The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School is facing a slate of disciplinary action from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) following an incident early this month at a postseason boys soccer game, when two players pushed a referee, earning them red cards and a formal writeup by the official.

The players, whose names have not been disclosed by the school or the MIAA, have been suspended from high school sports for one year. Boys soccer coach John Walsh has also been suspended for the first two matches of the 2020 season, the MIAA determined after a hearing early this week. In addition the high school will be required to adopt a detailed regimen of training and education in sportmanship for soccer high school coaches and team captains, as well as provide specially trained liaisons to attend games, both at home and away.

The incident occurred on Nov. 5 during the soccer team’s 1-0 loss to top-seeded Norwell in the final playoff game of the season. The team lost on a last-minute penalty kick after the referee called a handball in the box.

A video of the incident published by the Boston Herald shows a player from the Vineyard team pushing the referee from behind as the Norwell team celebrates on the field after the game. Another Vineyard player bumped the referee from the side, the video shows.

Coach John Walsh received a two-game suspension. — Aaron Wilson

The MIAA, which governs high school postseason athletics, took action in two separate steps late last week and early this week, first suspending the players, then issuing a suspension for the coach and other stipulations following a hearing Tuesday.

High school principal Sara Dingledy has taken a tough stance on the incident, and said she welcomed the stipulations as an opportunity for improvement in school athletics.

“We received the MIAA decision this afternoon, and it seems fair and appropriate,” Ms. Dingledy said in an email Wednesday. “The stipulations that the MIAA has outlined will provide us with an opportunity to bring increased awareness around sportsmanship and civility in our sports programs. We will fully engage with this work and make the necessary improvements.”

In a letter that went out to team members and parents immediately after the incident, Ms. Dingledy said she had apologized to soccer officials, parents and Norwell High School.

Tara Bennett, a spokesman for MIAA, said the one-year suspension for the student-athletes was a result of the referee checking off the “player assault” box when completing the student contest disqualification form. The referee was required to complete the disqualification form after red cards were given at the end of the game.

Ms. Bennett confirmed that the school would not be appealing the player suspensions.

Meanwhile, the MIAA held a hearing on the incident Tuesday afternoon before a subcommittee of MIAA officials to discuss further disciplinary action against the school. According to Ms. Bennett, school administrators from Norwell High School and the Vineyard regional high school, as well as Coach Walsh, were present.

Following the hearing, the subcommittee deliberated and voted on a variety of consequences against the high school and boys head soccer coach, among other things suspending Mr. Walsh for the first two regular season matches of the 2020 season. Mr. Walsh will be allowed to coach practices and participate in training, but will not be allowed to be present on the field or in the stadium during the games.

Ms. Bennett said while suspending coaches for player behavior is not without precedent, it is not automatic.

“This was a decision from the committee after hearing from both schools as well as the coaches . . . and getting the global picture,” she said. “[Suspending

coaches] is an option that’s available. It’s not mandatory.”

In a statement sent by email Wednesday, Ms. Bennett detailed other consequences for the school and Coach Walsh. The school will be required to provide a mandatory game administrator at all home and away matches. Game administrators are normally present only at home matches, Ms. Bennett said. The school will also be required to establish a sportsmanship action plan that includes mandatory completion of NFHS online education courses in sportsmanship and captains’ education, as well as the mandatory submission of all yellow and red card infractions.

The entire boys soccer coaching staff will have to complete a sportsmanship compliance class and the NFHS coaches education course.

Despite the disciplinary outcome, Ms. Bennett said the hearing went well.

“Everything was collegial — all around,” she said.

The school has until Nov. 20 to appeal the MIAA decision.

Reached by telephone Wednesday, high school athletic director Mark McCarthy said school administrators had not yet had time to discuss the decision so he did not know whether the school would appeal. But he too said the meeting had a positive tone, and that administrators from Norwell commended the Vineyard team’s sportsmanship despite the incident with the referee.

“The ADs from Norwell commended several of our kids for having great sportsmanship and doing the absolute right thing,” Mr. McCarthy said. “The actions of two individuals — which were wrong — really didn’t portray what was happening on the field.”

In a statement emailed to the Gazette Saturday after the player suspensions were first announced, Ms. Dingledy said the incident was ugly and that appropriate disciplinary action would also come from the school. She added that she hoped the students would use the incident as a chance to learn from their behavior.

“We are working with the two students to make amends as they accept responsibility and the consequences for what happened. I am confident that they will,” Ms. Dingeldy said.

Ms. Dingledy also sent a letter to members of the boys freshman, junior varsity and varsity soccer teams, calling the actions of the players unacceptable.

“The ensuing behavior of a couple MVRHS players after the call was an embarrassment to our program and our school community,” the principal wrote. “This is a game. It has rules, and it has officials who enforce those rules. Attacking a ref, verbally or physically, is uncalled for. The MIAA takes a hard stand against this, as does MVRHS. It was a terrible way to end an amazing game, and it took the focus off the class and grit our team played with over the previous 90 minutes.”

Ms. Dingledy noted that Vineyard players and coaches quickly stepped in to diffuse the situation, and that the behavior was not indicative of the team, which has shown integrity throughout the year.

“I know that the behavior of a few players is in no way representative of the whole team,” she wrote. “The majority of the MVRHS players out there played fairly and carried themselves with dignity this entire season.”