WSSL Travel teams will adhere to the same rules and according to the same guiding priniples as all of WSSL and will also operate in accordance with the rules imposed by the Westchester Youth Soccer League (WYSL).
Guiding Principles of WSSL for Travel
- Open Registration: Anyone can tryout for a travel team, however players will be assessed and selected based upon their ability to play at a higher level. Need-based scholarships are available to players selected for teams.
- Balanced Teams: Teams will be formed according to the skills of the players with the idea that players of similar ability will have the most success training and learning together.
- Everyone Plays: Players learn by playing. Players who demonstrate a commitment to the team and to training will play 50% or more in each game. Playing time may be limited by attendance, attitude or other factors.
- Positive Coaching: All coaches, assistant coaches and trainers will be held to the highest possible standards. Each will be required to sign an oath and to uphold the letter and spirit of that oath. Coaches who cannot comply will be removed.
- Good Sportsmanship: All players and volunteers will participate in WSSL using the highest form of good sportsmanship. Players will sign an oath to uphold the League's standards and principles.
- Player Development: The number one goal of WSSL training is to develop the player in terms of soccer skills - individual and team - and character.
Playing Time Rules
Commitment matters. Sportsmanship matters. All players will receive balanced/fair playing time in matches unless:
- a player misses practice
- a player arrives late to the pre-game warm up or game itself
- a player displays poor sportsmanship or disrespect to a trainer, coach or fellow players
- players who play in the goal for 1/2 of the game will be given field time during the following half
- starting players will rotate game by game. Players who do not adhere to the rules of sportsmanship or commitment will not be awarded a starting position.
It is important that our coaches and assistant coaches serve as models not only for our children but for parents on the sidelines as well. This is a tall order. It requires you to think before you react, whether dealing with a player, a referee or a parent. The following oath and code of conduct is a guideline for all coaches and assistant coaches. Expectations are high for coaches and assistant coaches. Tolerance for behavior incongruous with this oath or its spirit is very, very low. Please join us in taking very seriously one of the most demanding and serious (also seriously fun) jobs in the League.
If you have signed up to be a coach or assistant coach in WSSL, you agree to uphold the following:
- Enthusiastically support and practice the Everyone Plays, Good Sportsmanship, Positive Coaching and Player Development philosophies that are central to all of WSSL's programs.
- Be reasonable in your demands on a young player's time, energy, enthusiasm and performance on the field.
- Impress on your players that they must abide by the Laws of the Game at all times.
- Develop team respect for the ability of opponents and for the judgment of referees and opposing coaches.
- Ensure that your players' soccer experience is one of fun and enjoyment (winning is only part of it). Players should never be yelled at or ridiculed for making mistakes or losing a game.
- Set a good example and be generous with your praise when it is deserved. Children need a coach they can respect.
- Keep informed of sound principles of coaching, growth and child development.
- Check your equipment and playing facilities. They should meet safety standards and be appropriate for the age and ability of your players.
- Follow the advice of a physician when determining when and injured child is ready to play again.
- Guarantee that you have fulfilled the training and registration requirements faithfully and enthusiastically.
- Participate in ongoing coach education clinics offered by WSSL (at least 2 a season).
- Take AYSO Safe Haven training before taking the pitch with any children.
- Take the required Coach training courses for the age group they are coaching and as required by WYSL.
- Participate in at least two Coach Education Clinics each season.
- Publically show respect for the referees' decisions, even if they disagree.
- Take the field regardless of the weather (unless a game is cancelled by the League) with their team.
- Not decide to cancel a game or practice because of low turnout or weather.
- No smoking on or near any fields.
- No dogs allowed on or near any fields.
- No bicycles allowed on any fields. Please chain them to the nearest fence.
- Turf shoes are allowed on all fields. Cleats may only be worn on artificial turf fields.
- Profanity is not accepted.
- To be a part of WSSL is to embrace and support its philosophy (See About WSSL)
Code of Conduct for All Parents
As a parent, you play a special role in contributing to the needs and development of youngsters. Through your encouragement and good example, you can help assure that all the boys and girls learn good sportsmanship and self-discipline. At WSSL, young people learn to work together, to sacrifice for the good of the team, to enjoy winning and deal appropriately with defeat - all while becoming physically fit and healthy. Best of all, they have fun.
SUPPORT YOUR CHILD
Supporting your child by giving encouragement and showing interest in their team is very important. Help your child work toward skill improvement and good sportsmanship in every game. Teach your child that hard work and an honest effort are often more important than victory - that way your child will always be a winner despite the outcome of the game!
ALWAYS BE POSITIVE
Parents serve as role models for their children. Become aware of this and work to be a positive role model. Applaud good plays by your child's team as well as good plays by the opposing team. Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from youth sports activities.
REMEMBER: YOUR CHILD WANTS TO HAVE FUN
Remember that your child is the one playing soccer, not you. It's very important to let children establish their own goals - to play the game for themselves. Take care not to impose your own standards and goals on them. Don't put too heavy a burden on your child to win games. Surveys reveal that 72% of children would rather play for a losing team than ride the bench for a winning team. Children play for the fun of playing.
REINFORCE POSITIVE BEHAVIOR
Positive reinforcement is the best way to help your child achieve their goals and their natural fear of failure. Nobody likes to make mistakes. If your child does make one, remember it's all part of learning, so encourage your child's efforts and point out the good things your child accomplished.
DON'T BE A SIDELINE COACH OR REFEREE
Coaches and referees are usually parents just like you. They volunteer their time to help make your child's youth soccer experience a positive one. They need your support too. That means refraining from coaching or refereeing from the sidelines. As a volunteer organization, there's usually always an opportunity for you to take your interest in coaching or refereeing to the next level and become one yourself!
RESPECT THE REFEREE
A referee's rulings are the final word, and may not be reversed after the game. Arguing a referee's decision will not be tolerated. Nevertheless, at half time and after a game, a polite, non-aggressive approach to a referee to discuss an incident will generally be allowed.