Reminder Re Ref Liaisons (for coaches AND parents in stands) | EMSA Spruce Grove

Reminder Re Ref Liaisons (for coaches AND parents in stands)

We are sharing this note from EMSA. It is directed to coaches, but we would note that ultimately it is parents who need to be aware of and abide by the rules for behaviour in the stands at games.


EMSA would like to remind and clarify for coaches that are not aware the intent of the following rule:

415.0 Referee Liaison Program

All teams participating in EMSA programs, must designate an individual (does not have to be the same person for each game) at each game (home and away) to act as a referee liaison. The referee liaison of each team shall be a person who is not a coach or assistant coach and their main role will be to act as a deterrent to possible acts of misbehavior by spectators or team officials. The referee liaison will also be available to the referee should a request to do so be made or a potential problem arises. If a team has not identified a referee liaison for their team by fifteen (15) minutes after the schedule start of the game, they will then forfeit the game . The Referee Liaison Program is in effect for both the indoor and outdoor programs. The Referee Liaison Program applies to all tiers and age groups

In the past few weeks EMSA has received reports of incidents in the stands that may have been avoided if the teams had utilized their Referee Liaison. The parent behaving poorly should have been spoken to by their team’s referee liaison, to prevent further escalation. The Referee Liaison for the team being effected, should have alerted the Facilities Staff and made a report to the facilities of the incident if the situation escalated.

EMSA does not have the authority to remove or revoke the privilege to enter the indoor soccer facilities, only the Edmonton Soccer Association Facilities group does.

If EMSA receives a report of an incident in the stand, we currently advise the team and zone /community/club of the complaint against them. If we receive multiple complaints against the same team and/or their fans we ask the coach and community/zone/club to ensure the behavior changes, as the coach is ultimately responsible for the fans of that team.  Clubs/Communities/Zones are encouraged to talk to the team’s parents and support the coach when fans are not adhering to the appropriate code of conduct prior to an escalated incidence resulting in a formal complaint.

EMSA would like to remind all teams to use their Referee Liaison and to remind their fans to behave in a respectful manor of all individuals in the facilities, including players, coaches, referees, facilities staff and spectators of all teams. The Edmonton Soccer Facilities are family oriented buildings and together we can ensure they remain family friendly at all times.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter and we wish you all a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!!

EMSA Discipline Committee