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Originally Posted by Larry Miller
I said it before and I will say it again...the refs in total need to take a league weekend off, and I man that for all leagues. Maybe then the parents will stop the harassment of you guys and gals. Why anyone would want to sign up to be a youth ref is not something I understand unless you get off on being abused and denigrate?

Well I actually feel that any type of job action would fall on deaf ears and would not change anything, in fact it could make people even more hostile towards referees.

The other more major issue with Referees is that we are a very very diverse group racially, demographically, philosophically and economically. Some referees really need the money, some don’t.

So in my opinion to try to unite this huge group for any type of job action is extremely remote because it would be the equivalent of trying to herd cats.

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Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Larry Miller
I said it before and I will say it again...the refs in total need to take a league weekend off, and I man that for all leagues. Maybe then the parents will stop the harassment of you guys and gals. Why anyone would want to sign up to be a youth ref is not something I understand unless you get off on being abused and denigrate?

Well I actually feel that any type of job action would fall on deaf ears and would not change anything, in fact it could make people even more hostile towards referees.

The other more major issue with Referees is that we are a very very diverse group racially, demographically, philosophically and economically. Some referees really need the money, some don’t.

So in my opinion to try to unite this huge group for any type of job action is extremely remote because it would be the equivalent of trying to herd cats.

IMO, some of your points are valid, especially that some need the money, but I dont see an alternative if games cant be played. Since you dont see a job action, do you have another suggestion because "education" sure doesnt seem to have resonated with the sideline adults.

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Originally Posted by Larry Miller
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Larry Miller
I said it before and I will say it again...the refs in total need to take a league weekend off, and I man that for all leagues. Maybe then the parents will stop the harassment of you guys and gals. Why anyone would want to sign up to be a youth ref is not something I understand unless you get off on being abused and denigrate?

Well I actually feel that any type of job action would fall on deaf ears and would not change anything, in fact it could make people even more hostile towards referees.

The other more major issue with Referees is that we are a very very diverse group racially, demographically, philosophically and economically. Some referees really need the money, some don’t.

So in my opinion to try to unite this huge group for any type of job action is extremely remote because it would be the equivalent of trying to herd cats.

IMO, some of your points are valid, especially that some need the money, but I dont see an alternative if games cant be played. Since you dont see a job action, do you have another suggestion because "education" sure doesnt seem to have resonated with the sideline adults.
\

I think the referees that have the most trouble are new and young referees especially teenagers that just don’t have the experience or the confidence to deal with the misbehavior.

I have said it before and will say it again, referees have all the tools they need to deal with it. We have the LOTG, league rules and club standards of conduct that at times are all being violated. Since the clubs are not doing anything about it, it becomes totally incumbent upon us referees to enforce the LOTG and not tolerate the nonsense.

If you ignore it, it will not go away and be interpreted as a weakness or a fear and if it is congruent with weak body language the bullies will pounce immediately just like a junkyard dog that can smell fear a mile away.

So what I am saying is that us referees have to share some of the responsibility if we continue to allow it and make it worse for those most vulnerable.

Laws and rules are great to have but it is such human nature to ignore them absent any enforcement so if the violators are not made to pay they will only continue and get more brazen.

When it continues unabated and Coaches do nothing to stop their parents (especially if their child is a star) they are sending the message to all that standards of behavior don’t matter because all we care about is winning no matter how dysfunctional or potentially violent the environment can be. If Coaches are screaming at and disrespecting their own players why would they care how the parents treat the referee?

So the question parents should be asking themselves is:What is the culture of my club? What is the culture of my team? If this were my workplace would I enjoy working here? Is being at the game enjoyable or is it a corrosive negative environment that I do not want my child to model?

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So Larry, I do not have a simple solution because it is a complex problem but it starts with the majority of the parents and Coaches who are wonderful people and who I have had wonderfully positive experiences with while reffing a game.

The majority of the parents and Coaches are the key, they need to self enforce and stop it at the club and team level because I know they do not enjoy the negative behavior either and we need all of us to stand up to the bullies as a group because when you stand up strong against a bully especially in big numbers they will back right down because they are mostly paper tigers and cowards.

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Originally Posted by LIRef77
So Larry, I do not have a simple solution because it is a complex problem but it starts with the majority of the parents and Coaches who are wonderful people and who I have had wonderfully positive experiences with while reffing a game.

The majority of the parents and Coaches are the key, they need to self enforce and stop it at the club and team level because I know they do not enjoy the negative behavior either and we need all of us to stand up to the bullies as a group because when you stand up strong against a bully especially in big numbers they will back right down because they are mostly paper tigers and cowards.

100% agree with this statement.
The question is why it's not happening if the majority of the parents and coaches are wonderful people?

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
So Larry, I do not have a simple solution because it is a complex problem but it starts with the majority of the parents and Coaches who are wonderful people and who I have had wonderfully positive experiences with while reffing a game.

The majority of the parents and Coaches are the key, they need to self enforce and stop it at the club and team level because I know they do not enjoy the negative behavior either and we need all of us to stand up to the bullies as a group because when you stand up strong against a bully especially in big numbers they will back right down because they are mostly paper tigers and cowards.

100% agree with this statement.
The question is why it's not happening if the majority of the parents and coaches are wonderful people?


Because most people are reluctant to confront lunatics that they have to be around week after week.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
So Larry, I do not have a simple solution because it is a complex problem but it starts with the majority of the parents and Coaches who are wonderful people and who I have had wonderfully positive experiences with while reffing a game.

The majority of the parents and Coaches are the key, they need to self enforce and stop it at the club and team level because I know they do not enjoy the negative behavior either and we need all of us to stand up to the bullies as a group because when you stand up strong against a bully especially in big numbers they will back right down because they are mostly paper tigers and cowards.

100% agree with this statement.
The question is why it's not happening if the majority of the parents and coaches are wonderful people?


Because most people are reluctant to confront lunatics that they have to be around week after week.

No it’s actually because most people allow bullies to spoil the experience and do NOTHING and they leave me to take care of it which is fine. Again when the majority lets the minority ruin it it shows a lack of conviction and courage. So when you do nothing it continues to rot the core of your team culture week after week.

When they get a very experienced referee they continue and then the Coach gets a yellow and the parent gets ejected and they are absolutely shocked because they thought they were going to get away it. Their poor child takes the brunt because they are mortified and embarrassed.

Your children are watching. The way you deal with any adversity with your children witnessing it is the way they will learn to not deal with it. Bullies, narcissists and blowhard big mouths expect you to do nothing so they can try to take control.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
100% agree with this statement.
The question is why it's not happening if the majority of the parents and coaches are wonderful people?


Because most people are reluctant to confront lunatics that they have to be around week after week.

Exactly right!

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More and more officials are being told - do not argue with angry parents or coaches- just walk away from the game.
You are one official - save yourself first.
There is no point in trying to diffuse the situation.
I have seen a 9 year old girl punch an opponent in the mouth. I have seen a coach receive a red card and refuse to leave and the ref simply gave him a few seconds then turned and walked off (never even looked back).
When will change happen? Will it take an official to be seriously hurt or killed first - god knows we dont want that to happen.

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Hopefully training to do a better job this season!

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Originally Posted by LIRef77
No it’s actually because most people allow bullies to spoil the experience and do NOTHING and they leave me to take care of it which is fine. Again when the majority lets the minority ruin it it shows a lack of conviction and courage. So when you do nothing it continues to rot the core of your team culture week after week.
That doesn't answer the "why" question. PP said it right, you're around this group week in and week out, possibly multiple days a week. It's "easier" to not make noise/make waves.

Also, some on this thread are insinuating that EVERY game, or at least the majority of games have examples of referee abuse. I'm not in your area, but if that is the case, you have bigger issues. That generally does not happen around here. Are there fans who let their disagreement with a call (or no call) be known? Yes. But it comes no where close to "abuse". No more so than fans in any sport at any level.

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I heard through the grapevine that a large number of officials are planning on a boycott or walkout this coming season. They are a rather large group of officials who are very well organized. This will lead to many game cancellations. Here we go.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
I heard through the grapevine that a large number of officials are planning on a boycott or walkout this coming season. They are a rather large group of officials who are very well organized. This will lead to many game cancellations. Here we go.

Just curios what is the reason they want to "boycott or walkout". They want more money? They don't want to have spectators/parents/coaches around their games? They want limousines to drive them between the games? What else, reduce playing minutes per halve?

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
I heard through the grapevine that a large number of officials are planning on a boycott or walkout this coming season. They are a rather large group of officials who are very well organized. This will lead to many game cancellations. Here we go.

Just curios what is the reason they want to "boycott or walkout". They want more money? They don't want to have spectators/parents/coaches around their games? They want limousines to drive them between the games? What else, reduce playing minutes per halve?

If it’s true and they boycott it isn’t going to be because of money it’s going to be because of people like you who harassed them, and I think they’ve had enough. I don’t blame them one bit if that’s the case and if it isn’t it should be.

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Originally Posted by Larry Miller
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
I heard through the grapevine that a large number of officials are planning on a boycott or walkout this coming season. They are a rather large group of officials who are very well organized. This will lead to many game cancellations. Here we go.

Just curios what is the reason they want to "boycott or walkout". They want more money? They don't want to have spectators/parents/coaches around their games? They want limousines to drive them between the games? What else, reduce playing minutes per halve?

If it’s true and they boycott it isn’t going to be because of money it’s going to be because of people like you who harassed them, and I think they’ve had enough. I don’t blame them one bit if that’s the case and if it isn’t it should be.

What do you mean "people like me"? What made you think I am the one who harasses them? Hold your horses, I have asked a serious question what those referees are demanding and from whom they are demanding. If you don't know then, pls, don't speculate. You don't boycott just because there are some parents and coaches are out of boundaries. It's like firefighters will call it quit because some idiots start fires.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Larry Miller
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
I heard through the grapevine that a large number of officials are planning on a boycott or walkout this coming season. They are a rather large group of officials who are very well organized. This will lead to many game cancellations. Here we go.

Just curios what is the reason they want to "boycott or walkout". They want more money? They don't want to have spectators/parents/coaches around their games? They want limousines to drive them between the games? What else, reduce playing minutes per halve?

If it’s true and they boycott it isn’t going to be because of money it’s going to be because of people like you who harassed them, and I think they’ve had enough. I don’t blame them one bit if that’s the case and if it isn’t it should be.

What do you mean "people like me"? What made you think I am the one who harasses them? Hold your horses, I have asked a serious question what those referees are demanding and from whom they are demanding. If you don't know then, pls, don't speculate. You don't boycott just because there are some parents and coaches are out of boundaries. It's like firefighters will call it quit because some idiots start fires.

Bad analogy, firemen & referees. Firemen do not see who starts fires, but referees see who is harassing them, and if a gang mentality takes root, that ref could be in harm's way. Parents and coaches either have to immediately start to respect the referees or you have any for your games. The money isnt worth the danger of 18+ parents against one guy/gal with a whistle.

BTW, what life lessons do you think you're teaching your kids when you go off on the ref?

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Originally Posted by Larry Miller
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Larry Miller
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
I heard through the grapevine that a large number of officials are planning on a boycott or walkout this coming season. They are a rather large group of officials who are very well organized. This will lead to many game cancellations. Here we go.

Just curios what is the reason they want to "boycott or walkout". They want more money? They don't want to have spectators/parents/coaches around their games? They want limousines to drive them between the games? What else, reduce playing minutes per halve?

If it’s true and they boycott it isn’t going to be because of money it’s going to be because of people like you who harassed them, and I think they’ve had enough. I don’t blame them one bit if that’s the case and if it isn’t it should be.

What do you mean "people like me"? What made you think I am the one who harasses them? Hold your horses, I have asked a serious question what those referees are demanding and from whom they are demanding. If you don't know then, pls, don't speculate. You don't boycott just because there are some parents and coaches are out of boundaries. It's like firefighters will call it quit because some idiots start fires.

Bad analogy, firemen & referees. Firemen do not see who starts fires, but referees see who is harassing them, and if a gang mentality takes root, that ref could be in harm's way. Parents and coaches either have to immediately start to respect the referees or you have any for your games. The money isnt worth the danger of 18+ parents against one guy/gal with a whistle.

BTW, what life lessons do you think you're teaching your kids when you go off on the ref?

Hey, I feel like by some reason you're accusing me of something that I am not. Who says here that it's OK harassing, bullying, and abusing referees? The question here is how you make <your quote> "Parents and coaches have to immediately start to respect the referees". It's not enough to say it but how exactly you make that happen?
Maybe my analogy with firefighters wasn't perfect but my point was to find out what those referees are asking or proposing that if their demands won't be satisfied then they ""boycott or walkout". So, please, don't lecture me on how bad it is but tell me what can be done about. Would you hire private security to patrol around while 9 years old are playing to calm down their parents and coaches. Before every game talk to parents and coaches to remind them how to behave?

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Hey, I feel like by some reason you're accusing me of something that I am not. Who says here that it's OK harassing, bullying, and abusing referees? The question here is how you make <your quote> "Parents and coaches have to immediately start to respect the referees". It's not enough to say it but how exactly you make that happen?
Maybe my analogy with firefighters wasn't perfect but my point was to find out what those referees are asking or proposing that if their demands won't be satisfied then they ""boycott or walkout". So, please, don't lecture me on how bad it is but tell me what can be done about. Would you hire private security to patrol around while 9 years old are playing to calm down their parents and coaches. Before every game talk to parents and coaches to remind them how to behave?

Do I, or anyone really need to tell you what has to be done to correct this situation? Isn't it obvious?

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Unfortunately, the leagues, the clubs, coaches, parents and referees are all to blame. Lets start: Its all a downhill snowball:

The League: refuses to punish clubs with repeated issues, no fines are given to correct improper behavior on the sidelines. No suspensions for multiple yellow or red cards. Hence we have the crazy coaches and parents that follow, like Kozy, or insert name here.

The Clubs: Clubs refuse to punish coaches or parents for their behavior. No expulsions of families from the club. No removal of coaches. And if they do remove a coach or parent, they fail to notify anyone. Now this coach or parents move on to the next club and start all over again.

The coaches: Volunteers probably do a better job with handling parents, because they are not paid and can walk away at any time. However, most will not discipline or remove parents from the field, for fear of the parent backlash, Facebook bashing or any other type of abuse they will get from the parents or the rest of the psychos in the club. Paid coaches, forget it. Who will the club side with? surely not the parents or referees.

The parents: Ask most kids about parent behavior on sidelines. They are embarassed. Parents simply cant root for the game. They are mostly pretentious, caring about their child and putting everyone else down. Its contagious and spreads like wildfire on the sidelines. Rarely do you here great play, great ball, great save, regardless of which team did it.

The Referees: According to the above groups, are the only people who are wrong all the time, just like the weather people. Yes, they make mistakes, but are doing their best. Some shouldn't be refereeing, let alone being responsible for 22 children playing a soccer game. Just like any other job, their are good and bad referees. The good outweigh the bad. The referees need to be evaluated yearly, not by coaches or parents, but by other, experienced officials.

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Originally Posted by Larry Miller
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Hey, I feel like by some reason you're accusing me of something that I am not. Who says here that it's OK harassing, bullying, and abusing referees? The question here is how you make <your quote> "Parents and coaches have to immediately start to respect the referees". It's not enough to say it but how exactly you make that happen?
Maybe my analogy with firefighters wasn't perfect but my point was to find out what those referees are asking or proposing that if their demands won't be satisfied then they ""boycott or walkout". So, please, don't lecture me on how bad it is but tell me what can be done about. Would you hire private security to patrol around while 9 years old are playing to calm down their parents and coaches. Before every game talk to parents and coaches to remind them how to behave?


Do I, or anyone really need to tell you what has to be done to correct this situation? Isn't it obvious?

With all due respect, it's not obvious, at least to me. I 101% agree what LIRef77 said here earlier, which I will repost below my message. This issue didn't just happen yesterday and so many people and organizations have tried to deal with it and things are only getting worse

"
+++++++++++++++++
Well I actually feel that any type of job action would fall on deaf ears and would not change anything, in fact it could make people even more hostile towards referees.

The other more major issue with Referees is that we are a very very diverse group racially, demographically, philosophically and economically. Some referees really need the money, some don’t.

So in my opinion to try to unite this huge group for any type of job action is extremely remote because it would be the equivalent of trying to herd cats.
++++++++++++++++++

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I've said it before and I'll say it again, IMO, any change needs to start at the referee level. Here's what *I* think should happen... the referee group goes to the league/tournament officials. They make it known they will not tolerate harassment or abuse from ANYONE (coach, spectator, or player). They will eject anyone who harasses or abuses the refs, players, coaches, spectators. If the ejected person won't leave, the game won't continue. The fact someone was ejected goes in the post game report. Now you're starting a paper trail.

The leagues/tournaments will let the club know this is going to happen. It's up to the clubs to determine WHO got ejected (the refs will have no idea of a name and may not even know what club/team they're associated with). The clubs need to let their members know there will be a fine assessed if you're ejected. $100 for first offense, $500 for second offense (in same year), after three ejections, your family is banned from the club for the rest of the year and no release is given. The child doesn't play again until the fine is paid. If the family is banned, they can return the following year, but after one ejection, they're banned. The club will obviously need to investigate to find out who got kicked out. They find that out by talking to the coach, the team manager, and/or other parents.

Now, how you define "abuse" or "harassment" is not as black and white as some would have you believe. Saying "bad call ref" is NOT abuse. "You missed that call" is not harassment. "Meet me in the parking lot" IS harassment. "We're going to report you" is harassment. Obviously this will vary based on the ref.

So, A) the referee has to actually eject someone and write it up in the report. B) The league/club needs to investigate in order to hold the correct parties responsible. C) The coach, manager, other parents need to be willing to at least say "It was Joe" or "Jane got kicked out." And D) the club needs to hold the parties responsible.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
I've said it before and I'll say it again, IMO, any change needs to start at the referee level. Here's what *I* think should happen... the referee group goes to the league/tournament officials. They make it known they will not tolerate harassment or abuse from ANYONE (coach, spectator, or player). They will eject anyone who harasses or abuses the refs, players, coaches, spectators. If the ejected person won't leave, the game won't continue. The fact someone was ejected goes in the post game report. Now you're starting a paper trail.

The leagues/tournaments will let the club know this is going to happen. It's up to the clubs to determine WHO got ejected (the refs will have no idea of a name and may not even know what club/team they're associated with). The clubs need to let their members know there will be a fine assessed if you're ejected. $100 for first offense, $500 for second offense (in same year), after three ejections, your family is banned from the club for the rest of the year and no release is given. The child doesn't play again until the fine is paid. If the family is banned, they can return the following year, but after one ejection, they're banned. The club will obviously need to investigate to find out who got kicked out. They find that out by talking to the coach, the team manager, and/or other parents.

Now, how you define "abuse" or "harassment" is not as black and white as some would have you believe. Saying "bad call ref" is NOT abuse. "You missed that call" is not harassment. "Meet me in the parking lot" IS harassment. "We're going to report you" is harassment. Obviously this will vary based on the ref.

So, A) the referee has to actually eject someone and write it up in the report. B) The league/club needs to investigate in order to hold the correct parties responsible. C) The coach, manager, other parents need to be willing to at least say "It was Joe" or "Jane got kicked out." And D) the club needs to hold the parties responsible.


Bad call ref, you missed that call may not be harassment but the constant comments can lead to further comments. How about we all just show up cheer for our kids and let the coach and referee do their jobs. If you have a problem with the referees call keep it to yourself.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
I've said it before and I'll say it again, IMO, any change needs to start at the referee level. Here's what *I* think should happen... the referee group goes to the league/tournament officials. They make it known they will not tolerate harassment or abuse from ANYONE (coach, spectator, or player). They will eject anyone who harasses or abuses the refs, players, coaches, spectators. If the ejected person won't leave, the game won't continue. The fact someone was ejected goes in the post game report. Now you're starting a paper trail.

The leagues/tournaments will let the club know this is going to happen. It's up to the clubs to determine WHO got ejected (the refs will have no idea of a name and may not even know what club/team they're associated with). The clubs need to let their members know there will be a fine assessed if you're ejected. $100 for first offense, $500 for second offense (in same year), after three ejections, your family is banned from the club for the rest of the year and no release is given. The child doesn't play again until the fine is paid. If the family is banned, they can return the following year, but after one ejection, they're banned. The club will obviously need to investigate to find out who got kicked out. They find that out by talking to the coach, the team manager, and/or other parents.

Now, how you define "abuse" or "harassment" is not as black and white as some would have you believe. Saying "bad call ref" is NOT abuse. "You missed that call" is not harassment. "Meet me in the parking lot" IS harassment. "We're going to report you" is harassment. Obviously this will vary based on the ref.

So, A) the referee has to actually eject someone and write it up in the report. B) The league/club needs to investigate in order to hold the correct parties responsible. C) The coach, manager, other parents need to be willing to at least say "It was Joe" or "Jane got kicked out." And D) the club needs to hold the parties responsible.


Bad call ref, you missed that call may not be harassment but the constant comments can lead to further comments. How about we all just show up cheer for our kids and let the coach and referee do their jobs. If you have a problem with the referees call keep it to yourself.
If you believe that will happen, I have a bridge to sell you.

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I've been with the association as a referee since 2002 and let me tell you I've never thrown a parent out and I've never let any of them get to me if you have rabbit ears this job is not for you to have to ignore them. Wen you are officialting in front of 30,000 people do you think you have time to pay attention to all 30,000 of them so what's the difference here a bunch of soccer moms on the sideline. You have to let it go because if you start dealing with them then they won because they got under your skin and ruin the game just ignore them. The only people I've dealt with are the players on the field and the coaching staff that's it that's all I respect. When I'm in the middle I swear I do not even know the parents are there and when I'm on the line I will not even answer them to give them the time. They will ask me how much time is left and I will not even answer them and then they know that I am going to completely ignore them no matter what they say.

I know some idiot here is going to say that I'm being rude by not giving them a time however this usually leads to them thinking were in the same level and then a funny joke like wow even the ref probably like that goal LOL and he's expecting a chuckle from me then he thinks he's on the same level as me so then 20 minutes later when I call an offside he'll start beating me and ask me for an explanation because he thinks we're on the same level now so that's my point is better off not even to talk to them

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
I've been with the association as a referee since 2002 and let me tell you I've never thrown a parent out and I've never let any of them get to me if you have rabbit ears this job is not for you to have to ignore them. Wen you are officialting in front of 30,000 people do you think you have time to pay attention to all 30,000 of them so what's the difference here a bunch of soccer moms on the sideline. You have to let it go because if you start dealing with them then they won because they got under your skin and ruin the game just ignore them. The only people I've dealt with are the players on the field and the coaching staff that's it that's all I respect. When I'm in the middle I swear I do not even know the parents are there and when I'm on the line I will not even answer them to give them the time. They will ask me how much time is left and I will not even answer them and then they know that I am going to completely ignore them no matter what they say.

I know some idiot here is going to say that I'm being rude by not giving them a time however this usually leads to them thinking were in the same level and then a funny joke like wow even the ref probably like that goal LOL and he's expecting a chuckle from me then he thinks he's on the same level as me so then 20 minutes later when I call an offside he'll start beating me and ask me for an explanation because he thinks we're on the same level now so that's my point is better off not even to talk to them


At least once a season I get a parent encouraging their kids to injure the opposing teams players. Yeah, I blow off parents saying what a terrible call I made, but I'm not going to ignore that. That's going to get the game stopped and a talk with the coaches about their parents behavior and possibly a card.

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