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Westport Soccer Association
PO Box 2561 • Westport CT 06880 • (203) 221-9900 • www.westportsoccer.org

Code of Conduct for Players & Parents

INTRODUCTION
The Westport Soccer Association (WSA) is a community organization that sponsors youth soccer activity emphasizing fun, fair play and sportsmanship. Our mission is to enhance every participant′s enjoyment of their soccer experience. To better achieve this goal, we are outlining a Code of Conduct for all of the parents, coaches and players involved in Westport Soccer.
The Code of Conduct is a written contract between the parents, players and coaches to abide by the rules and regulations of the game as well as maintain a cooperative attitude and updhold the ideals of fair play and sportsmanship. This contract is more than just paper; it is the essence of our goals and objectives and thus, adherence to it is of primary importance.
Children who wish to play on teams sanctioned by WSA, and their parents are required to agree and sign this Code of Conduct.

MAINTAINING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Players, coaches and parents are expected to show a positive, respectful attitude for everyone involved in the sport. Criticism and disrespect for officials, opponents, coaches or fans undermines the purpose of sport and brings into the game stresses beyond the competition. It contributes to behavior not in keeping with the spirit of the game.

SETTING A GOOD EXAMPLE
Each person associated with the WSA is accountable for his/her own behavior at all times around the field of play. Parents, coaches and other adults should remember that children are mimics – it is up to you to set good examples and to not tolerate those who do not.
The WSA will not tolerate conduct which is detrimental to the sport, the participant or the community. Such conduct includes: vulgarity by coaches, players or parents; harassment or belittling of officials, coaches or players; physical violence or the threat of physical violence toward anyone before, during or after a match; verbal abuse directed toward anyone before, during or after a match; and the taunting of opposing players, coaches and parents. We require the utmost self-restraint on the part of players and especially adults.
In addition, violent play, rowdy behavior, verbal abuse, assault or similar behavior by any team sponsored by WSA will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in accordance with the WSA, Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (CJSA) and USSF rules and regulations.
Sometimes, Westport travel teams participate in events outside of the area. Players, coaches and parents behavior at hotels, motels, restaurants and airports should be such that it does not discredit, dishonor or create a negative impressions of the WSA.

A GOOD RELATIONSHIP
The Officials
On a soccer field, the referee is the symbol of authority and often the target of criticism. The referee′s job is a difficult one and all referees are human and do make mistakes. Anytime you feel your team is being treated unfairly or you have an unqualified referee, talk to your coach after the game. Coaches are asked to tell the Director of Referees about problems that occur with officials.
In accordance with FIFA laws, verbal abuse towards referees could result in a red card and ejection for the player, coach or parent. Referees have the authority to suspend play if a coach does not control his players and parents (supporters).
The Coach
The primary responsibility of the coach is to coach and teach children the game of soccer. However, he/she is also responsible fo the team′s supporters – parents should not expect coaches to police the sidelines. Positive support for the team and coaches is encouraged. The WSA prides itself on the excellent sportsmanship of its teams and parents.
 
The Opponents
Players and coaches are required to maintain a sense of fair play and be respectful of opposing players, coaches and fans at all times. Any action which can be deemed disrespectful will be punished under the guidelines of the violations section of this Code of Conduct. Sportsmanship begins with respect. Without opponents to play, the positive competitive environment which can be a perfect classroom for the participant to learn the values of sport is completely undermined.

VIOLATIONS OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT
Currently, the CJSA guidelines, in conjunction with the Westport Code of Conduct, set a minimum standard of discipline that is expected of players, coaches and spectators. Westport, in an effort to be a leader in this very difficult area, will set its own, tougher standards with respect to several key situations (i.e., ejections for fighting, dissent and/or verbal abuse). It is up to ALL of us – players, coaches, parents and administrators – to ensure that these types of bad sportsmanship do not occur.
Any questions or disputes concerning the violations of this Code of Conduct as listed below can be brought before the WSA Executive Board or its full board.
A. Player Conduct
1. Ejection – A player receiving a red card will be ejected from the game immediately and will not be able to participate in his/her team′s next match. Repeated offenders could face further sanctions as determined by the coach or an inquiry of the WSA or CJSA.
2. Ejection for Violent Conduct – Serious Foul Play and Foul or Abusive Language – If a red card is issued to a WSA player for one of these reasons and, in the opinion of that player′s coach is definitely warranted, the player can be suspended from participating in a second game. Currently CJSA requires a player to sit out at least one scheduled game. The coach may decide to extend the number of games the payer is suspended based on previous card history or on the action taken by the player that earned the card.
3. Caution for Dissent – If a yellow card (caution) is issued to a Wsa player for dissent and, in the opinion of the coach is warranted, the WSA player will be removed from the game and not return for the rest of the game. If the card is issued in the second half of the game, then the player must sit out the first half of the next scheduled game.
4. Abuse – Players who are abusive of coaches, other players (including teammates) or the referee may be banned from attending matches for one week (at least one game) if their coach so desires. Coaches may also recommend further sanctions at an inquiry of the WSA Board of Directors.
B. Parent/Spectator
1. Any parent or spectator who is ejected from the game by the referee will remove themselves from the sidelines and area immediately. He/she will be banned from attending games for at least one week (at least one game) and can be banned longer if so determined by an inquiry of the WSA Board of Directors.
2. Parents/Spectators who are abusive of coaches players or referees may also be banned from attending matches for one week (or at least one game) or longer if so determined by an inquiry of the WSA.
C. Coach Conduct
1. Any coach ejected from a game must remove themselves from the sideline immediately and cannot participate in their teams next match.
2. Coaches who are abusive of other coaches, players or referees may be banned from attending matches for one week (at least one game) or longer if so determined by an inquiry of the WSA Board of Directors.

CONCLUSION
The purpose of sport is to provide a competitive, learning environment to teach all participants the values of teamwork, cooperation and sportsmanship. Soccer is just one sport which offers this type of environment for our children. We still can be competitive without crossing the line of decent behavior, keeping in mind that our children will follow our example. We should act accordingly.

We expect that parents agree to abide by the rules and regulations stated herein and that they are bound to all decisions and impositions of these rules. It is with the spirit of cooperation, for the betterment of soccer and your family that we all willingly abide by this contract.