Code of Conduct

For Coaches

The Northwest Cincinnati Area Code of Conduct is effective 9.12.2016 and will be reviewed yearly for changes that need to be made.

COACHES “Best Practices”

  1. Abide by the laws of the game and the rules of Soccer Association for Youth (SAY Soccer).
  2. Treat the referees with respect, not matter what the call.
  3. Do not use profanity or vulgar language. Remember you are helping to mold the character of your players.
  4. No smoking on the field or on the sidelines during a practice or a game.
  5. Do not consume alcohol before or during practices and/or games.
  6. Exhibit excellent conduct at both practices and games. Team discipline reflects the coach’s attitude 100%. The coach is responsible and held accountable for the conduct of the players when they are together as a team.
  7. Coach clean, skillful, honest and sportsmanlike soccer by stressing skill development and playing your best over winning itself.
  8. Know the laws of the game and teach them to your players. Read the rulebook and attempt to attend a clinic to enhance your knowledge of the game.
  9. Stress good sportsmanship.
  10. Help maintain a climate of enjoyment among spectators by discouraging negative remarks and/or harassment of players, coaches, referees and other spectators.
  11. Work as hard at team morale as soccer skills and tactics. Be a “fun leader”. Stress individual skill development more than tactics. Minimize lectures and maximize demonstrations. Stress having fun. Coach with encouragement, not discipline. Discipline should be reserved for unsafe play and improper player conduct.
  12. In dealing with team members, maximize praise and minimize criticism. Make corrections slowly and calmly in a manner tailored to the individual.
  13. Coach talented and non-talented players with equal vigor.
  14. All players MUST play at least two full quarters. Coach is responsible to keep track of each players time and to assure they have met their two quarters of time of play.
  15. Minimize coaching from the sidelines during games. Yelling during the game accomplishes nothing. Encourage the same behaviors from the spectators.
  16. Pre-plan all practice sessions in detail to be interesting, fast paced and involve all team members as much as possible (minimize standing around).
  17. Welcome feedback from players and parents alike concerning potential problems and ways to improve.


The following rules are to be used in assessing penalties for coaches. Penalties for coaches will be imposed by the District Representative as assessed by the Area Referee Coordinator, the Hearing Committee or by action of the Northwest Cincinnati Area Board.

From this point going forward, any game suspension does not include the game during which the suspension was given. It is the number of games going forward at the end of the game where the penalty was given. If an offense is committed at the end of the season, offender will serve suspension in Area Tournament, State Tournament or the following season they play in.

Coaches must conduct themselves using the following guidelines:

Coaches are not to address the Referee(s) during the game except to:

  • Respond to a referee who has initiated a conversation
  • Point out emergency or safety issues
  • Make substitutions
  • Ask the referee, “What is the proper restart? (i.e., direction and Indirect Free Kick or Direct Free Kick?). This should be done respectfully and only when play has stopped).
  • Ask for the time remaining in the half when play is already stopped (i.e., corner kick, throw-in, substitution, etc.)

Coaches are allowed to ask a referee, after a game or during the half-time interval, in a polite and respectful way, to explain a law or foul, but not judgment calls made during the game.

Polite and friendly concern can be exchanged with the referee. If the polite or respectful tone changes, the referee may abandon the exchange at any time.


  1. Excessive, abusive or threatening words or actions indicating intent to physically harm any officials, other coaches, players or spectators. Penalty: 1st Offense: Two (2) game suspension. 2nd Offense: Five (5) game suspension. ** Eligible to be heard by terms of stated Appeals Process
  2. Aggressive physical contact with officials, other coaches, players or spectators (i.e., grabbing the arm, turning the individual around, poking, bumping, pushing, etc.). Penalty: 1st Offense: Five (5) game suspension and probation for five (5) games. 2nd Offense: Permanent Expulsion. ** Eligible to be heard by terms of stated Appeals Process
  3. Striking an official, coach, player or spectator. Penalty: Permanent Expulsion with no consideration for reinstatement.
  4. Refusal to leave the playing field after an ejection. Penalty: two (2) game suspension in addition to the penalty imposed for the original ejection and possible game forfeiture as determined by the Appeals Committee. ** Eligible to be heard by terms of stated Appeals Process
  5. Absolutely no heckling, harassment, sarcasm, intimidation or foul language is allowed towards another coach, referee, player or spectator. Penalty: 1st Offense: One (1) game suspension. 2nd Offense: Season Suspension
  6. Showing up to a practice or game under the influence of a substance or alcohol. Penalty (2) game suspension. ** Eligible to be heard by terms of stated Appeals Process
  7. Instructing players during the game to play in a dangerous or unsportsmanlike manner. Penalty: Five (5) game suspension and probation for Five (5) games. A penalty assessed to a player, coach or spectator for this offense will also result in the Appeals Board reviewing the situation for possible additional penalties being assessed up to and including expulsion. ** Eligible to be heard by terms of stated Appeals Process
  8. Ejection from the game for any other reason not listed here. Penalty: One (1) game suspension ** Eligible to be heard by terms of stated Appeals Process


In general, the penalties for a coach on probation will be twice that applied under non-probation status as described above.

A coach under suspension may not attend any games for the team he is coaching for the duration of his/her suspension. A violation of suspension results in automatic expulsion.

A coach under expulsion is out of the program indefinitely. Reinstatement may be made only after a favorable review by the Northwest Cincinnati Area Board. An expelled coach may not act in a coaching, managerial or supervisory capacity of a team. He/She may not attend or be in the vicinity of his/her former team’s game up to 30 minutes before the game.

The violation of an expulsion or suspension will result in possible game forfeiture and/or elimination of the team from league play and/or necessary legal action against the violator.