Spectator discipline

Referee Issues moderated by WPP's Righteous Referee

Moderator: Righteous Referee

oldtimer
Posts: 2288
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:57 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: All of the above

Spectator discipline

Postby oldtimer » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:11 am

The USAWP rulebook (WP 7.5) gives the referee the authority to remove anyone, including spectators, from the venue if he/she determines that the conduct impairs his/her ability to impartially officiate the game.

In the event that a spectator refuses to leave, does the coach have any responsibility for dealing with that spectator if he/she happens to be a fan of that team, or is it solely the responsibility of the pool manager? In other words, if the referee asks the coach to deal with the fan and the coach refuses, can the referee issue a yellow card to the bench? Is there any other remedy for the referee to take?

Rbpolo0414
Posts: 3642
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:43 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Fan

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby Rbpolo0414 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:07 am

oldtimer wrote:The USAWP rulebook (WP 7.5) gives the referee the authority to remove anyone, including spectators, from the venue if he/she determines that the conduct impairs his/her ability to impartially officiate the game.

In the event that a spectator refuses to leave, does the coach have any responsibility for dealing with that spectator if he/she happens to be a fan of that team, or is it solely the responsibility of the pool manager? In other words, if the referee asks the coach to deal with the fan and the coach refuses, can the referee issue a yellow card to the bench? Is there any other remedy for the referee to take?


If the "fan" is a parent then I think the coach needs to get involved. If it is someone unrelated to the team, I would say no. I'm not sure what recourse the referee would have if the coach refused. If it is a high school game, the AD should handle it.

oldtimer
Posts: 2288
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:57 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: All of the above

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby oldtimer » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:50 am

In age group games (not collegiate), it is generally pretty easy to determine if the offending individual is a parent - and the coach would absolutely know. I agree that a coach *should* show good leadership and role model qualities by showing the players what is and is not appropriate behavior... however, I am hoping there are still some experienced referees checking in that can give some kind of official word on what the expectations are from the officials, and if they have had any direction from the governing body on how this type of thing is to be handled.

I was at a referee training class where the instructor implied that it is possible for an official to yellow card the fans, and that it would apply to the bench - but he also implied that this would be a very unusual situation that is not very likely... which is probably why it isn't discussed much.

luvthegame
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:41 pm

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby luvthegame » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:40 pm

I have been to many different sporting events (baseball, basketball, football, soccer, swimming, and many others) at different levels (age group, club, high school, college, pro) and water polo is the only sport where officials are consistently getting involved with spectators. The usual excuse is the proximity of the fans to the game/officials. Basketball, age group/high school baseball, age group football, soccer at most levels, and other sports have fans just as close. Referees need to be INSTRUCTED to officiate the game and ignore the fans. I know the job is not easy and the pay is poor (as it is in most sports). Just ref the game. You really are appreciated more than you know.

oldtimer
Posts: 2288
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:57 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: All of the above

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby oldtimer » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:31 pm

Are you talking professional sports, or age group? I just read of a soccer league on the East Coast (I believe) that has banned fans from cheering or otherwise making any noise - because of the affect it has on referees and the game.

retiredguy
Posts: 946
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:56 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Former player, fan

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby retiredguy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:45 pm

Sometimes as a coach it can be difficult to manage your parents during a game when you are focused on coaching. I think it would be a good idea for coaches to teach parents the game and help them understand that refs make mistakes and it's the coaches job to deal with it.

I've watched a lot of youth water polo at high levels and often times you can almost pick out the teams with inexperienced players and in turn the parents of those players. These parents need experience watching the game as well as kids playing to learn to roll with the reffing. It takes some time and I like when referees take the time to explain things to parents and be kind to them even if it isn't being reciprocated. It's amazing how a ref with a smile can help remind everyone that it's just a game and we are all there for the kids, including the refs.

Also good referees explain the call (with hand motions) as they make it so the coaches, players, and parents learn the game. This helps to diffuse an argument even if you disagree with the call it tells you what the ref is thinking happened.

luvthegame
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:41 pm

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby luvthegame » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:42 pm

Oldtimer- pro sports, especially soccer, has a history of violence. But even with your example, it was an administrative decision- not one where the referees turned to the crowd and told them what to do.

oldtimer
Posts: 2288
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:57 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: All of the above

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby oldtimer » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:29 am

But the referees are the ones who enforce it - so exactly what is it you are saying? Who enforces it - that was my question from the outset.

Rbpolo0414
Posts: 3642
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:43 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Fan

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby Rbpolo0414 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:21 am

Did you witness this Oldtimer? I'm curious how this was resolved if this isn't a hypothetical

oldtimer
Posts: 2288
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:57 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: All of the above

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby oldtimer » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:35 am

It is based on an incident that was described to me, where referees kicked out a parent that was allegedly misbehaving, who then returned and was allegedly being belligerent. The referees asked the coach to deal with the spectator, but he felt it was not his role. I am not certain of all the details, but I understand that those managing the facility were trying to get the spectator to leave, and he resisted - almost resulting in a physical altercation. At some point, the spectator did leave and no actual violence or altercation resulted.

I may not have all of the details correct, but my question is essentially theoretical that if a spectator does refuse to leave, does the coach have any responsibility to help deal with it. There is no mention of a coach having to deal with fans in the rules or code of conduct - but as posted, the referee does have authority to kick out spectators if they impact the game (this is the administrative part, in reference to luvthegame's comments). I think the general consensus is that a coach should be a role model for his/her players, and if the spectator is a parent he/she has some influence - not the least of which is to threaten to kick the family out of the club if that family makes the club look bad (I know that this occurred with a swim family at a local swim club, where one parent became a huge problem).

Essentially the question is: If a referee kicks a spectator out, who refuses to leave even when asked by the facilities management, is it reasonable for the referee to ask the coach to deal with the spectator (if that person is known to be a parent), and if the coach refuses does the referee have any recourse - or do the facilities people have to contact law enforcement to deal with it while the coach does nothing?

Rbpolo0414
Posts: 3642
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:43 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Fan

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby Rbpolo0414 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:04 pm

This is an extreme example. It is unfathomable to me that a parent would act like this, but I'm sure it happens. I don't know the answer you are asking. I believe the ref should have notified the coach (before the fan was kicked out) that one more outburst from the fan, and he will be removed from the facility. It makes it easier for the coach to approach the parent and tell them to calm down or they will get kicked out. Most rational people will respond to being warned and back off. This may not of worked in the case of a crazy fan, but it could of diffused the situation before it got out of hand. In this case, law enforcement should of been called to remove the fan, if he wouldn't go peacfully.

oldtimer
Posts: 2288
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:57 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: All of the above

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby oldtimer » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:04 pm

Spoke to someone who is a referee today. The referee can tell the coach to deal with his/her fans, if they can be identified as such. The referee can issue a yellow card, which is applied to the bench. If the spectator continues, and the coach does not attempt to intervene, the game can be called and a forfeit recorded. Essentially, it is considered a delay of game tactic.

ephpolo
Posts: 888
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:31 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Ex-player, Ex-coach, referee

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby ephpolo » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:43 am

Certainly referees have a role to play in managing fans at games, but so does the host facility. At some point the host institution or league needs to step in and deal with unruly fans by expelling them. The referee is not the only responsible person at a game.

oldtimer
Posts: 2288
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:57 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: All of the above

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby oldtimer » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:57 am

I watched a game at USCCs, where a team's fan were getting upset and the refereeing, and one was being exceptionally unruly. The referee stopped the game. By that time, the tournament director had approached the fan - who proceeded to yell out "Get away from me! Don't touch me!", etc. The tournament director then took a step closer and told the fan to behave. I thought it was going to be a fight. The referee asked the coach to intervene, so he walked over to the stands. Several of the fans complained that 'their fan is harassing ours' or something of that nature. They only calmed down when told it was the tournament director and not simply another fan, but were still complaining about the refereeing. By this time the coach walked over and asked everyone to calm down, and all of the fans vocalized their apologies and stopped being unruly and complaining about the officiating.

Referees have the DUTY to control the game and ensure the safety of those involved. It is my understanding that they have the right to stop the game, and to ask anyone who may have influence to address unruly fans. Coaches have such influence - more so than pretty much anyone else there unless it is law enforcement. Why is there resistance to having a coach address his/her fans? Much of the time, fans are only emulating the behavior they see the coach exhibit - does anyone disagree?

wpgeek
Posts: 649
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:22 pm
How are you connected to water polo?: Fan

Re: Spectator discipline

Postby wpgeek » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:27 pm

I have seen several instances of this over many years at age group events and the host facility normally has a responsible person there that was asked to have the person leave the pool facility, not the coach. However, sometimes the team coach for the parent will also step in to help remove the person.

Return to “The Quicker Kicker Outer”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests