Spectator Conduct Expectations
Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of incidents where parents and spectators have crossed the line with their behaviour (i.e. abusive shouting or language and comments to, or attempts to engage with, referees and assistant referees). This inappropriate behaviour is specifically prohibited and we adhere to a zero tolerance policy.
Bays United has received official notice from our governing body, Lower Island Soccer Association (LISA), with a warning that future behaviour like this will result in sanctions (i.e. fines or suspensions) against the club, specific teams or individuals. In terms of our obligations to LISA, coaches are directly responsible for managing spectator conduct at matches and could be held to account for incidents. Within Bays, we will take disciplinary action directly with spectators, when warranted.
In an attempt to mitigate further incidents, we are asking all members to review our Codes of Conduct (one each for players, coaches and spectators).
Youth soccer is an exciting and engaging sport to watch, and it is very easy to get wound up in the moment. In games, fair play is not always achieved – everyone makes mistakes. We must accept that there may be multiple interpretations of plays and live with those results – good or bad. During difficult situations, the learning moment can be very powerful for players when match and team officials are allowed to do their jobs without interference from spectators.
Please be reminded that all parents and spectators are not to engage with match officials before, during or after games, unless it is to thank them. Similarly, spectators should not engage with other players or team officials in a charged manner. If you would like to follow up with the coach, do so after you get home, using the communications method they prefer.
If you witness something that you feel requires follow-up by the Club, please document this using an Incident Report Form, and send to the General Manager.
Finally, please recognize that all LISA clubs are responsible for recruiting and developing their referees. Many of these refs are officiating matches with players who may be only a few years younger than they are. Without youth referees, we would not have games. Developing good referees is not aided by negative, offensive treatment by players, coaches and/or spectators. Their skill and confidence at match officiating comes with experience and positive reinforcement for their important role. Please watch this video from BC Soccer that highlights the perils of referee abuse.
It goes without saying that we appreciate the positive contributions that the vast majority of spectators bring to the game and player experience. Thank you for doing your part to contribute to a positive game environment.