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FLSRC Referee Abuse and Referee Assault Statement

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FLSRC is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free from all forms of discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of any legally protected status. Accordingly, FLSRC will not permit any form of unlawful harassment, discrimination or intimidation against its members by anyone, including players, coaches, executives, directors, officers, administrators, vendors, clients, customers or third parties. Protected status includes race, color, age, religion, marital status, sex, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, veteran’s status, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, protected activity, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.  FLSRC is also committed to maintaining an environment that is free from all forms of child sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, bullying and hazing.

Misconduct toward a game official may include, but is not limited to, all registered referees, assistant referees, fourth (4th) officials or other duly appointed to assist. It also includes any unlicensed or unregistered person serving in an emergency capacity as a referee under USSF Policy 531, Section 2 and any club assistant referees. 

Any act committed before, during, or after a match, even at later times, if it is match related, such as at work or at home may constitute misconduct toward game officials. 

Referee abuse is a verbal statement or physical act not resulting in bodily contact which implies or threatens physical harm to a game official or the game official’s property or equipment.

Abuse includes, but is not limited to, the following acts committed upon a game official; using foul or abusive language toward a game official (must imply a threat of physical harm) , spewing any beverage on a game official’s personal property; spitting at (but not on) the game official; verbally threatening a game official with remarks that carry imply or direct threats of physical harm. 

Verbal threats are remarks that carry the implied or direct threat of physical harm. Such remarks as “I’ll get you after the game.” or “You won’t get out of here in one piece.” shall be deemed referee abuse. 

Referee assault is an intentional act of physical violence at or upon a game official committed before during, or after a match, even later times if it is match related such as at work or at home. “For the purpose of this rule, “intentional act” shall mean an act intended to bring about a result which will invade the interests of another in a way that is socially unacceptable. Unintended consequences of the actions are irrelevant.” Assault includes, but is not limited to, the following act committed upon a game official: hitting, kicking, punching, choking, spitting on, grabbing or bodily running into a game official; the act of kicking or throwing any object at a game official that could inflict injury; damaging the game official’s uniform or personal property (i.e., car, equipment, etc.).   If assault occurs, then local law enforcement must be notified and an offense report filed.

It is the position of FLSRC that upon the filing of a Supplemental Referee Game Report alleging any Referee Abuse and or Referee Assault with the organized competition authority, the alleged offender listed in the report (player, coach, manager, spectator, or official) be immediately suspended from any further participation until such time as the ensuing formal investigation by the  competition authority reach a final disposition.  

It is the position of the FLSRC that any referee abuse by an adult player, adult coach, adult manager, adult spectator, or adult official upon a youth (seventeen [17] or younger) game official will result in a minimum of one (1) year suspension beginning on the day of the offense.

It is the position of the FLSRC that any player, coach, manager, spectator, or official committing a referee assault is automatically suspended as follows:  for a minor or slight touching of a game official, the uniform, or personal property a minimum of at least six (6) months from the date of the offense.  Except as previously stated, for any other assault a minimum of at least twelve (12) months from the date of the offense.  For a referee assault committed by an adult and the game official is seventeen (17) years of age or younger, a minimum of at least three (3) years suspension from the date of the offense, and for any assault when a serious injury is inflicted, a minimum of at least five (5) years suspension from the date of the offense.

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