The Harrison Youth Soccer Club, Inc. ("HYSC" or the "Club") is a non-profit corporation organized and administered by Harrison parents. The Club selects, organizes and regulates boys and girls soccer teams to play in youth soccer leagues and tournaments. The HYSC operates in coordination with the Town of Harrison Recreation Department and the Athletic Department at Harrison High School. The Club does not have oversight responsibility for the Harrison Junior Soccer League, which is separately managed by the Town of Harrison Recreation Department.
HYSC typically fields 25-30 youth soccer teams, which are divided roughly between girls’ and boys’ teams. Including our Development program for K, 1st and 2nd graders, there are over 500 children and young adults participating in programs run by the HYSC each year. All of our Harrison travel teams are registered in the Westchester Youth Soccer League ("WYSL"). The WYSL is now affiliated with US Club Soccer. US Club Soccer is an organization committed to the development and support of soccer clubs in the United States. Through US Club Soccer, all of a club’s programs are able to be united under one organizational umbrella, creating a “members for life” culture within each club. US Club Soccer’s programming has all been developed with strong input from clubs around the country and with a minimum of rules and restrictions to allow efficient and innovative operations
The Club publishes this Handbook to provide HYSC families with a summary of the Club’s activities, objectives and the overall club philosophy. This parent handbook provides high level guidelines of the club and our parent league (the WYSL). Copies of this Handbook are available on the HYSC Club website at www.HarrisonTravelSoccer.org. Questions about the Club and its programs should be initially directed to the player’s coach, although if he or she is unable to answer the question they can be directed to the relevant member of the HYSC Board of Directors.
OBJECTIVES AND PHILOSOPHY
The Club’s objectives are to provide children and young adults with the opportunity to participate in a soccer experience where they can develop positive self-esteem and build character by learning the virtues of hard work, respect, honesty, self-control, teamwork and sportsmanship. To achieve these objectives, the Club encourages its coaches and team parents to adopt a philosophy that seeks to achieve the following for the players:
1. To have fun;
2. To develop an appreciation of good sportsmanship, soccer and the fundamentals of team play;
3. To respect teammates, coaches, opponents, the referee and the rules of the game;
4. To learn the meaning of dedication and commitment and to experience the relationship between effort and results;
5. To learn soccer – individual skills, small group tactics and team tactics, so that each player and his or her team can become the best that they can be; and
6. To engage in healthy competition.
HYSC SCHOLARSHIP FUND
The HYSC is committed to ensuring that all interested soccer players who live in our community have an opportunity to participate in our program. The Club has a Scholarship Program for players who would like to participate on an HYSC team but find the registration fees too prohibitive. The HYSC Scholarship Fund provides support for families requesting financial assistance to help cover registration fees. Requests for scholarship assistance should be made directly through our club website using the scholarship request form and will be coordinated by the HYSC Scholarship Coordinator. Scholarship requests should be made at the time of registration. All such requests will be reviewed and handled confidentially by the HYSC Board of Directors.
In order to support the HYSC Scholarship Fund, the Club offers for sale certain official HYSC merchandise such as t-shirts and pinnies as well as various club fundraisers. HYSC families can contribute directly to the HYSC Scholarship Fund during the annual player registration process or through voluntary contributions to the club at any time throughout the year.
Club activities are directed by the members of the Board of Directors, all of whom are unpaid volunteers, as well as over 80 parents who serve as Coaches, Team Managers and Volunteers. The Club also hires professional trainers and other soccer professionals to assist in the development of our program.
HYSC is run by parents who volunteer to serve as Board members, coaches and team managers. Non-coaching parents have made major contributions to the Club’s activities by assisting in various club fundraisers and other activities. Parents who have an interest in volunteering to serve in any volunteer capacity should contact the Club President and/or any member of the HYSC Board.
TRAVEL TEAM SELECTION
Eligibility. Children are eligible to play on an HYSC team if they are between 7 and 18 years of age and reside in the town of Harrison, go to school or are eligible to go to school in Harrison or have previously played on an HYSC team. Children from other local towns (i.e. non-Harrison residents) are eligible to tryout and play for an HYSC team and will be considered on a case by case basis by the HYSC board.
National youth sports organizations report that over 70% of all children drop out of organized youth sports by the age of 13. Locally we experience this trend in recreation soccer, HYSC soccer and other youth sports. During recent years, several of our older HYSC teams have disbanded or forfeited their remaining games due to a shortage of Harrison children at this age level who were committed to travel soccer, leaving Harrison children who wanted to continue playing without that opportunity. The Club’s Board has adopted a policy of allowing teams to have non-resident players so Harrison children can continue to play travel soccer on Harrison teams and our teams can remain competitive and viable. In recent years, a number of teams at the older age groups have added a limited number of non-resident players in order to supplement rosters where necessary. Such non-resident recruiting requires approval of the HYSC Board.
HYSC PLAYER EVALUATIONS & TEAM SELECTION PROCESS
In order to provide players with the most fun and best possible development environment, we believe that they should be playing with (and against) players of similar ability. It is the objective of the Club to try and group players and to organize teams based on skill and ability.
In order to group players by ability, they must be evaluated. The Harrison Youth Soccer Club evaluates players and selects teams based on a combination of Season Evaluations and Tryout Evaluations. The process is designed to be as thorough, accurate and fair as possible, while keeping costs, administrative burden and volunteer parent time commitment at reasonable levels.
When grouping players and assigning them to a team, the following factors are considered:
- If the player is an active HYSC player, his/her performance during the past season
- The player’s commitment to the program as reflected by practice and game attendance
- The relative ranking and evaluation the player receives from the trainers and coaches from the in-season evaluations as well as the tryout evaluation
- Skills evaluated include, but are not limited to: individual possession, group possession, attacking, defending as well as physical and psychological considerations.
- Other relevant factors such as a player’s effort and overall attitude are also included
- Tryouts are held annually each spring (typically in May or June) – thus giving all players an equal opportunity each spring to demonstrate their abilities in an unbiased and thorough tryout.
- Tryouts are publicized on the Club website and via correspondence through our existing club members including our HYSC development program and with the cooperation of the school district and various other community outreach efforts.
- Tryout dates are scheduled in accordance with the WYSL rules
- Our goal is to give each player the opportunity to participate in a tryout session
- Players are evaluated by professional trainers for individual skills as well as group play small-sided drills and exercises
- Efforts are made to ensure that players play with and against different players over the course of the tryouts
- Our tryout evaluators are conducted by an objective, unbiased 3rd party soccer organization that are expert in soccer player evaluations.
- Players are evaluated for skill, athleticism and attitude
- The evaluators recommend a tentative competition level (A, B or C) within each age group
- The results of the tryout evaluations are kept confidential by the HYSC board
In Season Evaluations
- Each Trainer and Coach evaluates each player on their team using consistent and comparable evaluation forms.
- The trainers and coaches on each team are asked to "force rank" the players in order
- Players are evaluated for skill, athleticism, attitude, team commitment etc.
- The trainers and coaches also have the option of providing brief comments about each player
Team Selection Process
- The HYSC Board collates all of the Season Evaluation from trainers and coaches and the Tryout Evaluations data for each age group
- The Evaluations of all "borderline" players (those near the cutoff lines between "A" and "B" or between "B" and "C" teams) are carefully reviewed
- In some cases, the proposed team selection may be reviewed or discussed with our professional trainers and coaches if required in order to make one or two final judgment calls / adjustments for borderline players
- The HYSC board oversees the entire evaluation and team selection process.
- Over 100 "man-hours" are spent by the HYSC board on the evaluation and team selection process.
Effectiveness of Selection Process
- Our process is very similar to that used by a wide variety of other travel soccer associations, premier clubs and other athletic organizations
- Though the tryout evaluation and team selection process is not perfect, the HYSC board makes best efforts to accurately create teams and place players
Differences of Opinions and Perceptions
Despite all reasonable efforts to make fair and good decisions, invariably some mistakes will be made when evaluating over 500 players. In addition, there will inevitably be differences of opinion between some parents′ perception of their child′s ability and the perceptions of the trainers, coaches and 3rd party evaluators. The HYSC board understands that differences in perception can create disappointment and frustration on the part of the players and parents affected. However, the HYSC board is committed to providing a quality soccer opportunity to all players, regardless of which team they are selected for. Thus, disappointing decisions need not derail a committed, enthusiastic soccer player′s development. To stay on track, however, it is critical that the player and the parents do their best to stay positive and take advantage of the opportunities they have to improve over the year so that they are well positioned to "succeed" at the following year′s tryouts. The use of the grievance process (which is described in this Handbook) to contest team designation of individual players is discouraged, although it is available for that purpose in appropriate circumstances. Relief for such grievances will only be granted at the discretion of the Board based upon a showing of bias, abuse of discretion or the existence of special circumstances.
Intra-Season Player Requests
Tryout evaluations and team selection is an annual process that takes place in the Spring (May and June) for team selection for the upcoming Fall and Spring WYSL seasons. On occasion, new players that did not attend the annual HYSC tryouts may request to be added to an HYSC team. As per WYSL rules, roster changes are only allowed prior to the 3rd week of each season. Any new player requests will be considered by the HYSC board on a case by case basis. The outcome of the request will depend on several factors including the timing of the request, the number of teams, players, roster size and the age group(s) in question.
New players do not get to choose what team they would like to join. If open rosters slots are available for new players at the development age group (i.e. U8, U9 and U10), they will typically be placed on the lowest team in that age group (i.e. the “B” or “C” team).
If open roster slots are available at the older age groups (i.e. U11 and above), new players are not automatically placed on the “A” or “B” team. If there is a new player at U11 or above, the board will endeavor to place new players at the older age groups onto the most appropriate team. If there are multiple teams at a given age group, the club at its discretion, may arrange for an in-season player evaluation in order to determine the most appropriate team placement for the player and for the club as a whole. As mentioned previously in this handbook, it is the objective of the Club to try and group players and to organize teams based on skill and ability level so that players can play with and against players of similar ability.
Age Group Divisions. The WYSL and US Club Soccer conform to the age categories established by the United States Youth Soccer Association, which operate under an August 1 to July 31 “soccer year.” For example, children eligible to play in the Under 8 (U8) division should be turning 8 years old between August 1 and July 31 on their birthdays during the “soccer year.”
Starting in the Spring/Summer of 2013 team selection process, the HYSC club now conforms to the WYSL & US Club Soccer age group categories starting with all U8 and U9 teams that we formed in the Fall of 2013 for the 2013/2014 Fall and Spring seasons. All existing HYSC players and teams that were at U10 or above (as of the Spring/Summer 2013 team selection) are allowed to continue playing with their current age groups which were historically placed by their grade levels. Eventually all age groups in the club will wind up conforming to the recommended US Club Soccer age groups.
Going forward, all new teams that we form at the younger age groups will be formed based on the WYSL and US Club Soccer age groups. So for the WYSL fall 2015 / spring 2016 that means U8, U9, U10 and U11 teams will be created based on the new soccer year of August 1st thru July 31st.
Returning HYSC players and teams at U12 and above are allowed to continue playing with their current age groups. Note that players that all new players that have never played for HYSC before (even at U12 and above) will be placed based on the new soccer year dates.
Players should generally play within their age group. Requests to tryout and play for an older age group will be addressed by the HYSC Board on a case-by-case basis. Permission may be provided by the Board at its discretion upon a showing of good cause by the player’s parents and/or relevant trainers and coaches. Consideration may be given to, among other factors, what is in the best interest of the player, the player’s physical size, ability and skill level, prior experience playing soccer as well as the lack of a sufficient number of players within a particular age group, etc.
Travel teams play in divisions designated by age and ability. HYSC teams in the WYSL play in divisions of one-year increments (i.e., U8, U9, U10, etc.). In each age category the WYSL will generally attempt to seed the strongest teams in Division 1, the next strongest in Division 2, and so on. In high school age brackets of JV and above, teams are seeded primarily by ability rather than by age in divisions that may include more than one “soccer year.”
Team Size. HYSC teams playing in U8, U9 and U10 divisions all currently play in an 8 v 8 format where the maximum roster size permitted by the WYSL is 14 players. All HYSC teams playing in the U11 divisions play in a 9 v 9 format where the maximum roster size is 16. HYSC teams in U12* and older divisions play in an 11 v 11 format where the maximum roster size is 18. At the u12, u13 and u14 age groups, the Board recommends a roster size of 15 or 16 players for a competitive “A team” in Division 1 or 2 that has strong player attendance in order to balance the interests of playing time and safety. While a less competitive team (Division 3 or lower) may require 17 or 18 players on the roster.
High school age teams (i.e. U15/16 for JV and U17-19 for Varsity) can have up to 22 players on their roster, however if they are a competitive team in Division 1 or 2, the board recommends a roster of 17 or 18. Teams with rosters of more than 18 players are ineligible to play in the NY State Cup tournament. Because the Club has historically been compelled to disband teams in the oldest age groups based on insufficient player participation, the Board encourages the coaches in those age groups to confer with opposing coaches within their divisions and combine rosters if necessary to field a team at the HS level.
* Please note that in the fall 2014 / spring 2015 seasons, the WYSL gave clubs the option to play either 11 vs. 11 or 9 vs. 9 format (depending on the roster size of the teams). We anticipate that starting in the fall 2015 / spring 2016 seasons, the WYSL will migrate all U12 teams to the new 9 vs. 9 format and that the 11 vs. 11 format will not begin until the U13 age group.
Number of Teams. WYSL rules permit the HYSC and other member clubs to enter two boys’ and girls’ teams for each age category with 11 v 11 play, and three boys and girls teams in the U8, U9, U10 & U11 age categories which engage in small sided play. The HYSC may apply to the WYSL for permission to enter additional teams. Such application will be subject to the HYSC providing additional fields, additional certified referees and an annual review of those teams’ competitiveness in the WYSL.
REGISTRATION AND FEES
The Club is administratively responsible for registering each of its teams. Each player on an HYSC travel team is simultaneously registered with the WYSL, and US Club Soccer which registration is evidenced by a picture ID card retained by the coach and required to be shown to the referee before each game. Registration fees for each team are paid by the players on the team to the Club through an online registration process, which allows parents to pay such fees by credit card. Alternatively, parents may register their children online and separately provide to the Club Treasurer checks made payable to the “Harrison Youth Soccer Club.” The Club is responsible for paying the team registration fees to the WYSL.
Instructions for completing the online registration process are available on the HYSC website at www.HarrisonTravelSoccer.org. Questions about registration may be directed to the Club Registrar. In addition to completing the online registration process each year and paying the annual registration and membership fee (and any other uniform or equipment fees), all players must complete and provide to the Club Registrar a Medical Release Form that includes customary consents for medical treatment and legal disclaimers. Coaches should forward the original Medical Release Forms to the Club Registrar and maintain copies in the event of an injury during a game or practice session. In addition to the Medical Release Form, new players must provide to the Club Registrar a copy of a birth certificate. Through the registration process, parents agree to abide by the rules of the HYSC, WYSL and US Club Soccer, including rules governing parental behavior at games and practices. Each parent must review the HYSC Code of Conduct for Coaches and the WYSL Parental Guidelines.
Fees. Each player on a travel team pays registration fees to the Club that cover Club-related expenses including team registration fees, equipment, referees, WYSL insurance and, in the case of U8, U9 and U10 players, the weekly mandatory training program. On alternative years (i.e. every 2 years) all registered players must purchase new club uniforms and parents are responsible for paying for their uniforms (i.e. home jersey, away jersey, shorts and socks) separately through our equipment vendor Greenwich Soccer & Rugby Imports. Players at U11 age groups and older are separately responsible for paying their share of their team’s expenses including professional trainers. And all teams at all age groups are responsible to pay to participate in any optional winter or summer soccer league as well as any tournament entry fees. The Board reviews the Club’s budget on an annual basis to ensure that the registration fee structure reflects the expenses anticipated to be incurred by the Club for player participation and operational expenses. As noted previously, financial aid is available through the HYSC Scholarship in cases where a family might otherwise have difficulty paying for travel team cost.
CLUB PROGRAMS FOR PLAYERS
WYSL Games. WYSL games are scheduled on Sundays in the fall and spring seasons, with generally nine or ten games each season. During the fall, games are scheduled beginning after Labor Day and ending the Sunday before Thanksgiving (except Columbus Day weekend), and during the spring, beginning in early April and continuing through Father's Day (except Easter Sunday and Memorial Day weekend).
Practices. Travel soccer is intended to be a lot of fun, but it is competitive, with an emphasis on each player becoming the best player that he or she can be and each team reaching its collective potential. This requires a significant time commitment from the players, coaches and parents. During the fall and spring seasons, teams generally practice two days a week, for 60-90 minutes per practice. Team members are expected to attend these practices regularly. Travel teams also participate from time to time in scrimmages with other teams, either informally as part of a practice or on a more formal basis. During the winter, some HYSC teams may elect to practice in indoor facilities or compete in indoor leagues paid for by the individual teams, generally no more than once per week. The Club does not oversee the winter activities but may consult with participating teams upon request.
Parent volunteer coaches and team managers handle the administrative responsibilities relating to the teams. Teams at the age groups of U11 use professional coaches and/or trainers to assist the parent coaches in teaching soccer skills and may use such trainers to coach at games as well. All HYSC teams (at U11 or above) are required to retain a professional trainer to conduct weekly practices during the fall and spring seasons at the team’s expense. Any exceptions to this requirement are subject to Board review and approval. The Board will consult with coaches regarding their teams’ training requirements and make available a list of potential trainers upon request.
Tournaments. Although teams are encouraged to play in tournaments, each team makes its own decisions to play or not to play in tournaments. As there are no league games scheduled for Labor Day, Columbus Day and Memorial Day weekends, they tend to be popular weekends for outdoor tournaments, which are usually either one or two day competitions. Harrison travel teams have played in outdoor tournaments at SUNY Purchase, White Plains, Yonkers, Yorktown, Scarsdale, Rye Brook, Lewisboro, Somers, NYC and numerous other locations within and outside of Westchester County.
Club teams also participate in indoor tournaments during the winter. These tournaments are usually one-day tournaments held in college or high school gymnasiums or other indoor athletic facilities. Club teams have also participated in indoor leagues at the Sports Underdome in Mount Vernon, Armonk Indoor, Chelsea Piers, House of Sports and other indoor locations.
Tournament registration fees as well as any winter or summer optional team activities are paid by the team directly to the tournament sponsor and/or winter or summer league. Coaches may encourage their players to be available for tournament play, but participation is not mandatory. Club patches are routinely exchanged between teams at tournaments (in particular at the younger development age groups such as U8, U9 & U10) and may be obtained from the Club Equipment Coordinator for that purpose. It is the responsibility of the coaches and/or the team manager to research, register and collect the fees from each player for tournaments, clinics, indoor leagues and other activities.
High School Age Teams. While the Club has historically fielded a limited number of high school age teams, the WYSL provides a “mini-season” in the fall for high school age teams that is available to HYSC teams after the end of the Interscholastic Season.
Cooperation with the Harrison Recreation Department. The Club has extensive interaction with the Recreation Department over issues concerning field usage and player development. The HYSC has an ongoing policy of strongly encouraging participation in the Harrison Recreation soccer program.
The Club believes good sportsmanship is of the utmost importance. Very few, if any, Club players will become professional soccer players, but all will take with them the lessons from the playing field. The Club defines sportsmanship as showing respect for coaches, teammates, opponents, the referee and the laws of the game; and to maintain a good attitude regardless of the outcome of the game. The Club believes HYSC players should strive to become the best soccer players they can be, and also to become ambassadors for the Club, our community and the game.
WYSL Sporting Conduct Program. Starting in the spring of 2000 season, the WYSL adopted a league-wide sporting conduct program. At each league game, the referee rates the “sporting conduct” of the 1. Players, 2. Parents and 3. Coaches of each team (from a range of +2 as the highest down to -2 as the lowest for each of the 3 categories). The team in each Division with the highest average sporting conduct points per game will receive Sporting Conduct Award at the end of each season.
Sportsmanlike conduct and athletic achievement are compatible and not mutually exclusive. The HYSC Board expects that all coaches, parents and players will conduct themselves appropriately at all of their games, and hopes that each HYSC team will strive to win the Sporting Conduct Awards in league and tournament play.
Code of Conduct for Coaches. It is the responsibility of each HYSC trainer, head coach and assistant coach to do the following:
- Realize that the purpose of youth soccer is to promote the physical, mental, social and emotional well-being of the individual players;
- Emphasize the proper ideals and lead by example in demonstrating sportsmanship, ethical conduct and fair play;
- Remember that children play for fun and enjoyment and should never be ridiculed for making mistakes or losing a game;
- Educate yourself on positive coaching principles and be generous with your praise;
- Show courtesy to visiting teams and referees;
- Treat each player as an individual, remembering that there may be a large spread of physical and emotional development of members of the same team;
- Follow the advice of a physician or parent when determining when an injured player is ready to play again; and
- Remember that a contest is only a game, and that the game is for children and not adults.
Silent Sunday. Starting in 2001, the WYSL introduced the concept of having one game each season (fall and spring) designated as “Silent Sunday.” On Silent Sunday, spectators are asked to refrain from shouting directions to their children, and the spirit of the day was to be to “just let the kids play.” Based on positive feedback received from the players from many clubs, the WYSL holds a Silent Sunday each season, and the HYSC asks all parents to observe the policies and spirit of Silent Sunday.
WYSL Parent Guidelines. The WYSL has published “Guidelines on How to be a Great Soccer Parent.” While the WYSL believes that the game of soccer can be a wonderful experience for everyone involved, on occasions League officials have observed behavior by some parents that does not support the goals of the WYSL. The sportsmanship ratings of Club teams are based in part on the parents’ conduct. Accordingly, the Club reserves the right to require unruly parents to leave the game area.
Parents must remember to:
- Support the Kids. All kids. Make positive comments to players, not negative ones. Don’t groan when someone misses the ball. After a loss or a mistake, don’t malign the players on the other team. Comments should be unfailingly positive and supportive. Kids take even the mildest criticism as a sign you don’t support them. Your job on the sidelines is to cheer positively for all players and to offer a shoulder or hug when everything doesn’t go positively.
- Support the Coaches, even though your kid’s coach isn’t perfect. Don’t yell instructions to the players; that’s the coach’s job and players don’t like to hear instructions from multiple, often conflicting, sources. Don’t complain during the game. If you have an issue, take it up with the coach at least 48 hours after the game (after reflection), out of earshot of your child, other players and parents. Let the coach do the coaching; parents do the cheering.
- Support the Referee, even though referees make mistakes. If you want your child to learn sportsmanship, learn to respect authority and have fun, never criticize the referee. How many parents truly understand the offside rule and have read FIFA’s 20 pages of interpretations? How many understand that a legal charge that knocks a player to the ground is part of the game? Do you know it is not a penalty for a larger player to out-physical a smaller player to win the ball? Referees will make mistakes (and many of the WYSL referees are children themselves), but they usually even out over the course of the game. Mistakes are part of the game, and these are, after all, games - games as in fun and play. If parents accept this they can relax and enjoy the game more, and their kids will too.
If you follow these three tenets of support: support the kids, support the coach and support the referee, you will enjoy watching your child grow into a young adult enjoying the wonderful game of soccer.
Minimum Playing Time. The WYSL does not have a specifically defined rule requiring a minimum playing time. The Club has adopted a recommended minimum playing time policy for travel teams. For teams playing in U11 or above, every child who regularly and consistently attends practice should play at least an average of 30% of the game time (some games could be more, some games could be a bit less) across the course of the season. This is a recommended minimum, and we encourage our coaches to strive for closer to 50% playing time where possible. For children playing in the development age groups (i.e. U10 or below), players who regularly and consistently attend practice should be playing on average 50% of the game. For example, the Club recommends that weaker players should receive significantly greater playing time in one-sided games so that cumulative playing time will be more even over the course of the season.
Within these guidelines, coaches will be free to manage an individual player's time in accordance with the player's attendance at practice, skill and the status of the game. Within our Club, compliance with these guidelines is essential to support player development and maintain a sufficient number of children in the program to continue to field teams at the older age levels. Note on holidays; HYSC follows the WYSL schedule for games and practices. Occasionally, a game or practice may fall on a particular holiday. While we encourage players to try and attend all games and all practices, there will be no re-percussions or penalizations if a child does not show up for a game or a practice due to a religious holiday. Families should alert their trainers and coaches in advance if they are not able to attend a particular game or practice.
COACH SELECTION AND TRAINING
Coach Selection. Coaches and trainers for new travel teams are selected after the selection of the teams. All new volunteer coaching candidates should submit to the Club a Coaching Application (a copy of which is available on the Club’s website) and, if requested by the Board, to submit to interviews. Coaches will be assigned to a team after their child has been placed on the appropriate team based on the tryouts and player selection process. All coaches can be removed at any time, at the discretion of the Board.
Coaching Education. All coaches of travel teams must also be registered with, and have a valid picture ID card from the WYSL. All coaches of travel teams must receive WYSL coaching certification or the New York State equivalent “F” license or NSCAA Level 1 certification. The WYSL offers a mandatory two-hour Coach Orientation Courses and a mandatory four hour Coach Certification Courses each year. In addition, all coaches are required to take a WYSL / US Club Soccer Risk Management (background check) course once every two years as well as an online Concussion Awareness course. New coaches of HYSC travel teams are issued a temporary coaching pass which is good only for the fall season. Starting in 2014, HYSC is working with the WYSL to rollout the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA). All HYSC coaches and trainers will attend a Positive Coaching Alliance 2 hour workshop which will be set up by the club.
All HYSC trainers and coaches are encouraged to attend more advanced coaching courses and to achieve more advanced coaching certifications. Coaches are responsible to ensure that a WYSL certified coach is present at all games, and that parents and others who do not have active WYSL coaches passes remain on the spectator side of the playing field and do not coach during games. Parents selected to manage the flag during games are not permitted to coach while performing those duties.
Grievance Procedures. It is the Board’s strong preference that conflicts be managed informally among the parties involved. Parents are encouraged to talk over their problems directly with their coaches and trainers prior to potential escalation to an HYSC board member.
The Board will hear any grievances, appeals and protests relating to the administration of the Club. These grievance procedures will address allegations of misconduct and/or abuse of discretion by HYSC coaches, players and parents of players within the Club, as well as complaints against referees, WYSL officials and/or coaches, players and parents of players in other WYSL clubs. These grievance procedures may not be utilized to address inequities in playing time on particular HYSC teams.
To be considered by the Board, a grievance must be submitted to the Board in writing (via email to the Club President) and must include a concise statement of the facts, participants and basis for the grievance. Within a reasonable period after receipt of a grievance, in its discretion and in a manner it deems appropriate, the Board will receive additional information from the grievant and other relevant parties. Where requested by the grievant and to the extent practicable under the circumstances, a grievance may be handled by the Board without disclosing the identity of the grievant. On the basis of the information received, the Board will direct appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action. The determination of the Board shall be made a by a majority vote of the members of the Board who do not have a child on the affected team or teams. This decision will be communicated to the grievant and all relevant parties in writing. All determinations by the Board shall be final. Please refer to the Grievances section of the HYSC club website at www.HarrisonTravelSoccer.org.
Forfeits. The WYSL imposes a $100 fine for each forfeited game (and a reduced fine if substantial advance notice is provided). The Board will, at its discretion, cover the fine for each team once during the course of a soccer year if advance notice is provided to the Board and the WYSL. The Board retains the discretion to assess the $100 WYSL fine to the coach / team even if advance notice of the forfeit is provided. In the event a team forfeits three or more games during a season, the Board has the discretion not to register that team for subsequent seasons.
Fines, Suspension and Expulsion. While it is the Club’s philosophy to encourage sportsmanship and respect among its volunteer coaches, players and parents, the Board reserves the power to fine, suspend, expel or, if deemed appropriate, reinstate any player or coach who violates the rules of the Club or League. While the Board prefers to exercise such disciplinary measures sparingly, these guidelines provide notice of the expectations for compliance with WYSL and Club rules.
Fines, in an amount to be determined by the Board, may be imposed on Club Teams and/or (HYSC) coaches for any of the following violations:
- Violation of the 6-goal rule;
- Failure to call in the results and scores of games in a timely fashion;
- Loss of Club equipment;
- Forfeits of scheduled games;
- Failure to leave playing field and/or surrounding area in a clean condition (pick up litter, etc.);
- Failure to have an authorized Team representative present at any Club general meeting;
- Failure to pick up and set up the 4 flags for the 1st game of the day on a particular home field and removal and return of the 4 flags at the end of the final home game on a particular home field
- Violation of other Club by-laws or rules of the WYSL; or
- Any other conduct detrimental to the interests of the Club, as determined by the Board.
Should a coach fail to pay a fine levied by the Club or the League based on forfeiture or other reason, the Board has the discretion to revoke the coach’s pass and/or not register the coach for subsequent seasons.
Suspension, for a number of games or period of time to be determined by the Board, may be imposed on HYSC coaches, parents of players and/or players for any of the following violations:
- Unsportsmanlike conduct;
- Intentional violation of the 6-goal rule directed by the HYSC coach;
- Violation of other Club by-laws or rules of the WYSL; or
- Any other conduct detrimental to the interests of the Club, as determined by the Board.
Given the Club’s commitment to sportsmanlike behavior, an intentional violation of the 6-goal rule at a coach’s direction will result in suspension of the coach for the next game. A second offense will result in suspension of the HYSC coach for the rest of the season. In extreme circumstances, the Board has the discretion to expel any individual, including a player or coach, for one or more seasons for violating the rules of the Club or WYSL.
FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT
Field Availability. Home games are played on fields supplied by the Town of Harrison and the Harrison Board of Education, and at times other fields rented by the Club in nearby locations. In the fall season, soccer fields are generally available on Sundays because the Recreation Department sponsors its soccer program on Saturdays. In the spring season, however, the Recreation Department generally devotes Town and School fields to Harrison Little League baseball, recreation softball and lacrosse programs, and only a limited number of fields are lined as soccer fields for WYSL play. In some cases, fields which are used Mondays through Saturdays for baseball, softball and lacrosse may be used on Sundays for soccer if the Club commits that its team parents will move the goals on and off the field each week. During the year, the Club explores and facilitates arrangements for HYSC teams to rent field space for practice sessions at SUNY Purchase and other locations in the community. Based on the Club’s substantial fundraising for the turf field at Harrison High School, the Club has been fortunate to secure use of that field for home games on Sundays for several of its teams.
The WYSL requires that Sunday field time be provided for each HYSC team registered. The Club uses fields of different sizes, so that children in the various age divisions can be scheduled on an appropriate size field (i.e., smaller fields for younger teams playing 8 v 8 and 9 v 9). If the Club's access to town or school fields is restricted, the number of teams it registers may have to be reduced.
While there may appear to be plenty of field space in our community, there are numerous requests for field use from HCSD teams, recreation soccer, softball, lacrosse, football and other sports. Under these circumstances, it is imperative that every coach, parent and player takes action to maintain and preserve all of our fields. For example, it is the responsibility of coaches to avoid wet and soft areas when practicing after a rainfall. Players, drills and cones should be moved to firmer soil. Warm-ups and practices should be conducted along the sidelines away from heavily worn areas such as the goalmouths and center circle.
After each game and practice, coaches and parents should ask the players to pick up water bottles and other litter. If each member of the Club makes just a modest effort, we will collectively leave the fields and our reputation in mint condition and ensure continued access to the fields from the Recreation Department and the Athletic Department at Harrison High School. The Recreation Department has been extremely supportive in providing top quality playing fields to our Club for use at practices and games.
Field Pulls. During the fall and spring seasons after any substantial rainfall, each Harrison field for which the Club has authorization to use is inspected for its safety and playability. In certain cases, if field conditions dictate, the Club voluntarily "pulls" fields and cancels games. WYSL rules require that any such decision be made by the Club before 8:00 a.m. on the Sunday morning of the game day. Information with respect to field closures can be obtained from the team’s coach and will also be available on the Club website.
Indoor Gym Time. The Club may schedule indoor gym time with the Recreation Department (through the HYSC Field Coordinator) during the winter, enabling gym time to be available to each requesting HYSC team on a sign-up basis. The team may be subject to a fee imposed by the Recreation Department for indoor gym usage.
Uniforms. All HYSC teams are required to purchase their uniforms through the Club. All HYSC teams will wear the same uniforms as this allows the Club to make bulk purchases at favorable prices and to obtain identical replacement uniforms and uniforms for new players. The Club anticipates that all teams will replace their uniforms approximately every two years.
Safety. The Club provides all teams with first aid kits and promotes sportsmanlike behavior to ensure the safety of its players. All players are required to wear shin guards and proper footwear to participate in practices, games and tournaments. Under WYSL rules, no player may wear jewelry or watches during games.
Concussions. Any blow to the head during sports--even those that appear minor--can result in a serious head injury, particularly if the athlete continues playing sports. In fact, it's not uncommon for the warning signs or symptoms of a head injury to be delayed for several hours or even days after the initial head trauma. In some cases, delaying head injury treatment can have serious, and even life-threatening consequences.
All HYSC coaches have been trained in Concussion Management. As a result, the HYSC sets forth the following guidelines regarding a player who has received a head injury:
1. The player will be removed from play (game, practice, tournament or other) to rest, be assessed and receive medical care if necessary
2. If it is determined that medical care is necessary after assessment, the parent will be directed follow up with a doctor or take the child to a hospital for further evaluation IMMEDIATELY.
3. A coach (after assessment) will make determination if a player can return to play. However if a coach determines the child can continue to play and the parent disagrees with this determination, the parent can choose to remove the child from the game, practice, tournament or other. In other words, the coach and parent have to both mutually agree for the child to return to play. The HYSC recommends that no player return to play after a head injury unless cleared by a medical professional.
4. If any symptoms of a concussion do occur or a child seeks medical care, a signed note from a doctor MUST be submitted to the HYSC Board (prior to the next game, practice, or tournament) before the child is allowed to return to play.