A district court summons was issued yesterday against a referee in a Montgomery County youth soccer league game earlier in the day. The summons was sworn by a player's parent, who says that the referee punched him in the face during an argument in the game at the Falls Chapel Field.
The parent, according to Montgomery County police who were called to the scene, was treated at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. He received seven stitches to close a mouth wound.
The game involved players born in 1971.
The referee is accused by the parent of assault and battery. A court hearing was scheduled Oct. 25.
The names of the referee and the parent were not available.
Montgomery County police, who made out a report on the incident, said they could not release the names since no arrests were made. A District Court commissioner also refused to identify the parties, saying that the summons will not be a matter of public record until it goes to court Monday. Shady Grove Adventist Hospital refused to release the name of the parent, and two high-ranking officials of the group that assigns soccer officials would not identify the referee.
According to a police report, the incident occurred after the referee didn't make a call on a play that happened behind him. Play was halted when a number of parents came on to the field to protest. The verbal confrontation escalated before the referee allegedly hit one parent in the mouth.
Later, at the Rockville station, police said the parent applied for a warrant, but the commissioner issued the summons.
Don Dennison, president of the Metropolitan Soccer Referees Association, said he would not comment until his group completed its own internal investigation.
Told what the police report said, Dennison said the boom in youth soccer has created the type of situation that resulted in yesterday's incident. "The problem is this: We have thousands of games to referee and not enough officials," he said. "One referee works a field about 100 yards in length. It's impossible for him to keep an eye on the actual play and see what goes on behind him.