Zero Tolerance Policy

Updated Wednesday February 14, 2018 by Stoughton Youth Soccer League.

Stoughton Youth Soccer League Zero Tolerance Policy

(Or "Give the Ref a Break")

All players and coaches and their spectators shall support the referee. Failure to do so will undermine the referee's authority and has the potential of creating a hostile environment for the players, the coaches, the referee(s) and the spectators. Stoughton Youth Soccer, in conjunction with The South Shore Soccer League, has adopted the following rule:

No Coach or Spectator is to address the referee during the game!!

A.Exceptions for Coaches and Managers during a game

  • Responding to a referee initiating a communication
  • Making substitutions
  • Pointing out emergencies or safety issues

B.Exceptions for Coaches and Managers at halftime or at the end of the game

  • Ask a referee to explain a rule(s) in a polite and constructive way
  • Polite and friendly feedback can be given to the referee administrator (Absolutely no sarcasm, harassment or intimidation), if the administrator is not at the field, please use e-mail; all board members are listed on the web site.


1st Minor Infraction

Warn coach they will be ejected for next infraction

1st Serious infraction

Ejection and review by Board of Directors

2nd Minor Infraction

Ejection and review by Board of Directors

C.Exception for Spectators during the game

  • Referee initiating a communication
  • Pointing out emergencies or safety issues


1st Infraction

Referee should stop the game and ask the coach to quiet the spectator

2nd Infraction

Referee should stop the game and give a verbal warning to the coach that the next infraction by the spectator will result in the spectator being ejected

3rd Infraction

Referee should stop the game and instruct the coach to have the spectator leave the field. If the spectator does not leave the field, the referee should abandon the game


If the referee abandons the game, the referee shall file a report and (for SSSL games) the SSSL may impose a forfeit for the spectator's team.  For SYSL games the referee will notify the Board member on duty or the referee administrator.

Referees - especially young and inexperienced ones - are like your players and coaches, in that they need time to develop. You can play an important role in helping them to improve by letting them concentrate on the game.  You can help by encouraging them, by accepting their inevitable, occasional mistakes and by offering constructive post-game comments.

If you have a complaint, or if you think the referee was unfair, biased, unfit or incompetent, report your opinion to the referee coordinator, and/or a league board member.  Your reactions will be taken seriously if they are presented objectively and formally.

Let the Referees do their job. The next time the players or coaches have a mistake free game will be their first.  Instead of complaining about the referee, become one yourself. 

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