The Lower Island Soccer Association (LISA) has received numerous complaints and game reports over the past few seasons regarding spectator and coach conduct during games. There has been an unprecedented number of coaches called to discipline for their sideline behaviour. Most disturbing to the Association is the amount of complaints from officials regarding spectators (fans) swearing and being abusive towards them.
It is the intention of the LISA to stamp out this behaviour, effective immediately; all LISA officials are instructed to take the following action:
- Officials will ask the coach to remove any fan(s) whom the official feels is undermining his or her authority. The official will not restart the game until the offending party has removed themselves or has been removed.
- If the offending party still refuses to leave the official will abandon the game. The coach of the team with the offending party will be called to discipline.\
- First offence: The team will be placed on a $500 bond, receive a $200 fine and a possible game forfeiture.
- A team who has a game called for the second time due to fan behaviour will lose their $500 bond, placed on a $1,000 bond and a possible game forfeiture.
- A team who has a game called for the third time due to fan behaviour will lose their bond and have their eligibility to participate further in the league reviewed by a committee of the LISA Board.
Whereas this is a passionate game, team officials and spectators must control their conduct, especially towards officials. Soccer is not attracting nor retaining officials. Without them games cannot take place. Discipline for coach behaviour is clearly written in the LISA Rules and Regulations, the Discipline Committee will rigorously enforce these rules.
Fans who scream at officials are hurting young people who work as referees for minor sports across Canada, and are being blamed for a shortage of soccer referees. LISA does not schedule the referees but we will work with the head referee schedulers of each club to share the information we receive to assist in assigning the most appropriate ref for each game and mentor any referees that might need assistance. Remember, there would be no game if we didn’t have referees so let’s keep them in the game!
R. Tim Satterford
President, Lower Island Soccer Association