Policies and Procedures
GENERAL
This league will be known as the Broome County Soccer Association or BCSA. BCSA is affiliated with FIFA, USYSA and NYSWYSA. Only teams affiliated with BCSA member clubs can play in the BCSA Spring League.

The philosophy of BCSA is players want to play games. Parents want to see their children play games. The players will not improve their skill level by not playing games.

Teams must be registered with New York State West Youth Soccer Association (NYSWYSA) or an approved National State Association affiliated with the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA).

All games shall be officiated by referees who are registered with USSF.

The spring season will run from April through June. The schedule is designed with the following factors considered:

  • Availability of players to play games
  • Travel time of teams
  • Field availability
  • Referee availability
  • Conflicts with school events
  • State Cup, President Cup and Cup play down matches
  • Club or team requests
  • All teams will play 8 games.
CLUB RESPONSIBILITIES
Clubs are solely responsible for the actions of all participants entering the league through that club. This includes but is not limited to teams, coaches, players and other support personnel.

The participation fee in the BCSA Spring League is $55 per team for teams using Binghamton Group Soccer Referees (BGSR) for assigning referees to games and $35 per team for teams using another referee assignor or referee association. BCSA reserves the right to charge a higher participation fee to teams entering from state associations other than NYSWYSA if there are associated costs with accepting those teams. BCSA will pay the assigning fee for clubs using BGSR as established in the current contract. The league fee, regardless of cost, must be paid on or before the date of the annual coaches meeting, typically held in mid-March. Fee must be paid to “BCSA” with a single club check for all teams entering the league from that club and must be delivered to the league treasurer. If the fee is not paid with a “club” check, the club name must appear on the memo field of the check. Failure to pay this fee will result in suspension from the league until the fee is paid. Associations other than BGSR who provide referees for BCSA Spring League games may charge an assigning fee to member clubs whom they serve. It is not the responsibility of the league to track which teams have paid participation fees, only how much was paid by each club.

Fines are assessed to member clubs throughout the season due to performance deficiencies of teams and players registered with said club. These fines are due within 14 days of the date the fine was incurred. Fines may be paid by either a club check or personal check from the offending party but in all circumstances must be made out to “BCSA” and mailed to the league treasurer. All fine payments MUST be accompanied with a notation of the game number (if appropriate), team, and player (if a send off) for whom the fine is being paid. This notation can either be on the memo line of the check or as a separate note included with the payment. BCSA assumes no responsibility for payments made without proper notation included.

The club shall be responsible for any checks from participating members that are not honored by the financial institution upon which the check was drawn. Any checks returned to BCSA from a financial institution shall incur a $50 service fee that will be added to the fine or participation fee originally charged. The league may refuse to accept any future payments made from said participant or financial institution at the discretion of the treasurer.

AGE GROUPINGS
The BCSA Spring League is comprised of the following age groups: Under 8, Under 10, Under 12, Under 14, Under 16 and Under 19. Eligibility to play in any age group will be determined by USSF, USYSA and NYSWYSA standards. Each age group shall be separated into a girls and boys conference except for the Under 8 age group. Divisions within an age group shall be determined by the Age Group Coordinators and the League Coordinator on advise from the coaches.

A player’s age is determined by policies set forth by USSF, USYSA and the USYSA state associations.
TEAM REGISTRATION
For purposes of determining fines, send-offs, and forfeits in BCSA; a “team” shall be defined as any entity entering any single division. Teams entering state cup or looking to have league support in promotion to a premier league must participate in the highest division of whatever age group they enter. A team is not prohibited from entering more than one division or age group. Players are not allowed to be rostered on more than one team in any single division at the Under 14 or higher age groupings.
TEAM ROSTERS
GUEST PLAYERS are not allowed to participate in BCSA matches in any age group. All players must appear on the team roster.

Under 8, Under 10 and Under 12 have no roster limits. The roster is a “recreational roster” and need only be approved by the club registrar. All other rosters must be “certified rosters” and as such must meet the certification criteria established by the USYSA state youth association in which the team is domiciled. Certified rosters must bear a state stamp, seal or signature of approval.

CHECK IN LIMITS:
Under 8 has no player check in limits.
Under 10: Only the first 10 players who check into any match may partipate in that match.
Under 12: Only the first 12 players who check into any match may participate in that match.
Under 14 through Under 19: Only the first 18 players who check into any match may participate in that match.

Any changes and/or questions regarding team rosters shall be submitted to the League Coordinator.
A player may play for more than one team provided the requirements of USYSA and the National State Association the player is registered with for multiple registrations are met. In BCSA however, no player can play for more than one team at the same level of competition. Level of competition in BCSA in this case means a player cannot be simultaneously rostered for 2 different teams in the same division. This restriction does not apply to U8, U10 and U12 teams.

A maximum of three non-players or non-substitutes will be allowed on the team side of the field. Anyone who is not a player on the team MUST have a valid USYSA State Association Risk Management pass. Furthermore, there must be one adult (age of 21 years or greater) on the team side of the field the entire time the team that they are with are on the field, including the warm-up time before the match until all of the players leave the field. Any youth coaches on the team side MUST carry a valid USYSA State Association Risk Management pass which identifies them as an Under 21 coach. Should the league subsequently find that a youth coach is participating with an adult Risk Management pass, it will be carry the same penalty as a dismissal (send off) from the match. The league also reserves the right to take further action against the club that sponsored the team.
PLAYERS PARTICIPATING ON TEAMS OLDER THAN THE PLAYER'S AGE
BCSA, due to the constraints of the size of the area we serve, is limited to only offering the following age groups for league play: Under 8, Under 10, Under 12, Under 14, Under 16 and Under 19. By our definition, an Under 9 player playing on an Under 10 team would NOT be playing up since that would be the only age appropriate team on which that player could participate. Only if that player was playing for a team or teams that are more than one year above the player’s age would we consider that player to be playing up an age group. In general BCSA has no policy about players who are playing up an age group or more. A Parental Waiver Form must be kept at the club level, signed by the parents or guardians of that player. The Parental Waiver form that the club should use can be found on the BCSA website under Forms.

If, however, any player that is classified as Under 10 or below is playing for any team that is Under 12 or above, that player IS NOT ALLOWED to head the ball either in practices or in games. Neither the league nor match officials can possibly enforce this rule therefore it is up to the coach and the player’s parents or guardians to carefully instruct that player to avoid heading the ball at all times. The risk of concussion to any player that is Under 10 or below is significantly greater than it will be to his or her teammates that are Under 11 or above in this situation. The responsibility for enforcement of this policy rests squarely and solely with the club that is sponsoring the team and that team’s coaches and parents. BCSA will not be liable for any injuries sustained by a young player put into that situation by the sponsoring club, it’s coaching staff or the parents or guardians of said player.
PARTICIPATION PASSES AND ROSTERS
PLAYERS PASSES:

All players (on teams older than U12) must have a player’s pass bearing the approved mark of the USYSA State Association Registrar, and sealed with a photo of the player that is no more than 2 years old, in order to participate in any BCSA game and/or be on the team sideline. The pass need not be signed by the player.

TEAM OFFICIALS PASSES:

All team officials must possess a valid USYSA State Association Risk Management Pass. If a team official comes from a state that either does not have a Risk Management program or if the team officials is less than 21 years old and cannot obtain a Risk Management pass from their home state, they must apply to NYSWYSA for a pass in order to be on the team sideline during any BCSA match.
If a team official is 21 years of age or older, he or she must possess a valid USYSA State Association Risk Management pass, bearing the approved mark of the USYSA State Association Risk Management officer, signed by the team official, sealed with a photo of the team official that is no
more than 2 years old.

If the team official is less than 21 years of age, the team official must possess a valid USYSA State Association Risk Management pass, bearing the approved mark of the USYSA State Association Risk Management officer, signed by the team official, and stamped by the State Risk Management Officer indicating that the team official is not as yet of age. A photograph of the team official does not need to be affixed to the pass in this case.

No game may begin unless there is at least one team official for each team that possesses a valid Risk Management pass and is 21 years of age or older present on the team’s sideline.

PLAYERS AND TEAM OFFICIAL PASSES AND GAME ROSTERS:

The team must present the referee crew with an original club registrar signed (if Under 8, Under 10 or Under 12) or USYSA State Association certified (if Under 14 or over) team roster listing all players. Referees are to check to be certain that the passes and the certified roster match. Guest players are not allowed to participate in any BCSA match. At the conclusion of the match the certified roster will be returned to a team official. For Under 8 and Under 10, the rosters must be signed by the club registrar and need no state stamp, seal or approval. Any team official may be on the team sideline without being on the roster however they MUST have a valid USYSA State Association Risk Management pass.

There are no exceptions to the rules regarding passes and rosters above except as stated herein. Rules regarding passes are not to be interpreted and must be strictly enforced by all referees at all BCSA league games, including the games on opening weekend.

Any team appearing full documentation shall be deemed as forfeiting the game and will be fined the forfeit penalty plus applicable referees fees per occurrence. Any individuals who do not possess a valid pass will not be allowed to remain on the team side of the field.

In the event that a team appears at a game site with passes but without the certified roster, a neatly printed roster with the players’ names and pass numbers shall given to the referee who, in turn, will file a report with the League Coordinator attaching said roster to the report. A $5 fine will be imposed on the team for each such instance. NOTE: This rule exception only applies if the all players have USYSA State Association passes.

There will be a 15 minute grace period at the beginning of the match for each team and team official to present their required documentation or the game shall be deemed a forfeit to all parties who were unable to provide the proper and required documentation. The game shall not start until the documentation is complete. If a team official at the game site refuses to provide said documentation AND said team is not at full strength BUT has enough players to start the match (typically 7), the referee shall have the authority to abandon the match and the match shall be considered a forfeit.

DOCUMENTATION SHALL NOT BE USED AS A DELAYING TACTIC. If a team official is not normally going to be the person responsible for providing the required documentation, they must carry with them a photocopy of all pertinent documentation that may be used to check the team into the match should the person who normally carries the documentation be delayed arriving at the match site, BUT the originals of all of the required documentation must be provided at halftime or the match shall be deemed a forfeit. In said case the match may be completed as a scrimmage. In any case, the team officials must always have the original risk management pass. No photocopy of said Risk Management document will be considered valid.

If for whatever reason, a team is unable to have an adult with a valid Risk Management pass on the team side of the field at any point during a match, the game shall be terminated and considered a forfeit by said team with all the penalties that any forfeit implies.

NOTE: Adults who are properly on the sideline with the team will be responsible for the actions of all members of the team; including youth team officials. Should an adult team official refuse or be unable to control the actions of his or her team, the game shall be terminated and the adult team official will automatically be penalized for failure to control the bench area. This penalty shall be the same as if the team official had been dismissed from the match.

REFEREES’ PASSES:
All referees that are assigned to officiate BCSA league matches are required by USSF to be certified in the current year and assigned to said match by a USSF Certified Assignor; and are required by NYSWYSA to have a current and valid risk management pass. Referees on BCSA matches within the boundaries of NYSWYSA are also required by NYSWYSA to possess said pass at all games they officiate. If the referee is an adult, the pass must bear the seal of the USYSA State Association Risk Management officer, be sealed with a photograph of the referee that is not more than 2 years old and be signed by the referee. If the referee is not as yet 21 years old, the pass must still bear the signature of the USYSA State Association Risk Management officer and stamped that the referee is not as yet of age, but need not be signed by nor bear any photograph of the referee.

Under certain conditions described below, a coach or other adult bench personnel who is listed on the team roster may request to see the referees’ passes.
  1. The team official must first present the team roster and his or her Risk Management pass to the referee so that the referee can validate that the team official is allowed to make the request.
  2. The match must be taking place within the territorial boundaries of NYSWYSA. A team official has no right to see the passes of any referees outside of those boundaries regardless of where said referee is domiciled. Should such a request be made, the team will be completely responsible for any action the league takes because of said inappropriate request or subsequent actions of the team officials or the team.
  3. The team official must request to see the passes prior to his or her team taking the field at the start of the match. No request made after that time shall be honored and may be construed by the referee as irresponsible behavior by the team official and punished as such by both the referee and BCSA.
  4. If the referee does not have his or her pass with them, the team official has several options:
    1. Since referees are required to be assigned to matches by a USSF certified assignor, and all certified assignors have a listing of all referees’ risk management status, and are prohibited by NYSWYSA to assign an official to any match that does not possess a valid risk management pass; it can be assumed that the referee does possess a pass but neglected to bring it to the game.
    2. The team official may decide to play the game with said referee and report the absence of a referee pass to the state association. The league does not have the authority to take any action in said cases, but should be informed of the action via email to the League Coordinator. Such action will not be considered grounds for a protest of the match result, any incidents that took place during the match nor decisions made by the game officials during the match.
    3. The team official may decide to not allow said referee to participate. If there are no other adults with a current risk management pass in attendance at the game who are willing to take said referee’s place, the game will be abandoned with no penalty to the team but said match MUST be rescheduled according to BCSA policies which may involve a financial risk to the team if the game is not so rescheduled. Note that by USSF policy under no circumstances can an uncertified volunteer in said circumstance replace the center referee. They can only assume the position of a club linesperson. The team official can report the absence of a referee pass to NYSWYSA. The league does not have the authority to take any action in said cases, but should be informed of the action via email to the League Coordinator.
    4. The team official may decide to not play the game. Note that any match played without a certified official assigned to the match in accordance with USSF policies cannot in any way be treated as an official match by BCSA. In said instances, the team will not be penalized for refusing to play the match BUT may be penalized if the match is not rescheduled according to BCSA policies. The team official can report the absence of a referee pass to NYSWYSA. The league does not have the authority to take any action in said cases, but should be informed of the action via email to the League Coordinator.
TEAM PERFORMANCE
Teams will not be required to provide performance bonds. For each performance deficiency (forfeit, reporting failure, etc.) there will be a fine charged to the club sponsoring said team. The club must pay each fine within 14 days of the date incurred in order to remain in good standing with the league. If a second game is forfeited the team will be expelled from the league. Any team that either withdraws from the league or is expelled shall expose its sponsoring club to a $200 fine in addition to all fines incurred by the team up to the point of withdrawal or expulsion. BCSA encourages each club to collect bonds from those teams the club feels are at risk for incurring charges. It is recommended that the older teams (U19 and U16) post bonds with the club of at least $200.00. All forfeits shall also be deemed a game cancellation. BCSA does not recognize individual teams as members and cannot charge a team for a fine. All fines incurred by teams are the sole responsibility of the club sponsoring the team.
TRANSFER OF PLAYERS
Player transfers shall follow the rules imposed by the USYSA state association in which the club that the player is registered with is domiciled.
PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
Requests concerning player eligibility should be directed to the BCSA League Coordinator.

Investigation of player eligibility shall not be construed as a protest. For the good of youth soccer and BCSA, any questions concerning player eligibility must be reported within 5 days of the match in question. If it is found that an ineligble player checked into any match, all matches that player checked into shall be deemed to be forfeits by the team that checked said player in. This includes players in excess of the check-in limits for any game.
RESCHEDULING GAMES - CHANGES TO PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE
The preliminary BCSA Spring League schedule will be distributed at the coaches’ meeting typically held in mid-March. Each team coach/manager will have 2 weeks (free grace period) to review the preliminary schedule with their team and notify the Age Group Coordinator of any changes to this schedule. It is the team coach/manager’s responsibility to notify the coach/manager of the other team and establish a new game date.
RESCHEDULING GAMES - CHANGES TO FINAL SCHEDULE

PLEASE NOTE: ALL GAME RESCHEDULES CONSIST OF A GAME CANCELLATION AND A GAME SCHEDULING.

After the 2 week grace period, only 3 changes can be made as long as they are changed at least 14 days prior to that scheduled game to be changed. Again only 3 changes may be made.

No request to cancel a game will be honored by the league with less than 14 days notice unless the requesting team’s club president requests the change of the league president and the league president agrees to allow the change. If this permission is not obtained, the game shall be either played or deemed a forfeit.

EXCEPTION: Games which must be rescheduled due to Cup play are not subject to the 14 day or 3 game limitations but will be subject to late cancellation or late scheduling fines.

To reschedule a game the team coach or manager MUST:

  1. Contact the opposing team and mutually agree to cancel the original game and schedule a make-up game.
  2. Contact the Age Group Coordinator with that information. (Remember-All game changes will consist of a game cancellation and a game scheduling. Either or both of these acts may involve fines.)
  3. Contact the Field Coordinator for the game field.
  4. Arrange a make-up date acceptable to both teams and notify all persons listed above in a reasonable time cycle prior to the new date. Failure to notify the league in the proper time cycle will result in a fine.
  5. For each game not made up, there will be a forfeit and fine will be assessed to the team or teams refusing or unwilling to make up the game. The check for this fine is made payable to BCSA and sent to the BCSA Treasurer.
  6. If the fine is not paid, the club sponsoring that team will be deemed ‘not in good standing’, which will prevent that club from entering any teams in any BCSA league until the fine is paid.
MAKE-UP GAMES
Coaches are expected to work with each other and their Age Group Coordinator to arrange whatever convenient times may be available to make up their games.

All make-up games must be scheduled for a specified date within 2 weeks from the date of the decision to cancel. The game does not have to be played within the 2 weeks, but the new date must be established and recorded with the Age Group Coordinator within 2 weeks of the original game date. A forfeit fine will be paid by the team or teams refusing or unwilling to make up or reschedule the game. The check for this fine is made payable to BCSA and sent to the BCSA Treasurer.

If two teams decide to use the District Playdowns (State Cup qualifier) or any local outdoor tournament as a BCSA league game, this decision on the part of both teams must be in writing to the League Coordinator before the Cup or tournament game takes place. Note: Prior to making this decision remember that tournament rosters generally allow up to 3 guest players (this means that the team roster for the tournament game may differ from the Spring League roster.) Also one should consider that the rules for the tournament will take precedence in that game.

CANCELLATIONS
Teams must play all games and be willing to travel. If a team refuses to travel to a game site, that team may be subject to sanctions in addition to the forfeit fine and/or late cancellation fines and may include expulsion from the league. The team will also have to apply for future acceptance into the league.
SCORING SYSTEM
The following will be used to determine a winner for each division within an age group.

                  WIN = 3 points                  LOSS = 0 points                  TIE = 1 point
                  No score or standings are kept for Under 8 or Under 10 games.

Both team coaches are responsible for filing a game report for each match played in age groups above the Under 10 level. This report must be filed online at the internet address which will be provided to each coach by the respective Age Group Coordinators. Failure to report a match shall result in a $5 fine assessed to any team not reporting any match. The match report will consist of the game score and a feedback form for each assigned referee. Each week, every game that is completed by Sunday midnight must be reported by 9:00 pm on Monday night immediately following that Sunday.

If teams are tied at the end of the season and they played 85% of their games, the division winner will be the winner of the head to head game. If the head to head game(s) was (were) indecisive then both teams will be declared champions. Score differential does not matter in BCSA standings. If one team forfeits, the result will be a 1-0 score for the team not forfeiting. If both teams are at fault, the result will be a 0-1 result for both teams.

If a team disbands or for any reason shall not have played 85% of its scheduled games, the games that the team played will not count for or against opposing teams.

Example: A team has an eight game schedule and played only three games that were all wins. The losing teams will drop those losses from their record. If the three games were all losses, the winning teams would drop the wins from their record.

BCSA will provide each member of a team finishing in first place of each division within a competitive age grouping a tee shirt provided the team plays at least 85% of their games.

PROTESTS
All protests must be submitted in writing to the League Coordinator within 1 week of the game in protest. All game protests will be handled according to the appeals procedure detailed in the BCSA Bylaws. A referee’s judgment is normally not considered a valid reason for protest. Incorrect application of The Laws of the Game is considered valid reason for a protest. The game officials must be advised that the contest is being played under protest before the game is restarted from the protested event.
APPEALS
Appeals can be made pertaining to rulings and actions taken by the league. All appeals must be filed within 1 week of the action or ruling being appealed. See the BCSA bylaws for the proper procedure.
RAIDING
While BCSA recognizes the right of players to play with the club or team of their choice, we cannot condone any coach, player, or parent taking the initiative to recruit players outside their club once the players are registered with a club.

Coaches and players are encouraged to report instances of violations of this policy. Reports of suspected raiding will be acted upon with the coaches and clubs involved. It is the intent of BCSA to promote and maintain competitiveness and balance among clubs/teams, avoiding select mentality.
MEDICAL RELEASE FORMS
Coaches or managers must have in their possession at all games a medical release form for each player. It is strongly recommended that they be notarized.
CONCUSSION POLICY
If a referee sees an incident that involved hard contact involving a player’s head, the following procedure should be followed:
  1. Stop the match.
  2. Summon help.
  3. Inform the coach that a head injury occurred.
  4. If the player is reentering the match, ask if the player has been cleared by a healthcare professional.
  5. If the answer is no, do not allow the entry. If the coach protests, remind the coach that the referee has the authority to terminate the match. If the coach persists, terminate the match.
  6. If the answer is yes, request a copy of the clearance that can be filed with the match report to the league. This could be as simple as a phone photo! Then allow the re-entry. If no clearance can be provided, then do not allow the entry. If the coach protests, remind the coach that the referee has the authority to terminate the match. If the coach persists, terminate the match.
  7. Should a team official notice such an incident, they need to get the attention of the referee immediately so that the protocol can be followed.
  8. Referees are reminded that a USSF report must be filed for any serious injury and any game that does not reach it’s natural conclusion. Any incident involving hard head contact is deemed to be a serious injury. Reports of this nature are critical and must be filed on the evening of the match with the League Coordinator.
FIELDS
There must be an active field coordinator for each club. This person will be responsible for all fields used by their club. BCSA reserves the right to use this person as a liaison between the club and the league on issues pertaining to the fields used by the club.

The home team is responsible for the proper preparation of their fields. This means that grass must be cut, fields properly lined, goals properly ancored in all areas, corner flags installed, spectator and technical lines clearly visible, no obstacles on the playing field, and that the field is in playable condition. At game time a referee may declare the field unplayable. If unplayable for above reasons, not acts of God, the home team club is responsible for payment of the referees for the cancelled game, reporting to the Spring League Coordinator and scheduling a make-up game.
OTHER
Each club shall have on file a current copy of the BCSA Code of Conduct signed by both the player and their parents. BCSA has the right to sanction a player, coach, or team who has demonstrated misconduct with another individual or organization.

If an occasion should arise that is not fully covered by BCSA Policies and Procedures in any section of the coach’s manual, then the league shall have absolute power to decide that case.
BCSA Code of Conduct
The Broome County Soccer Association Spring League is based on the objective of providing the youth of the Southern Tier of New York with the opportunity to acquire and develop skills through a higher level of competition. These skills, as well as the individual growth of players, must be nurtured in an environment which is free of confrontation, poor sportsmanship, and verbal and physical abuse among spectators, game participants and game officials.

Not only is this type of behavior contrary to the spirit of the game and examples we are trying to set for the participating youth, it also creates situations which could place BCSA in bad standing with New York State West thereby threatening the continuation of high level competition in the Southern Tier of New York.
While BCSA does not dictate the internal administrative rules and regulations of member clubs, it must provide the framework for governing undesirable behavior within which member clubs must administer their teams.

Players are expected to perform in a manner consistent with the principles of good sportsmanship. Coaches and spectators should act in a manner which reinforces this concept. While aggressive play should not be discouraged, physical and/or verbal abuse of opponents will not be allowed. Verbal or gesticulatory dissent with referee’s decisions will not be tolerated.

If carded, a player is expected to observe the presentation of the card without comment, and the player should be determined not to repeat the behavior which elicited the card. Coaches, parents and spectators must also show respect in disagreeing with referees’ decisions. While one cannot expect all referee calls to be accepted without reservation, loud or abusive dissent is unwarranted and reprehensible.

Under no circumstances should a player, parent or spectator come onto the field unless invited by the referee. The same level of constraint should be observed after the game is over. Parents and spectators should be made aware that the coach is responsible for their actions on the sideline, and can be warned, dismissed or suspended from future games for their misbehavior.

Member clubs will ensure that the approach to playing the game, which is discussed above, is fully disseminated and understood throughout their club. Member clubs will also establish internal procedures, consistent with each clubs’ regulatory process, which provide for suitable controls and punishment for proscribed behavior.

Each club must also ensure that, as warranted by specific events, swift and appropriate action is taken to ensure that members of its club do not repeat their mistakes. Repetition of occurrences of misconduct which shows a disregard for these guidelines could lead to long term penalties.

BCSA Board of Directors

NYSW Zero Tolerance Policy
To help prevent physical assault and verbal abuse in the leagues and clubs within the New York State West Youth Soccer Association (NYSWYSA, or Association); the Association has adopted a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY. This policy applies to all coaches, players, parents, spectators and other supporters and referees effective immediately. Abusive and obscene language, violent play/conduct, fighting and other behavior (including, but not limited to sarcasm, taunting, etc.) deemed detrimental to the game between the above mentioned groups will not be tolerated. The ultimate responsibility for the actions of coaches, players and spectators resides with the member clubs. It is the responsibility of the coaches to provide referee support and spectator control, and it is the responsibility of the member clubs to provide instructions to their coaches on how they are expected to carry this out. This policy applies before, during and after the game at the soccer field and its immediate surrounding areas.

Parents & Spectators
No parent or spectator shall persistently address the referee or assistant referees at any time. This includes, but is not limited to:
  1. Parents and spectators shall not dispute calls during or after the game.
  2. Parents and spectators shall not make remarks to the referee(s) or advise the referee(s) to watch certain players or attend to rough play.
  3. Parents and spectators shall never yell at the referee(s), including criticism, sarcasm, harassment, intimidation or feedback of any kind before, during or after the game.
 The only allowable exceptions to the above are:
  1. Parents and spectators may respond to a referee who has initiated a conversation, until such time as the referee terminates the conversation.
  2. Parents and spectators may point out an emergency or safety issues, such as a player apparently injured on the field or observed fighting.
 Additionally, parents and spectators shall not make derogatory comments to players of either team.

Penalties (Parents & Spectators)
In the opinion of the referee, depending on the severity of the offense, the referee may take any of the following actions:
  1. The referee may issue a verbal warning to the coach of offending party’s team.
  2. The referee may stop the game and instruct the coaches to direct the parent / spectator to leave the field.
  3. The referee may abandon the game if the parent/spectator does not leave the field. Players The conduct of the players is governed by the Laws of the Game as stated by FIFA and USSF.  The Laws themselves describe penalties associated with violating the Laws of the Game.  Additional penalties for players who engage in misconduct may be established by the club and/or league but may in no case be less severe than penalties established by FIFA, USSF, or NYSWYSA.
Coaches, Assistant Coaches  & Bench Personnel
It is the responsibility of all coaches to maintain the highest standards of conduct for themselves, their players and supporters in all matches. Failure to do so undermines the referee's authority and the integrity of the game resulting in a hostile environment for players, the referee(s), coaches, assistant coaches, bench personnel and spectators. As role models for all of the participants and spectators, coaches participating in a New York State West Youth Soccer Association sanctioned event are expected to be supportive of, and to acknowledge the effort, good play and sportsmanship on the part of ALL players from either team in a contest. By example, coaches, assistant coaches and bench personnel are expected to show that although they are competing in a game, they have respect for their opponent, referees and spectators at all times. The New York State West Youth Soccer Association will not tolerate negative behavior exhibited either by demonstrative actions and gestures, or by ill-intentioned remarks, including those addressed toward the referees or members of an opposing team. Coaches exhibiting hostile, negative, sarcastic or otherwise ill-intended behavior toward referees, opposing players or coaches will be subject to sanction by the match official.  Additional sanctions may be imposed by the club that the coach or assistant coach represents, the league that the match is being played under, or as allowed by New York State West Youth Soccer Association policies after a review of the match report.
  • Coaches shall not interact directly or indirectly with the coaches or players of the opposing team during the game in any manner that may be construed as negative, hostile or sarcastic either by way of demonstrative actions and gestures or by ill-intentioned remarks.
  • Coaches shall not offer dissent to any call made by the referee(s) at any time.
  • Coaches are not to address the Referee(s) during the game except to:
    • Respond to a referee who has initiated a conversation.
    • Point out emergency or safety issues.
    • Make substitutions.
    • Ask the referee, “What is the proper restart (i.e. direction and Indirect Free Kick or Direct Free Kick).
    • Ask for the time remaining in the half. 
  • Coaches are allowed to ask a referee after a game or during the halftime interval, in a polite and constructive way, to explain a law or foul, but not judgment calls made in the game.
  • Polite and friendly concern can be exchanged with the referee. If the polite tone of the conversation changes, the referee may abandon the exchange at any time.
  • Absolutely no sarcasm, harassment or intimidation is allowed. NOTE: It is recommended that coaches or other team members do not engage in any conversation with the match official once the match has concluded.

Penalties  (Coaches, Assistant Coaches & Bench Personnel)
In the opinion of the referee, depending on the severity of the offense, the referee may take any of the following actions:

  1. The referee may issue a verbal warning to the offending coach, assistant coach or bench personnel.
  2. The referee may eject the offending coach, assistant coach or bench personnel. Once ejected, the individual will be required to leave the field immediately. NOTE: Referees are instructed not to display any cards to bench personnel. They are strictly reserved for players and substitutes.
  3. The referee should abandon the game, if the coach, assistant coach or bench personnel do not leave the field or any immediate adjoining area after having been instructed to do so.

Additional penalties associated with the ejection of a coach, assistant coach or bench personnel may be assessed by the local club or league which sanctioned the match in accordance with their documented policy. These penalties may be no less stringent than sanctions as may be imposed by NYSWYSA following their review, if conducted, of the incident.

All cases of alleged abuse or assault of a referee shall be reported to the NYSWYSA State Office and State Referee Administrator within 48 hours of the match that engendered said behavior.  NYSWYSA will then conduct a verification of the complaint and subsequent actions as required by applicable sections of USSF Policy in effect at the time of the incident. 

Although NYSWYSA is continually bound by USSF Policy and its various revisions, definition of referee abuse and referee assault found in USSF Policy 531-9 as of the creation date of this Zero Tolerance Policy is offered by way of information as follows:

Referee Abuse

  1. Referee abuse is a verbal statement or physical act not resulting in bodily contact which implies or threatens physical harm to a referee or the referee’s property or equipment.
  2. Abuse includes, but is not limited to the following acts committed upon a referee: using foul or abusive language toward a referee that implies or threatens physical harm; spewing any beverage on a referee’s physical property; or spitting at (but not on) the referee.
Referee Assault
  1. (i) Referee Assault is an intentional act of physical violence at or upon a referee.
  2. (ii) For purposes of this Policy, “intentional act” shall mean an act intended to bring about a result which will invade the interests of another in a way that is socially unacceptable. Unintended consequences of the act are irrelevant.
  3. Assault includes, but is not limited to the following acts committed upon a referee: hitting, kicking, punching, choking, spitting on, grabbing or bodily running into a referee; head butting; the act of kicking or throwing any object at a referee that could inflict injury; damaging the referee’s uniform or personal property, i.e. car, equipment, etc.