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Zero Tolerance

Bedford Euless Soccer Association Zero Tolerance Policy

Referee Policies

Effective immediately, the following referee policies will be followed by all soccer referees at all outdoor soccer matches officiated at BESA soccer fields or any other location under the authority of BESA.

Zero Tolerance

All persons responsible for a team and spectators (coach, assistants, and team managers) shall support the referee team.  Failure to do so will undermine the referee’s authority and potentially create a hostile environment for the players, the referees, and all other participants and spectators.  Consequently, the following policy is effective immediately:


Exceptions During the Match for Coaches/Managers of Team:

  • Responding to a referee who initiates communication
  • Requesting a substitution
  • Pointing out emergencies or safety issues
  • At half-time or at the end of a match, a coach/manager may ask a referee to explain a rule(s) in a polite and constructive manner.   HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT AN INVITATION TO DEBATE!  Polite and friendly feedback may be given to a referee.  ABSOLUTELY NO SARCASM, HARASSMENT, OR INTIMIDATION!

Penalties for Coaches/Managers of Team:

  • 1st Minor infraction - Referee should ignore
  • 2nd Minor infraction - Referee shall give verbal warning
  • 3rd Minor infraction - Caution
  • 4th Minor infraction - Dismissal
  • 1st Serious infraction - Caution or Dismissal depending on seriousness of infraction.

           (Dissent=Caution; Offensive, insulting, abusive = Dismissal)

Note: It is important to remember that the seriousness of the infraction is solely the opinion of the referee responsible for the match.  There is no questioning of a Caution or Dismissal at the field, to the officiating crew, a field marshal, or any BESA Board Member.  The only avenue for appeal is a properly constituted Appeals and Disciplinary hearing conducted according to the BESA or NMCSL Playing rules or By-Laws.

Exceptions during a Match for Spectators:                             

  • Referee initiating a communication
  • Pointing out emergencies or safety issues

Penalties for Spectators:

  • 1st infraction – Referee should stop match and ask the coach to quiet the offending spectator.
  • 2nd infraction – A verbal warning.  Referee should stop the match and ask the coach to warn the spectator that the next infraction will result in dismissal of the spectator or the referee will abandon match.
  • 3rd infraction – Referee shall instruct the coach to direct the spectator to leave the field.  The referee shall abandon the match if the spectator does not leave the field (i.e., out of sight and sound).

Note: Any caution, ejection or dismissal requires a signed NTSSA Outdoor Misconduct Report detailing the incident must be filed within 48 hours.  Include just the facts, and what was said, verbatim, especially if the language is profane, foul, or threatening, and names of the offenders (includes coaches, managers, and/or spectators).  In cases where a match is abandoned by the referee, the status of the match can ONLY be determined by the proper League or Association authority.

If a BESA Board Member witnesses inappropriate or violent behavior by either a coach, assistant coach, team manager or spectator they are encouraged to fully support the referee and the referee’s actions. Board Members should observe and only intervene at the request of the referee.  If there has been a verbal warning or caution issued, the Board Member may reinforce to the offender the consequences of further misconduct, i.e., dismissal and/or abandonment of the game.  If there is a dismissal or abandonment of the game, BESA Board Members in attendance at the game may submit a report to the A&D Chairman and Director of Officials for use in any A&D hearing that may result from the incident.