WHEN: Before, during or after a match, even at later times if it is match related, such as at work or at home.
WHO: Misconduct toward a referee, all registered referees, assistant referees, fourth officials or others duly appointed to assist. It also includes any non-licensed, non-registered persons serving in an emergency capacity as a referee under USSF Policy 531-9 and any club assistant referees.
A. Assault: An intentional act of physical violence at or upon a referee includes but is not limited to: hitting, kicking, punching, spitting at or on, grabbing, running into, kicking or throwing any object that could inflict injury, damage to referee equipment or personal property, cars, equipment, etc.
B. Abuse: A verbal statement or physical act not resulting in bodily contact which implies or threatens harm to a referee or the referee's property or equipment including, but is not limited to, the following acts:
o using foul or abusive language
o spewing any beverage on a referee's property of verbally threatening a referee
o Verbal threats or remarks that carry implied or direct threats of physical harm (e. g. I'll get you later!” or “I know where you live!”)
C. Serious Injuries: Those injuries that require hospitalization or treatment by a qualified dentist or medical practitioner. Definitions are excerpts from the USSF Administrative Rule Book and the USSF Referee Administrative Handbook. The following penalties for Abuse and/or Assault on a referee are the minimums. The Discipline Committee may, at its discretion, impose stiffer penalties as warranted by the individual act or incident.
o 1 year minimum
o 5 years minimum with serious injury
o 3 years minimum adult defendant with a minor referee (17 years of age or under)
B. Abuse: 3 match minimum
C. Any Player, Coach, Team Official or Team Spectator who has been deemed to have ABUSED a referee shall receive, as a minimum, a three (3) consecutive game suspension from scheduled league or tournament play. The Discipline Committee may provide for a longer period of suspension when circumstances warrant (e.g., habitual offenders).
D. Any Player, Coach, Team Official or Team Spectator committing or attempting to commit a referee assault is automatically suspended for one (1) year from the time of the assault. If serious injuries are inflicted then the minimum suspension shall be for five (5) years. The Discipline Committee may not provide a shorter period, but, if circumstances warrant, may provide a longer period of suspension.
Note: These Assault suspensions are to be imposed from the time of the incident and will remain in force until such times as the Discipline Committee takes action.
All Affiliated Teams:
All teams, players, managers and team officials have an affirmative obligation to protect the referees. Teams are responsible for the conduct and actions of its players and their supporters. If any Players, Coaches, Team Officials or Team Spectators escalate, inflame or abet in a physical assault on a referee or if no apparent attempt is made by the team, when time permits, to intercede in protecting or preventing an assault upon a referee then the following minimum penalties prevail:
o The team is banned from participating in any Tournament play for TWO years. Such ban will follow each team player that is rostered at the time of the incident should they try to transfer to another team. A final decision on each individual player’s eligibility will be determined by the TASL D&A Board.
o Any violation of the probation by the team shall result in the team being suspended forever.
o Any violation of the probation by transferred player on the rostered team at the time of the incident shall result in that player being suspended forever.
Referees (and by definition Assistant Referees, Club Assistant Referees) and others appointed to officiate the match) shall report any and all abuse and assault incidents to the League, NCASA, the Referee Assignor and the State Referee Administrator.
The State Association and the League as matter of policy supports and encourages any Referee who is assaulted to file formal charges in a Court of Law. It is expected that the State Referee Administrator shall inform all referees under his jurisdiction, of their responsibility to prosecute offending persons and to report any incidents of violence, actual or threatened, to the NCASA.
The above policy is effective beginning with the 2004 Calendar Year.
As a matter of policy all incidents of Referee Abuse are automatically reviewed by the State Board of Referees. When applicable, the State Board decision will supersede the decision of the local Discipline Board.
Board Approval Date: 01/2004