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This page includes a collection of SVSC policies.  They are not ordered in any particular fashion.


Play-Up Policy

To play up (that is, playing in a higher age group than is otherwise dictated by the child's age), the child must have demonstrated superior playing ability, and must have the approval of his or her coach, the Age Group Commissioner, and the President of SVSC. Otherwise, play up requests will be entertained only upon demonstration of special circumstances. All players playing up will have to execute a play up form, which can be downloaded from the Registration page of this website. This policy does not apply to travel players; travel play ups will continue to be determined by the travel coaches and Club administrators.


Steel Valley Soccer Club

Zero Tolerance Policy on Verbal and Physical Abuse (8/13)

Policy Summary


This policy is being implemented to eliminate abuse of soccer officials and players, both physical and verbal, and to discourage public dissent of a soccer official. Even though public dissent may not be considered abuse, it is not in keeping with the Club principles of positive coaching and good sportsmanship and therefore will not be tolerated.

There are appropriate avenues for coaches or spectators to share concerns about the quality of officiating. The President, any Board Member, or the Referee Assignor (both inhouse and travel) welcomes the opportunity to hear any constructive comments on coaches, referees or players.

This policy is especially important as it relates to youth officials.  Therefore, abuse or dissent of youth officials will not be tolerated.

Guidelines for disciplinary action range from a one-game/week suspension for verbal abuse to expulsion from the Club for egregious offenses. The details are outlined in the policy below.

Within this policy, the term “soccer official” or “official” shall mean any person who is serving as a coach or referee at the time of the abuse, or whose service as a coach or referee is the subject of the abuse.


Purpose of the Policy

This policy is being implemented to eliminate official and player abuse, both physical and verbal, and to discourage public dissent of a coach or referee.

It is never acceptable to verbally abuse players or officials in any situation. There are appropriate avenues for coaches or spectators to share concerns about the quality of coaching or officiating, including discussing the matter with the Club President, any Board member, the Travel Referee Assignor, the Inhouse Referee Assignor, or the Director of Coaching. 

Because youth development is the central focus of the Club’s soccer programs, verbal abuse of youth players and officials is unacceptable.

The purpose of this policy is to make clear that verbal abuse of referees is unacceptable and to adopt basic standard sanctions for improper conduct.

This policy is not intended to imply that officials are always right and are not subject to review and evaluation.  However, we must remember that mistakes are made because often times the coaches and referees are learning just as the players are. 


Zero Tolerance Policy on Player and Official Abuse

1.         All Club members (coaches, Board members, administrators, referees, and parents) shall, if necessary, intervene if a coach or spectator is verbally abusing an official or player.  Handling general dissent is part of a referee’s and coach’s job.  If the referee or the coach appears to be managing the dissent appropriately, no intervention is necessary. However, in the case of a youth referee, dissent is not allowed. Only positive, instructive, or encouraging comments are allowed to be directed at youth referees.

2.         All Club members shall report any incident of abuse of officials or players to the President, Referee Assignor or a Board member.  This report should be made within 24 hours of the incident, if possible.

3.         The Club’s Board, upon investigating the incident and after hearing from relevant parties, shall implement appropriate discipline before the next game if possible. It may delegate that responsibility and authority to a duly appointed disciplinary chairperson and those acting under his or her direction.  The Club’s decision is final.  The offending spectator or coach shall be notified of the disciplinary action. The following are guidelines for disciplinary action:

            a.         Verbal abuse of an official or player = 1 game/week suspension and $25 fine.

         b.       Serious verbal abuse of an official or player (e.g. using foul language) = 2 game/week suspension and $50 fine.

            c.         Stepping onto the field or other threat to an official or player (by word or action) = 4 game/week suspension and $100 fine. 

            d.         A letter of apology and/or public apology to the players and parents is recommended.

             e.         Immediate and sincere remorse on the part of the offending spectator or coach may be taken into consideration when implementing the discipline.

            f.          Egregious offenses (e.g. multiple abusive situations, physical contact with an official or player, or exceptional misbehavior) shall result in immediate suspension of the offending spectator/coach by the Club, and the Club’s Board will determine further discipline, including the imposition of a fine. An egregious offense violates the fundamental mission of the Club and requires strong action. Discipline may include, but is not limited to, suspension for the season, suspension for multiple seasons, public service, or expulsion from the Club.

            g.         Prior incidents that predate this policy may be considered in evaluating whether conduct qualifies as an egregious offense.

            h.         There is no appeal process and no right to due process.

4.         For the purposes of this policy, a suspension is a prohibition on attending any Club game or practice for the prescribed length of time.  If the suspended person refuses to comply with the terms of the discipline, the Club may bar any player associated with that person (e.g., child, grandchild, nephew, niece) from playing until such time as the suspension is served.

5.         This policy only applies to the discipline of adult spectators and coaches. The policy does not apply to players or youth spectators. The Laws of the Game specify actions that can be taken, including a red card dismissal, for player misconduct that occurs anywhere, at any time.

6.         Nothing in this policy prohibits an aggrieved official from pursuing legal action against his or her abuser, including the filing of criminal charges pursuant to 18 PA. C. S.A. § 2712, which provides as follows:


Assault on Sports Official.

  

(a)  

Offense defined - A person who violates section 2701 (relating to simple assault), where the victim is a sports official who was assaulted during a sports event or was assaulted as a result of his or her official acts as a sports official, is guilty of assault on a sports official.

  

(b)

Grading, - Assault on a sports official is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

  

(c)

Definitions. - As used in his section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

 

Sports event is defined as, any interscholastic athletic activity in a junior high school, high school, college or university in this Commonwealth or any other organized athletic activity in this Commonwealth, including a professional or semi-professional event. A sports official is defined as a person at a sports event who enforces the rules of the event, such as an umpire or referee, or a person who supervises the participants, such as a coach. The term includes a trainer, team attendant, game manager, athletic director, assistant athletic director, president, dean, headmaster, principal and assistant principal of a school, college or university.

 
As
sault of a sports official is a first degree misdemeanor and subject to a maximum of a $10,000 fine and five years in jail.


SVSC SOCCER COACH CODE OF CONDUCT

Steel Valley Soccer Club coaches must strive to be a model for all, and in that regard, we should be mindful of the following:

1.         We are representing SVSC, our community, and our team and agree to act in their best interests at all times.

2.         We will learn and know the rules of the game and the policies of the club and shall support and uphold them.

3.         Soccer is a player’s game.  We acknowledge that the paramount concern of each coach is the development, welfare, enjoyment and safety of each player.

4.         Coaching is a position of trust and we therefore must be positive role models for our players while maintaining our personal integrity and dignity at all times.

5.         Our players are involved with SVSC for fun and enjoyment, and we will do everything possible to keep the game fun and enjoyable.  We are youth coaches and understand that the game is for the children, not the adults.

6.         We understand that winning is a consideration, but not the only one, and not the most important one.  We will place the development and the well-being of each and every player above any personal desire to win.  In the process, we will be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

7.         We know that being a coach means being a teacher.  We will teach our players basic skills, techniques and strategies, and give our players the opportunity to improve at practice and games.

8.         We will not yell at players for making a mistake and cannot permit any physical or verbal abuse in youth sports.  We should demonstrate a positive attitude and praise our players for playing fair, playing hard, and playing their best, regardless of the outcome on the field.

9.         We will not curse, or make obscene gestures, or engage in any inappropriate behavior or conduct at any time, including our fellow coaches.

10.       We will respect the referees and their authority.  We will not confront the referees or argue to excess with any decisions they may make.

11.       We will be responsible for the sportsmanship of our players, and if one of them is disrespectful, irresponsible or overly aggressive, we will remove the player from the game and calm the player down.

12.       We are responsible for the conduct of the parents and fans of our players.  We shall encourage them to applaud and cheer for good plays by either team, and discourage them, forcefully if necessary, from yelling at or commenting negatively on the other team and referees.

13.       We will not smoke, drink alcohol or engage in illegal drug use in front of our players during practices, games or other club activities.

14.       We will respect the property of the club and fields the club uses.  We will not be wasteful of club resources or use club resources in an unauthorized manner.

15.       We will use our common sense.  If you would not like something done to yourself or your team, don’t do it to someone else.

 


Outside Tournaments

Steel Valley Soccer Club (“SVSC” or “Club”) supports and encourages its teams to participate in PA West tournaments, including the Open Cup and theTarget Cup.  It is the Club’s policy to pay the registration fee for either the Open Cup or Kohl’s Cup for any team wishing to participate.  However, the Club reserves the exclusive discretion to deny participation by any team.

With the permission of the Club, teams may also participate in other outside tournaments provided such participation is covered by the Club’s insurance policy and all prerequisites for participation, whether established by the Club, PA West, or the tournament, are met.

If a Club travel team’s participation in a tournament or tournaments other than the PA West Open Cup is approved, SVSC shall pay, upon request by the team, the registration fee for that tournament or those tournaments.  Under no circumstance, though, shall the amount of tournament registration fees paid by SVSC in any calendar year, including the Open Cup, exceed the amount of  the publicized registration fee for that year’s Open Cup.


Use of Steel Valley Soccer Fields by Third Parties

Use of Steel Valley Soccer Club (SVSC) fields by persons, groups or teams other than those affiliated with SVSC shall be administered as follows.

For St. Therese Field: If a third party (defined for this purpose as any person or entity that is not a registered player with SVSC or a parent of such a registered player or a coach for SVSC or an administrator for SVSC) requests use of St. Therese Field for a soccer-related activity, or if any party requests use of St. Therese Field for a non-soccer-related activity, such use is permitted only upon approval of the Steel Valley Soccer Club president, who shall ensure that the pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux is made aware of the proposed use and approves of such use, and that the SVSC board of directors is consulted.  The president or other designated officer, at his or her own discretion and upon consultation with the board of directors, may deny any use as described in the previous sentence.  It is the intent of this policy that use of St. Therese Field shall be limited to soccer-related activity.

For Campbell Field (and other Steel Valley School District properties): If a third party (defined for this purpose as any person or entity that is not a registered player with SVSC or a parent of such a registered player or a coach for SVSC or an administrator for SVSC) requests use of a Steel Valley School District field (including, but not limited to, Campbell Field), such use is permitted only upon approval of the Steel Valley Soccer Club president or other designated officer, who shall ensure that the use is allowed by the relevant permit issued by Steel Valley School District and shall consult with the SVSC board of directors.  If the proposed use is not allowed by the relevant permit, such use shall only be permitted by SVSC upon approval by the athletic director of Steel Valley High School or the Business Office of Steel Valley School District.  Use by SVSC must at all times comport with the relevant permit.   

 
                                             Use of Club Electronic Resources

Use of the electronic resources (including e-mail and the website) of Steel Valley Soccer Club (SVSC) shall be limited as follows.

  • E-mail and the SVSC website, except as otherwise provided herein, shall only be used for soccer-related communications that pertain to the local community and directly benefit the mission and purposes of SVSC and its members.

  • Soccer-related messages that may indirectly benefit the mission and purposes of SVSC and its members may be posted on the SVSC website on a message board dedicated to such messages.

  • The president of SVSC, or other designated officer, upon consultation as necessary with the board of directors and the registrar, shall have the discretion to allow or prohibit use of SVSC electronic resources, consistent with the foregoing limitations.  

 


PLAYER RECRUITMENT – GUIDANCE FOR COACHES

1.     Use common sense.

2.     Treat others as you would want to be treated.

3.     For a player who has never been on a travel team, recruiting is permitted, but please refrain from recruiting players who are more than one year younger than your oldest players, e.g., if you are coaching a U12 team, and you have U12’s on that team, refrain from recruiting a U10 player.  If you believe that recruiting a younger player is necessary or beneficial, please discuss the matter with the Club President or, if one is appointed, the Travel Team Coordinator, before contacting the player about playing for your team.  As players reach High School age, this rule becomes advisory rather than mandatory.  

4.     For a player who has previously played on a travel team that remains essentially intact, e.g., same coach(es) and/or same core group of players, you may not recruit that player.  If a player (or family member) approaches you about playing for your team, explain to the player that you are not permitted to recruit players from other teams, but that you will discuss the matter with Club officers.  Avoid any substantive conversation.  You should then contact, at a minimum, the Club President or, if one is appointed, the Travel Team Coordinator.  You should also consider contacting the player’s coach, unless the matter is sensitive and you think that more harm than good would come from that.  If you believe that recruiting a player from another team is necessary or beneficial, please discuss the matter with the Club President or, if one is appointed, the Travel Team Coordinator, before contacting that player.   

5.     Players are not chattel, and should be treated with dignity and respect.  The player’s interest is foremost.  

6.     Do not disparage or otherwise talk negatively about other teams, coaches, and players in the recruitment of any player.   

7.     Do not recruit a player for a level of play that is not developmentally appropriate for that player.   

1/17/13


THE STARTING XI: A STEEL VALLEY PARENT’S CODE OF CONDUCT

       Parents, it is easy to have a great coach/parent/player experience.  Just follow these 11 simple rules:

1.     Understand the coach and team philosophy.  If you don’t know the goals of the team (e.g., player development versus competition), ask them to be explained.

2.     Send your children ready to play.  They should be properly fed and clothed.  They should arrive on time for practice or a game (and if they are going to be late, you should let the coach know in advance).  They should be properly equipped with shin guards (covered by socks) and a fully inflated soccer ball that is the right size for the age group.

3.     Support the team, but do not instruct or coach the players during games and practices.  It confuses your child, and undermines the efforts of the coach.  Your child is going to listen to you, and is also going to listen to your coach, so the child is going to try to do two different things, at the same time, which is usually a recipe for doing neither successfully.  If you think you need to coach, please, please, please, volunteer to do so!  We’d love to have you.

4.     Don’t confuse your child (and other players) with your cheering.  Avoid saying anything that is a command, such as “pass it,” “shoot,” or “kick it out.”  Instead, use positive encouragement, such as “way to go,” or “good try,” or “stay with it.” 

5.     Refrain from speaking to game referees except to say thank you after the game.  If you have questions or concerns with referees, relay the information to the coach at the proper time.  Remember, our referees are learning just like our players, and will make mistakes just like our players.

6.     Speak to the coach at the proper time.  Call the coach after practice or after a game.  Let the dust settle for a couple of days before making that call.  Do not confront or question the coach at the field.

7.     Report to the coach all injuries, special medical conditions or extenuating circumstances that may affect the player.  Keep the coach advised, because that knowledge will help the coach help your child.

8.     Be sportsmanlike towards players on either team, coaches, or referees.  Do not boo, taunt, use profane language or gestures, or encourage overly aggressive or dirty play.  Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it positive, and at all times, keep cool.

9.     Clean up after yourself and your children.  As a general rule, if you brought it with you, take it home (or at least put it in the trash).  And require your children to do the same.  Do not leave empty drink containers and food wrappers behind.

10.   Be a part of the parking solution, not the parking problem.  Don’t park on both sides of the entrance (obey the no parking sign), don’t park people in, yield to pedestrians and if you are able-bodied, consider alternative parking (e.g., in the Steel Valley High School lot or the St. Therese lot) and walk.

11.   No smoking, no alcohol and no drugs on the playing field.  Do not smoke and do not drink at the field.  Respect the right of all the children to compete in a healthy environment free of adult vices. 


LIGHTNING POLICY

The following policy regarding lightning is mandatory.

If lightning is visually observed, and thunder is subsequently heard within 30 seconds of seeing lightning, any SVSC activity, including practices and games, must be suspended and all participants and spectators must seek cover in, ideally, their cars or a sturdy structure with four walls and a roof.  The activity should not be resumed until 30 minutes after the last observed lightning strike.

For inhouse games and practices, and for travel practices, the responsibility for suspending the activity rests principally with the coaches, although Club administrators or referees also may suspend the activity.  For travel games, the responsibility for suspending the game rests with referees, although coaches should consult with the referees if necessary about their personal observations.



NOTE: SVSC Board meetings are held the third Thursday of each month, at 7 p.m., which are open meetings.  The meetings are currently held at St. Rita Social Hall, 219 W. Schwab Ave., Munhall, PA  15120.  The Board does not meet every month, so please contact the President to confirm whether there will be a meeting on any given third Thursday of the month, as well as the location.

 
 

 

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