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AYSO Region 102

Zero Tolerance Policy


Region 102 will not tolerate negative behavior of any type at our practices, games, and events. Verbal abuse of referees has escalated to the point that referees, particularly youth referees, are refusing to stay involved in soccer. All individuals responsible for a team and all spectators (parents, friends, siblings, relatives) shall support the referee and respect his/her decisions. Failure to do so will undermine the referee’s authority and has the potential of creating a hostile environment for the players, the referee, and all the other participants and spectators. Region 102 has therefore adopted the following policy:

1. The referees, including youth referees, have complete authority over the conduct of the players, coaches, and spectators from the moment they arrive until the moment they leave the field. Coaches, players and spectators shall follow the instructions of the referee.

2. The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play are final. There shall be absolutely no disputing calls, during or after the game. Coaches may ask questions, politely, and in a calm and controlled manner, before and after the game, or at half time.

3. It is not the referee’s responsibility to defend or justify their calls. All decisions are made “in the opinion of the referee” and to the best of their ability. In accordance with Law 5 of The Laws of the Game, “The decisions of the referee, and all other match officials, must always be respected.”

4. There shall be no yelling at the Referee at any time, and no criticism, sarcasm, harassment, or intimidation of any kind before, during or after the game. Coaches may point out emergencies during the game, or respond to the referee if addressed during the game.

5. If a coach or spectator questions the call of a referee in a manner deemed inappropriate, the referee may stop the match, retrieve the game ball, and invite the coach onto the field for a conversation. During this conversation the coach may be told 3 things: 

  • The purpose of the conversation is not to “debate” a call but to inform the coach that the behavior of the coach/spectator is unacceptable.
  • The coach has 2 choices. He/she can go back to their coaching area and coach per the AYSO philosophies, or the coach/spectator can leave the area.
  • The coach/spectator may be sent off if the referee has to speak to them again during the match. 

6. In lieu of a conversation, a referee may caution (yellow card) a coach. This shall have the same effect of warning the coach that he/she must comply with the AYSO philosophies and this Zero Tolerance Policy or be subject to ejection. A subsequent offence may result in the coach being shown a red card and ejected from the match.

7. If the referee is a Youth Referee, the Youth Referee may stop the match, retrieve the game ball, and either deal with the matter on his or her own as described above, or find a board member (if available) to deal with the situation as described above.

8. Verbal abuse or other mistreatment of a Youth Referee is grounds for immediate suspension for the remainder of the season. A coach or other volunteer suspended due to their treatment of a Youth Referee, may, in the sole discretion of the Region Board of Directors, be permitted to return in a subsequent season on a probationary basis. Any coach or volunteer who is subject to a second suspension shall be banned from any further participation.

9. Any coach/spectator who is heard “verbally abusing” a referee, player, coach or spectator, may automatically be sent off by the referee. “Verbal abuse” includes, but is not limited to, foul and abusive language. As with all decisions made by the referee, what constitutes “verbal abuse” is entirely “in the opinion of the referee.” The referee is not required to issue a warning. If the offending individual refuses to leave the area, the referee may stop the game, resulting in a forfeit for the offending individual’s team.

10. If the unacceptable behavior of the coach/spectator occurs after the game has ended it will still be reported by the referee and will be considered as a cause for disciplinary action.

11. Coaches bear primary responsibility for overseeing the conduct of players, parents and spectators. A coach may be penalized for the inappropriate behavior of parents, players, or spectators.

12. Referees will submit a written or verbal report of any occurrences of cautions or where a coach/spectator is sent off/ejected. Ejection will result in an investigation to determine the facts and subsequent penalty if necessary.

13. A coach or spectator who is sent off shall be suspended from the next game. Other penalties are at the discretion of the Region Board of Directors and may include, but are not limited to, suspension from future games. Egregious or repeat offenses may result in permanent suspension.

14. The Region Board of Directors also reserves the right to investigate instances when abuse of a referee or volunteer is not reported by the referee or volunteer, but is subsequently brought to the Board’s attention by any individual. The penalties are at the discretion of the Board and may include, but are not limited to, suspension from future games.

15. If coaches or spectators have questions regarding particular calls, rules, or a referee, or wish to give feedback regarding a referee, they may contact the Referee Administrator or a Board member



A player who receives a caution (yellow card) in a match must immediately leave the field of play and may be replaced by a substitute.  The cautioned player must sit out for at least four (4) minutes and may not re-enter the field of play prior to expiration of that time. 

A player who receives a send-off (red card) is immediately ejected from the match and must leave the field of play.  The player may not be replaced by a substitute, and the player’s team will play short for the remainder of the game.  A player who receives a send-off is also suspended and ineligible to play in the next match. 

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AYSO Region 102

1075 Koster Ave 
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83404

Phone : 208-528-8524
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