May 23, 2013
WAGS R&D Committee Meeting
Crowne Plaza Hotel – Tysons Corner
Committee Members Present: Amy Thompson (Director),Doug Walls, Carmen Nichols, Bob Vincent, Emily D’Italia, John Evans, Elissa Moritz, Michelle White (Administrator)
LAUR Academy Premier 99 Team Members Present: Head Coach, Team Manager, TSL, Club President, Club Representative, (3) Parents
NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue Team Members Present: Head Coach, Team Manager, TSL, STAR, (4) Parents, (7) Players
The meeting started at approximately 7:50 pm. After introductions were made, the R&D Director explained the hearing procedures.
The LAUR President began his testimony by stating that it was clear from the statements submitted by both teams that NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue parents (NVSC Parents) did violate K.10 and N.1.a by not leaving the field immediately and remaining out of sight, out of sound after being set off by the Center Referee (CR). He further asserted that the NVSC Parents remained at the sideline after the CR instructed them to vacate to the parking lot. Finally, four of the NVSC Parents left the sideline after a parent ran across the field to negotiate a deal with the CR for only some of the parents to be removed from the field instead of the all NVSC Parents. However, the four NVSC Parents did not go to the parking lot as instructed but instead went to the pavilion which is still in sight and sound of the field. The LAUR President further asserts that the NVSC Parents’ behavior materially affected the match. He stated the CR’s own statement claimed that “at this point I decided that the spectator behavior was having too much of a negative impact on the players (only U13!) and on my ability to officiate the match, so I told all the NVSC spectators to leave. Nobody left.” The LAUR President continued to refer to the statements that were submitted illustrating the negative impact the NVSC Parents had on the players. He concluded by stating the NVSC Parents need to take responsibility of their actions and how their behavior affected the match.
The NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue Team Manager (NVSC TM) read her prepared statement into testimony stating that although they apologize for their behavior, they feel the CR was not doing his job in protecting their players. They were just trying to “get the referee’s attention regarding what was happening on the field” as the NVSC Parents did not feel he was controlling the match and their players were getting hurt. The NVSC Parents were upset because “the referee that is being paid to do a job is not doing it, then your parental instincts kick in.” The NVSC TM further stated that she doesn’t feel the CR knew who were making the remarks, “but automatically assumed that it was NVSC Parents.” The NVSC Parents did not leave the field. However, a NVSC parent approached the CR and talked to him. She could not hear the conversation, but the NVSC parent returned to all the NVSC Parents and stated that “he and 2 other ‘volunteers’ needed to leave the sideline and head to the pavilion in order for game to continue.” She further contends that you can see the match from the parking lot as well.
The NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue Head Coach (NVSC HC) began his testimony by stating the weather conditions were bad, and he believes the referee crew officiated the match as best as they could. The LAUR Academy Premier 99 players (LAUR Players) played a physical match, and he felt some dangerous plays were not called. He further states that the NVSC Parents are passionate when they feel their children will get hurt, and so they become vocal to protect them. When the incident occurred, the NVSC HC stated that the CR told the NVSC HC that his parents were instructed to leave the field but they were not leaving so he called his team manager to get the parents under control and to have the parents leave the sideline as instructed by the CR. After the match, the NVSC HC stated he was informed he must sit out the next match. He believes his suspension was enough to punish the NVSC Jr. Majestic 99 Blue players (NVSC Players), and that LAUR Academy Premier 99’s request would not be fair to his players.
A NVSC Player read her statement into the record stating that the LAUR Players were playing very physical, and the CR wasn’t calling anything. At one point she noticed one of her players changing her style of play so she “had to holler to my teammates to ‘Stay focused’ and ‘Don’t let them get to you.” She couldn’t hear the conversation between the NVSC Parents and the CR, but they could hear the negative comments from the LAUR Academy Premier 99 parents (LAUR Parents) while they were in a huddle. She asked that her team not to be punished again for something that was out of their control.
The CR began his testimony by stating that he tries to focus his attention on officiating the match so he has learned to basically tune out the spectators on the sideline. At the 25th minute, a foul was committed and he gave a yellow card to a LAUR player. However, the sideline erupted as he was reaching for his card, and he felt the level of dissent disrupted the match. He asked the NVSC Parents for the TSL, and he received no response. He sent off all the NVSC Parents to the parking lot, and a NVSC parent responded that “You can’t throw me out, I took the referee class.” The NVSC Parents remained at the sideline, and in the absence of a TSL, the CR stated that he sought assistance from the NVSC HC in removing his parents. He informed the NVSC HC that he would not resume the match until his parents had vacated the sideline, and the NVSC HC made a call to his team manger. At this time, a NVSC parent approached him and stated in absence of a TSL that he and three other parents were willing to be ejected if everyone else could stay. The CR agreed, and the NVSC parent said that he will “take one for the team.” The CR could not say if they came back to the field as he can only identify the NVSC parent that spoke to him. It was cold and rainy so the parents were wearing “hoodies”. After the four NVSC parents left the field the match resumed without incident.
The Assistant Referee 1 (AR1) began his testimony by stating he has been a referee for about 9 years. He further states the NVSC Parents consistent and loud dissent interfered with the match. A foul was committed by a LAUR player and as a yellow card was being issued, the NVSC Parents became extremely loud and vocal. The CR sent off the NVSC Parents. After a NVSC parent negotiated the removal of just four parents, the NVSC parent stated, “the four loudmouths have to leave.” After they left, the match was resumed without incident. He believes the match was officiated properly.
A Committee Member asked AR1 if the dissent was louder from one side than the other. AR1 responded the dissent was consistently loud from the NVSC Parents’ sideline. The CR added the NVSC Parents were personally insulting him for quite a while, but it reached an unacceptable level when he reached for his yellow card and he saw the terrified look on the player’s face as the NVSC Parents screamed regarding their dissatisfaction. He decided at that point that they need to be ejected. A Committee Member further asked if profanity was used to which the LAUR HC responded that he heard some inappropriate language but he CR didn’t hear any profanity used.
A Committee Member asked if the TSLs introduced themselves before the match to which the CR replied that no TSLs introduced themselves before the match. When the CR asked the NVSC Parents who was their TSL, he stated that no NVSC parent responded. A Committee Member then asked the NVSC TM if she knew they were not going to have a TSL present to which she responded that she knew before the match, and that she would assume the TSL role. The NVSC TM was further asked by a Committee Member where she was standing when the CR asked the NVSC Parents for their TSL. The NVSC TM stated that she heard the CR but she was in shock so she didn’t respond to him.
A Committee Member asked the CR if he specified the parking lot when he agreed that only four parents would leave instead of all NVSC parents, and the CR responded that he did not clarify. The CR added that he did notice the NVSC parent that spoke to him in the pavilion but he did not stop the match again to make him leave as he wanted to continue with the match since there were no further disruptions.
The NVSC HC was asked by a Committee Member if he had a conversation after the match with his parents and players regarding the unacceptable behavior of the parents to which the NVSC HC stated that he spoke to them. He stated that it was bad weather with a wet field, and there were missed calls. He feels his NVSC parents were concerned for the safety of their children.
Another Committee Member asked the NVSC HC if raised a concern to the CR regarding the safety of his players during and after the match to which he responded that he did not. The Committee Member then asked is his testimony now different that the previously submitted statement where he indicated “the referees did a great job calling the game” to which the NVSC HC responded that he sees the match differently than the parents as the parents are concerned for their children’s safety.
The NVSC HC was then asked if the NVSC Players expressed concern about not playing for fear of their safety. The NVSC HC responded that the NVSC Players complained about the use of elbows but not about their personal safety.
A Committee Member asked about the LAUR Players’ reaction to the incident to which the LAUR TM responded that both teams were in shock. The LAUR TSL added that the NVSC Parents wouldn’t leave the field and they disregarded the CR’s ejection.
A Committee Member asked if they NVSC parent who crossed the field and spoke to the CR was a carded member of the team to which the newly appointed NVSC TSL responded that he was not.
A Committee Member informs the NVSC Parents that according to the WAGSL Rules you must be out of sight and out of sound when ejected and you cannot watch the rest of the match to which a NVSC parent responded that you would not be out of sight and out of sound in the parking lot either.
A Committee Member expressed concern that the ignoring the CR’s ejection sends a message to the players that you can ignore a referee’s authority.
LAUR Academy Premier 99 and NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue gave final statements and the hearing was concluded at 9:45pm.
The WAGS R&D Committee was very disappointed to hear the series of events that occurred at the match by the NVSC Parents which caused their send off in order for the match to continue. Coaches, parents and players 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.
Based on the testimony and facts presented at the hearing, the Committee directs the following:
- The NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue Team Manager must attend and participate in team managers meeting/webinar before 1st game of the Fall 2013 league play. Failing to do so will result in the NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue Team Manager receiving a 1 game suspension. Proof of attendance must be provided to the WAGS R&D Director prior to the first League Game of Fall 2013 season. Failure to comply will result in further sanctions.
- TSL must do on line registration by June 8. Failure to comply will result in further sanctions. TSL must register on line prior to each WAGS League season of play. If a alternate is needed, that TSL must also register prior to WAGS League game. In addition, a TSL must be present at all WAGS League games, identify themselves to the Center Referee before each match. This process must continue for as long as this team (W9945) continues to participates in the WAGS League games. Failure to comply will result in further sanctions
- Any cards received by NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue during the rest of the Spring 2013 league play and the entire Fall 2013 league play, must be reported to the WAGS R&D Director within 48 hours of the issuance of the card(s). Failure to comply will result in 1 game suspension for the NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue Head Coach and the WAGS R&D Director reserves the right to request NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue to attend a hearing where further sanctions may be implemented.
- Signed and submitted Codes of Conducts by all parents and carded members by Saturday, June 8 or the NVSC Jr. Majestics Head Coach has to sit out on June 9. Sign hard copies of Players’ Code of Conduct, Coach Code of Conduct, Parents’ Code of Conduct, and Team Sportsmanship Liaison must be kept on record with NVSC Jr. Majestics Team Manager at all games. When asked by any official, WAGS Board member, NVSC Jr Majestics 99 Blue Team Manager must produce them. Failure to comply will result in 1 game suspension for the NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue Head Coach and the WAGS R&D Director reserves the right to request NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue to attend a hearing where further sanctions may be implemented.
- If ALL listed Codes of Conducts are not received by June 9, 2013, the NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue Head Coach will serve a one game suspension the first game played in the Fall,2013 league play or the next season in which the team participates.
The NVSC Jr. Majestics 99 Blue, U13/D4, was informed that they have the right to appeal the decision of the WAGS R&D Committee according to WAGSL Rule O, Protest and Appeals Procedures which can be found in the League Rules.
Amy Thompson, Director, WAGSL R&D Committee