Committee Members Present: Lula Bauer (Director), Hap Kwiatkowski, Heather Ierardi, Jane Gallant, Michelle White (Administrator).
BETH Legacy Team Members present: Assistant Coach, Team Manager, Assistant Team Manager, TSL, STAR, (3) parents.
SYC Xplosion Team Members present: Head Coach, Team Manager, STAR
BETH Legacy – U13 D5T – WAGS Rule M. & Parent Code of Conduct.
The meeting began with introductions and the R&D Director explaining the procedure of the hearing and the appeal process.
The SYC Xplosion STAR (SYC STAR) filed a report pertaining to the team parents, alleging game misconduct which initiated this hearing. The SYC STAR began his testimony by explaining the chain of events leading up to the reason for filing his Game Report. He began his testimony by stating that he was on the team side of the pitch in the attacking third of BETH Legacy when a BETH Legacy player was in an offside position. The player ran back toward/between the defenders to receive the ball from her own player, and the SYC STAR signaled offside with the flag as well as his right hand to indicate the player came from an offside position to receive the ball. The BETH parents showed strong dissent to the call. At halftime, the SYC STAR approached the Center Referee and the BETH Legacy Coach to ascertain if they believed the call was correct. The SYC STAR testified that the Center Referee and the Coach agreed it was the correct call. After the game, a BETH Legacy parent approached the SYC STAR stating that his offside calls were wrong to which the SYC STAR responded that his calls were correct. The BETH Legacy parent started to raise his voice stating that he played professional ball and the SYC STAR did not know what he was doing. The SYC STAR decided to end the conversation and walked away. As he was walking towards his car, another BETH Legacy parent was speaking to the Center Referee regarding a penalty kick. This BETH Legacy parent informed the SYC STAR that his offside calls were a little biased. Although he did not hear it, the SYC STAR further testified that as his daughter and another player were walking in the parking lot, a BETH Legacy parent yelled, “Your father should be fired as a referee.” At this time, the SYC STAR submitted statements from his daughter and the other SYC player who heard the comment.
The SYC Xplosion Team Manager (SYC TM) testified that she had told one of the BETH Legacy parents to “Stop yelling at her STAR.”
The SYC Xplosion Head Coach (SYC HC) testified that he did observe parents approach the official, but he could not hear what was said. He could tell that the conversation was heated.
A Committee Member asked if any offensive or abusive language was used, and if the SYC STAR felt physically threatened. The SYC STAR responded that no offensive, abusive language was used, but the tone and demeanor of the parents were aggressive. He did not feel any threat of physical violence.
The BETH Legacy Team Manager (BETH TM) began his testimony by stating that the atmosphere was a little charged at the end of the match. He saw the conversations occurring with the center referee and the SYC STAR, but he didn’t feel they were heated. However, he did feel that everyone should leave the pitch.
A BETH Legacy parent stated that she was speaking to a SYC Xplosion father and not a SYC player when she yelled that “your ref dad should be fired.” She did admit that the SYC Xplosion player was standing next to him. She realizes that she was wrong as she would not want to hurt any child.
Another BETH Legacy parent testified on behalf of her husband who was not in attendance. Her husband was the parent who approached the SYC STAR after the match regarding the offside calls. She read his statement into the record. The statement stated that he approached the SYC STAR and told him that he believed three out of the four offside calls were wrong. He also told the SYC STAR that he was more professional than him. She felt that her husband was seeking clarification of the calls although that is not how it turned out.
The BETH Legacy STAR testified that he was on the parents’ side of the pitch. The BETH Legacy parents did get loud because they were upset regarding the offside calls. He asked them to be quiet and they did listen to him. He saw the BETH Legacy parents talking to the Center Referee and the SYC STAR, but he could not hear them.
A BETH Legacy parent testified that she did tell the SYC STAR that she thought some of his offside calls were biased, but she was not loud or aggressive.
A Committee member asked the BETH TM why he felt that he should direct people to leave the pitch to which the BETH TM replied that he knew parents were frustrated, and he wanted to be proactive so nothing would happen.
A Committee member asked where the BETH Legacy Assistant Coach (BETH AC) was, and the BETH AC replied that he had left the field after the match because he was a little frustrated regarding the calls. He did not want to say anything “stupid” to the girls or the Center Referee regarding the calls.
In his closing statement, the SYC STAR thanked the BETH Legacy for being candid regarding their testimony and validating his report. He said that he understands that at this age clarification of calls will be asked so both players and parents are educated on the game of soccer.
The BETH Legacy TM manager stated that he deeply regrets the events that occurred at the match, and he apologizes to the SYC Xplosion team. He stated that adults need to set positive examples by their actions and words even when you feel that you have been wronged.
The BETH AC stated that he has never been called into a hearing in his entire career, and he apologizes to the SYC Xplosion team for having to be here because of the events that occurred at the match. He stated that it shouldn’t have happened.
The SYC HC stated that the matches are for the girls and not the parents. We need to set appropriate examples.
After deliberations, the Committee directs the following:
The Committee wants to commend the BETH Legacy assistant coach, team manager, the STAR and the parents who attended the hearing. 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 BETH Legacy 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 BETH Legacy parents and affiliates must be 100 yards from the pitch during the next played two (2) matches in the next season in which the team competes in the WAGSL. The Committee strongly recommends a list of cell phone numbers for any emergency be given to the team manager. Please have the Center Referee of each match make a notation on the GRC that the parents were in fact a 100 yards away as well as fill out a sit-out form and mail it to the WAGSL R&D Director for both matches.
The BETH Legacy U13 D5T were informed that they have the right to appeal the decision of the WAGS R&D Committee according to Rule O, “Protests and Appeals Procedures