NYSL Statement Supporting Referees
Dear NYSL players and families,
Having referees officiate our soccer games is an essential component of our program. New Hampshire Soccer Association (NHSA) currently has a critical shortage of referees. Without referees, we cannot play games. The referees who officiated Nashua Youth Soccer League (NYSL) games last season experienced verbal abuse, intimidation, and physical violence from players, coaches, and spectators. This behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at NYSL events.
The NYSL Board of Directors stand in support of our referees’ ability to officiate games. Our referees take significant training courses before officiating games. Many of our referees are young people who are players or former players who want to be involved in a different aspect of the game. NYSL expects referees to do their very best to be fair and accurate in how they officiate games according to NHSA rules. NYSL expects players, coaches, and families to respect referees’ decisions as official and final.
NYSL has Code of Conduct expectations for players, coaches, families, and referees. All players, coaches, and families agree to these expectations during the registration process. These expectations reflect our values and goals and outline appropriate behavior of all parties attending NYSL events. At the core of these Codes of Conduct is the expectation that players, coaches, and families demonstrate good sportsmanship at all NYSL events and respect all those involved in NYSL games. The consequences from NYSL of not abiding by these expectations range from single game to multi-game suspensions. Additionally, referees can issue yellow and red cards for behavior that is not in line with NHSA rules.
The NYSL Board of Directors is committed to supporting the referees officiating our games. If referees experience behavior from players, coaches, or spectators that is not in line with our expectations, we encourage referees to issue cards and report this behavior. The NYSL Disciplinary Committee will act on these reports with appropriate consequences.
Let’s all remember why we are involved with NYSL: to foster life skills in our youth through learning about and playing soccer while focusing on sportsmanship and respect. Thank you for working with us to support our referees.
The NYSL Board of Directors