Thank you for taking on the role of a Respect Monitor. This is a new role which is being introduced to help improve the standard of behaviour at all games in the Norfolk Combined Youth Football League.
We don’t expect Respect Monitors to have to deal with confrontation or with spectators from the opposition, they are there solely to act as a liaison between the referee and spectators supporting your team. It would be good practice to work closely with the Club Welfare Officer and the manager of the team.
What is the role?
You will be normally be part of the welcoming party to the opposition team when you are at home. Please introduce yourself to the referee, the opposition’s manager and the Respect Manager for the other team. Club assistant referees (often called linesmen) can also be included in this.
The referee should hold a short briefing meeting at the beginning of the game to talk through the game management with the Managers, Lines people and yourselves. Referees may also include players so all are clear what is expected of them. Topics usually covered by referees are as follows:-
• The role of the assistant referees (ie. What they wish the assistants to deal with and what the referee will handle themselves – It is usual that referees will ask assistants to focus only on ball in/out of play, offside and positioning of players feet at throw-ins and how they wish for the assistants to use the flag, but each referee will have their own preference)
• How the referee will deal with any issues on the pitch and a few words on their personal ‘tolerance levels’
• Where the supporters should be positioned (ie. Not behind the goals and on the opposite side of the pitch to the managers/teams)
• A few words to the Respect monitors about how they propose to handle any supporter-related issues during the game
We expect all involved in the games to act in accordance with the Respect Code of Conduct that they have signed. It is good practice for Respect monitors to meet briefly with the referee before the match, at half-time and at the end of the match.
If spectators from your team are acting inappropriately then we would ask you to act as follows:
• If it is low level verbal comments, and you feel comfortable in dealing with them, please ask the relevant person or persons to stop.
• If you feel intimidated at all by your own team’s spectators then please walk round and have a conversation with the team manager about what action is appropriate.
If spectators from the opposing team are acting inappropriately then we would ask you to act as follows:
• Do not engage the supporters directly and encourage your own supporters to do likewise
• Approach the Respect monitor from the opposing team and ask them politely if they are aware of the behaviour which is causing concern
• Leave the opposing Respect monitor to deal with their own supporters from there
• If the issue continues and is not dealt with, do not engage any further – you may wish to make notes as appropriate.
If the referee is unhappy about spectator behaviour:-
• At an appropriate point, when the ball is out of play, the referee may invite Respect Monitors onto the pitch
• We encourage the Respect Monitors to engage in a non-confrontational manner, regardless of how they feel the referee has handled the match in general – this is not the time to debate decisions made etc.
• The referee will explain the supporter behaviour which is causing concern
• They will then outline what action they require to be taken by the Respect Monitors and Managers from both teams. They can apply a sanction of abandoning the game should this request not be actioned.
After the match
• It is good practice to have a brief conversation with the Respect Monitor from the opposing team at the end of the game. We encourage monitors not to engage in discussion about match officials or decisions made on the field of play.
• If the behaviour of your own supporters fails to meet the Respect Code of Conduct, you should make the team manager or club welfare officer aware, so that they may deal with it. There are also the 3 League Welfare Officers who can be consulted or notified of any issues.
Should an incident occur during a match, then we may ask a Respect Monitor to give us their version of events. This will be an informal email (we will focus on the content, not on spelling or grammar)
We hope this role will contribute to all games being played in a supportive but competitive environment where all can enjoy their participation in the game.