One of the primary objectives of Brazosport Youth Soccer Association (BYSA) is to promote good sportsmanship and fair play.  Win, lose or draw there is always an opportunity for a coach, player or parent to display appropriate sportsmanship.  Parents can demonstrate their commitment in a variety of ways such as by demonstrating good sportsmanship at games.

To ensure good sportsmanship, BYSA has established the Field Marshal Program.  The purpose of a Field Marshal is to assist referees in ensuring that players, coaches and parents good conduct is maintained at all times.  The Field Marshal is there to assist the referee/s and to provide mediation concerning any on-the field or surrounding vicinity issues.  They are present to assist and support the referee with regard towards referee requests for outside assistance, but under no circumstances does a Field Marshal have the authority to disrupt a match or step on to the field.  A referee is the SOLE authority on the field in question when a game is taking place, however, when there is a dispute and they REQUEST them, a Field Marshal may assist.

BYSA Field Marshal Policy for all BYSA/HYSA Soccer Fields

BYSA will utilize a Field Marshal for all BYSA/HYSA games played on all STYSA/BYSA/HYSA sanctioned Soccer Fields.  A Field Marshal will be an adult Field Marshall Committee member 18 or older who supervises the sidelines during games and provides adult support for referees in any capacity that the referee deems necessary within the boundaries of the Laws of the Game.  The Field Marshals will not be relatives or part of the rostered coaching team directly involved with the game in question.  In other words, they will be and shall remain impartial by these standards to avoid a possible conflict of interest.

ALL volunteers, prior to acting in the capacity as a Field Marshal, will pass a STYSA approved kidsafe background check and will wear AT ALL TIMES their kidsafe badge (the current color, laminated, signed and with their picture on it) prominently displayed on their torso in accordance with STYSA if they are acting in the capacity of Field Marshal on any BYSA sanctioned field for any BYSA sanctioned event.

Field Marshals are not the referees of the game in question and at play, and will not be involved in the decisions made by the referee/s.

The referee/s has/have the full authority in accordance with the Laws of the Game over all actions related to the game and its immediate vicinity of those on the sidelines and surrounding field zones, such as but not limited to, each team’s technical area and the zone behind the goal.  They can and will utilize a variety of measures of increasing severity to encourage appropriate behavior by spectators and players.  This can range anywhere from stopping play for sanctions, to disciplining and ejecting coaches, up to and including abandoning the game itself, if they deem it necessary.  Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for a referee who is as young as 11 years old to exert his or her authority whether it is in the capacity of an Assistant Referee or as a Center Referee.  While they understand they have the authority to take action, they typically do not feel comfortable doing so especially towards an adult/s or a crowd.  For this reason, an adult Field Marshal can offer support for the referee/s and assist in controlling any inappropriate behavior.

Duties and Responsibilities of the Field Marshal

  1. Monitor the sidelines during games. Spectators and coaches must remain on their respective sides of the field — and within their designated boxes (spectator and technical) that are painted on the ground by the hosting clubs — during games and 3 feet back from the sideline to avoid interference with play, the Assistant Referee, and to prevent the obstruction of vision of the Referee with the play.

These boxes are the only places that the teams and spectators, off the field of play, will occupy.

There are several trees across all of the BYSA sanctioned fields throughout the clubs.  These trees provide beautiful shade but also promote the blending of opposing spectators and make it difficult for Field Marshals and referees to identify which teams’ spectators are causing issues.  They will not occupy a position near the field under a tree, just because there is shade there.  This does not apply if a tree is inside the designated spectator area.  All clubs are encouraged to take measures to enforce this, as this is a violation of STYSA rules and these were made to assist the referees in maintaining order and peace.  Clubs are encouraged to have signs made to place under the trees or section these areas off so that these areas are clearly marked as not accessible by spectators.  It is each club’s responsibility to make sure that these conditions are being met which will help to ensure the smoothness of the game for all involved.  Many adults either forget these rules or are unaware of them and need to be reminded.  The Field Marshal should respectfully ask any person/s to move back into the designated areas as needed.  When the Field Marshal performs these duties, he/she will not enter the field or stop the game.  In addition, neither coaches nor spectators are ever allowed to enter the field unless invited by the referee/s to do so.  The Field Marshal will immediately engage any individual, coach, parent or spectator, and respectfully remind them of the rule if this occurs.

  1. Monitor verbal remarks and non-verbal gestures directed towards the referee/s, coaches and players. Heat-of-the-moment mild expressions of disapproval by spectators and coaches with the decisions/calls of the referee/s are inevitable. However, continued disparaging or negative remarks directed toward the coach/es, referee/s or players either verbal or through gestures will not be tolerated and must be stopped.  The Field Marshal must intervene for the correction of any behavior that is harassing, disparaging or intimidating towards the Coach/es, Referee/s or to any players. Under STYSA and BYSA rules, the coach has the full responsibility for the behavior of the players and parents and will be sanctioned accordingly if their spectators are not acting in an appropriate manner.  A Field Marshal will, if necessary, approach the offending spectator and privately ask them to attend to their conduct in question.    For especially egregious or repeated inappropriate remarks or actions, it may be necessary to ask the offending individual to leave the field and go to the parking lot.  If this is met with dissension, the coach can be notified of his spectator’s actions and asked to assist.  If the Field Marshal does not feel that the coach can/will assist in this then the local law enforcement, i.e. police, will be called by the Field Marshal.  If a coach or part of the coaching team is the offending individual/s, the Field Marshal will take the same actions.  Play should not be stopped for any of these interventions taken by the Field Marshal.
  2. Finding a Replacement Field Marshal.

For BYSA/HYSA games:  If you cannot attend a game that you are scheduled to be the Field Marshal for, you need to contact the BYSA representative who is assigning field marshals that weekend and let them know so that a field marshal can be found as a replacement in a timely manner and contact information passed on to the referees assigned to the game in question.  A Field Marshal will be present from each BYSA club for EVERY game that their sponsored team is playing on a BYSA/HYSA field.  Failure to do so will result in a fine, forfeit of the game by your team or other penalties may ensue if this is an increasing problem.  These penalties will be the discretion of the the BYSA Board of Directors as well as HYSA if necessary.

Other Notes

-Generally the Field Marshal stands in a neutral corner of the field to make it easier to be located by the referee.  However the Field Marshal should feel free to roam his/her sidelines.

-Before the game starts introduce yourself to the referee/s and both coaching teams and make sure the referee/s knows that he/she/they can rely on your support of their decisions and calls.

-The Field Marshal’s ultimate responsibility is to stand up for the referee/s and support them within the boundaries of the Laws of the Game.  Even if you disagree with what the referee/s is/are doing, your job is to support their decisions and authority especially in cases of extreme negative behavior on the part of coaches and spectators and not challenge their authority during the event.  If a Field Marshal disagrees with a decision made by a referee, there are other venues to report or discuss this but NOT during the game.

BYSA/HYSA Games:  If a Field Marshal needs immediate advice or assistance, they will contact any of the BYSA Board of Directors or in extreme cases, notify local law enforcement.