WAGS R&D Committee Meeting
Fairview Park Marriott
September 25, 2008
Committee Members Present: Lula Bauer (Director), Clarence Jones, Sally D’Italia, Maria Ramos, Michelle White (Administrator).
MCLN MPS 95 Green Fury Team Members Present: Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Team Manager, MCLN TSL, MCLN Team STAR, and a parent.
Others Present: Center Referee
MCLN MPS 95 Green Fury Assistant Coach (U13 D2); alleged violation of WAGS Rule M.1. Game Conduct
The meeting began with introductions and the R&D Director explaining the procedure of the hearing and the appeal process.
The Center Referee (CR) filed a report pertaining to the Assistant Coach (AC) and team parents, alleging game misconduct, which initiated this hearing. The CR began her testimony by explaining the chain of events leading up to the reason for filing her Game Report. She explained that the MCLN team was advancing in the attacking third of the field when a ball was played to a MCLN player that she considered to be in an offside position. She saw no flag from the STAR so the play continued, and the MCLN player scored. She approached the STAR to ask what he observed, and he told her he was unsure about his call. The CR determined MCLN to be offside, and disallowed the goal. The AC was upset regarding the call and dissented loudly to the CR. He was issued a yellow card for dissent. He continued to dissent loudly as he walked back to the bench, and he was issued a second yellow card, which ejected him from the game. The AC left the field and positioned himself on a hill. The CR informed him to leave the area to which he did without incident. The CR restarted the match until the time elapsed. After the match was over, several MCLN parents approached the CR in an intimidating manner. The MCLN STAR intervened and apologized for the parents’ behavior. The HC offered to escort the CR to her car but she declined.
A Committee member asked where the parents were standing and the volume of the dissent. The CR replied that the MCLN parents were about a foot away in the center circle to which their voices could be heard by anyone who was walking by them.
The AC began his testimony by stating that he completely agreed with the CR’s chain of events leading to his ejection. He said that earlier in the match he sat down on the bench when the CR warned him. He said that after he received the first yellow card, he was walking back to the bench talking to himself not realizing that the CR could over hear what he was saying, he then received his second yellow card. He walked off the pitch and sat on the hill unaware of the rule to be out of sight and out of sound. He was told by the CR to leave the area to which he did. He further stated that it is not in his character to behave in such a manner, and that he was apologetic for his actions.
The MCLN STAR testified that he was assisting the CR with the correct spelling of the AC’s name when the parents came across the field. He further stated that the parents voiced their opinions of their displeasure of the CR.
The attending MCLN Parent testified that he has been attending soccer matches for approximately 15 years. He stated that he is the quietest person on the team, but he was upset because of the offside call. He apologized and agreed that his behavior was unacceptable.
The MCLN team manager (TM) testified that the parent sent out an apology to the team that night. The TM submitted to the Committee copies of the emails as well as the Red Card Sit out Form.
In addition, the TSL testified that she emailed a reminder of appropriate parent behavior at matches as well as a link to the WAGS’ Parents Code of Conduct for team parents to review.
The HC stated that the two yellow cards his AC received were warranted. After the match, he gathered the girls to explain to them the circumstances. He assured the Committee the girls did not hear the parents’ dissent. He offered to walk the CR to her car because he could see she felt intimidated.
A Committee member asked the MCLN Club Rep if anything at the club level is in effect dealing with such behavior to which the Club Rep replied that MCLN has its own R&D Committee, and they will be dealing with this matter. She added that the parents were reminded that MCLN takes the Code of Conduct seriously and such behavior is not in the spirit of the game.
After the deliberation, the Committee directed the following:
The Committee wants to commend the MCLN coaches, manager, TSL, the STAR and the parent who attended the hearing. However, it is very upsetting that the other parents’ involved did not attend or submit a statement. The Committee feels that the parents violated the Parent Code of Conduct. Coaches, players and parents must understand that we live in an imperfect world, and field play will often be viewed differently by opposing players, parents, coaches and team officials. However, judgments by the referee and their assistants must be respected and unquestioned, except in the case of misapplication of the Laws of the Game. And in that event, there are specific and appropriate actions that should be taken.
The WAGS’ Parent Code of Conduct states:
“Refrain to the greatest extent possible from disagreeing publicly with the referee’s decisions, remembering that loud or persistent disagreement can undermine the referee’s ability to monitor and control the game—to the detriment of the players—and can undercut the referee's authority, and over time, the status of all authority figures.
Never insult, demean, or criticize any participant, whether player, game official, or team official. Offensive, insulting, or abusive language is absolutely contrary to the spirit of the game.”
The MCLN parents’ behavior after the game was nothing less than egregious and has no place in youth sports. This is an issue that the Committee considers of great importance and will not be tolerated.
Therefore, with the exception of the Head Coach, Assistant Coach, (1) STAR, (1) Team Manager, and (1) TSL, ALL MCLN parents and affiliates must be 100 yards from the pitch during the next played MCLN match. The Committee strongly recommends a list of cell phone numbers for any emergency be given to the team manager.
The MCLN MPS 95 Green Fury U13 Division 2 was informed that they have the right to appeal the decision of the WAGS R & D Committee according to Rule O, Protest and Appeals Procedures.
Lula E. Bauer, Director, WAGSL R&D Committee