Field Marshal Program


Referee retention has been a troubling issue over the past few years in Victoria. This shortage has many causes, but the most worrisome is the abuse from team officials, parents and spectators towards the youth referees. This abuse can come in many forms but in particular it is the personal, provocative and public verbal abuse regarding the referee’s on-field performance that causes many referees to quit.

This unacceptable behavior towards all game officials but in particular towards our youth must be addressed if soccer is to have an adequate supply of referees. The Field Marshal (FM) Program is intended to empower one individual to speak up on behalf of the officials amongst their fellow spectators.


  • Role of the FM is to be a friendly, in-person reminder that soccer is just a game and that every participant deserves our respect.

  • All U9-U18 teams participating in Lakehill Soccer Association play must designate an individual at each game (home and away) to act as FM.

  • The FM will be identified with a fluorescent safety vest provided by Lakehill Soccer.

  • Potential problems that the FM will be on the lookout for may include:  inappropriate comments, gestures and/or general unsporting behavior directed at referees, players or any other individual by your team's parents/spectator.

Field Marshal Responsibilities

  • Wear the FM vest provided to clearly identify yourself.

  • At the beginning of each game, remind Lakehill parents/spectators to please keep their comments to themselves and to refrain from vocalizing complaints during the game (it is not expected that the FM will engage with the opposing team’s spectators).

  • Position yourself in the middle of your team's spectators’ area (move between groups of spectators if they are spread out)

  • Monitor the behavior of your team’s parents/spectators

  • Act to quickly diffuse potential problems by either being visible or calmly speaking with the individual(s) involved. Avoid getting into a confrontation. This role is one of supporting the officials, not policing the supporters.

  • Support the game officials if they request help.

  • If a spectator’s behaviour continues or escalates, advise him/her that a report will be filed with the club.

  • As soon as possible following the game, submit a report to the Lakehill Director of Conflict Resolution.

  • Any concerns/complaints/compliments about game officials at away games should be directed to Lower Island Soccer.


All Lakehill youth teams are expected to participate in the FM Program

Do: Your best to ensure respect and sportsmanship is shown by Lakehill parents towards everyone at the field 

Do: Try to calmly diffuse any tense situations using words and non-threatening gestures (such as smiling), while striving to maintain a neutral and diplomatic demeanour.

Do: Try to make note of any significant untoward behaviour, the individual responsible, and report it using the Field Marshal report form.


Do not: Physically engage individuals or put yourself in a dangerous position.

Do not: Make accusations towards or allegations against any individuals.

Do not: Engage in any behaviour that could escalate the situation.


Remember - the role of the Field Marshal is to be a friendly, in-person reminder that soccer is just a game and that every participant deserves our respect.