Harassment of a referee or official

Last updated: 29 Apr 2009 Topics: Inappropriate or concerning behaviour Parents in sport

Help and advice about how to deal with parents or spectators harassing referees.

This video clip is for anyone involved in sports activities with children and young people including coaches, volunteer helpers, activity organisers, management committees, participants and parents.

Officials (particularly young officials) should not put themselves in any risky situations. A preventative approach is much more successful and before the game starts, parents and club supporters should be moved back to a safer distance away from the playing area.

The official should first contemplate their own safety and any potential risks to the youth players before confronting parents or club supporters on what is quite often an open unprotected area like a playing field. If there is any risk then consideration should be given to ending the match and the concerning behaviour reported after the event.