We all get it eventually. That spectator with the loud opinion, or the coach who forgets the AYSO Team concept in the heat of the game. It happens - but does it have to?
The best way to head these off before they occur is to put a human face on that yellow jersey. Not literally, of course. But in your pregame ritual. Start out by greeting the coaches and asking about their players. How are practices going? Is there anyone that they want help to keep in control? Gently remind them that you're there so that they can do their job. Inform them that you will ensure a Fun, Fair, Safe game to the best of your ability. Invite them to ask you questions AFTER THE GAME. Wish them good luck! For example, "Hi Coach, I'm Gary and I'll be your referee today. Looks like you've got your hands full wrangling this bunch, any concerns from practices? Got anyone you want me to keep an eye on? I'm here to help you focus on coaching, so just let me know if you have any concerns. I'll do my best to ensure a Fun, Fair, Safe game, so if you have any questions about my calls, feel free to ask me after the game, I'll be happy to explain what I saw. Good luck Coach!"
You can do the same thing with the spectator touchline. Walk over a few minutes before your player inspection, introduce yourself. Ask if you have any certified referees watching this game. How about un-certified referees? Do it with a smile and you'll hear chuckles. Just like with the coaches, inform them that you will ensure a Fun, Fair, Safe game to the best of your ability, and invite them to ask you questions AFTER THE GAME. The bonus here is that anyone who does ask questions is prime for recruiting!
I'm thinking of recording some of these pregame rituals this Spring for posting on this site. If you feel that you've come across an effective method of avoiding issues outside the touchlines, let me know and I'll come film you!
See you on the pitch!