ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY
Effective: January 18th, 2023 Last Revision: 1/18/2023
Scope: This policy is in effect for all SC Youth Soccer events.
Authority: Pursuant to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) Laws of the
Game, Law 5 | The Referee | Section 3. Powers and duties
Section 1. Purpose
a) The aim of this policy is to prevent outside interference, including but not
limited to the harassment of officials that involves spectators in all SC Youth
Soccer events. SC Youth Soccer wants to promote an environment that is
conducive to the development and retention of referees, players, and coaches.
b) This policy does not imply that a referee is without fault or error. We
acknowledge that mistakes are a natural part of the game for players, coaches
and referees. Everyone engaged with SC Youth Soccer must be focused on
creating a safe environment for the youth players, referees and coaches in South
Section 2. Harassment of Officials
a) The harassment of an official may be defined by but is not limited to acts that:
i. Cause fear, humiliation, or annoyance
ii. Offend or degrade
iii. Are pejorative or demeaning
iv. Are verbally threatening
v. Infer physical harm
vi. Repeatedly announcing your disagreement with a call or lack thereof
Section 3. Removal
a) Spectators in violation of Section 2 of this policy will be required to leave the
complex. Any removed spectators responsible for the transportation of a youth
player within the complex shall wait in their vehicle until the conclusion of the
b) Prior to removal, officials may decide to issue a warning to the coach who is
coaching the team of the offending spectator(s).
Section 4. Enforcement
a) Upon an official acknowledging harassment by a spectator as outlined in Section
2, the process to remove the offending spectator will be as follows:
i. The referee will stop the game and ask the coach of the respective team
to remove the spectator before play can resume.
ii. If the coach refuses to ask the spectator to leave, the game will be
iii. If the spectator refuses to comply with the provisions outlined in Section
3, the game will be abandoned immediately.
iv. Officials will not directly address any spectator.
Section 5. Reporting
a) Depending on the age of the referee, reports of the incident submitted by the
official to SC Youth Soccer may be escalated to outside authorities other than
the U.S. Soccer Federation and SC Youth Soccer.
i. ADULT: Referee reports will be processed by SC Youth Soccer.
ii. MINOR (17 or under): Reports of harassment will be submitted to the
Center for Safe Sport; The Center for Safe Sport has jurisdiction over
claims of suspected abuse and other misconduct involving minors.
Section 6. Disciplinary Actions
a) The following suspensions and fines will be issued to the offending spectator
following receipt and review of the referee’s report:
i. First offense: Banned from SC Youth Soccer events until the completion
of an online referee abuse awareness course of SC Youth Soccer’s choice
and a fine of up to $100.00.
ii. Second offense: $250.00 fine and a 10-week ban.
iii. Third offense: $500.00 fine and a possible lifetime ban from all SC Youth
b) Individuals are suspended from all SC Youth Soccer events until the appropriate
suspension and fine has been completed.
c) If a game is abandoned for reasons outlined in Section 4, then a forfeit will occur
for the team that the offending individual is affiliated with.
Section 7. Appeals
a) First time offenders through a Club official must submit in writing an appeal
within ten (10 days) of notice of the offense as outlined in Section 7 (b) below.
b) Second and third-time offenders may appeal the suspension and fine outlined in
Section 3 by following the steps below:
i. The offender is not allowed to attend any SC Youth Soccer events until
the appeal process has concluded.
ii. Appeals may only be submitted by a Club Official (i.e., board member,
director of coaching), and cannot be submitted by the offender.
iii. Appeals must be sent to email@example.com detailing clearly why the repeat
offender’s actions are not deserving of the suspension or fine issued.
c) Any concerns or feedback regarding referees must be submitted in writing to
the Administrator of that Competition.
i. Concerns related to referee performance or behavior will only be
accepted from a Club Official (i.e. board member, director of coaching).