Policy 202(1)(H)-2 – Professional League Standards Regarding Misconduct Against Game Officials Section1. Misconduct against referees may occur before, during and after a match, including travel to and from a match.2. All Professional League Members shall adopt and enforce policies prohibiting misconduct against referees that meet the following minimum criteria. a. Referee Assault 1. Any player, coach, manager, club official, or league official who commits an intentional act of physical violence at or upon a referee ("Referee Assault") shall be suspended without pay for a period of at least six consecutive matches (the "Assault Suspension"). The Assault Suspension shall commence with the first match after which the individual has been found to have committed this act. 2. For purposes of this subparagraph 2 a. "Referee Assault" shall include, but is not limited to: striking, kicking, choking, grabbing or bodily running into a referee; spitting on a referee with ostensible intent to do so; kicking or throwing an object at an official that could inflict injury; or damaging the referee's uniform or personal pro p e rtyproperty 3. The Professional League Member may not provide for a penalty shorter than the Assault Suspension but may provide for a longer suspension and/or a fine. b. Referee Abuse. 1. Any player, coach, manager, club official, or league official who threatens through a physical act or verbal statement, either explicitly or implicitly, a referee ("Referee Abuse") shall be suspended for a period of at least thre e consecutive matches (the "Abuse Suspension"). The Abuse Suspension shall commence with the first match after which the individual has been found to have committed this act. 2. For purposes of this subparagraph 2 b. "Referee Abuse" shall include, but is not limited to: verbal and nonverbal communication which contains foul or abusive language and which implies or directly threatens physical harm; spewing a beverage on or spitting at a referee or the referee's personal property. 3. The Professional League Member may not provide for a penalty shorter than the Abuse Suspension but may provide for a longer suspension and/or a fine. c. Referee. For purposes of this section 2, a "referee" shall include the referee, assistant referees, and fourth official. d. Match. For purposes of the Assault Suspension and the Abuse Suspension, a "match" shall mean any official match of that individual's team in the Professional League Member for which there is paid attendance, i.e., regular season, playoff, officially sanctioned cups and tournaments, and international games played in the United States. Section (3). This policy shall apply only to players, coaches, managers, club officials, or league officials while participating in professional League Member activities. The Assault Suspension and abuse Suspension (the "Suspension") shall preclude the suspended individual from participating in any soccer competition until the suspension has expired.
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