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Question Number: 21149

Law 5 - The Referee 4/18/2009

RE: Under 16

Michael of nyc, nyc usa asks...

This question is a follow up to question 21050

Reasonable behavior guidelines dictate early trips to the parking lot - many coaches here in NY (mostly hispanics and Irish) can be very aggressive and say things like, 'where did you get your license', or 'who gave you that license' etc. If you caution, with a yellow card, for them telling you things (after cutting some slack for their emotional state), do they have to leave the side of the field? Or when do you have to show a yellow card to a coach? Is it the same rules as in the rule book applying to the players? When do you show a red card to a coach?

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

What about my fellow Italians coaches? Surely they have tempers! When do you show a card to a coach? That would be never unless you are a High School referee or your League allows it. Cards are for players and substitutes. You should give the coach a verbal warning unless he is over the top in which case he's gone immediately. What constitutes over the top is up to you. To me, throwing an F bomb loudly or the coach cursing a player or a coach loudly instructing his players to injure an opponent or something along these lines will earn said coach an immediate dismissal from the game and it's environs. Most of the time they get a warning but after that, they're gone

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Reasonable behavior means they get to stay. Irresponsible behavior means they either get one warning, or as Ref Contarino outlines, in certain circumstances, they just get to leave.

All of this, the facts about what was said to whom, etc. must go in your referee report.

Please keep the cards in your pocket when dealing with coaches unless the league expressly requires them (not uncommon in youth leagues).

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Well if you are on a USSF sanctioned match current instructions ask the referee to first ask a member of the technical staff to behave responsibly then tell him to after that expel him. They are giving these instructions to referees at levels well above where you are BUT this kind of thing needs to be learned early on in life. I see no reason why starting to demand proper behavior at the U-6 level is a big ask. My colleagues have handled showing cards and over the line behavior. Don't use your rabbit ears but DO Ask, Tell, Expel coaches of the like you ask about.


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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

Having refereed and grown up in the northern NJ area many times and in NY I can understand your frustration. There is already a culture of rude or abbrasive speaking from people in the NY/NJ area, that is unique in it's qualty to other region's rude people.

My people are loud and can be often seen as obnoxious. But in our community this is the norm and we often have developed a thick skin to it by the time we are adults.

So do your best to figure out if what they're saying is actually irresponsible or if it just sounds mean because of the harsh delivery. I know that many people have thought I was rude and loud, when i thought I was being nice as could be, many people aren't used to the tone of us NY tri-state area types.

Now, that doesn't excuse irresponsible behavior. Loudly challenging the referees authority with sarcasm or rude comments is unacceptable. Do as Ref Fleischer points out...
Ask them to stop, if that fails, tell them to stop, if that fails... dismiss the coach. Don't make threats, just take action.

Don't show the coaches cards, it's not proper except in high school or NCAA games. (some local club leagues have exceptions to this, but I would avoid working in those at all costs).

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