Parents sitting within a few feet of the corner flags (basically, their positioning impedes the soccer players from having the appropriate space to kick the ball). I have traditionally had problems with rec parents (in particular) who get mad when asked to move at least 2 yards from the lines or from outside the corner goal area. As a matter of fact, this weekend a newly bridged ref (from grade 9 to grade 8 and whose dad was the coach of the team playing) got mad when asked to move (mind you he was sitting, as a spectator, within 2-3 ft of the flag – if he had laid down he would have touched the flag). During stoppage of the game, he came to the pitch to question why I would make a “ref” (while pointing to his new 2012 badge) move – wanted me to tell him “which rule”. I told him I’d be happy to talk to him after the game but not why I was currently reffing. Then he said, “The game has stopped. Tell me why you want me to move”. I told him I was in the middle of the game and he needed to leave the field so I could get the game going again. His dad then told him to get off the field so the team could play. Naturally, he did not come to find me at the end of the game.
I plan to talk to the Association today about this behavior; however it seems that there is some “ethical” issue that he may have violated
– particularly since he entered the field and had no reason to be on the field.
USSF answer (October 31, 2011):
This sort of situation is usually dealt with in the rules of the particular competition under which the game is being played. In other words, the rules of the league or the rec council or tournament, etc. In most cases these rules forbid spectators (particularly partisan spectators) from being behind the goal lines or less than three yards from either of the touchlines,although it will vary depending on where you are.
While the errant official may not have been on the game itself, he clearly violated a number of items under the Referee Code of Ethics:
(1) I will always maintain the utmost respect for the game of soccer.
(2) I will conduct myself honorably at all times and maintain the dignity of my position.
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(6) I will be loyal to my fellow officials and never knowingly promote criticism of them.
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(9) I will do my utmost to assist my fellow officials to better themselves and their work.
(10) I will not make statements about any games except to clarify an interpretation of the Laws of the Game.
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(12) I consider it a privilege to be a part of the U.S. Soccer Federation and my actions will reflect credit upon that organization and its affiliates.