WAGS R&D Committee Meeting
Fairview Park Marriott
October 21, 2008
Committee Members Present: Lula Bauer (Director) Clarence Jones, John Davis, Dottie Talbott, Debi Honaker, Michelle White (Administrator).
BSU Storm Team Members Present: Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Team Manager/TSL, Club Representative & Parent
STAF Freedom Team Members Present: Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Team Manager/TSL, Club President, STAF ATTACK Assistant Coach, (8) Parents & (3) Players
BSU Storm and STAF Freedom (U17 D4); alleged violation of WAGS Rule M. Match Conduct and Parent Code of Conduct
The Center Referee (CR) filed a report pertaining to the STAF Freedom Head Coach (HC) Game misconduct and Parent Code of Conduct which initiated this hearing.
The Center Referee submitted a written report in lieu of attending the scheduled hearing. He made several points. 1) There was a confrontation between the BSU Storm parents and the STAFF Freedom parents. 2) The BSU parent claims a STAF Freedom player verbally abused her and she retaliated verbally at a later opportunity. 3) The CR approached the parents to address the situation and he informed parents that no verbal or any other contact will be permitted between a player with any spectator and the match continued. 4) The match took on a more intense overtone and a yellow card was issued to a STAF Freedom player. 4) A red card was issued to the STAF Freedom HC for derogatory comments and continuous verbal dissent. At first, the STAF Freedom HC refused to leave the pitch and threatened to withdraw his team, but he did eventually leave the premises. 5) The remaining match was played until its completion.
Prior to the hearing, the R&D Director made it clear that the hearing was not based on whether or not they agreed or disagreed with the Center Referee’s judgment calls. She continued to explain that if the CR’s calls were brought in to these discussions, you will be called out of order.
The BSU Storm TSL began her testimony by stating that it was a physical match. The BSU Storm parents made comments regarding the rough play to which a STAF Freedom player responded negatively. The BSU Storm TSL further stated that the same player elbowed a BSU Storm player in the neck. A BSU Storm parent stated to the player that she must like to play rough, and the BSU Storm TSL spoke to him not to say anything. During a throw in, the same BSU Storm parent yelled not to let the STAF Freedom player to push the BSU Storm player around. The STAF Freedom player started using profanity and walked off the pitch. The BSU Storm TSL followed the STAF Freedom player up the pitch when suddenly the STAF Freedom player turned around and yelled; F*** You, you are not my mother. I don’t have to listen to you.” She was then encountered by the STAF Freedom TSL. The BSU Storm TSL furthered testified that the STAF Freedom TSL grabbed her by the arms and tried to move her to the side. She alleges the STAF Freedom parents were yelling. The TSLs were separated and it was agreed that the parents move back three feet.
The BSU Storm HC began his testimony by stating that during the match a STAF Freedom player was injured. He attempted to get his players to kick the ball out of bounds to stop the play. Being on the other side of the pitch, he could not hear what was being said but he did see the STAF Freedom TSL approach the BSU Storm TSL. He said that there was a lot of finger pointing back and forth. He saw the STAF Freedom parents starting to walk towards the BSU Storm TSL and informed the CR to intervene. The STAF Freedom HC yelled at the CR that he had lost control of the match. The CR issued a red card, and the STAF Freedom HC did not want to leave the pitch, but he eventually did. The STAF Freedom AC said to let the girls continue to play the match to which the BSU Storm HC agreed.
The STAF Freedom TSL began her testimony by stating that shortly after the match started, a STAF Freedom player was being verbally attacked by a parent seated at the end of the pitch. The STAF Freedom player changed positions with another player and alerted the coach. The STAF Freedom TSL further testified that she located the BSU Storm TSL to discuss the exchange and asked her to remind her parents not to directly confront the players as per WAGS’ rules. The BSU Storm TSL responded that her daughter had been elbowed by a STAF Freedom player and did not receive a call. The STAF Freedom TSL further stated that she reminded the BSU Storm TSL to control her parents and the parent sitting next to BSU Storm TSL agreed. Shortly after their conversation, the STAF Freedom player walked off the pitch with the BSU Storm TSL following behind her in an intimidating manner. The STAF Freedom TSL stated that she tried to usher the BSU Storm TSL away from the crowd to straighten out the situation. The BSU Storm TSL continued to yell and be verbally abusive to the STAF Freedom TSL. The CR arrived to sort out the situation but never asked the STAF Freedom TSL what the issues were. The STAF Freedom HC stated he would like all parents to vacate the pitch to which the STAF Freedom TSL suggested the parents to move back from the sidelines to the appropriate distance from the pitch. The CR continued the match.
The STAF Freedom HC stated that he will let his parents testify and that he will add to their testimony when they were finished.
Several STAF Freedom parents began to testify by stating that they saw the BSU Storm TSL closely following the STAF Freedom player as she walked off the pitch. They furthered testified that they saw the STAF Freedom player suddenly turn around and exchange words with the BSU Storm TSL. They were not in the vicinity to hear what words were stated except for one STAF Freedom parent. She stated that she heard the STAF Freedom player say “that you are not my mother and I don’t have to listen to you.” She denied she heard any profanity. Another STAF Freedom parent testified that she saw the BSU Storm TSL “chest butt” the STAF Freedom TSL. The STAF Attack AC testified that he saw the STAF Freedom player leave the pitch in tears, took off her shin guards and stated that she cannot play. The CR came over to investigate but he stated he couldn’t do anything as he did not hear what happened. He further testified that the STAF Freedom HC said that he wanted all the parents to leave the pitch. The parents calmed down and the match continued.
The STAF Freedom player testified that it was an aggressive match and the CR did not call hardly any fouls. She stated that a BSU Storm parent stated to her that she “must be a tom boy.” She informed a STAFF Freedom parent who she thought was the TSL as well as the STAF Freedom HC. She asked him if she could be move to the other side of the pitch. As the play continued, she did wind up on the parents’ side again to which she stated that she was subjected to repeated harassment by the BSU Storm parents. She decided to leave the pitch because she could not continue to play with such harassment. She stated that the BSU Storm TSL continued to walk behind her making derogatory statements to her. She responded verbally to the BSU Storm TSL. As she was sitting on the bench, the STAF Freedom AC convinced her to return to the team.
The STAF Freedom AC testified that he saw the mob of parents on the other side of the pitch. He felt that the situation was very confusing to the CR and AR. He said that he asked the BSU Storm coaches if they wanted to continue to play to which they replied yes. The match continued until completion. When the AC reached the parking lot, he stated he did not see STAF Freedom HC.
The STAF Freedom HC began his testimony by discussing his total disapproval of the CR’s calls. The R&D Director quickly reminded him his testimony should pertain to the incident regarding the parents and his behavior. The STAF Freedom HC displayed complete disrespect for the R&D Director. He was given a chance to add anything new to prior testimony but chose to abruptly leave the hearing by admonishing the R&D Committee because he felt he was being wronged. The STAF Freedom AC followed behind him.
A Committee member asked the STAF Freedom player as to why she chose to leave the pitch on the parents’ side and not return to her team to which the player responded that she felt secure with her parents.
Another Committee member asked the BSU Storm TSL why she didn’t take another route to the STAF Freedom TSL to which she replied that she followed the STAF Freedom player to hear what was going to be said.
Another Committee member asked the BSU Storm parent what he had said to the STAF Freedom parent to which he replied that he said something like, “You like to play rough.”
The BSU Club Representative stated that they take the Parent Code of Conduct very seriously and that she informed the team and parents that this should not have occurred. She further testified that this has never happened before. The BSU Club wanted to hear the STAF Freedom’s point of view before they proceed with their own determination of what actions BSU should take.
The STAF Freedom Club president testified that he has talked to the STAF Freedom HC and he will take the matter to his R&D after hearing the BSU Storm testimony.
The hearing was concluded.
After the deliberation, the Committee directed the following:
The Committee was completely saddened by the series of events and believes the egregious behavior was completely avoidable. The Parent Code of Conduct was instituted to provide a safe and competitive environment for its players without negative interactions with spectators. The Committee feels that the parents violated the Parent Code of Conduct.
The WAGS’ Parent Code of Conduct states:
Remember at all times that they are adults, and therefore examples, and always consider the likely effect of their actions on the league’s players.
Never insult, demean, or criticize any participant, whether player, match official, or team official. Offensive, insulting, or abusive language is absolutely contrary to the spirit of the match.
This is an issue that the Committee considers of great importance and will not be tolerated.
Therefore, the BSU Storm parent who admitted he addressed the STAF Freedom player needs to serve two match suspensions.
The BSU Storm TSL and the STAF Freedom TSL failed to meet the requirements of the TSL. The TSL position requires that the TSL:
Ensure the team spectators/parents observe the spectator line.
Be the “cooler head” should sideline behavior become extreme.
Therefore, the BSU Storm TSL and the STAF Freedom TSL are immediately removed from their position of being their team’s TSL for the remainder of the season and the next season in which the team competes in the WAGSL.
The STAF Freedom HC must serve a one game suspension. Questioning Referee’s calls cannot and will not be tolerated.
The BSU Storm and the STAF Freedom U17 Division 4 was informed that they have the right to appeal the decision of the WAGS R & D Committee according to Rule O, Protest and Appeals