May 9, 2002
May 9, 2002 - Minutes R & D Committee
Members Present:
Lula Bauer, Director, Committee Members, Wendell Domon, Christine Mroczek, Hap Kwiathowski, and Chuck Keefer. Hap Kwiathowski did not vote.

Match Result Protest: Game # 1828, DCST Dynamos vs ABGC United Sunday April 14, 2002
This match was played on April 14, 2002 and resulted in a 1-0 win for DCST Dynamos. The match was protested by the ABGC United for violation of WAGS rule K -7. "Failure to have uniform shirts clearly displaying a unique player number (except the goalkeeper) that corresponds to the player number for that player listed on the Official State Roster (or WAGS Provisional Roster) shall result in a forfeit if the R & D Committee finds that the uniform number discrepancy was intended to deceive, to avoid the consequences of disciplinary action, to permit an ineligible player to participate in the match, or to affect the match unfairly in some other way."

The committee heard testimony from both ABGC United and DCST Dynamos.

During the course of the hearing, it was expressed that team officials feel reluctant to "badger" the referee to check Player Passes at the risk of agitating him/her. This however, was not the case prior to kick off of game # 1828. The Referee testified via phone, that neither team insisted Player Passes and State Rosters be checked after he failed to do so. Both teams agreed Player Passes and State Rosters were not checked prior to kick off and neither team insisted the Player Passes and State Rosters be checked.

The ABGC Coach and Team Manager testified and provided pictures of two players from the DCST Dynamos wearing #18 jerseys. The DCST Dynamo's Team Manager testified by reading a written statement. It was established and agreed upon that during the course of the game two players from the DCST Dynamos wore the #18 jersey. Testimony was presented by the mother of player #12 (player #12 was wearing the duplicate #18 jersey) that the committee considered to be both relevant and informative. She stated that her daughter was indeed properly rostered to the DCST Dynamos. She also claimed that her daughter had simply forgotten her jersey and in no way was attempting to deceive ABGC or avoid any disciplinary action. Briefly;

DCST Dynamos typically wear their "red" jerseys. It was stated that her daughter routinely carries her "white" jersey in a "baggie" in case she needs to change. When she was told they needed to wear their white jersey, Player #12 went to retrieve it from her team bag. Player #12 could not find it among the multitude of items in her bag. Phone calls were made to locate the missing jersey to no avail. Player #12 did what she felt was the next best thing. She borrowed a white jersey from a teammate that happened to have an extra and proceeded to go and do what she came to do…. play soccer. Additionally, Player #12 had not been carded in her pervious game, and for that matter, had never received a yellow or a red card.

There was testimony from both parties that the issue of duplicate jersey numbers was not formally addressed.

It is the opinion of the R & D Committee that had the Player Passes and Rosters been checked, this entire hearing could have been avoided. Also, coaches/team officials must learn to talk with one another when issues such at this arise. Teams are encouraged not to wait until after the match has ended.

Therefore it is the opinion of the R & D Committee that Player #12 was not trying to deceive or avoid consequences of disciplinary action. Player #12 was participating in game # 1828 as a registered player of the State and was indeed rostered with the DCST Dynamos. It is in the opinion of the R & D Committee that Player # 12 wearing #18 in no way affected the match unfairly. Therefore the R & D Committee voted unanimously to deny the ABGC United's protest.

Furthermore, during the course of the hearing, the DCST Dynamo's Team Manager quoted a prior decision that was rendered by the R & D Committee concerning game # 2599, SYC Rage vs STAFF Waves (U-15/2) also involving duplicate jersey numbers a year ago. "The whole proceeding, however, leaves a very sour taste in the collective mouth of the Committee. Coaches are urged to avoid using technical niceties having absolutely no impact on the match to avoid losses honestly earned on the field. The protest identified no way in which the team was prejudiced by the opposing teams transgression, and the Committee cannot discern any. This protest, while successful, has a rather cynical feel to it, advances none of the goals of the "unique player number" rule (which is designed to prevent deception, avoidance of the consequences of player disciplinary action, and participation by ineligible players, none of which was alleged here), and appears to send a message to the players that is contrary to the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship that underlies the game" The Committee did not feel this was at all the case for the ABGC United.

In conclusion, it is in the opinion of the R & D Committee that during the course of this hearing, several remarks and opinions were made that were inflammatory, condescending in nature and irrelevant to the presentation of the facts. These same statements were in the opinion of the committee used to incite and render an inappropriate and confrontational atmosphere to what was already a heated issue.

The R&D Committee would caution all WAGS teams and their officials that participate in a WAGS R & D hearings in the future to present the facts of that case as objectively and specifically as possible in order to avoid what was a most unpleasant situation.

Lula Bauer, WAGS R & D Director

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