Zero Tolerance Policy

Participants of the BAYS League must also follow the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association’s (MYSA) Zero Tolerance Policy can be found HERE.  Serious threats or acts of physical harm constitute referee abuse or assault and should result in immediate game termination. Please see the MYSA ZT policy regarding specific reporting processes for Referee Abuse and Referee Assault.

All individuals responsible for a team and all spectators shall support the referee. Failure to do so undermines the referee’s authority and has the potential of creating a hostile environment for the players, referees, and all the other participants and spectators. See Match Rule 15: Support for Match Officials

Club officials/coaches are responsible for the behavior of their team’s players and spectators.

Consequently, BAYS has adopted and modified the following rules: 

  1. No one, except the players, is to speak to the referee before, during, or after the game. Exceptions: Coaches may ask questions before the game, call for substitutions and point out emergencies during the game, or respond to the referee if addressed.

  2. Absolutely no disputing calls, during or after the game, no direct or indirect remarks to the referee to watch certain players or attend to rough play. NO YELLING at the referee, EVER, and no criticism, sarcasm, harassment, intimidation, or feedback of any kind before, during, or after the game.

  3. Violators may be sent-off and are subject to disciplinary action by the BAYS Sportsmanship Review Committee.

  4. If Coaches would like to provide feedback about the refereeing, AFTER the game, log into the BAYS site and under My BAYS->Coach/Manager->Game Feedback click the correct game link to access a form that will send the feedback directly to the home Referee Assignor as well as to BAYS officials.

  5. If spectators have questions regarding particular calls, rules, or a referee, or wish to give feedback regarding a referee, please contact your BAYS team coach. Coaches can file feedback reports with BAYS or speak with their club officials to get more guidance.

Minimum sanctions for ZT violations: Clubs are responsible for making sure that the required sanctions are imposed and fulfilled or that a timely appeal is filed.

  • 1 ZT rating: BAYS requires that Clubs track and monitor their own coaches' or spectators’ ZT 1 violations and impose sanctions as needed.

  • 2 ZT rating: BAYS requires a minimum of an acceptable* letter of apology from the offender(s) addressed to the referee(s) sent via BAYS to the home referee assignor within seven days of the ZT report filing date.

    • If the required acceptable apology is not received from the offender within the seven days, then the sanction automatically escalates to include the addition of a one game suspension.

  • 3 ZT rating: BAYS requires a minimum of a one-game suspension and an acceptable* letter of apology from the offender(s) addressed to the referee(s) sent via BAYS to the home referee assignor.

    • The violator is suspended from participating in BAYS games until their sanction is complete, including the receipt of an acceptable apology letter.

Repeat offenses, including Level 1 violations, will be taken into account when determining sanctions.  

*Acceptable apology letter must include:

  • an acknowledgement that the action in question was inappropriate, 
  • regret that the action happened, 
  • confirmation of an understanding of the BAYS ZT Policy, 
  • a commitment to ensure that more appropriate action and adherence to the policy will be in place in the future.