Code of Conduct

Norwood Youth Soccer Code of Ethics


Developed by: Norwood Recreation Department and the Youth Leagues of Norwood

This handbook is the result of the efforts of several youth organizations and dedicated individuals, brought together by the Norwood Recreation Department. Its purpose was to identify some of the problems facing youth sports, and formulate ideas as to how best to address them. After several meetings of discussion, it became clear that the greatest problems facing youth sports are not primarily organizational, but are the result of the behavior of individuals.

The conclusion of those participating in the series of workshops was that improving behavior is a critical first step to insure that a youth sport experience in Norwood is a positive experience. To this end, those participating process have developed a handbook that sets forth acceptable codes of conduct for everyone with youth sports in Norwood.

We are not so naive as to believe that a handbook can resolve problems or unacceptable behavior that is too often present at youth sporting events, but believe that it can be an important first step. LetÍs all pledge to do our part to insure that sportsmanship and fun are the cornerstones of youth sports in Norwood.


Mission Statement


Parents, players, coaches, fans game officials and league administrators should work together to make Norwood youth sports such a positive experience that everyone involved is better off for having participated. Our athletic fields should be our children's "Field of Dreams". Our participation should help us all to acquire a better sense of fair play, respect for others, sharing and addressing the needs of the groups as a whole, without losing sight of those of the individual. We should strive to enhance our youngsters' confidence, self-esteem, and enjoyment of sports.


Taunting Policy


Taunting includes any action comments by coaches, or spectators which are intended to bait, anger, embarrass, ridicule, or demean others, whether or not the deeds or words are vulgar or racist. Included is conduct that berates, needles, intimidates, or threatens, based on race, gender, ethnic origin or background, or conduct that attacks religious beliefs, size, economic status, family, special needs, or personal matters.

Examples of taunting include but are not limited to: ñtrash talkî defined as verbal communications of a personal nature directed by a competitor to an opponent by ridiculing his/her skills, efforts, sexual orientation, or lack of success, which is likely to provoke an altercation of physical response and physical intimidation outside the spirit of the game including ñin the faceî confrontation by one player to another and standing over a tackled or fallen player.

In all sports officials are to consider taunting a flagrant unsportsmanlike foul that disqualifies the offending contestant or bench personnel from the contest/day of competition. In addition, the offender shall be subject to existing league rules regarding expulsion. A warning shall be given to both teams by game officials prior to the contest.

At all game sites and tournament venues, appropriate management may give spectators one warning for taunting. Thereafter, spectators who taunt players, coaches, game officials, or other spectators are subject to ejection.

*This policy has been adopted from the MIAA Sportsmanship Manual.


Code of Ethics for Players




Know all the rules of their sport. Have respect for the game.

Respect and cooperate with their coaches, officials, teammates, administrators, opponents, and parents. Players are influenced by their parent's attitude and their coaches commitment.

Players should know, understand and honor the commitments that they and their parents have made to coaches, teams, and leagues.

Respect equipment and playing sites. Do not destroy or steal anything, and properly dispose of any trash.

Expect to be treated fairly and with respect from all involved.

Behave properly in transit and at away games in other towns. One is representing their team and, more importantly, their town.




Respect for other teams' players and coaches. The need to greet/hand shake at the end of the game.




Always try their best to be a good player and person interacting with others. Lead by example, both players and coaches.

Do not show off, talk trash, or taunt anyone (players, referees, coaches).

Players need to be involved with the game and stay in the designated area for the team next to the coach. No food or friends in the designated area during the game.




It's only a game; play to enjoy the game and to enjoy life.

Respect team and league rules on the field and concerning presence of, and use of tobacco, alcohol, and behavior beyond the field or court and after the game is over. Ejection (zero tolerance) with child in possession on the field. Expect coaches, parents, fans, game officials, and administrators to provide an environment where they can learn their sport, be safe, and have fun.


Code of Ethics for Parents


I will not force my child to participate in sports. However, if involved, will practice commitment and dedication.

Review the rules with your child and explain why they are important.

Congratulate your child for playing fairly and trying hard. He will learn the value of honesty and integrity.

Let coaches coach: Most adults volunteer to coach because they love coaching the sport. Respect the coaches. They are volunteers.

Congratulate the opponents when they win. Be a good sportsman.

Thank the coaches, officials, and other volunteers who conducted the event.

I will never ridicule or yell at my child or other participants for making a mistake or losing a competition. Encourage their effort in private.

I will / emphasize skill development and practices and how they benefit my child over winning. I will also de-emphasize game and competition in the lower age groups.

I will promote the emotional and physical well being for the athletes ahead of any personal desire I may have for my child to win.

I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults.*

I will inform the coach of any physical disability or ailment that may affect the safety of my child or the safety of others.

I will learn the rules of the game and the policies of the league. Abide by the code of ethics.

I (and my guests) will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player, or parent such as booing and taunting, refusing to shake hands; or using profane language or gestures.

I will not encourage any behavior or practices that would endanger the health and well being of the athletes.

I will teach my child to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence. To teach how to resolve any conflicts.

I will demand that my child treat other players, coaches, officials, and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, color, sex, or ability. Show good sportsmanship.

I will teach my child that doing one's best is more important than winning, so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a game or his/her performance.

I will respect the officials and their authority during games and will never question, discuss, or confront coaches at the game field, and will take time to speak with coaches at an agreed upon time and place. This should be done in private and out of earshot of children.

I will demand a sports environment for my child that is free from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, and I will absolutely refrain from their use at all sports events.

I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during games and practices, unless I am one of the official coaches of the team. Be a fan, not a parent.

*This policy has been adopted from the MIAA Sportsmanship Manual.


Code of Ethics for Coaches


Develop a strategy to implement and monitor the sportsmanship policies of the league.
Mandatory coaches clinic.
Provide a safe environment for participants.
Coaches are responsible for a child's safety.
Be sure that all persons involved are aware of rules and regulations. Coaches code of conduct.
Support and acknowledge participants, coaches, and fans that display good sportsmanship.
Attend as many of your scheduled games and practices to fulfill your coaching responsibility.
Serve as a positive role model and create a positive atmosphere to allow participants to demonstrate the highest level of sportsmanship.
Insist that the behavior of all involved will be positive and sportsmanlike.


Code of Ethics for Officials


Stay in good standing in your official association. Go to official clinics and rules interpretation meetings. Stay current.
Work with your parents. Know your individual and team game responsibilities.
Be punctual. Follow your association and league guidelines concerning pre-game and post-game responsibilities.
Dress properly. Look sharp. Follow the league and association guidelines to the letter concerning uniforms and equipment, while providing a safe environment for participants.
Be decisive. Be confident. Be proud. Sell your calls. Carry yourself with integrity, humility, and honesty.
Develop a strategy to implement and monitor the sportsmanship policies of the league.


Code of Ethics for Fans


(Should be posted at all fields)

Tobacco and alcohol products should not be used at a game or practice site.
Show respect for public property.
Pay attention to the game and do not disturb those around you.
Treat the contest as a game not a war
Encourage those around you to display good sportsmanship.

Show good judgment. Be positive in your actions and words toward players, coaches, officials, and other fans.

Try to learn the rules of the game so that you may understand and appreciate why certain things take place. League should help to educate.
Obey officials and league administrators who are responsible for keeping order

Stay off the playing field at all times during games.

Refrain from coaching any player.
Realize that it is a privilege to watch a child participating in any sport.
Practice empathy to the other fans and participants.


Here's how you can help.


Filling the Emotional Tank


Research shows that the home team wins about 60% of the time because of the emotional support a team receives when it plays in front of its own fans. We want our players to have a portable home team advantage that they can taker wherever they go.

The key is the Emotional Tank. Like gas tanks in cars, we all have Emotional Tanks that need to be filled to do our best.

There will be times when you need to correct and criticize. Research has shown that a Magic Ratio of 5:1 (praise to criticism) is ideal. When the ratio drops much below 5:1, children become discouraged (their tanks become drained!). Help us achieve the Magic Ration with your child.

Your #1 job is to fill your childs Emotional Tank. Encourage him regardless of what happens in the game, positive reinforcement.

Try not to give your child a lot of advice (which after a tough game can seem like criticism, which drains a persons tank).


Honoring the Game:


Sportsmanship may seem like an out of date concept today when professional athletes and coaches act in ways we would not want our children to imitate. We intend to reverse this trend, Honoring the Game. Honoring the game gets to the ROOTS of the matter where ROOTS stands for respect for:

  • Rules
  • Opponents
  • Officials
  • Teammates, and one's
  • Self


Rules: We don't bend the rules to win. We respect the letter and spirit of the rules.

Opponents: A worthy opponent is a gift that forces us to play to our highest potential. We try hardest to win, but not at the expense of demeaning our opponents.

Officials: We treat officials with respect even when we disagree.

Teammates: We never do anything that would embarrass our team (Town, family or program).

Self: We try to live up to our own standards regardless of what others do.


Redefining "Winner"


In professional sports (which is entertainment), there is only one goal -to have the most points at the end of the contest. However in youth sports (which is education), there is a second goal: to produce young people who will be winners in life.

To help our children get the most out of competitive sports, we need to redefine what it means to be a "winner." Here is what winners do:


  • Make maximum effort
  • Continue to learn and improve
  • Refuse to let mistakes (or fear of making mistakes) stop them.


Norwood Youth Sports Code of Ethics


I also agree that if I fail to abide by the aforementioned rules and guidelines, I will be subject to disciplinary action that is determined by the Youth Sports Group involved.


Mass Youth Soccer Codes of Conduct


In addition to the Norwood Youth Soccer Codes of Conduct and Norwood Youth Sports Code of Ethics, we must follow the Mass Youth Soccer Codes of Conduct.