1. Please remind coaches AND parents this is a recreational league, with the underlying mission of Field Hockey development in our youth (this is not the Olympics!). Officials SHOULD NOT be heckled, harassed or cursed out from the coaches or the fans. If a coach would like to discuss with officials, a conversation at a break between quarters is advised. Officials have been advised to be receptive to these conversations.
2. Many are officiating for the ‘love of the game’ and many are ‘officials in training’, so please be patient. If we continue to give grief to our officials, they will stop signing up to officiate our games. Following this past weekend, we have 2 officials that refuse to accept more games.
3. Games may have one official OR two officials. Coaches SHOULD NOT step in or volunteer to officiate if there is only one official. When ONE official is assigned, they will be senior with more than enough experience to ref a youth game. In the case of TWO officials, one will be more senior, and one will most likely be in training. Going forward, the officials will use headsets so they can confer and support each other during the game.
4. Previously, officials were told NOT to card coaches for their behavior, or the behavior of the fans. Going forward, officials WILL issue cards in the case of unruly coaches and fans. I will be notified of all cards issued to coaches, and we will then discuss at the League Board. Coaches / teams/parents receiving multiple cards during the season may be asked to no longer participate or attend.
5. Officials have been reminded that safety is a VERY important aspect of their role on the field during the game. There have been multiple injuries in games the past two weeks primarily due to too many people on the ball, kids in a pack with a big swing of the stick, incessant hacking, tackles from behind and over-heating in the hot weather. Officials will no longer let packs of kids pile onto the ball and if children look overheated, they will be sent to the sidelines. Please expect more calls to reset the play when players start to get into a hive on the field or sticks and tackles look out of control. You may not always agree with a call, but the calls will be made to ensure the safety of the players and take a moment for instruction to our young players (and sometimes our coaches!).
We will not address the specific coach and fan incidents that have occurred so far this season, however, please accept this email as a level setting exercise for all. Going forward, if unruly behavior from coaches and fans continue, the league will address individual situations with the Township Representatives.
Thank you very much for your understanding,
Mid-Jersey Youth Field Hockey
** NJ is an anti-bully state. Let's lead by example and not bully. https://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/new-jersey/index.html**