Code of Responsibility

Wilbraham Soccer Club
Code of Responsibility


The Wilbraham Soccer Club has a primary mission of developing the soccer skills of the young men and women who represent the club in the Pioneer Valley Soccer League. Central to this mission is not only the development and reinforcement of individual and team soccer skills, but instilling a strong sense of fair play and sportsmanship in each of the players. The Wilbraham Soccer Club has set a goal of being recognized within soccer circles, and the community at large, as an organization that demonstrates the ideals of fair play and sportsmanship and continually strives to develop our young players into productive role models in the community. Players, coaches and parents are expected, through their conduct, to reflect positively on themselves, the club and the community.

With this in mind, the club has established this code of responsibilities intended to act as a guide for all coaches, players and families involved with the club. By participating in club teams and activities, all players, coaches and parents agree to be bound to the provisions of this code of responsibilities.


Model Behavior:
Behavior by coaches, players, parents and other family members, at games, practices or other club activities, must conform to acceptable standards of human respect, fair play and good sportsmanship. These same characteristics must additionally extend beyond the soccer field, to club-related interactions with opponents, referees, coaches and parents. Any players, coaches, parents or family members/friends that engage in inappropriate behavior, including but not limited to physical or verbal abuse or taunting of players, parents, coaches or referees shall be subject to disciplinary actions up to and including suspension or expulsion from the club.


Coaches Responsibilities and Behavior
The Wilbraham Soccer Club believes that the behavior of coaches sets the tone for a team, as a whole, and reflects on the soccer club and the community. Coaches will always, without exception, act in an ethical, professional, sportsman-like manner. Coaches shall adopt the core values that all actions should be for the ìfull development of the playerÖnot just their soccer development, but their sportsmanship and development as a strong, productive member of societyî. Coaches should set an example for their team and parents by:

  • Treating referees with the respect and decorum that reflects basic human respect, good sportsmanship and fair play.
  • Acting responsibly in developing a cordial relationship with opposing coaches.
  • Teaching players through constructive, predictable actions designed to motivate and build self confidence of players, and,
  • Building strong and mutually respectful relationships with parents and families.

Coaches need to reflect a strong dedication to the team and the soccer club. Coaches need to ensure they are able to commit the necessary time and energy to their teams and, with their co-coaches, build an effective developmental environment for the players.


Players Responsibilities and Behavior
The Wilbraham Soccer Club believes that the behavior of each player reflects on the team, club and community. Players must always act in a manner that reflects human respect and sportsmen-like manners in all their interactions with opponents, coaches or opposing fans. Players must dedicate an appropriate level of time and commitment to their team and the soccer club. To compete on behalf of the club, players are expected to live up to and be bound by the code of behavior encompassed in the Hampden-Wilbraham School District Student Handbooks (note: participants from outside the school district are responsible for obtaining a copy and reviewing these parameters). In particular, the Wilbraham Soccer Club is a smoke free, drug free, alcohol free environment, with no exceptions tolerated.

Player may accomplish their responsibilities by aspiring to the following:

  • Adhering to team and club rules
  • Treating coaches, teammates, opponents, opposing coaches and fans with human dignity and respect.
  • Demonstrating sportsmanlike behavior at all times.
  • Dedicating the appropriate levels of commitment to the team and the soccer club.

Playerís failure to live up to these expectations may be subject to appropriate discipline, including removal from the team or club activities.


Parent/Family Responsibilities and Behavior
Parents and Family members of players share the responsibility of creating a strong developmental environment in which the player can build skills, self-confidence and good sportsmanship. To this end, parents and family members must act in a manner that reflects human dignity and fosters sportsmanship and a sense of fair play. Parents may accomplish this by adhering to a few key rules:

  • Cheer the players on, but please no coaching from the sidelines. Coaching from the sidelines invariably leads to contradiction between the parents and coaches and confusion on behalf of the players.
  • Show the level of dedication to ensure that players are timely, meet team rules, etc
  • Encourage sportsmanship at all timesÖit all starts at home.
  • Support the clubÖthe Wilbraham Soccer Club is an all-volunteer organization and always needs your support.

Recognize that the coaches are volunteer coaches who give large amounts of time for your children. Please treat them with the respect that they deserve. Feel free to have discussions with the coaches, but please do so in private with appropriate decorum. For this to be a successful partnership, the coaches, players and parents need to be open, constructive and respectful of each other.

The Pioneer Valley Soccer league holds the soccer club responsible for the behavior of parents, family members and all fans. Penalties from the soccer league for bad behavior can include fines and lead up to suspension of the entire club (all teams) from the league.

Coaches have been delegated the responsibility for monitoring and addressing suspect player, parent, family or fan behavior. After appropriate warnings, continued poor behavior may lead to disciplinary actions by the club that could include expulsion of the related player from club activities.

The soccer club will abide by the Pioneer Valley Charter that calls for only those individuals with valid current coaching passes being allowed on the playerís side of the sideline. In addition, the Board has adopted a process for naming and authorizing coaches. Only those individuals approved by the Board as coaches may participate in coaching at games or practices.

Parents have the responsibility to insure that players have the appropriate level of commitment to the team and the club. Accordingly, decisions regarding multiple sports in a season and other conflicting activities need to be balanced carefully to insure that the team can reasonably rely on the full commitment of the player and their family.

Treatment of Opposing Players, Coaches and Referees:
Opposing players, coaches and referees must be treated with respect, dignity and sportsmanship. In no cases should coaches, players, parents, family members or other fans yell at, argue with or demean opposing players, coaches or referees. In particular:

  • Physical threats, acts or ìphysical presenceî that reflects hostility are not appropriate.
  • Coaches alone should be communicating with opposing coaches or referees. Players and parents should refrain from communications with opposing coaches or referees and channel any questions or issues through the coaches.
  • Any communications with referees should be maintained in a conversational, well- intentioned tone. The underlying relationship with referees should be one of respect with constructive dialogue, with no undertones or accusations.
  • The referees decision always need to be respected in the end, right, wrong or indifferent. The club believes that the integrity of the game and the character lessons to the players are more important than any arguments relating to referee behavior.
  • The club does not believe that a coach, player or parent/fan should ever put him/herself in a position to receive a red card from a referee. The PVJSL has an automatic 3 game suspension for any coach or player that receives a red card. Any coach or player in the Wilbraham Soccer Club who receives a red card must immediately report that action to the club (within 24 hours)
  • In the case of a player who receives a red card, the action needs to be reported by the coach to the club president to enable appropriate dialogue or monitoring with the coach.
  • In the case of a coach who receives a red card, the Board will convene a hearing within one week to review the action leading to the red card and determine what further action the club warrants. Until this review, the coach may not resume coaching their team, regardless of what the league says.

The hearing process is intended to provide the coach with the opportunity to discuss the situation with the Board and insure that the Coachís rights are correctly balanced with the Clubís code of responsibilities.


In Conclusion

The club believes that the behavior embodied in this code of responsibility represents a key ingredient in building a strong and vibrant soccer program that takes the best interest of the players and community at heart. Any questions or concerns relating to this policy should be forwarded to the Club President for clarification or action.