Massachusetts school files incident report about referee

November 28, 2023 / Athletic Administration
A Massachusetts athletic department has filed an incident report with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) after a referee’s response to an injured player during a girls’ soccer state semifinal loss.

Dover-Sherborn High School squared off against Hanover—the defending Division 3 state champion—in the state semifinal match on Nov. 15 when a D-S player fell to the turf after an elbow from a Hanover player hit her face in the 70th minute.

massachusettsA recent story from the MetroWest Daily News detailed the incident and the corresponding report filed by Dover-Sherborn to the MIAA.

Below is an excerpt from the MetroWest Daily News.

The referee acknowledged contact and indicated play on, according to the report provided to the MetroWest Daily News. The MetroWest Daily News also reviewed footage of the incident.

“There is a complete lack of regard to student safety by the officials,” read the report, signed by D-S athletic director Emily Sullivan, girls soccer coach Evren Gunduz, and athletic trainer and athletic assistant Cam Siciliano. “This incident should have been carded or certainly called for a foul.”

Instead, play continued for “30 seconds while (the player) was bleeding profusely,” according to the report.

Dover-Sherborn’s sideline alerted the assistant referee (AR) to stop the play because of the injury, and the assistant contacted the center referee (CR) over the headset. The center referee did not stop play.

D-S’ athletic trainer nearly entered the field of play out of “concern for the safety of our student-athlete” stated the report.

“We were worried for her consciousness at this point due to shock, emotion, and how much blood she lost as the student-athlete at one point attempted to rise, but fell back to the turf clutching her face,” the report said.

While she was down, two other D-S athletes stopped to help their teammate expecting play to be halted. During that stretch, Hanover scored a tying goal. The Hanover players celebrated their goal while D-S’ trainer was attending to the injured player. Hanover went on to win, 2-1 in double overtime.

“They were completely negligent to the point of causing a very dangerous situation,” the report said.

“Our team was distraught not only by the injury to their teammate, but also the lack of control during the entire period of the injury, and had an incredibly difficult time regaining focus,” the report continued. “Due to a lack of good judgment made by the two officials, this game was not decided the way it is supposed to be decided—by the players’ effort and skills on the field.”

To read the full story from the MetroWest Daily News about the Massachusetts girls’ soccer team, click here.