Referee Courtesy

No Referee=No Game!



I want to be the captain
I want to score the winner
I want to play at Wembley
I want the crowd to chant my name
I want dad to stop shouting at me.

      courtesy of the FA

Each year a number of referees--mostly our younger referees--drop out due to the criticism and abuse they receive from fans and/or coaches. Yes, even here in Tiburon.

Why? For any of us who have stood along the sidelines, the answer is easy: In the heat of the game, some coaches and fans forget that this is just a kids’ game. Our kids’ game. They forget that winning is not the all-encompassing message of youth sport and somehow feel that it’s okay to criticize every call and/or consciously or unconsciously "influence" the referee.

These referees are our neighbors and our neighbors’ children. They are doing their very best in service to our children and our community and are themselves climbing a steep learning curve in a very challenging role. And yet some coaches and fans feel it’s okay to publicly criticize them. The image of adult coaches or fans yelling at a 12 or 13-year-old referee is an ugly one.

By the end of the season, there are games where there is simply no available referee...

We all know in our hearts that this is a game for our kids, not for us. How we act on the field becomes the model for what our children learn and for the adults that they become.

The TPSC Codes of Conduct describe not only what we expect of our players, coaches and fans, but what we think defines good sportsmanship. As per the universal Laws of the Game, whether mistakes are made or not, calls are not to be questioned out loud or influenced and a referee’s impartiality is not to be assailed. Period.

Coaches and Parents should review the regulations 3:10:19 incorporated in our Coaches’ Code regarding behavior toward referees. CYSA, NorCal, and the TPSC take these very seriously. Red cards issued to coaches or parents for violations of these rules will be subject to action by the club, our parent organizations, or both.

While our coaches are held responsible for their actions and the actions of their team’s fans, it’s really up to all of us to make soccer a positive experience for our children, their opponents, coaches, fans and those of our neighbors who give of their time to officiate these games. Without them there would be no game.

Let’s have fun out there!