero Tolerance Policy to spectators. Spectators may also be ejected from the game and are required to leave the sidelines and immediate surrounding area. Abuse by spectators may also result in the abandonment of the game.
Let the kids play soccer, let the coaches teach the game of soccer, let the referees apply the rules, let the parents cheer on their children, and let’s have another great season of the beautiful game.
B. Recommended Website Content for Communication and Education:
Each town association shall include, at a minimum, the following information:
- Message from the Town Association adopting the SSSL Communication and Education program and identifying the town Referee Assignor
- An explanation of the Zero Tolerance Policy: SSSL Zero Tolerance Policy
- Link to the Laws of the Game: Laws of the Game
- Links to the applicable SSSL by-laws:
- Links to other educational material (e.g. video explanation of the of sides rule, “Attitudes are Contagious” video, referee hand signals, etc.)
- Advice for New Referees
- US Soccer Referee Resources
- Referee Gear at Officialsports.com
C. Recommended Website content for Recruitment and Retention
1. Information for Referees (a dedicated separate webpage)
- a. How to become a referee
- b. How Randolph develops referees for recreational programs
- c. Becoming a referee for the SSSL
- d. Annual SSSL Referee Meeting:
- Information distributed at the meeting: Referee Meeting2017.pptx
- Assignor's info: Assignor's PPT 2017.pptx
- e. A link to the SSSL Referee Mentor Program
- f. Link to the Massachusetts State Referee Association:
- g. Town and SSSL Referee pay scales