1. To provide children with an emotionally healthy and physically challenging atmosphere of good sportsmanship and athletic activity through the game of soccer.
2. To provide an activity where children have the opportunity to play regardless of athletic skills or family income.
3. To provide a healthy competitive atmosphere while teaching respect for others, fair play, humbleness in winning, and stature in defeat.
4. To provide a rewarding and enriching experience for all those adult volunteers who make it work.
RULE #1: HAVE FUN AND FOCUS ON LONG TERM DEVELOPMENT, NOT WINNING
Reason: When the game stops being fun, players tend not to play as well and both coaches and players may get frustrated and eventually leave stop playing soccer. The focus should be on longterm player development, not winning games. Coaches’ ultimate focus should be on long-term player and child development and not short-term goals. Coaches should use age appropriate games and activities during practices.
RULE #2: CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR PLAYERS AND YOU
Reason: The fun stops when someone is hurt or injured. During your first practice, ask if you have any parents in the medical profession who can assist you if a child is injured. If a child is injured and no one is available to assist you, assess the child’s condition. Only perform what first aid you are capable and knowledgeable of providing. If a child is seriously injured, ask a parent to call 911 and wait for the ambulance to arrive. Report the injury to the Director of Recreation as soon as possible. Ice is available in the field house. An AED is also hung on the wall there. If there is lightening in the area cancel practice immediately and seek shelter under the building near the
playground. Don't play in the dark and make sure players are wearing the proper equipment (i.e. shinguards and cleats) before you being practice.
RULE #3: NEVER LEAVE A CHILD UNATTEND; NEVER BE ALONE WITH ANOTHER CHILD
Reason: At the conclusion of each practice, make sure each child departs with their child or guardian. Do not leave the field until you are confident this has taken place. If a parent has not arrived after 15 minutes, call their cell phone. If the parent has not responded after 30 minutes, call the Westerly Police Department at 401-596-2022 to report that a child has been left at the field. Do not wait with the child alone in your car. If it is raining, seek shelter under the structure near the playground. This is both of your and the child’s protection.
RULE #4: BE EQUITABLE WITH THE PLAYING TIME AND POSITIONS
Reason: Ideally, all players should play for equal durations during games. At the very least, each player should play at least half the duration of every game. Encourage and let all players play all positions, i.e. don’t just play your best player as a forward so that your team can score
more goals. This will help with their overall development as soccer players.
**Please note this rule applies to Recreational and Development Academy Programs. WYSA and CW United defer to the RI Super Liga on playing time expectations for Competitive Programs. Their policies can be found at www.thesuperliga.com**
RULE #5: EMPHASIZE GOOD VALUES
Reason: In addition to achieving a sense of accomplishment through mastery of skills, soccer is a great way for young players to learn good values that they can carry in other aspects of their lives: Friendship and the value of being part of a team; Respecting coaches, teammates,opponents, and the referee; Sportsmanship and fair play. Remember that as a coach, you are a role model for these impressionable young players and they take note of your behavior and actions.
LAWS OF THE GAME
US Soccer Referee Course - http://www.ussoccer.com/Coaches/Licenses/National-E/Laws-of-the-Game.aspx
CDC Concussion Planning: http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/sports/prevention.html