THE message from Football Mid North Coast is a simple one for players this season - keep your mouth shut.
And if you can't control your emotions around match officials, you run the risk of hindering your team's chances of success.
While each incident will be dealt with case-by-case, chairman Mike Parsons has indicated he will back his referees in handing out straight red cards for abuse.
It simply won't be tolerated.
"There seems to be a lack of respect amongst many of our peers for any authority figure and I don't know where that stems from," Parsons said.
"We lose nationally over 3500 referees a year and on exit polls a majority of that is because of the abuse they cop.
There seems to be a lack of respect amongst many of our peers for any authority figure and I don't know where that stems from.Mike Parsons
"We can have a game without match officials, but it doesn't provide for the quality or enjoyment of the game because you need an independent arbitrator to adjudicate on issues that happen through the game.
"Whether they get it right or wrong, it's all subjective."
While Parsons agreed emotions could get the better of players in a competitive environment, it was part of FMNC's job as administrators to discourage over-the-top behaviour.
"If that requires getting rid of some of these players by giving them a red card and some extra week's suspension and sending a clear message, I'm all for it," he said.
"There is part of the theatre of the sport and there is part of the aggrieved situation where you have a foul against you or you think you've been wronged, you express that emotionally.
"That is opposed to being either physically or verbally abusive or remonstrating to the point of ridiculousness."
Parsons agreed some of what was seen at grassroots level on the football field started at a professional level.
"If their heroes are performing badly and showing disrespect to the match officials, then it filters down through the ranks all the way to grassroots and that's part of the issue," he said.
The message this year will be not to tolerate excessive abuse, or foul and abusive language directed at referees and match officials - we're talking assistant referees as well.Mike Parsons
"Even some of the commentators could do with a refresher course on the rules of football.
"When they're talking about decisions on air, they're not so critical of referees because they understand the concept behind what the match officials are doing."
In the Mid North Coast zone, Parsons felt they were "stemming the flow" of abuse of referees, but there was still plenty of work to do.
"The message this year will be not to tolerate excessive abuse, or foul and abusive language directed at referees and match officials - we're talking assistant referees as well," he said.
"I think we're doing a reasonable job at turning the tide at FMNC but it would be really nice if we got some assistance from the top down."
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