The Capital District Youth Soccer League has implemented a Zero Tolerance Policy as well as a Code of Conduct to ensure that all games are played in a safe, sporting manner and provide an appropriate environment for our youth soccer players. While referees can control player and coach behavior through the use of Red and Yellow Cards, they may also suspend or delay restart of game or choose to abandon the match. Referees are required to submit a report to CDYSL if any actions were necessary to control the behavior at a match, however referees and club officials can file a report at any time.
Last year there were approximately 12 ZTEC (Zero Tolerance) reports. Of these reports there was only one report that resulted in a $50 fine. The ZTEC Chairman addressed each of those clubs who had reports brought up against them. The idea was to let everyone know that there are pathways and platforms that should be followed when dealing with behaviors that are disruptive to the flow of the game. The only fine that was issued was because of a second ZTEC report on that club. There are multiple sides and interpretations to every event. The ZTEC doesn’t want to dish out fines to everyone so most of the ZTEC reports have resulted in a warning to clubs about a team, coach, player or spectator, but action will be taken if necessary.
Here are some suggestions for paths to take during and after a potential incident:
- The ref should not address spectatorsat any time. It is the coach’s responsibility to speak with any unruly spectators unless the situation becomes dangerous. Coaches should be aware of spectators violating any rules of the game and should not wait until a referee has to approach them about an unruly spectator. In a situation where the coach cannot get control over spectators, the ref can choose to terminate the game.
- The ref can order a coach, player or (through a coach) a spectator off the field if their actions are harmful, disruptive, abusive or distracting to the game.
- A coach should avoid talking to the ref about any calls he made during a game. Theonly exception would be if the coach is asking for a clarification on a call. All calls on the field are made by the referee, and whether they are right or wrong, the referee is always “right.”
- It is not acceptable to challenge a ref’s call on the field.It always has the potential to escalate a situation. Officials can make bad calls and they can miss calls. What is acceptable, is sending in a report on the referee. For good or for bad, reports submitted to the referee chairman would give a bigger picture of that referee and the way they ref games. The chairman has the authority to suggest improvements to the referee or to impose sanctions if necessary.
First incidents brought to the attention of the ZTEC committee may or may not result in a warning and no further action depending on the incidents evaluation, however, any repeated ZTEC reports regarding actions of spectators, coaches’ players or referees can result in sanctions such as a fine, suspension, expulsion, loss of home game, etc. For more information, please refer to the CDYSL Code of Conduct.