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Sideline Etiquette (en Español)

AYSO soccer encourages positive self-esteem, discipline, personal responsibility, teamwork, acceptance of and learning from disappointment and success, and perseverance. It is also an enjoyable game to watch as well as to play. We believe that quality soccer can and should be developed and that it can and should be fun. Therefore, the emphasis of our program is not on who wins but how did the individuals and teams develop and did they have fun in doing so. We want for all participants to reach their full, age-appropriate potential and to enjoy themselves in the process.

As spectators, we must all realize that the players are trying their very best and deserve our very best in the way of support and encouragement. Negative comments have no place on the field or on the sidelines. We need to recognize that the effort of each player is 100% well intended and encourage each player to maintain that effort. It is also important to recognize all good play being demonstrated by the players, whether or not the player is on the team you're affiliated with.

The area off the field that the spectators occupy is on your own team's side, no closer than two yards from the touch-line, and between the penalty areas. Under no circumstances will anyone be allowed behind the goal lines. Familiarize yourself with these field markings and remain with the area defined.

Allow the coach to be the sole source of coaching during the game, communicating tactical or technical adjustments to the players. As a coach, be sure that your coaching during the game is limited, positive, and instructive. Giving play by play instructions to the players thwarts their ability to put into effect the lessons you have stressed in practices and disallows them the opportunity to think on their feet.

The area off the field that coaches occupy is called the "technical area" and is on your own team's side, no closer than one yard from the touch line, and up to ten yards from either side of the halfway line. The "technical area" is limited to those persons who are on record and registered with the region as the head coach and assistant coach for that team. Not only are these to be the only persons occupying the "technical area", they are the only persons who may coach (give tactical or technical information) during the course of a game.

An important aspect of the AYSO program is sportsmanship. Our children need to experience:

  1. the fun of hard fought but fair competition
  2. winning graciously
  3. losing graciously
  4. improving one's abilities through practice
  5. learning the social skills involved in becoming a member of a team, and
  6. acknowledging good play by teammates as well as opponents

One of the ways in which our children can learn and continue to have these experiences is by our demonstration of good sideline behavior. Our children learn by watching our conduct. Keep a positive outlook and demonstrate it by supporting the coaches, the players, and the referees, in spite of any mistakes they may make during the course of a game.