Code of Conduct

Sharon Soccer Association Code of Conduct

In order to advance the principles of sportsmanship and fair play and to promote mutual respect among players, coaches, officials and spectators, the Sharon Soccer Association has adopted this Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct shall govern the actions of players, coaches and spectators. The Code is intended to provide behavioral guidance and establish clear expectations for all involved. The Code was not conceived to address every possible behavioral circumstance, however, it shall serve as SSA's standard for behavioral evaluation. It shall be the obligation of all program participants, spectators and volunteers, to comply with the terms and provisions of the Code of Conduct.


You will

  • display good sportsmanship and team play at all times.

  • follow the direction of the coaching staff.

  • respect all coaches, players, league officials, referees and spectators.

  • make every attempt to be on time and ready to play for all games and practices.

You will not

  • use abusive or profane language.

  • taunt or humiliate any other player.

  • question an official's call.

  • abuse, mistreat or mishandle any SSA or league equipment or property (e.g., misusing or destroying goals or netting)

Any player receiving a red card or who is ejected from a game shall (at a minimum) not participate in the next league game and will be subject to discipline from the South Shore Soccer League AND review by the SSA Board.

At the discretion of the team's Head Coach, a player may be taken out of a game or removed from any SSA-sponsored activity for conduct which is not consistent with the above Code.

Coaches, Officials, Parents and Spectators

The Board of Directors of Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association, Inc. (Mass Youth Soccer) and the leaders of the affiliated leagues are concerned about the conduct of all coaches and referees during games at all levels, from recreational to premier to ODP. We want 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/her to calm down.

  • During the game, you 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.

  • 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, you are also responsible for the conduct of spectators rooting for your team.

  • During the game, do not address the referee at all. If you have a small issue, discuss it with the referee calmly and patiently 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 your 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.

  • Respecting officials: treat game officials/referee’s with respect, questioning a call is expected on occasion; arguments and incessant complaining during and after the games is unacceptable.

  • Dealing with parents: dealing with parents needs to be done in a positive and calm manner. Be clear about the expectations, goals and team policies and maintain open communication at all times.

  • Dealing with players: Promote effort and teamwork and encourage players to pursue victory with honor, play as a team, continually strive to improve their game through effort and disciplined practice and sportsmanship rather than gamesmanship.

  • Development of all players: It should be expected that your team will consist of players of differing skill levels; coaching needs to include the instruction and continued development of all players. Playing time and alternating position play will be as equal as possible, especially at U10 and U12 level. However, the SSA Board recognizes that teams at U12 and U14 level play competitive schedules and that game conditions can change quickly. Still, it is expected that every player will play in every half of every game.

  • Maintain a professional relationship with all players: there will be no tolerance for verbal or physical attacks on players, referee’s, parents or fans.

Coach's Conduct:

  • You will be expected to teach players that participation in the SSA Travel Program is a privilege and they are expected to exhibit good character and conduct.

  • Any coach receiving a yellow card must remove him or herself from the sideline for the remainder of the game (Note that this is purposefully more restrictive than the rules of the game. It is expressly the expectation of the Sharon Soccer Association that coaches set a positive example for their players. Any behavior warranting a yellow-card caution from the referee is contrary to those expectations and grounds for removal for the remainder of that game).

  • Any coach receiving a red card or who is ejected from a game shall (at a minimum) not participate in the next league game and will be subject to discipline from the South Shore Soccer League AND review by the SSA Board.

  • Egregious acts and/or a second dismissal from a game will be reviewed and a suspension and/or dismissal from the program may occur.

  • If concerns from parents are sent to the Board, they will be reviewed and brought to the respective coach’s attention for discussion. If corrective action is required, it will be taken.

  • A good faith effort is expected by all coaches to honor the spirit of this code of conduct and, in so doing, improve the quality of our program and the further development of our players. Further, you agree to abide by and to comply with its contents.

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, and if you criticize the referee harshly, your players and their parents will also notice. Think about what you're doing during a game! Uphold the Spirit of the Game! If you follow the expectations described above, the spirit of the game will be alive and well in Massachusetts and will grow, along with the enjoyment of all. Coaches who don't follow the expectations described above will be disciplined or removed.