MSRA Code of Ethics 2012.


Standards of Ethical Conduct

For Officials of the MSRA




Officials play an integral role in the sport of soccer and they must recognize their impact on the game, its participants and their fellow officials. The purpose of this document is to give a general statement of the principles of conduct, which are required of officials in order to fulfill their duties to players, colleagues and administrators.


Broad Principles:


Officials are expected to uphold and advance high standards of ethical conduct by being honest and impartial; increasing their competence and prestige; using their knowledge and skill to improve the game; and respecting the dignity, status of, and relationships with their colleagues.




“Illicit”: that which is prohibited by law.


"Misconduct": behavior in violation of FIFA Laws of the Game and/or the MSRA Rules & Regulations by a person entrusted with the administration of those laws.


"Official": individuals registered with the Manitoba Soccer Referees Association as members in good standing.


"Participants": those taking part in sport, e.g. athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, and administrators.


"Registered": registered as a member of the Manitoba Soccer Referees Association (MSRA).


"Respect": consideration of the dignity of others; courteous regard.


“Sanctioned”: permitted and approved by the Manitoba Soccer Association (MSA).


"Violate": non-compliance with the "Code of Ethics" and "Standards of Ethical Conduct" as defined in these documents.



Code of Ethics


The MSRA is aware of its responsibilities toward its referees and, having granted certain privileges to referees, it is obliged to ensure such individuals realize and respect their responsibilities and duties.


Specifically, a MSRA registered official shall:

1.         Conduct themselves with dignity on and off the field of play at all times.

            Endeavour to inspire to the principles of fair play by personal example.

2.         Maintain a high standard of conduct.

            Abide by the rules and regulations of the Association.

            Not bring into question their own or the game's integrity.

3.         Adhere to all national/provincial standards and directives.

4.         Be appropriate in appearance while performing their duties and maintain appropriate level of physical fitness.

5.         Study the "Laws of the Game" and, for so long as they are registered, keep their knowledge current by being aware of all changes, and enforce all said laws and changes.

6.         Perform designated responsibilities, including attending organized clinics and lectures, etc. Assist fellow referees to upgrade and raise the standard of officiating.

7.         To the best of their ability, honor any appointments made and accepted.

8.         Not publicly criticize other officials or any soccer association.

            Not compare their competence to that of other officials.

9.         Follow the correct methods of communication to both the Canadian Soccer Association Referees' Committee (which shall be through the provincial association of registration) and the Manitoba Soccer Association (MSA).


Standards of Ethical Conduct


MSRA registered officials are expected to demonstrate excellence in conduct and ability at each match in which they participate. This includes the time from arrival until departure from the field. In preparation for officiating, officials must devote time, thought, and study to the "Laws of the Game" and mechanics of officiating. They are expected to comply with the following standards:


A.        Referee Registration

A referee is considered registered when the MSA and MSRA office have received and accepted a completed registration form with appropriate fees attached.


B.        Restriction on Referee as a Player

A registered referee shall not be eligible to officiate in any division that they participate as a player or team official.



C.        Education

            1.         Officials shall keep current with any Law changes.

            2.         Officials are encouraged to attend MSA educational programs.


D.        Non-Sanctioned Games

            Registered referees shall not officiate any matches not sanctioned by the MSA.


E.         Assignments

1.         Officials shall decline an officiating role if a conflict of interest exists (e.g. including but not restricted to an affiliation with any team, club, league, or immediate family member).

2.         Officials shall accept or reject assignments within 48 hrs of receiving them (See MSRA Black Book).


3.         Officials who cancel one assignment in order to work another may be disciplined.


F.         Control of Play

1.         Referees shall be consistent and objective in calling all infractions, regardless of personal feelings toward a team or individual player.

2.         Referees shall be courteous and considerate without sacrificing fair play.


G.        Statements

Officials shall refrain from public criticism of fellow officials, players, and team personnel, while maintaining the utmost respect for all groups.


H.        Fitness / Appearance

            1.         Officials shall maintain an appropriate level of physical fitness.


            2.         Officials shall be neat in appearance and wear a uniform approved by the MSA.


I.          Alcohol / Drugs / Tobacco

1.         Officials shall not advocate or condone the use of illicit drugs or other banned substances.

2.         Officials shall not be under the influence of alcohol or other banned substances when officiating and working with other officials.


J.          Language

Officials shall refrain from the use of profane, insulting, harassing or otherwise offensive language in the conduct of their duties.


K.        Safety

            Referees shall ensure, to the best of their ability, the safety of players, team and game officials.



L.         Discrimination / Harassment / Unprofessional conduct

1.         Officials shall comply with the MSA "Harassment Policy" – see attachment.

2.         Officials shall not discriminate against nor take advantage of any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, political belief, economic status, marital/family status, sex, sexual orientation, or ancestry.

3.         Public confrontation of any kind shall not be tolerated.


M.        Discipline

1.         Officials shall comply with the MSRA By-Laws and Rules & Regulations.

2.         Officials shall cooperate fully in the timely resolution of any grievance hearing or complaint.

3.         Officials should consider it a privilege to be part of the MSRA and those officials who violate the "Code of Ethics" or "Standards of Ethical Conduct" shall be subject to disciplinary action.


N.        Penalties

1.         The severity of the penalty imposed upon an individual shall be determined by the decision-making body having jurisdiction.

2.         Penalties may be among the following:

            a.         Letter of reprimand

            b.         A fine

            c.         Suspension from all active participation in the MSRA for a fixed period of time

            d.         Any combination of clauses a., b., and c. of this subsection

            e.         Dismissal from the MSRA


O.        Appeals


1.         Any game official found guilty of misconduct may appeal the decision of the hearing committee in writing to the MSRA Secretary.


2.         The party appealing the decision of a committee shall have 14 days to file the notice of appeal of a decision. Time for filing an appeal shall start with the date of official receipt of the decision by the party making the appeal