Letter to Parents - Sideline Behavior
The first month of Youth regular-season play has produced a greater-than-normal number of WSYSA matches affected by parents and/or coaches failing to behave in a responsible manner. We are seeing a disturbing trend toward more and more unacceptable behavior from people whose only reason for attending is to yell at the referee and disrupt the game. This encompasses behavior from dissent and foul or abusive language to full-blown threats aimed at the officials.

THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AND MUST BE STOPPED!!!

This behavior is directly linked to the high turnover in our referee ranks and is destructive not only for the referee but also for the player's enjoyment of the game. There is NOTHING that can justify this type of behavior!

Please reinforce to the referees that you assign that the referee has the POWER to warn or DISMISS any "team official" who fails to behave in a responsible manner. And since WSYSA identifies ANYONE on a team's touchline (coach, manager, parent, sibling, etc.) as a "team official", the referee has the power to dismiss ANYONE who is causing problems from the vicinity of the field.

These warnings and dismissals are reported just like any yellow card Caution or a red card Send-off to a player; they carry the same effect as yellow or red card. WSYSA has the authority to deal with the guilty party in the same way - the transgressors can be suspended and prohibited from attending WSYSA events for a period specified by the Disciplinary Committee.

Please review the proper misconduct reporting procedures with the referees you assign so they are prepared to deal with this type of behavior when it occurs. Additionally, you may need to provide field monitors or mentors where problems are most likely to occurr - I encourage you to bring the local Youth Club into the loop to arrange for this added coverage. If needed, you may have to charge them for the additional referee support.

This behavioral trend is not acceptable - and as the State Youth Referee Administrator I am not going to let this loutish behavior ruin the careers of any of our outstanding young referees. Protect your referees as needed and do NOT allow this behavior to go unpunished.

If you have any questions about how to do this, please contact me.

Regards

Roberto Alvarez
SYRA