BYSL would like to emphasize points from the Vermont Soccer Association Coach Code of Conduct:

We want to insure games are fair, positive and enjoyable experiences for the involved children and adults.  A soccer game should be friendly and unifying, a spirited social and athletic occasion for all.

Before the game introduce yourself to the opposing team coaches, players, and to the referees.
During the game, you are responsible for the sportsmanship of your players.  If one of your players is disrespectful, irresponsible, or overly aggressive, take the player out of the game at least long enough for him/her to calm down.  Work to be an example of dignity, patience, and positive spirit.

Referees, especially young and inexperienced ones, are like your players and yourself, in that they need support to develop skills and confidence.  Your actions play an important role in helping them to improve by letting them concentrate on the game.  You can help encourage them, by accepting their inevitable and occasional mistakes and by offering constructive post-game comments.  On the other hand, you could discourage and demoralize the referees by criticizing their decisions, by verbally abusing them and inciting – or even accepting – your players’ overly aggressive or negative behavior.

Your example is powerful, for better or worse.  If you insist on fair play, concentrate on your players’ enjoyment of the game and their overall, long term development, and support the referees, your players and their parents will notice.  If you encourage or allow your players to play outside the rules, if you’re overly concerned about results, or if you criticize the referee harshly, your players and their parents will also notice and may even imitate your negative behaviors.  Teach by example.

Think about what you’re doing before, during, and after the event!  Uphold the Spirit of the Game!

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