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NSYS Policies

Zero Tolerance Policy

It is the responsibility of the coaches to provide referee support and spectator control, and it is
the responsibility of the member clubs to provide instructions to their coaches on how they are
expected to carry this out. This policy applies before, during and after the game at the soccer
field and its immediate surrounding areas.

Parents & Spectators

No parent or spectator shall persistently address the referee or assistant referees at any time.
This includes, but is not limited to:
a. Parents and spectators shall not dispute calls during or after the game.
b. Parents and spectators shall not make remarks to the referee(s) or advise the
referee(s) to watch certain players or attend to rough play.
c. Parents and spectators shall never yell at the referee(s), including criticism, sarcasm,
harassment, intimidation or feedback of any kind before, during or after the game.
The only allowable exceptions to the above are:
a. Parents and spectators may respond to a referee who has initiated a conversation,
until such time as the referee terminates the conversation.
b. Parents and spectators may point out an emergency or safety issues, such as a player
apparently injured on the field or observed fighting.

Additionally, parents and spectators shall not make derogatory comments to players of either team.

Penalties (Parents & Spectators)

In the opinion of the referee, depending on the severity of the offense, the referee may take any of the following actions:
a. The referee may issue a verbal warning to the coach of offending party’s team.
b. The referee may stop the game and instruct the coaches to direct the parent spectator to leave the field.
c. The referee may abandon the game if the parent/spectator does not leave the field.

Players

The conduct of the players is governed by the Laws of the Game as stated by FIFA and USSF.
The Laws themselves describe penalties associated with violating the Laws of the Game.
Additional penalties for players who engage in misconduct may be established by the club
and/or league but may in no case be less severe than penalties established by FIFA, USSF, or NYSWYSA.

Coaches, Assistant Coaches & Bench Personnel

It is the responsibility of all coaches to maintain the highest standards of conduct for
themselves, their players and supporters in all matches. Failure to do so undermines the
referee’s authority and the integrity of the game resulting in a hostile environment for players,
the referee(s), coaches, assistant coaches, bench personnel and spectators. As role models for
all of the participants and spectators, coaches participating in a North Shore Youth Soccer
sanctioned event are expected to be supportive of, and to acknowledge the
effort, good play and sportsmanship on the part of ALL players from either team in a contest.
By example, coaches, assistant coaches and bench personnel are expected to show that
although they are competing in a game, they have respect for their opponent, referees and
spectators at all times. The NSYS will not tolerate negative behavior exhibited either by demonstrative
actions and gestures, or by ill-intentioned remarks, including those addressed toward the referees or
members of an opposing team. 

Coaches exhibiting hostile, negative, sarcastic or otherwise ill-intended behavior toward
referees, opposing players or coaches will be subject to sanction by the match official.
Additional sanctions may be imposed by the club that the coach or assistant coach
represents, the league that the match is being played under, or as allowed by NSYS policies after a review of the match report.

Coaches shall not interact directly or indirectly with the coaches or players of the
opposing team during the game in any manner that may be construed as negative,
hostile or sarcastic either by way of demonstrative actions and gestures or by illintentioned remarks.
Coaches shall not offer dissent to any call made by the referee(s) at any time.
Coaches are not to address the Referee(s) during the game except to:
a. Respond to a referee who has initiated a conversation.
b. Point out emergency or safety issues.
c. Make substitutions.
d. Ask the referee, “What is the proper restart (i.e. direction and Indirect Free Kick or Direct Free Kick)?
e. Ask for the time remaining in the half.
•Coaches are allowed to ask a referee after a game or during the halftime interval, in a
polite and constructive way, to explain a law or foul, but not judgment calls made in the game.
a. Polite and friendly concern can be exchanged with the referee. If the polite tone of the 
conversation changes, the referee may abandon the exchange at any time.
b. Absolutely no sarcasm, harassment or intimidation is allowed.
NOTE: It is recommended that coaches or other team members do not engage in any conversation with the match official once the match has concluded.

Penalties (Coaches, Assistant Coaches & Bench Personnel)

In the opinion of the referee, depending on the severity of the offense, the referee may take any of the following actions:
a. The referee may issue a verbal warning to the offending coach, assistant coach or bench personnel.
b. The referee may eject the offending coach, assistant coach or bench personnel. Once ejected, the individual will be required to leave the field immediately.
c. The referee should abandon the game, if the coach, assistant coach or bench personnel do not leave the field or any immediate adjoining area after having been instructed to do so.

Additional penalties associated with the ejection of a coach, assistant coach or bench
personnel may be assessed by the local club or league which sanctioned the match in
accordance with their documented policy. These penalties may be no less stringent than
sanctions as may be imposed by NSYS following their review, if conducted, of the
incident.
All cases of alleged abuse or assault of a referee shall be reported to the NSYS State
Office and State Referee Administrator within 48 hours of the match that engendered said
behavior. NSYS will then conduct a verification of the complaint and subsequent actions
as required by applicable sections of USSF Policy in effect at the time of the incident. Although
NSYS is continually bound by USSF Policy and its various revisions, definition of referee
abuse and referee assault found in USSF Policy 531-9 as of the creation date of this Zero
Tolerance Policy is offered by way of information as follows:

Referee Abuse

(a) Referee abuse is a verbal statement or physical act not resulting in bodily contact which
implies or threatens physical harm to a referee or the referee’s property or equipment.
(b) Abuse includes, but is not limited to the following acts committed upon a referee: using foul or
abusive language toward a referee that implies or threatens physical harm; spewing any
beverage on a referee’s physical property; or spitting at (but not on) the referee.

Referee Assault

(a) (i) Referee Assault is an intentional act of physical violence at or upon a referee.
(ii) For purposes of this Policy, “intentional act” shall mean an act intended to bring about a
result which will invade the interests of another in a way that is socially unacceptable. Unintended consequences of the act are irrelevant.

(b) Assault includes, but is not limited to the following acts committed upon a referee: hitting, kicking, punching, choking, spitting on, grabbing or bodily running into a referee; head butting; the act of kicking or throwing any object at a referee that could inflict injury; damaging the referee’s uniform or personal property, i.e. car, equipment, etc.
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