Tip #3 - Respect your Referee

Coaches, Players and Parents, for the “good of the game”, please always show RESPECT for the referee(s) at your game!!!

We all know that a game without a trained and impartial referee cannot be played properly. SAM Soccer’s Fair Play Please program aims to improve the environment of the game and in doing so, improve the experience of everyone involved, including referees. The Fair Play Please program needs coaches, players and parents to play their parts. Together, we can make a difference.

The Fair Play Please program seeks to accomplish many positive things for our league. With regard to the referees, here’s how you and your team can help ensure that we will be able to retain a sufficient number of referees for our games AND to create a culture that fosters respect and continued development of all referees:

1) At all times, treat the referee as you would hope to be treated yourself if roles were reversed.

2) Before your game, make certain your Team Sportsmanship Liaison (TSL) introduces himself or herself to the referee and reminds them of their role in keeping the team sideline respectful and positive. For more information about the TSL program, please click here.

3) Make sure all team members understand that the SAM Soccer leagues and Fair Play Please have a zero tolerance policy for physical or verbal abuse of referees. Reports of abuse will be dealt with quickly and aggressively by SAM management.

4) No matter how much you scream at your referee, he or she will not change the call so DON’T BOTHER!! Parents may not address the referee, period, except at the end of the game to thank them for their effort. Only the coach of the team should address the referee during the match and should request to do so in a respectful manner at dead ball opportunities. (Parents, in the event you wish to submit a complaint or compliment about the referee’s performance to SAM, please ask your coach to contact us on your behalf.)

5) Coaches, players and parents should always shake the hand of the referee at the conclusion of the match, regardless of how they might feel about his or her performance. Doing this sends an  important message to our young players to help them understand that referees are human beings and they will make mistakes but that the beautiful game will cease to exist without them.

Next week: What is SAM Soccer doing to help improve the performance of the referees?


Fair Play Please!!


The SAM Team