I recently attended my daughters high school soccer game and the center referee was talking and joking with the spectators during the game. The players on the field then began talking to the spectators. Do the laws of the game address this? The referee also spent his time during half time talking to one of the teams and after the game went and talked to same team extensively. It seems like the referee would not want to do this as it appeared to show bias to one team. Do the laws of the game address the referee etiquette?
USSF answer (May 7, 2009):
We do not do high school rules here, but we can say with great certainty that the Laws of the Game do not address referee etiquette. However, common sense and the Referee Code of Ethics (for USSF referees, which may not apply to the referee you saw in a high school game) certainly apply here.
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.
(3) I will always honor an assignment or any other contractual obligation.
(4) I will attend training meetings and clinics so as to know the Laws of the Game, their proper interpretation and their application.
(5) I will always strive to achieve maximum team work with my fellow officials.
(6) I will be loyal to my fellow officials and never knowingly promote criticism of them.
(7) I will be in good physical condition.
(8) I will control the players effectively by being courteous and considerate without sacrificing fairness.
(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.
(11) I will not discriminate against nor take undue advantage of any individual group on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
(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.