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News - Details



Delaware Youth Soccer Association (DYSA) and the Delaware Soccer Referee Association (DSRA) have formed a partnership--Future of Delaware Soccer Initiative (FDSI). The FDSI will focus on the recruitment and retention of referees as well as the abuse of referees in our state.

Referee Abuse Zero Tolerance Policy

DYSA and DSRA have created a Zero Tolerance Policy when it comes to referee abuse. There is a severe shortage of referees across all sports. This is due, in part, to attrition rates of young referees of over 33%. These rates are driven up by the abuse referees are subjected to by coaches, players, and spectators/sidelines. In recent years some leagues have instituted policies to prevent certain behaviors, but despite that, we are still seeing increases in abuse incidents and attrition rates among referees.  

Beginning April 1st, DYSA will enforce a ZERO TOLERANCE policy to address inappropriate behavior and interactions towards referees. Any coach, player, parent, or spectator at the field who violates this policy towards a referee will be subject to sanctions, including suspensions and fines. Under this policy, member clubs and coaches will be responsible for the behavior of their players, coaches, parents and spectators. Parents and spectators are encouraged to cheer for their team's players and their teammates. However, at no time does their role cross over to being a referee mentor or educator, regardless of their knowledge or understanding of the game. That role belongs to the State Referee Committee who has established communication channels with member clubs and their administrators. See below for examples of the behaviors/things that this policy will address and sanction:  

Telling the referee: 

  • To call the game 
  • To keep the kids safe 
  • To call it both ways 
  • That they are terrible 
  • That you are going to file a complaint
  • Fighting
  • Verbal threats

There will be zero tolerance for any personal, public, or provocative remarks directed towards referees. 


If a referee files a report after a game and it indicates any referee abuse/assault then the club will be automatically fined through DYSA.

Please visit our website for the full policy.   CLICK HERE  We encourage Clubs and Directors of Coaching to share the details with all coaches, spectators and players within their club.