MYSA Coaches Code of Ethics

Updated: 12/17/2010

Several years ago, the MYSA adopted the following Coaches Code of Ethics. No mandate was given and no policing or penalties were suggested in its adoption. Within the MYSA Policy and Rules Manual, the “catch all” area for unethical behavior is section 8.0 CONDUCT. Rule 8.2.2.2 covers harassment and offers a broad definition for what harassment can be.

Clearly, a similar code of ethics can apply to referees, parents and administrators. Here though, the focus is on coaches as they hold a prominent and influential position in youth soccer. It is apparent that a majority of our coaches operate within these ethical guidelines all the time. However, it also clear that some coaches pick and choose which guidelines to follow and currently, that is possible within the broad scope of the rules we operate by.

While youth soccer and youth sports become more “professionalized” and competitive at all levels, we need to remind ourselves that “youth” is still the constituent. As such, all adults involved need to be prepared, and perhaps required, to observe higher standards of ethical behavior.

The MYSA Youth Council adopted the following Coaches Code of Ethics on February 10, 2002. The MYSA owes tremendous gratitude to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for allowing us to use their template for a code of ethics, that they compiled after several years of deliberation.

  1. Soccer is the player's game. The paramount concern of coaches is the holistic development, welfare, enjoyment and safety of their players.
  2. Coaches bear responsibility for teaching players to strive for success while playing fairly, observing the laws of the game and the highest levels of sportsmanship.
  3. Coaches shall treat officials with respect and dignity, and shall teach their players to do the same.
  4. Our opponents are worthy of being treated with respect. Coaches will model such respect for opponents and expect their players to do likewise.
  5. In both victory and defeat, the behavior of the coach shall model grace, dignity and composure.
  6. Coaches shall adhere to the highest standards and the regulations of the institutions they represent: clubs, schools, sponsoring organizations and sports governing bodies.
  7. Coaches shall model inclusive behavior, actively supporting cultural diversity while opposing all types of discrimination, including but not limited to, racism and sexism, at all levels of the game.
  8. Coaches are responsible for taking an active role in education about, and prevention and treatment of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse; both in their lives and in the lives of their players.
  9. Coaches shall refrain from all manner of personal abuse and harassment of others, whether verbal, physical, emotional or sexual, and shall oppose such abuse and harassment at all levels of the game.
  10. Coaches shall respect the declared affiliations of all players.
  11. Coaches shall seek to honor those who uphold the highest standards and principles of soccer and shall use appropriate protocol to oppose and eliminate all behavior that brings disrepute to the sport - violence, abuse, dishonesty, disrespect and violations of the laws of the game and rules governing competition.