Coach's Code of Conduct


Coach's Code of Conduct

This Coach's Code of Conduct is applicable to each head coach, assistant coach and team manager of any travel team registered with the Haverford Soccer Club (“HSC” or the “Club”).

1. Personal Conduct. I will aspire to achieve and maintain the highest levels of performance within a moral and ethical framework. My personal conduct on the field, and at all times in the presence of the players, shall be worthy of imitation by the players. I will instruct and supervise my players in accordance with the highest level of professionalism. I will maintain and exhibit poise, self-discipline and restraint during and after every game. I will treat each opposing team and its spectators with courtesy and fairness, and will avoid actions that will offend or embarrass players, parents, HSC, the league, the referees or myself. My conduct will not in any manner be conditioned on the conduct of the opposing team, the score of the match, the conduct of the opposing team’s coaches, parents or other spectators, nor will it be in any manner conditioned on my agreement or disagreement with calls or non-calls of the referee(s).

2. Representative of HSC. I understand that I am a representative of the Club anytime that I am engaged in any soccer-related activity, such as coaching a game, field marshalling, refereeing, attending training, spectating, attending league meetings, EPYSA meetings, USYSA meetings, and/or communicating with HSC players, parents and/or coaches, etc. I will at all times act to favorably represent HSC.

3. Compliance with Rules, etc. Anytime that I am engaged in any soccer-related activity, I will comply with all laws, as well as all applicable rules, policies, procedures and regulations of HSC, the School District of Haverford Township, the Haverford Township Recreation Department, EPYSA, PAGS, the DELCO Soccer League, and USYSA.

4. Continuing Training & Education. I will take all training courses required by the Club in order to develop and enhance my coaching skills relating to the game of soccer. As often as possible, I will take additional training courses to refresh or enhance my knowledge of the game and my ability to instruct players. Such training courses may include, but not be limited to, USSF or EPYSA license courses, EPYSA coaches clinics, Red Cross first aid training, referee training and coaches clinics presented by HSC. I understand that coaching assignment priority may be given to those holding higher USSF licenses. Likewise, I will attend HSC coaches meetings when scheduled. If I am a team manager, I will attend HSC managers meetings when scheduled.

5. Game Day Coaching. If I choose to coach from the sideline during a game, I will do so in a positive manner and only from the permitted area extending ten (10) yards on each side of the half-line. Further, I will not allow any coaching by any parent or other spectator. I will limit coaching to only myself and/or properly registered assistant coaches.

6. Sportsmanship. I will use my best efforts to make each player’s experience a positive, healthy, active and enjoyable one. I will always promote the highest ideals of sportsmanship by my conduct on and off the field, whether at practices, games, team meetings, or otherwise. Without limiting the generality of this requirement, in all games, including playoff games, I shall observe the "No Slaughter Rule" as follows: Once my team is ahead by four goals, I will take steps to encourage my players to play a possession game of soccer without scoring and/or remove individual players from the field altogether. I will remove dominant (highly skilled) players from the field and substitute them with players who normally do not receive maximum playing time. I will supervise the players in a pre-planned manner. If the opposing team reduces the goal differential to three goals or less I may modify my tactics in order to best ensure a victory; however, I will revert to these rules relating to leads of 4 goals or more if our team regains a 4-goal lead. I understand that there may be negative repercussions with the league and HSC if I fail to comply with the requirements of this paragraph

7. Safety. One of the primary goals of the HSC is the safety and welfare of all players. Therefore, I will be responsible for the well being of every player on the field. I will never leave a child unattended. I will place the safety of players as the primary consideration. I will utilize common sense in training and game situations, taking into account such things as weather conditions, the physical fitness of the players, player injuries or complaints of pain or fatigue. I will insure that adequate supervision is present at every practice, and I will never deny a player an opportunity for water. I will take advantage of reasonable opportunities presented to me to receive basic first aid training prior to conducting practices or coaching any game or scrimmage. If I have forgotten what I learned in a course taken in a prior year, I will take a refresher course. Above all, I will never require, insist or even recommend that a player participate in a drill, game or other activity if the player states that he/she cannot continue or, based on my training and personal observation, I believe that the player’s health could be jeopardized by such participation.

8. Coaching Objectives. I will endeavor to provide instruction in the proper skills and rules pertaining to the game, recognizing that player development is our primary goal. I will employ positive feedback and constructive criticism at games and practices. I will be optimistic and encourage participation of all team members. I will use my best efforts to provide to each player the opportunity for individual growth and development. In addition, my basic objectives as a coach shall be:

(a) If I coach in a non-competitive division (U9 or U10), I will ensure that the players enjoy their experience and develop basic skills. Secondarily, I will introduce them to the concept of winning, and by my words and actions, educate them in the sportsmanship of winning as well as losing.

(b) If I coach a competitive division (U11 and above), my concurrent goals will be to provide an atmosphere for fun and enjoyment, and to win, if possible. I will endeavor to balance these goals, thus never allowing my objective to win overshadow the objective of the players’ fun and enjoyment.

9. Playing Time. I will ensure fair playing time for all players. As a coach I will determine playing time for my players based on the situation of each game, but I will do my best to play all players on my team in each and every contest. Travel team players must demonstrate satisfactory effort and attitude to be ensured playing time. I will conform to the minimum play requirements for all players who are at the game, have attended practice regularly and are able bodied, as follows:

(a) Ages U9 and U10: At least 50% in each game. If a player plays a complete half in goal, that player must be given the opportunity to play at least 25% of the total game time on the field.

(b) Ages U11 – U 13: At least 25% in each game. If a player plays a complete half in goal, that player must be given the opportunity to play at least 25% of the total game time on the field; provided that, in these age groups, the coach will alone determine playing time (i) on First Division and Cup teams, and (ii) in league playoff games, and (iii) in clearly designated semifinal and final matches of tournaments.

(c) Ages U14 – U19: The coach will alone determine playing time.

10. Referees. I will refrain from public criticism of the referees. I understand that referees are human and will occasionally make mistakes. I understand that this is part of the game. I acknowledge that referees are trained in the Laws of the Game and, more often than not, know the Laws of the Game. I will always accept the judgment of the referees no matter how difficult this might be in the midst of the game. I understand that the referee can remove others (or me) from the game and the fields of play if I, or a parent or spectator associated with my team violate any of Rules of the Game. Specifically, I understand that the violations for removal from the game include but are not limited to: (i) physical, mental or emotional abuse directed toward a child, official, opposing coach or spectator; (ii) abusive or offensive language directed toward a child, official, opposing coach or spectator; (iii) exhibition of dangerous or unethical behavior; (iv) repeated negative remarks, or other comments, or suggestions questioning the decisions and calls, or lack of decisions and calls by the referees; and/or (v) continued inability (that is after being asked once by an official) to control or prevent a parent or spectator from engaging in any of the above. Further, I understand that if asked by the referee to leave the game, I will be required to remove myself from the vicinity of the fields of play. I will thus have no visual contact with the players or spectators and in no way have anything further to do with the coaching of that game. Refusal to leave the game and fields of play will result in suspension of the game until I am in compliance. If removed from a game by the referee, I acknowledge that I will not be permitted to coach or be on the fields of play for the game following the game in which I was removed. Further, depending on the severity of my violation of this Code, I acknowledge that I could be subject to sanctions from HSC or the governing league, including, but not necessarily limited to, fines, probation, suspension, or termination as a coach.

11. Incident Reports, Game Reports, Etc. I will file all game reports, referee evaluations and incident reports in a timely manner, as determined by HSC, PAGS or DELCO. Such reports will be factual in nature and will not be used as an opportunity to make editorial comments about matters not properly within the scope of the report. I will deliver a copy of each such report to the Boys or Girls Commissioner, as the case may be. If there is a reasonable chance that my report could cast HSC in a bad light, I will use my best efforts to have my report reviewed by the Boys or Girls Commissioner, as the case may be, prior to submitting the report. I understand that if any player, coach or spectator is injured (to the extent requiring more than basic on-site first aid), ejected, or receives a red or yellow card during a practice, scrimmage, or game, I will fill out the appropriate incident report, and provide a copy of such report to the Girls or Boys Commissioner, as the case may be. Additionally, I understand that I have a responsibility to notify the Club (the Girls Commissioner or Boys Commissioner, as applicable, with a copy of such notice to the VP of Travel Soccer) of any events or circumstances which, having occurred, could in any manner conceivably impact on HSC.

12. Protests. I understand that protests regarding the outcome of any game are not encouraged, and will not be considered without written permission to protest provided by the Boys Commissioner or Girls Commissioner of the Haverford Soccer Club, as the case may be. Request for permission to protest any game must be made to the appropriate Commissioner, in writing, with a copy to the VP of Travel Soccer, within forty-eight (48) hours after the game in question. Protests regarding calls within the referee’s judgment are never recognized.

13. Contacts with Leagues, Etc. Aside from reports that I, as coach, am required to file, I understand that contact with officials and/or employees of PAGS, the DELCO Soccer League, EPYSA, USYSA, the Haverford School District, and the Haverford Township Recreation Department with regards to issues involving HSC, the team with which I am involved or any member of HSC shall be limited to individuals designated by the Club. If there is a matter that I feel should be brought to the attention of any of the foregoing, I will make a request to the appropriate Commissioner, in writing, with a copy to the VP of Travel Soccer, as soon as practicable after the event or circumstances giving rise to my request. I acknowledge that the decision as to whether to bring the matter to the attention of the applicable organization shall be made by HSC in its sole and absolute discretion.

14. Loyalty. As a coach in HSC, I will at all times act to enhance the goodwill of the Club. I will not solicit or assist any third party coach, team, association or club in soliciting any HSC player away from HSC.

15. No Disparagement. If I have a complaint about the Club, or any of its officers, directors or representatives, I will direct my complaint to that person or the HSC Board of Directors. During my tenure as a coach and thereafter, I will not for any reason comment (orally or in writing) negatively about HSC, or its officers, directors or representatives to any person or entity, disparage or defame HSC or its officers, directors or representatives, or their respective capabilities.

16. Consequences of Violations. I agree that if, in the sole and exclusive determination of the HSC Board of Directors, I fail to follow the above Code of Conduct in any manner, HSC may immediately terminate my coaching assignment. I understand the Club may at its sole option take other action, and I will abide by this decision. Such actions may include, but not necessarily limited to, monetary fines, probation, or suspension. These rights and remedies of HSC shall not be exclusive, and I may be subject to legal action if my conduct is serious enough to warrant it, in the sole and absolute discretion of the HSC Board of Directors. I further agree to hold HSC, its officers, employees, representatives and Board Members harmless if and when they elect to exercise any such action.