I was substitute refereeing a U15 game (the other ref couldn’t make it). And during the first half one of the teams coaches was just yelling at me from the sidelines, that I was missing handballs and aggressive pushing (there was a couple I missed but nothing game changing). But at half-time while I was talking to my boss (he was informing me that there are only suppose to be two coaches on a side per team) the “yelling coach” came over and just started criticizing me, my fellow ref, and our local soccer organization. We tried to explain to him that we are just kids so we do not have the ability to see everything, but he just couldn’t stop.
In the process he ended up wasting 15 minutes of halftime and reduced the other ref into tears. We told him that if he has problems he should file a complaint or talk to us after the game. He stepped off the field and sat with the parents the rest of the game.
So my questions are:
Could we have handled it better?
Is it possible to just call the game due to the coach?
and please keep in mind I am only 16 and have been reffing for two seasons.
USSF answer (October 7, 2008):
No ageism here, sir. We treat all referees as equals. Well, maybe not those whose associations put them on two-referee games, which are not allowed under the Laws of the Game. To them we recommend that they either convince their association to use the Diagonal System of Control (one referee and two assistant referees) or find another association that does.
Not forgetting your question, we can state simply that you should have told this “coach” to get back to his team area immediately and not to bother you before, during, or after the game. If he had a problem, he is welcome, as you clearly told him, to submit a report to your association and to the state organization, but he is not welcome to interfere with your work or your break at halftime. If he persists after this notification, then you should use the power granted you by Law 5 and take action against the coach or any other team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner. That means that you may, at your discretion, expel them from the field of play and its immediate vicinity.