Greetings from N. C. Youth Soccer!
Back to school is around the corner for most and vacations are winding down. That means the Fall 2014 season for N C Youth Soccer is just around the corner as well. As a matter of fact, the NCYSA Classic season officially begins this weekend. As we move to the beginning of the season, I wanted to remind everyone of a few things.
First and foremost, if you have any questions or concerns about the fall season, be sure to reach out to the staff at NCYSA. They are there to assist our members any way we can.
Next, remember….NO PASS – NO PLAY. Make sure you carry your player AND coach ID cards with you to every match. It is the responsibility, the expectation, that the referees for your match check all player AND coach ID cards before the beginning of a match. NCYSA has no desire to see matches result in forfeits because cards and rosters do not make it to the match.
ALSO, we need your help. As I said previously, it is the responsibility, the expectation for referees to check player and coaches cards. If they are not doing this at your match, we need to know. We need you to provide the information so we can hold those accountable when they do not fulfill their responsibility.
Next is conduct at matches. Many if not most recall the email I sent during the Spring 2014 season. Foul and abusive behavior was getting out of hand. NCYSA made the decision to try and reduce, if not eliminate, the number of incidents taking place. Referees were advised to strictly enforce Law 12 which includes this red card offence, the use of offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures.
That email created a lot of discussion. Response to the email was very much in support of the effort. But not all. Some thought it was too overbearing, too harsh. It could have been. What I do know is it had an effect. Incidents involving players dropped. Those that still had some problems were sent off. State Cup seemed to have the fewest cards in the preliminary rounds as well as the Final 4 we’ve seen in some time. The impact was obvious. Not only was player conduct addressed but spectator conduct as well. And, because you provided the information, there were referee conduct issues addressed.
This is a work in progress. Things do not change overnight. In our continuing effort to clean up ALL inappropriate conduct issues, this will continue to be a major focus for NCYSA. The NCSRA will be advised to continue to enforce Law 12 on the use of offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures. EVERYONE should be able to attend an NCYSA soccer match and not be insulted or be subjected to any inappropriate conduct. Feel free to share this with everyone in your organization. I hope NCYSA can count on your support as we work to improve the game for everyone.
Last is a sensitive subject. Soccer is an International game. We have boys and girls of all nationalities playing in our leagues and with your local clubs. Each one should be able to play the game without any concern of inappropriate comments and treatment. Unfortunately, NCYSA had to address several of these issues last year. I’m not going to write a book on this but do know that NCYSA will be actively monitoring all reports of these type of incidents. NCYSA is working on the development of an education piece that we will be able to share with all associations on this unfortunate issue. WE ARE ONE! This game is for ALL KIDS. Help NCYSA keep this ugliness out of the game.
On the brighter side, last year, NCYSA experienced the highest number of players participating in all levels of NCYSA play than ever before. More and more adults are seeking higher levels of coaching education. That means more players are getting better instruction in player development.
Support of NCYSA efforts to provide more opportunities for the recreation player, coach, and leagues is growing every day. More recreation seminars, road show events, NCYSA Recreation soccer camps and certainly more coaching education opportunities for the recreation coach are taking place than ever before. If your association has not taken advantage of these opportunities, please reach out to NCYSA for more information. We’re happy to assist.
The message here is that NCYSA is ready, willing, and able to assist your organization in being the best it can be. All you have to do is give us a call.
From all of us at NCYSA to all of you, we wish you the very best of luck as you begin the new season.
M. Keith Price
North Carolina Youth Soccer Association