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Decisions of Discipline and Appeals

Below, please find decisions handed down by either a Discipline and Appeals Hearing Panel or the Chairman of Discipline and Appeals. We hope you find the information useful. Please email Mark Moore with any questions.

Referee Misconduct - March 2013

Referee Misconduct – March, 2013

During a tournament but not during a match, referee A made unwanted physical contact with referee B’s midsection. Referee B was unexpectedly pulled away from the person they were speaking with and referee A, who initiated the contact, continued to walk to the game referee A had to officiate.  A complaint of misconduct by a referee toward another match official was filed by referee B.

Findings of the Panel

  • Referee A acknowledged the accuracy and veracity of the events as described in the complainant’s report, which led to a violation of USSF Policy 531-10 (Misconduct of Game Officials), Section 2(A) Misconduct at a Match.

  • The panel considered this incident to be the equivalent of assault against a match official.

 

Sanctions

  • Referee A is suspended from officiating within the USSF for 3 months from the date of the incident. This is consistent with the sanction for referee assault outlined under USSF Policy 531-9 Misconduct Toward a Match Official.

  • Referee A must prepare a short speech/presentation for delivery at the 2015 NCYSA Annual General Meeting. The presentation must recap the assault and how it has affected their position as a referee.

  • Referee A cannot officiate in this geographic area for any competition within USSF jurisdiction for a period of 2 years from the date of the sanction letter. 

Misconduct of Game Officials - November 2013

Misconduct of Game Officials – November, 2013

After a high school match, a USSF referee had threatened the referee crew by saying “You're the worst (paraphrasing). You be real careful driving home.  We wouldn't want you to die in a car crash. Yeah, you might not even make it out of the parking lot."  

Note: NCYSA is acting as an affiliate of the USSF and not as NCYSA in this case.

Findings of the Panel:

  • The referee in question did not provide any proof of inaccuracy of the Match Official’s report, did not attend the hearing, and did not provide any witnesses. An initial response was requested to be used as defense via text message to a Panel member over an hour into the hearing
  • Under USSF Policy 531-10 (Misconduct of Game Officials), Section 2(B) Misconduct Away from a Match a violation had occurred
  • Under Policy 531-11, Part III – Standards of Conduct, Subpart C – Code of Ethics for Referees a violation had also occurred

Sanctions:

  • The referee in question is banned from all USSF activities in any role, be it spectator, coach, player or match official until December 31, 2016. 

Referee Abuse - March 2012

Referee Abuse - March, 2012

A referee (a minor) ejected a coach from a match. After being told to leave the field, the coach responded, "F*** you man, Did you get this S*** from a cereal box?” Coach then threw his whistle and said "I’m going to see you after the game.” As the referee was signing the match report, he approached him again. An Association Official had to physically step in to intervene. The referee was then escorted to the concession stand area under instruction by an Association Official. The referee waited for about 10 minutes before the Official said it was fine for him to leave. The referee was walking towards his car when the coach pulled up in a truck and provoked the referee and his mother. Coach made hand gestures and revved his engine, then sped off. The referee and his mother was unsure if he had left due to buses in the parking lot. The referee and his mother was escorted out by the Association Official.

Findings of the Panel:

  • After being sent off from a match, the coach returned.
  • Coach approached the referee at the conclusion of the match

Sanctions:

  • Coach was suspended from being a team official in any capacity with an NCYSA team until May 31st, 2013. He may only participate as a spectator.
  • Coach was placed on probation until May 31st, 2013. Any further report of misconduct will result in being issued a stadium band, and would prevent him from being present at any NCYSA matches for the remainder of the probationary period, even as a spectator.

Referee Abuse - May 2012

Referee Abuse - May 2012

Findings of the Panel:

  • Player spoke to the referee at the conclusion of the match in a way that is socially unacceptable
  • Players actions did not rise to the level of referee abuse as defined in USSF 531-9
  • Player violated NCYSA’s Code of Conduct which states that debasement of referees by anyone is unacceptable conduct

Sanctions:

  • Player was suspended for one match for violating NCYSA’s Code of Conduct
  • Player was required to complete eight (8) hours of community service within LYSA before October 31st, 2012.

Referee Assault - March 2012

Referee Assault - March, 2012
Team official pushed referee in the chest after not receiving a call.

Findings of the Panel:

  • Person initiated contact with the referee by stepping into his path and placing his hands on his chest after not receiving the desired call for a foul.
  • Actions were a violation of the USSF Policy 531-9, Referee Assault

Sanctions:

  • Person was suspended from all NCYSA events for three (3) months from the time of the incident
  •  

Referee Assault - February 2012

Referee Assault - February, 2012

Player initiated contact with the referee

Findings of the Panel:

  • Player initiated contact with the referee by approaching the referee and grabbing his jersey
  • Actions were in violation of USSF Policy 531-9, Referee Assault

Sanctions:

  • 3 Month suspension from all NCYSA events from the time of the incident.

Falsification of Records - November 2012

Falsification of Records - November, 2012

Allegations were filed against an Association Official for violating NCYSA Bylaw 204, Section 6, Falsification of Records, as well as NCYSA Code of Conduct.

Findings of the Panel:

  • Documents were created with the unauthorized us of the NCSRA logo
  • Falsely charged Association for "Assignor fees/charges”
  • Endorsed and cashed checks made out by Association to NCYSA, USYS, and a false entity named NCSF (NC Soccer Federation), without any authorization from these organizations and kept the funds.
  • Created fictitious email strings outlining a "referee grading program” allegedly established by NCSRA in order to support claims for funds from Association. No such program was ever established by NCSRA
  • Created fictitious email strings purported to be between yourself and NCSRA in order to support your claims for funds from Association

Sanctions:

  • Suspended for five (5) years from all NCYSA activities, including holding a position within an Association, as a coach, team official, and/or spectator.
  • Must make restitution to the Association, to the satisfaction and approval of the Association Board (or its successor organization)
  • After the five (5) year suspension concludes, and the Association indicates to NCYSA that person has made satisfactory restitution, person may reapply for membership to NCYSA. Reinstatement is contingent upon you successfully satisfying the NCYSA Risk Management process.

Referee Assault - 2011

Referee Assault, 2011
Referee Assault Supplemental was filed against Spectator. Spectator allegedly came onto the field after the game and pushed the referee from behind as he was still directing the players to their benches. Spectator then started to yell at the referee. Spectator then continued to approach him.

Findings of the Panel:

  • Contact between Spectator and the referee occurred.
  • Spectator entered the field of play and deliberately approached the referee in an aggressive manner.
  • After the physical contact took place, Spectator proceeded to verbally abuse the referee.
  • Spectator’s actions were a violation of the USSF Policy 531-9.
  • The panel determined that Spectator’s action intended to bring about a result which would invade the interest of the referee in a way that is socially unacceptable. Unintended consequences of the act are irrelevant.

Sanctions:

  • Spectator was suspended from all NCYSA events for eighteen (18) months.
  • Club must document to NCYSA how it will educate the coaches, players, and spectators in order to mitigate the potential for situations similar to Spectator’s. Failure to submit the documentation by that date will result in Club being assessed a fine of $1,000. (This is in accordance with NCYSA Bylaw 204, Section 2, which makes associations responsible for the conduct of their members.)

Referee Assault - 2011a

Referee Assault, 2011
Player pushed an opponent in the back, the referee got in between Player and opponent so as to calm the situation and talk with Player. Player was alleged to have then pushed the center referee with both hands in the chest.

Findings of the Panel:

  • Contact between Player and the referee occurred.
  • Player raised his hands as the referee approached, but it was unclear if Player initiated contact or if the referee initiated contact.
  • Player’s actions were a violation of the USSF Policy 531-9.The panel determined the contact between Palyer and the referee was unintentional. As a result, the panel determined Player’s action of raising his hands as the referee came forward was a physical act not resulting in bodily contact initiated by Player, as described under the referee abuse standard of USSF Policy 531-9 rather than the referee assault standard.

Sanctions:

  • Player was suspended for one match for the initial red card, and three additional matches for Referee Abuse.

Spectator Misconduct - 2011

Spectator Misconduct, 2011
NCYSA received a report stating that Spectator came onto the field during an altercation between two players, put a player in a headlock and began swinging at the player.

Findings of the Panel:

  • Spectator entered the field of play without the permission from the referee.
  • Contact between Spectator and a player from the other team occurred.
  • Spectator’s actions were a violation of NCYSA’s Code of Conduct policy.
  • The panel determined that the contact between Spectator and the player from the opposing team was intentional, regardless of its intended nature.

Sanctions:

  • Spectator was immediately suspended from all NCYSA sanctioned events for the remainder of the 2011 season through the 2012 spring season.

Spectator Misconduct 2006

Spectator Misconduct, 2006
4 Spectators were involved in a fight on the sidelines at a match. A stadium ban was initiated immediately following the incident at the next match, in which only one adult associated with each team (that being the team’s coach listed on the official roster) is allowed at the match. Other adults were allowed in the Complex parking lot only. A hearing was scheduled to address specific spectator’s actions.

Sanctions:

Spectator #1:
Spectator was suspended for four matches. He must also serve a two-year probationary period, during which he may attend his son’s matches. During the probationary period, any violation of NCYSA rules or Code of Conduct will result in double (8 matches) the original four-match sanction in addition to any new penalties stemming from the violation that broke the probation.
Spectator must also write a letter of apology to the children on both teams.

Specator #2:

Spectator was suspended for two matches. Spectator must also serve a six-month probationary period, during which he may attend his son’s matches. During the probationary period, any violation of NCYSA rules or Code of Conduct will result in double (4 matches) the original two-match sanction in addition to any new penalties stemming from the violation that broke the probation.
Spectator must also write a letter of apology to the children on both teams.

Spectator #3:

Spectator was suspended for two matches. Spectator must also serve a six-month probationary period, during which she may attend her son’s matches. During the probationary period, any violation of NCYSA rules or Code of Conduct will result in double (4 matches) the original two-match sanction in addition to any new penalties stemming from the violation that broke the probation.
Spectator must also write a letter of apology to the children on both teams.

Spectator #4:

Spectator was suspended for two matches. Spectator must also serve a six-month probationary period, during which she may attend her son’s matches. During the probationary period, any violation of NCYSA rules or Code of Conduct will result in double (4 matches) the original two-match sanction in addition to any new penalties stemming from the violation that broke the probation.
Spectator must also write a letter of apology to the children on both teams.
Son of Spectator #1 and Spectator #3:
Must write a letter to NCYSA explaining what he has learned from the incident.

Son of Spectator #2 and Spectator #4
Must write a letter to NCYSA explaining what he has learned from the incident.

Spectator Misconduct - 2011a

Spectator Misconduct, 2011
Supplemental match reports filed by the referee and assistant referee contain allegations of referee abuse and referee assault.The report stated that after being sent off, the coach said, "I hope you die” to the referee. At that point, the referee terminated the game. Parents from the club continued to harass the referee by saying things such as, "I hope you get killed”, "you suck ref”, and "you are a horrible ref”. Separately, the assistant referee alleged that the coach ran up and placed his hands on the AR’s chest, and continued his verbal complaints.

Findings of the Panel:

  • The allegation of you touching the Assistant Referee after the match was terminated was inconclusive, and determined to be unintentional if such action occurred.
  • Your verbally abusive demeanor towards the referee encouraged your spectators to behave inappropriately.
  • Your actions were a violation of the USSF Policy 531-9.
  • The panel determined that your actions of loudly yelling at the referee and confronting the referees after you were supposed to leave the complex following your ejection were in violation of the referee abuse standard of USSF Policy 531-9.
  • An unidentified spectator from the club was determined to have said to the referee "I hope you die in a car crash on the way home,” which is grounds for an NCYSA disciplinary hearing.

Sanctions

  • The coach was suspended for one match for the initial send off, and three additional matches for Referee Abuse.
  • Coachmust make a brief presentation at the annual NCYSA Southern Soccer Show in January, explaining Referee Abuse and the coach’s role in controlling the conduct of their players and spectators.
  • A stadium ban was enforced at the following match, in which no parents or spectators from the team will be able to attend.
  • A stadium ban will remain in effect for the remainder of the fall season for all parents and spectators from the team until the parent/spectator that made the comment to the referee, "I hope you die in a car crash on the way home” is brought forward. This parent will be subject to a hearing held at the NCYSA Offices in Greensboro at a future date.
  • Your association must document to NCYSA how it will educate the coaches, players, and spectators in order to mitigate the potential for similar situations. Failure to submit the documentation will result in the club being assessed a fine of $1,500. (This is in accordance with NCYSA Bylaw 204, Section 2, which makes associations responsible for the conduct of their members.)
  • The Club chose to appeal the stadium ban sanction for the remainder of the season based on the aspect that the sanction imposed by NCYSA was excessive to the point of being arbitrary and capricious
  • The appeal panel concluded that the stadium ban imposed for the remainder of the season was excessive, and lifted the sanction. However, they recommended that a board member from the club be present at the remainder of the seasonal games.

Ineligible Player - Mulitple

Ineligible Player – November, 2013

A club’s head registrar reported that a Challenge level player had been participating with a Classic team for 3 matches. The player was registered to play Challenge with NCYSA but not Classic. The club was found in violation of NCYSA Rules Section 3, Rule 1, Part 3. Allowing ineligible players to participate in a match is not only a competition issue, but a risk management issue. The risk management aspect is that using an ineligible player potentially voids the insurance coverage provided to all players, coaches and match officials. The club was given two options: to pay a fine of $1,020 or to attend a hearing. The club chose to pay the fine.

Ineligible Player – November, 2013

A report was received that a player who was unregistered with NCYSA and ineligible by age played in 6 matches with a U10 girls’ Recreation team. The club was found in violation of NCYSA Rules Section 3, Rule 1, Part 1. Allowing ineligible players to participate in a match is not only a competition issue, but a risk management issue. The risk management aspect is that using an ineligible player potentially voids the insurance coverage provided to all players, coaches and match officials. The club was given two options: to pay a fine of $1,200 or attend a hearing. The club chose to pay the fine.

Ineligible Player – November, 2013

A club’s head registrar reported that an ineligible player had been participating with a U14 Recreation team. The player in question was not registered with NCYSA and ineligible to participate. The club was found in violation of NCYSA Rules Section 3, Rule 1, Part 1. Allowing ineligible players to participate in a match is not only a competition issue, but a risk management issue. The risk management aspect is that using an ineligible player potentially voids the insurance coverage provided to all players, coaches and match officials. The club was given two options: to pay a fine of $450 or to attend a hearing. The club chose to pay the fine.

Illegal Player, 2011
Club brought forth details regarding one of their coaches that provided false birth certificates for players in order to have them play on his team. The panel found that these allegations were true. Based on the statements provided by the club President, and his summary of events, the panel determined that the actions were sufficient to find violations.

Findings of the Panel:

  • When an illegal player plays in a match, the insurance for every player in the match is voided. The decision to allow the player to play put all the players at risk and is unacceptable.
  • The panel did, however, recognize that the club reported their own internal error. This reassured the panel that the club recognized the seriousness of the situation, and that the club will attempt to avoid similar situations in the future.

Sanctions:

  • The Club was issued a $900 fine. $225 of this finewas payable immediately. However, the remaining $675 is suspended, provided that all Club players are registered legitimately with NCYSA through December 31st, 2012.
  • The coach is suspended through June 30th, 2013. He will not be able to hold a coaching, team official, or club official position within NCYSA until after this suspension is lifted.
  • The coach must complete the E-License course through NCYSA in order to return to coaching after June 30th, 2013. If this course is not taken, he will not be eligible to coach within NCYSA.

Recruiting - 2013

Recruitment – September, 2013

A parent had sent texting solicitations to parents of their former association regarding tryouts at their current association.

The current association in question was believed to have guaranteed a coach to families from the coach’s former association.

Findings of the Panel:

  • According to NCYSA rules regarding recruiting, a violation by the parent occurred. The association in question did not commit a recruiting violation.
  • Texting solicitations concerning tryouts at the association in question by the parent had been sent to some families of their former association.  

Sanctions:

  • The parent needed to submit a sincere, contrite apology letter to their current association for putting them in the position of possibly facing a recruiting violation. In addition, they had to submit a sincere, contrite apology letter to their former association for texting other members about joining another association. Both letters had to also demonstrate a review and understanding of NCYSA’s rules and policies. These letters had to be sent by October 18, 2013 with NCYSA copied on them.
  • Failure to complete this sanction, as well as any other violation of NCYSA’s rules, bylaws or policies would result in a suspension for the parent from all NCYSA activities for a season. If this violation occurs during a season, they will be suspended for the remainder of the season as well as the following season. 

Recruiting - 2013a

Recruitment – July, 2013

Mass email was sent out through an association’s database regarding tryouts; some recipients were members of another association.

Findings of the Panel:

  • According to NCYSA rules regarding recruiting, a violation occurred.
  • Email solicitations and announcements about programs and tryouts of the association in question had been sent to some families of another association that were not affiliated with the association in question through their database. 

Sanctions:

  • The association in question had to clean up its email database that was used by removing all recipients that are were not current members. This was done by September 15, 2013 with a final list of who remained in the database and their email sent in to NCYSA. This information was then compared to what NCYSA had on file (i.e. rosters, office staff, coaches) to ensure that both databases were comparable. If there was more than one e-mail address associated with a member (e.g., player, mother, father, etc), there needed to be an indication of the affiliation.
  • Failure to complete this sanction within the specified timeframe would result in a fine to the association in the amount of $800.

Appeal of Recruitment from July 2013 – October, 2013

Association in question appealed the panel’s decision.

Findings of the Panel:

  • The appeal panel affirmed the Panel decision for the violation and confirmed that NCYSA Rule VI Part 3 (shown as section 8.2 in the Discipline & Appeals manual) was applied correctly. They, like the Panel, agreed that there was “an effort” to recruit, regardless of the result. Therefore, nothing was remanded back to the Panel. 

Recruiting - 2013b

Recruitment – July, 2013

A parent, whose child participated on an indoor soccer team comprised of players from multiple associations, was asked by other parents of the team about their association’s program. The parent proceeded by sending out an e-mail regarding U14 tryouts to them.

Findings of the Panel:

  • According to NCYSA rules regarding recruiting a violation occurred.
  • The parent in question had sent an e-mail to a number of players on their child’s indoor team after receiving a request from the coach for additional information about the association’s use of Premier UK soccer instructors.

Sanctions:

  • The association had to prepare and distribute to all club members by e-mail (coaches, parents and players) information about recruiting – what can be done and what can’t be done. They then had all club members submit a signed acknowledgement of the materials to the club. When the e-mail was sent to club members, NCYSA Discipline and Appeals was copied along with all recipients. This information was prepared and distributed by September 30, 2013. Signed forms were returned by October 15, 2013.
  • Failure to complete this sanction within the specified timeframe would result in a fine to the association in the amount of $700. 

Recruiting - 2009

Recruiting, 2009

A Club accused a Recreation Coach of illegally recruiting NCYSA carded players by means of a mass email. In Coach’s email, he stated that the individuals should consider signing up with his association when many of them were registered with other associations.

Sanctions:

  • Having stated that Coach was not briefed on recruiting rules (or any NCYSA rules) before assuming his coaching duties, the panel believed that he was perfectly positioned to help assure that recreation coaches are made aware of the rules. Therefore, Coach’s sanction was to create a presentation (PowerPoint?) which discusses his case and the importance of knowing recruiting rules (especially parents, players and individuals that deal with NCYSA carded players). This presentation must be submitted to the hearing panel members for their approval before it is presented. Once the presentation is approved, he must coordinate with NCYSA to convene 10 local recreation programs and give his presentation to either the President or an appointed individual from the association. Each individual will then report to NCYSA stating that they were in attendance. This presentation may be given in either a group session or in multiple individual sessions, based on the convenience of the associations to which he will be presenting.
    • This must be completed by October 31, 2009 or you will be in direct violation of this sanction. 
  • ​Coach will also have to give this presentation at the NCYSA AGM – D&A meeting – . This will help get the message across to associations around the state about the importance of keeping their recreation programs compliant.

Unfulfilled Sanctions - 2011

Unfulfilled Sit-Out Requirement, 2011
Coach failed to follow the requirements set forth by NCYSA following his ejection from a match, in which he was required to fulfill a sit out at the next scheduled match. Coach allegedly coached his team’s next match on Sunday. Coach arbitrarily decided to sit out his team’s match on the following Sunday instead.

Findings of the Panel:

  • Regardless of Coach’s intentions and reasons, he knowingly violated the rule requiring a next match sit out after having been sent off at a match.
  • The panel believed that while Coach looked into alternatives, he failed to exhaust all options within his Club in finding an alternate coach for his team’s next match. The panel members appreciated his desire to find his own solution to a problem of his making, but ultimately the club has a responsibility to see that teams have qualified club officials (e.g., those who have been through the NCYSA risk management process successfully) at each match.

Sanctions:

  • Coach was suspended from his next regular season match in which he was the head coach of an NCYSA team.
  • Club was issued a fine. This fine was 100% suspended as long as no member of Club (player, coach, team or club official, spectator) is found in violation of NCYSA rules or code of conduct regarding failure to abide by any automatic or NCYSA imposed sanctions through May 31, 2012. If any violation is found, this fine would be payable immediately.

Code of Conduct - 2012

Code of Conduct - October, 2012

A coach came onto the field to tend to an injured player and began berating a 14 year old referee about not making a call. A spectator from the opposing team came onto the field to confront the coach’s behavior, and allegedly threatened the coach.

Sanctions:

  • 3 Match suspension for both the coach, as well as the spectator.
  • Both the coach and spectator are required to attend an NCYSA meeting and describe to attendees in detail their actions at this match and why they were inappropriate both from an NCYSA Rules and policy perspective and also as adults responsible for the development of youth.

Racism - 2010

Racism, 2010

Player addresses an opponent as "A Dirty Sanchez” as noted in the referee’s supplemental report.

Findings of the Panel: 

  • The panel members felt the player used the comment as a direct racial slur towards his opponent.


Sanctions:

  • Must issue two separate letters of apology (one to the player and one to the team).
  • The club was issued a fine, which would be suspended as long as no member of the club (player, coach, team or club official, spectator) was found in violation of NCYSA rules or code of conduct regarding any racial issues through the end of the following season.
  • Club must create a policy for all their members to address racism and other forms of abuse. This policy must be approved by the panel members and sent out to all members of your association. FIFA Law states that the player is required to sit out a penalty of five games.
  • The panel decided to impose a mandatory one game sit out. The remaining four games were suspended as long as the player wasn’t found to have made any racial remarks or gestures through the end of the following season. If the player was found to have made any racial remarks or gestures in that time, the remaining four game suspension would be in place immediately.

Violent Conduct with Intent to Injure - 2013

Violent Conduct with Intent to Injure – May, 2013

A referee noted on the match report: “Player jumped into the defender’s back from approximately 4 yards away with his knees drawn up to his waist and hit the defender in the middle of his back. The defender had his back turned to the attacker when the contact happened. The defender was defenseless to protect himself. Giving the seriousness of the foul, it warranted a red card for violent conduct. I was 7 yards from the play when the foul took place.” NCYSA gave the player the choice of accepting a 6 game suspension for Violent Conduct with Intent to Injure or attend a hearing.

Findings of the Panel

  • Contact between players occurred.
  • The player in question went into the tackle, taking the other player down without the ball but it was unclear as to whether the player in question had intent to injure.
  • The panel determined the contact between the player in question and the other player was not intent to injure, but included an aggravating condition. As a result, the panel determined the player in question’s action was worthy of a sanction greater than the minimum for violent conduct, but less than the sanction called for under Rule 6, Section 6 and written in the Discipline & Appeals Manual.

Sanctions

  • The player in question was suspended for one match for the initial red card, and two additional matches for Violent Conduct, for a total of 3 matches. Any matches the player in question already sat out counted toward satisfying this sanction. 
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