MAPLE wants to ensure that games are fair, positive and enjoyable experiences for all of the children and adults involved. A soccer game should be friendly and unifying - a spirited social and athletic occasion for players, coaches, referees and spectators.
To clarify expectations of coach conduct, we jointly expect all coaches to conform to this code of conduct.
Before, during and after the game, be an example of dignity, patience and positive spirit.
Before a game, introduce yourself to the opposing coach and to the referee.
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 or her to calm down.
During the game your are also responsible for the conduct of the parents of your players. It is imperative to explain acceptable player and parent behavior in a preseason meeting and enforce it during a game if necessary.
Encourage them to applaud and cheer for good plays by either team. Discourage them - and you may need to be forceful and direct - from yelling at players and the referee.
During the game, it is permissible to address a referee if done in a calm and reasonable manner. If you have an issue discuss it with the referee at half time or after the game. If you have a major complaint, or if you think the referee was unfair, biased, unfit or incompetent, report your opinion to the league. Your reactions will be taken seriously if they are presented objectively and formally.
After the game, thank the referee and ask your players to do the same.
Inappropriate language from either team officials or parents has no place in a youth game and will result in immediate expulsion from the field.
We Stress two points:
Referees - especially young and inexperienced ones - are like your players and yourself, in that they need time to develop. You can play an important role in helping them to improve by letting them concentrate on the game. You can help by encouraging them, by accepting their inevitable, 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 own players' overly aggressive behavior.
Your example is powerful, for better or worse. If you insist on fair play, if you concentrate on your players' enjoyment of the game and their overall long-term development, and if you support the referee, 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, if you criticize the referee harshly, your players and their parents will also notice.
Coaches who don't follow the expectations described above will be disciplined or removed.