Conflict Games

One issue that we’ve addressed over and over and continue to have problems with is conflict games. What is a conflict game?

conflict game is one in which it could be perceived that there are referees on the match who could be partial to either team.

1. If you have a sibling playing or coaching or a parent coaching or an aunt/uncle coaching then that game is a conflict game for you.
2. If the coach of the team you play for is coaching the match you are assigned to, that is usually a conflict game.
3. If you are a coach for a club then other teams in your club are a conflict for you.
4. If you are a coach for a team then any game in the division that your team plays in is a conflict game for you.

We try to catch these. Many of you do a great job of entering conflicts on your availability and we try to catch them when assigning. Generally the mistakes happen when we start moving people around to fill openings or cancellations.

If you are assigned to a game that could be a conflict game it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to not work that match. If you catch it in time to let me know, it is easy, I can swap you to another field with another referee at that time. If it is a late assignment or a field admin assignment and you don’t catch it until you get to the field IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY NOT TO DO THAT GAME. Go back to the referee shed, explain the situation and the field admin can easily swap you with another referee on another game at that same time. Nobody loses a game, nobody loses pay, just a swap.

We are a relatively small referee pool. It will happen that a player from a club will referee younger age group teams from the same club. While not optimal, it is almost impossible to schedule around and we’ve always worked through this, so that is not considered a conflict unless a relative or YOUR coach is involved in the game.

Let me make this as clear as can be: If you work a “conflict” match then you have created a problem. The league has to deal with a tremendous amount of fallout/protests etc when this happens. You have been instructed in your USSF classes not to work conflict games. We’ve said it over and over in league meetings. Parents if you are reading this e-mail then YOU have accepted the responsibility to communicate to your youth referee that working a conflict game is a major problem.

If we continue to have issues with conflict games we may have to remove the offending referees from the schedules completely.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Mark Bernat
SCSA Referee Assignor

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