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Zero Tolerance Policy

Soccer Maine: Zero-Tolerance Policy

Effective January 1, 2004

Adopted by the Soccer Maine Board of Directors on 12/4/03

Applicability:

Each coach is responsible for his/her actions, the actions of his/her players and bench personnel. Each coach, player, and spectator shall at all times support the referee and assistant referees. Failure to do so will undermine the referee’s authority, and has the potential of creating a hostile environment for the players, spectators, coaches, and referees alike. No one is to address the referee in a negative manner during or after the game.

Coaches’ communications with the referee and assistant referees:

Coaches and/or bench personnel may NOT address any member of the referee crew during play except for:

  • Responding to a referee initiated communication.
  • Making a request for substitutions.
  • Pointing out emergencies or safety issues, such as an injured player on the field.
  • To request clarification of any call provided the request is courteous and non-argumentative.
  • First infraction: Referee may stop the game and remind the coach or bench personnel of Soccer Maine’s zero tolerance policy.
  • Second infraction: Caution. (No yellow card shall be shown to any coach or bench personnel). The referee may issue a final warning that a third infraction may result in an ejection.
  • Third infraction: Ejection. (No red card shall be shown to any coach or bench personnel). The referee may instruct the coach or bench personnel to leave the field. Thereafter, the ejected person must depart to a distance where he or she can no longer see or hear anything to do with the match. If the ejected person fails to leave the field, the referee may abandon the game.
  • Nothing in this rule may be construed to limit the referee’s discretion as granted by FIFA Laws of the Game.

Spectator communications with the referee and assistant referees:

Negative or critical comments directed to any member of the referee crew will not be tolerated.

  • First infraction: Referee may stop the game, request the assistance of both coaches, and remind the spectator of Soccer Maine’s zero tolerance policy.
  • Second infraction: Referee may stop the game and issue a final warning that a third infraction may result in an ejection.
  • Third infraction: The referee may instruct the coaches to direct the spectator to leave the field. If the ejected person fails to leave the field, the referee may abandon the game.
  • Nothing in this rule may be construed to limit the referee’s discretion as granted by FIFA Laws of the Game.

Notification:

Should a referee eject any player, coach, bench personnel or spectator, and/or abandon a game, he/she shall notify the Soccer Maine office by phone at 942-0950. If a game is abandoned prior to completion, the referee will make no determination as to the outcome of the match. A written report of the pertinent facts should be sent to the Soccer Maine office within 24 hours. The Soccer Maine office will refer the matter to its disciplinary committee for further action, if necessary, and/or to the appropriate competition committee for disposition of an abandoned game.

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