Website Manager

Connecticut Junior Soccer Association

    News Detail


    May, 2023

    CJSA Joins Respect-The-Ref Campaign

    The focus of the Respect-The-Ref Campaign is to improve sideline behavior and prioritize fun in youth soccer.

    The Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (CJSA) is proud to join Indiana Soccer, US Youth Soccer and 15 additional state associations to launch a 2023-2024 Respect-The-Ref Campaign targeted at improving sideline etiquette from spectators and coaches. Led by Indiana Soccer, a video was created to provide education and improve awareness around this critical topic.

    While the game continues on an incredible growth spurt, there has been a significantly alarming reduction in the number of available referees, the majority being young players who also enjoy officiating the game. High attrition rates have been due to a variety of factors such as the Covid pandemic and commitments to other activities. However, there has also been another concerning trend that has contributed to the recent exodus of available referees.

    Indiana Soccer led a research effort and surveyed every referee who stepped down from officiating in their state, and the topic that continues to dominate the resignation conversation is the negative sideline etiquette from spectators and coaches. There is a common belief that as long as the negative sideline behavior from spectators and coaches increases, the game will continue to see an alarming rate of officials stepping away from the game. Without the officials, the game cannot be played, and that means our athletes cannot have the fun that comes with playing the game.

    “A recent Indiana Soccer distributed survey clearly revealed that only a small portion of coaches, parents and players are guilty of interfering and abusing referees,” said Dave Guthrie, Executive Director of Indiana Soccer. “Unfortunately, these few bad actors are ruining the game for the masses. It is our hope that through education, which is what the video was created to do, the few who are driving the referees out of the game will realize that their behavior is toxic and unwelcomed.”

    This education opportunity comes at a time when CJSA, and others across the country, are witnessing an alarming trend of referee abuse and assault.

    “Over the past several years, along with most youth sports organizations, we have experienced a growing issue with the treatment and retention of officials at all levels of our game,” said Josh Krusewski, CJSA Executive Director. “We thank Indiana Soccer for leading this project in an effort to improve the soccer environment for all. It is going to take everyone within the environment to move the needle in a positive direction.”

    Supporters of this initiative are encouraged to share the Respect-The-Ref Campaign video to expand its important message. Lastly, we remind everyone once again that matches cannot be played without the hard work of referees, and we must all do our part to create a safe, friendly and fully inclusive soccer environment for our youth players to enjoy the game.

    To contact the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association, please call (860) 676-1161 or email [email protected]
    . Also make sure to follow us on social media!

    Contact Us

    Connecticut Junior Soccer Association
    11 Executive Drive, Suite 203
    Farmington, Connecticut 06032

    Phone: 860-676-1161
    Email: [email protected]


    USA USYS CTRefereeProgram
    Copyright © 2024 Connecticut Junior Soccer Association | Terms Of Use | Privacy Statement | Children's Privacy Policy Login