Difference between Abuse and Assault
- Referee assault is an intentional act of physical violence at or upon a referee. Assault includes, but is not limited to the following acts committed upon a referee: hitting, kicking, punching, choking, spitting on, grabbing or bodily running into a referee; head butting; the act of kicking or throwing any object at a referee that could inflict injury; damaging the referee’s uniform or personal property, i.e. car, equipment, etc.
- Referee abuse is a verbal statement or physical act not resulting in bodily contact which implies or threatens physical harm to a referee or the referee’s property or equipment. Abuse includes, but is not limited to the following acts committed upon a referee: using foul or abusive language toward a referee that implies or threatens physical harm; spewing any beverage on a referee’s personal property; or spitting at (but not on) the referee.
If you are facing imminent danger of referee assault, call 911. If referee abuse or assault have already happened at a match in which you were official or spectator, any individual can report it to the governing authorities of the state sport association. Key Facts to report:
- Date of incident
- Location of incident
- Scheduled time of competition
- Your name and role (sports official, observer, spectator, coach)
- Identification of each perpetrator (name, physical description, clothing, age, picture- anything that can help authorities to identify the perpetrator. DO NOT put yourself at risk to obtain more information)
- Description of incident
Submit an Assault and Abuse Report by Sport