GUIDELINES FOR COACHES AND REFEREES REGARDING PLAYER SAFETY AND TERMINATED OR ABANDONED MATCHES
Ensuring player safety is the responsibility of all adults involved with a BAYS soccer game. There are two mechanisms for the termination or abandonment of a match either during or immediately prior to the start of play: termination or abandonment by the referee, and abandonment by a coach.
- I. Termination or Abandonment by the Referee
BAYS referees have a duty to determine if “the condition of the field of play or its surrounds or the weather conditions are such as to allow or not to allow a match to take place.” BAYS referees are empowered to stop, suspend, or terminate a match for infringement of the Laws, for outside interference, and for the safety of the players should weather or field conditions require that action.
- II. Abandonment by a Coach
Coaches may abandon their team’s participation in a match if they become concerned that by continuing with the game their players would be exposed to a risk of serious injury due to player infringement of the Laws, outside interference or weather or field conditions. To abandon a game, coaches shall call their players to the sideline in front of their bench and request that the captain or another player inform the referee that the team is abandoning the game. Coaches are required to follow Zero Tolerance Policy when communicating to the referee that they are abandoning the game. The game shall be abandoned when the referee signals that the match has ended.
- III. Determination of Outcome; BAYS Law 5
If a match is terminated or abandoned, the decision on a resolution of that match is NOT up to the referee or the coaches of the two teams. Determining the result of the game is an administrative decision of the league. In BAYS, that administrative decision is made by the responsible Division Director (See BAYS Law 5).
After the Game both coaches shall immediately (day of game) file written reports on the abandoned or terminated game with their Division Director. The coach who abandoned the match shall specifically indicate why the team was pulled and the game abandoned. Referees shall file their reports immediately if possible, but not later than the normal game reporting window of 48 hours, and shall address the circumstances that led to the stoppage of the game.
In determining the outcome of the game, the responsible Division Director has the following options:
- Declare the game valid and accept as final the score when the game was terminated or abandoned
- Declare “no game” and instruct the teams to schedule a replay of the entire match within the Rules of the Game and in accordance with By-law 9.
- Declare “no game” and not schedule a replay. (In this option, the game would not be treated as a single or double forfeit and no loss of points in the standings or fines would be assessed)
- Award a single or double forfeit to one or both teams if the behavior of either team is, in the discretion of the Division Director, particularly bad.
The responsible Division Director does NOT have the option of directing the teams to resume play from the point of stoppage.
It is recommended that each Division Director treat all terminated or abandoned matches within a given Section in the same manner (when the circumstances themselves are similar.) In general, Division Directors for MTOC-eligible sections will require all terminated or abandoned matches in those sections to be replayed in their entirety subject to any sportsmanship issues that make a replay inadvisable or if the impact on the standings together with the time left in the season make a replay unnecessary and/or impractical. The Division Director may also accept the result as final if both coaches agree to the result. While coaches must act in the best interest of the safety of their team, abandonment of a match does not necessarily mean that the match will be replayed in its entirety.
Factors which the responsible Division Director might consider include:
- Information included in referee’s game report (especially as it relates to poor sportsmanship)
- Age of players (U9 & U10 are not results oriented)
- Competitive Level (MTOC eligible or recreational)
- Impact of game result on Section standings
- Time remaining in the season to schedule a replay
Under BAYS Law 17, the second Vice President may convene a Sportsmanship Review Committee hearing for this issue if he or she deems it necessary.
Approved by BAYS Board of Directors May 2014