S.C. youth soccer league creates rule to quiet parents

July 6, 2017 / CoachingSoccer
A South Carolina youth soccer organization is taking a unique approach to silence the boisterous parents who regularly harass referees.

The South Carolina Youth Soccer Association (SCYSA) recently dispatched a memo to parents, saying that during “Silent September” there will be “no cheering, no jeering” from “parents and visitors,” according to The State. Spectators will be warned by the coach after their first two violations and, after the third, the referee will ask the coach to dismiss the offender.

From the article:

“It’s kind of embarrassing for our sport,” said Jimmy George, Director of Coaching for the Clemson Anderson Soccer Alliance. “I’ve played this game since I was 6. I’m getting ready to turn 40. Where has our sport gone? Where has our society gone?”

“I think it reinforces how silly the parents sometimes are,” said John Lupisella, a member of the South Carolina Referee Association who serves as an assignor for the Greenville area.

“For the most part, they really don’t know the rules. I think it’s a great idea to make everybody aware that it’s a game, and it’s for the kids. Let them enjoy themselves. For the most part, they don’t want to hear you.”

Kenneth Ayers, state referee administrator for the South Carolina Referee Association, told The State that the organization only returns 35% of its new referees each year. The No. 1 reason that referees don’t come back: “sideline behavior of parents and fans.”

Under the new rule, if fans who are asked to leave do not comply, the coach will be removed. If nobody is available to take the coach’s place, the game will be stopped.

“This is just an effort to push the reset button, get back to what we believe should be acceptable sideline decorum and give us an opportunity to develop referees,” Ayers said in the article.

The State did a great job detailing the soccer association’s efforts and the problems referees face with abusive spectators. Click here to read the story.

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