No competitive contest can be played satisfactorily without impartial, competent officials. Officials must have the respect and support of administrators, coaches and players. On- and off-the-record criticism of officials to players or to the public shall be considered unethical.
There should be a cooperative relationship between coaches, administrators and officials associations, with frequent interchange of ideas and suggestions. Coaches should, whenever possible, accept invitations to attend officials’ rules meetings. Similarly coaches should extend to officials an invitation to discuss rule interpretations with their respective squads and, on occasion, to officiate at scrimmages, for mutual benefit.
Good officiating promotes enjoyment of the game as well as protects the players. When an official accepts a game assignment, his responsibility is definite and well defined. The protection and welfare of the players are paramount, and with this, there can be no compromise. Any official who fails to promptly discharge his responsibility of penalizing for an infraction, is delinquent and unqualified to officiate.
On the day of the game, officials should be treated in a courteous manner; on their part, officials are expected to show courtesy and respect to the players, coaches, and administrators. Conferences between Administrators, coaches, and officials shall always be conducted according to procedures established by the governing Conference or Officials’ Association. In every respect, the amateur Rule Book shall be followed in coach-official relationships, on the field,during and following a game. Any criticism which the coach or administrator may have to make concerning officiating, or any official’s criticism of the public, teams, coaches, or individual players, should be made in writing to the office which assigned the official to the game. For a coach to address, or permit anyone on his bench to address, uncomplimentary remarks to any official during the progress of a game, or to indulge in conduct which might incite players or spectators against the officials, is a violation of the rules of the game and must likewise be considered conduct unworthy of a member of the coaching profession.
It should be recognized that slow motion study of controversial decisions by officials is far different from on-the-spot decisions which must be made during the course of the game. To show critical plays to sports writers, sportscasters, alumni and the public, which may incite them to label officials as incompetent, must be considered unethical conduct.