There are two types of misconduct toward game officials (referees, assistant referees or fourth officials), abuse and assault. See the United States Soccer Federation Policy Manual, Policy 531-9 (was 3041) or the Referee Administrative Handbook (See Below) for a full description.

Abuse and Assault do happen, even to experienced referees. If such misconduct is to be stamped out, referees must follow a sensible and consistent course of action that will enable their State Associations to punish offenders, and to discourage potential offenders from such acts. A referee should react to misconduct directed toward him/her in a manner that will permit administration and enforcement agencies to do their jobs. The USSF Referee Handbook, Laws of the Game (See Below) has instructions on dealing with misconduct. It is important for the referee to remember that any such misconduct is not his/her fault! There is no excuse for a player, coach, or spectator resorting to abuse, threats, or physical attack, no matter how upset he/she is with the referee. Such actions cannot be tolerated and must be reported! Contact your local Area Referee, Parris Sanders to report any incidents of abuse.