RESPECT Campaign - For Referees and Assignors

BAYS launched our RESPECT Campaign.

We ask that the BAYS community join together to help us make the youth soccer experience the best it can be for all of our players, coaches, referees, clubs, parents, and fans.

Why RESPECT? Why Now?

The philosophy of BAYS is to provide an atmosphere of good sportsmanship to encourage all to compete, learn, and enjoy the game of soccer. Unfortunately, we are seeing more incidents of racially-charged, offensive, hurtful, and inappropriate language/actions than in the past. We have observed an increase in the overall level of hostility and disrespect during some BAYS games in recent seasons. This is concerning. 

We hope that by emphasizing RESPECT, we can improve the game environment by removing disrespectful and discriminatory language, boost the FUN quotient for the kids and all involved, and return to playing “The Beautiful Game." 

What do we want REFEREES to do:

  • Wear your RESPECT armbands as a visible reminder to all that the game, and all participants and attendees, deserve to be treated with Respect. See Armband and the Implementation Plan.

  • Continue to use the current BAYS Zero Tolerance reporting process in your game report to document coach/spectator violations: Zero means Zero.

  • Continue to use your cards to discipline players for misconduct during a game. Send off players/coaches who use offensive or abusive language in accordance with the Laws of the Game (LOTG) and the BAYS Rulebook.

  • Early game management is key! 

    • Even just holding up the game to speak to players signals to all that referees are watching, aware, and going to take action

  • Showing cards also helps maintain control

    • Yellow cards have minimal lasting consequences for the players, yet can significantly curb undesirable behavior on the field.

    • Swearing, especially directed at someone specifically, is a straight red card.

    • Flagrant taunting, demeaning, or other derogatory language directed toward an opponent or the referee could be a yellow card or a red card depending on the severity of the incident.

  • Speak with your Referee Assignor if you have questions or need support. They are there to help you!


BAYS RESPECT Statement - to be read at games after team check-ins by a Team Coach or the Center Referee

BAYS expects the highest standards of sportsmanship from each of you.

Players, coaches, parents, fans, and officials should be positive and respectful.

Discrimination, criticism, or hurtful comments or actions of any kind have no place here.

Enjoy the game, have fun, and show respect for each other.


The RESPECT Campaign has other aspects that are listed below for your information as well:

What do we want CLUBS to do:

  • Share the BAYS RESPECT campaign directives with your coaches, parents, players and referees via email and reinforce it at your preseason Coach and Referee meetings.

  • Add your own voices within your clubs to amplify BAYS' efforts to make RESPECT the hallmark of our game.

  • Consider suggesting that teams have Spectator Sideline Monitors to help ensure a positive and supportive cheering section for all.

What do we want COACHES to do:

  • Read the RESPECT Statement listed below out loud to the players of both teams gathered prior to all BAYS games.

    • ​Can be read by players/team captains

  • Continue to focus on being positive role models for your players, providing encouragement and constructive guidance.

  • Refrain from directing ANY challenging, harassing, or disrespectful comments to the referees per the BAYS Zero Tolerance policy. Zero means Zero.

  • Have a plan to avoid running up the score if your opponent is less competitive. 

  • Use your Game Feedback function in My BAYS->Coach/Manager menu to report issues or concerns not addressed during the game.

  • Hold a preseason expectation-setting meeting with your team players and parents since coaches are responsible for the behavior of their team and their team’s spectators at the game.

  • Become more familiar with the BAYS Rulebook. A lot of issues stem from coaches and players not being familiar with our BAYS League Rules of Competition.

What do we want PARENTS/GUARDIANS to do:

  • Speak to your players about the importance of RESPECT and sportsmanship: Respect for opponents, teammates, coaches, officials, self, and the game.

  • Familiarize yourself and your player with the BAYS Rulebook. A lot of issues stem from players and parents not being familiar with our BAYS League Rules of Competition.

  • Continue to cheer and support ALL good soccer on the field.

  • Report inappropriate conduct to your team coach who can file a BAYS Game Feedback report on the BAYS site that will automatically go to both club officials as well as BAYS. We need to hear about it to help address it.

What do we want PLAYERS to do:

  • Do NOT make taunting, disrespectful, or hurtful comments to opponents, teammates, or referees.

  • Win with class, and lose with dignity: Celebrate the wins, but also congratulate your opponents when they come out on top.

  • Follow the MA Youth Soccer Codes of Conduct that pertain to you

  • Tell your coach DURING the game if you identify issues so that they can be addressed.

  • Understand that respecting the game, your teammates, opponents, coaches, and officials is showing respect for yourself.