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INTOWN POLICY
(updated 01-05-14)

 
I. Philosophy:

Wilmington Youth Soccer Association’s Intown Program provides children who live in Wilmington the opportunity to play organized recreational soccer with one another. The Program is instructional in nature and children are taught the basic individual and team skills needed to play the game of soccer, to learn the rules of the game, to compete, and to win and lose gracefully. It is recognized that games can become competitive, but this competitive spirit should be secondary to the instructional and recreational goals of the program. Every child in the Intown Program is given equal opportunity to play regardless of ability. The Intown Committee may modify the rules of the game, as it deems appropriate to the individual age levels.

Parental involvement in the Program is strongly encouraged. Parents should remember that the Intown Program is instructional and recreational in nature--cheering for their child, their child's teammates, and all good soccer plays is strongly advocated. Poor sportsmanship and bad behavior by the parents at this level sets a bad example for our children and are unacceptable. Parents are encouraged to assist the Wilmington Youth Soccer Association run the Program by coaching and doing other volunteer work.

II. General Overview

a. The Intown program provides soccer training and recreation for the children of Wilmington who are enrolled in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 9 in both the Spring and the Fall. Divisions are broken up by grade so first graders play with and against first graders, etc. In grades Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 2 the divisions are also separated by gender. In grade 3 through grade 5 the players will be grouped together while trying to maintain single gender divisions as long as registration numbers support this. In Grades 6-9 the program is COED. The number of players on a team depends on the number of children who register on time and the game format (3V3, 4V4, 6V6, or 8V8). Late registrants may be placed on a waiting list.

b. Games will generally consist of 3-6 players (depending on the age group) on the field at one time for each team. Field size is appropriate to the age of the players. Each game for grades 1 and above will have at least one referee, and the general rules of soccer are followed, but may be modified as deemed necessary by the Intown Committee. Pre-K and Kindergartners play 3 players on the field per team and one coach is allowed on the field of play during the game.

c. For grades 1 and up, each Season is 8-10 weeks long and usually consists of one practice per week and one game played on Saturday. Games that are canceled due to weather or other occurrences may or may not be rescheduled.

d. Each Child participating in Wilmington's Intown Program receives a new uniform consisting of a soccer jersey and socks that must be worn at each game. Soccer shin pads are required. Cleats, designed specifically for soccer, are recommended but not required. For safety reasons, jewelry, other than medical alert tags, may not be worn, and no hard casts are allowed.

III. Responsibilities

A. Board of Directors:

The Board of Directors (BOD) maintains the responsibility for the overall Intown Program, but will have an Intown Committee oversee the program’s operation. The Intown Committee will be comprised of members of the BOD who will be elected by the BOD, one of whom will serve as the chairperson. The BOD maintains the right to add, modify or delete any portion of the Intown Policy and Practices.

B. Intown Committee

The Intown Committee, under the auspices of the BOD, is responsible for the overall operation of the Intown Program, and jointly with other committees (where appropriate) for the following:

1. The registration of all Intown players, coaches and team helpers
2. Placement of players on Intown teams on a random basis
3. Recruitment and selection of coaches, assistants and team helpers for the Intown teams
4. Scheduling of all Intown games
5. Communication with other committees of Wilmington Youth Soccer Association (as needed) in respect to the Intown Program
6. Providing regular updates and recommendations to the BOD on matters that may affect the Intown program
7. Resolving all routine Intown issues
8. Investigating and resolving any disciplinary issues arising in the Intown Program (BOD will still have final authority in these matters)
9. Communicating the philosophy, responsibilities, policies, and rules of the game to players, coaches and member families of WYSA
10. Providing, with assistance of all BOD members, a visible BOD presence at the soccer field on game days
11. Modification of the laws of the game as deemed appropriate for each age group
12. Providing assistance to coaches, players and parents

C. Coaches

The Intown coaches should understand and abide by the philosophies, rules and policies of the Wilmington Youth Soccer Association. Coaches should be aware of, teach and follow the rules of the game as modified for the age group they are coaching.

Coaches Must:

1. Ensure all children get an equal opportunity to play and in all positions
2. Play only the children on their roster given to them by the Intown Committee.
3. Communicate with their players’ parents and encourage their attendance and participation
4. Make the game FUN.
5. Maintain an atmosphere of instruction and recreation.
6. Make every reasonable effort to keep from running up game scores (try to keep no more than a 5 goal differential).
7. Notify and get approval from the Intown Committee of any coaching /player roster changes.
8. Abide by any directives set forth by the Intown Committee or the BOD of WYSA, and make parents and children aware of the policies set forth by WYSA in regards to sportsmanship, and behavior.
9. Coaches are responsible for the behavior of their team, parents and supporters of their players, assistants, and team helpers as well as themselves. (Any BOD member should be made aware of any problems ASAP).
10. Abide by WYSA, MYSA and MA Youth "Coaches Code of Conduct” and "Zero Tolerance Policy" with regards to their own and their players’ parent’s behavior
11. Issue new Wilmington Youth Soccer Association uniforms and equipment only to players on their current active rosters.
12. Agree to submit to a Criminal Offender Records Inquiry (CORI) and must provide the BOD with all documentation required to complete the CORI. No one shall be permitted to act in any coaching capacity until they have undergone the CORI and the results thereof have been reported to the BOD by the appropriate League or agency. Any coaching designee not in compliance will be subject to replacement by the WYSA
13. Notify Intown Committee Member, Referee Coordinator and opposing coach if they must cancel a game and obtain approval of the Intown Committee for any make-up games. Coordination of any make-up game will be the coach's responsibility. WYSA cannot guarantee a referee, field, or equipment for any make-up game.
14. Fill out a game report every week and ensure that each player’s name is included in game reports numerous times throughout the season.
15. Fill out a referee evaluation card, give the coupon section to the game referee and submit the card in the referee's box located at the field house

D. Players Responsibilities:

1. Make every effort to learn and follow the rules of the game of soccer
2. Show good sportsmanship
3. Listen and pay attention to their coaches
4. Have fun playing the game of soccer. All players are encouraged to tell their parents or coaches if they are not having fun or if they are having a problem
5. Treat all WYSA equipment with the utmost respect
6. Come prepared to play - shin pads, water bottle and a ball for practices and all of the aforementioned plus a uniform for games (soccer cleats are recommended but are not required)
7. Treat your coaches, teammates and officials with respect

E. Parents:

All parents are encouraged to:

1. Ensure that their child arrives at games and practices at the specific place and times
2. Have another adult responsible for your child at the game or practice that you are unable to attend. Do not assume your child's coach will watch your child after the conclusion of the game without his/her prior approval
3. Inform your child’s coach of any health related issues pertaining to your child.
4. Attend games and cheer for all good soccer plays by both teams
5. Become an active member in WYSA by coaching or doing other volunteer work
6. Present a good example to all the children by following the policies set forth by the Wilmington Youth Soccer Association.
7. Notify your child's coach in the event that your child will be unable to attend a game or practice
8. Speak to coach or a BOD member if you feel your child is having a problem with a coach or a teammate
9. Be respectful toward players, coaches, referees and one another

F. Coaches, Parents, Players and Spectators:

MAY NOT:

1. Smoke on any school property (set forth by Mass. State Laws)
2. Make any derogatory or critical comments regarding referees at any time. Any issues regarding referees should be brought to the attention of a WYSA Board Member. In accordance with the "Zero Tolerance Rule," comments addressed directly to game referees at any time will not be tolerated by WYSA.

IV. Procedures

A. Player Eligibility and Registration

1. Any child who resides in Wilmington or who attends a Wilmington based school is eligible to participate in WYSA’s Intown Program. All Wilmington children must be placed onto a team before any non-Wilmington resident will be considered for placement in the Intown Program.
2. All late registrants will be placed on a waiting list and subsequently on a team only if space is available. Every effort will be made to ensure all children that want to play will have the opportunity to do so.
3. All new registrants must provide a copy of their birth certificate to WYSA at the time of registration.
4. All players will be placed on teams on a random basis.

B. Intown Coaches Selection

Coaching a team in the Intown Program is a very rewarding experience, regardless of your expertise in soccer. Anyone wishing to coach in the program should complete an application during registration in both the Fall and the Spring. The criteria for selecting head coaches and assistants is based on one's willingness to coach and one's experience with the game of soccer- (coaching licenses, seasons coached, playing experience, referee experience, experience coaching other sports, etc.). Ideally, each team will have at least a head coach and one assistant coach. It is understood that some coaches may not have any prior experience. WYSA coordinates coach and referee clinics to assist volunteers to learn more about the game. In addition, WYSA provides development support and training materials for coaches.
 

C. Lack of Coaches

If the number of players per team and the minimum number of teams per division requirements, as set forth below, have been met and there are not enough coaches for every team then the BOD and the Intown Committee will solicit coaches according to the following procedure:

1. From parents of all the players in that age group
2. From parents of players in all age groups
3. From travel coaches. If the coach is a travel coach, the BOD must approve the Intown position
4. From BOD members. No coach will be assigned to more than one team per season, unless the coach has made such a request and the request has been approved by the Intown Committee, or unless all other avenues have been exhausted

D. Team Selection Process

1. The number of players registered on time will determine roster size, number of teams, and how each age group will be divided.
2. Players are selected and placed on teams in the Intown Program on a random basis. Coaches are guaranteed to coach their own children. Parents and players will be notified what teams they are on by the team's coach at least one week prior to the beginning of the season.

E. Grievances:

The Intown Committee strives to operate an excellent program and encourages all comments, both positive and negative, as well as any constructive suggestions that may improve the Program. All such comments or suggestions should be directed to a BOD Member. Occasionally a member of the organization may have a substantial grievance or complaint with regard to a policy, coach, player or parent associated with the Intown Program. It is recommended that any grievance of this sort should be submitted to any Intown Committee Member in a signed letter. Any grievance or complaint filed anonymously will not be addressed, however, all grievances will be confidential to the parties involved. The Intown Committee will investigate all grievances brought to its attention and will seek a satisfactory resolution. Some grievances may require an action by the BOD, in which case the Intown Committee will offer a recommendation to the Board.

Anyone submitting a written grievance or complaint will receive a written response from either the Intown Committee or the BOD.

F. Parental Evaluation of Coaches

The Intown Committee may annually, and prior to the annual selection of Travel Team coaches, distribute written coach evaluation forms to parents and arrange for the collection these forms. The evaluation form shall be approved by the BOD annually. The information contributed by parents by means of the evaluation forms shall be compiled by the Intown Committee and shall be made available to the Travel Program Coordinators, the Travel Program Committee and the BOD for use in the selection of Travel Team Coaches.

V. Policy on Post Season Awards

The Board of Directors wants all children to have a great experience with our Intown soccer program. We request that no trophies, medals or prizes be given out at the end of the soccer season. The program is developmental and stresses participation as well as fun over competition and individual recognition. To help recognize participation for the players in Pre-Kindergarten through grades 3-5, we established a patch program. For each season (Fall & Spring) that a player participates they will receive a season specific patch.


 
Includes Amendments Approved by the Board of Directors through January 5, 2014

updated 01.05.14