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Coaches Code of Conduct


Coaches Code of Conduct (updated March, 2010) 

Coaches are responsible for their conduct as well as their parents and spectators during and after a game. Coaches are the teachers, as well as role models for the players, and their actions must be beyond reproach. Therefore, the following rules of conduct have been adopted: 

1. Any yellow card administered by a referee to a coach or an assistant coach will result in a written warning being issued by the Director of Recreation to that offending coach or assistant coach. This warning will be in effect for the next two games. This refers to the coaches’/assistant’s conduct only. Coaches are required to speak with any parent causing concern to the referee, but if the parent continues with behavior causing concern to the referee, the action of that referee should be toward that particular parent only. 

A second yellow card received during the next two league games will result in a two (2) game suspension. The Director of Recreation will notify, in writing, the offending coach. This notification must be made before the suspension is served. The coach may not attend any games or practices during this suspension. 

2. Any red card administered by a referee to a coach or assistant coach will result in a four (4) game suspension for that offending coach or assistant coach. This suspension will be for the next four (4) games and carried on into a subsequent season, if necessary. The coach may not attend any games or practices during this suspension. 

3. Each coach or assistant coach receiving a red card will be placed on probationary status. If a coach receives a yellow or red card during a probationary status, the penalties will be doubled – four (4) games for a yellow card and eight (8) games for a red card. 

4. Any coach or assistant coach who receives a third red card during their tenure with our league will be permanently removed from ‘Approved’ status. They will no longer be permitted to have any contact with players during all practices or games. The league roster must be revised to remove that coach and their pass must be returned to the Medina Soccer Association (MSA) Board. 

5. Any coach, assistant coach, parent or referee may file a complaint concerning the conduct of a league coach. These written complaints should be filed with the Director of Recreation within fourteen (14) days of the game incident. The MSA Board will then review all complaints. If necessary, the Director of Recreation will notify the offending coach within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the filing. The coaches from both teams will respond in writing to the Director of Recreation, with details concerning the incident. The referee will be required to supply, in writing, their interpretation of the incident. At this point, a determination will be made as to the necessity of a formal hearing or a written warning. If necessary, a hearing of the complaint will then be conducted within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the filing. Any coach or assistant coach receiving any of the above penalties can appeal the decision in writing to the MSA Board within thirty (30) days of the hearing. The MSA Board will hold a hearing with the penalized coach, and Director of Recreation and Director of Referee’s within fourteen (14) days of filing the appeal. The decision of the League president will determine if the appeal is upheld. Any decision can be appealed to the governing Ohio Youth Soccer Association North (OYSAN) State office within thirty (30) days of the decision. The OYSAN State office will then become the governing body for the incident.


Disciplinary Guidelines (updated March, 2010)


Coaches are responsible for the behavior of the players, spectators, and themselves. Each coach is responsible for the conduct of every person, including guests on their side of the field. A coach is recognized by MSA as a participant in the match and may receive yellow and red cards from the referee. The referee is not required to warn coaches before issuing either yellow or red cards. No person may move up and down the length of the touchline for the purpose of coaching and instructing players. Except for the referee(s) and players in a game, no other person is allowed on the field unless, and until, authorized by the referee. Spectators, coaches and substitute players are required to remain at least 5 feet back from the touchline on their side of the field to allow the assistant referee a clear view down the field. Fighting by any persons, either in the game or on the sidelines, and/or loud verbal abuse or physical/verbal assault of the referee, shall be grounds to immediately suspend the match if the referee chooses. Such a decision is that of the referee alone. The coach will be held responsible by MSA. MSA has the right to begin disciplinary hearings in the event MSA officers witness such actions, even when the referee does not choose to take action. 

Physical Abuse 

Physical abuse is defined by MSA as unwelcome touching, striking or the threat to do so, both verbal and nonverbal; MSA will not tolerate this conduct. Any physical abuse of a referee by any coach, player or spectator, or by any person present at the match against any other person at the MSA sponsored event, whether occurring preceding, during or following a game, will result in an immediate ban of the offending person from future MSA events and the incident will be referred to the OYSAN State office along with the local authorities for consideration of further disciplinary action. Any person approaching the referee proceeding, during or following a game will be considered as threatening physical abuse and subject to above penalties. Any spectator who enters the coaches side of the pitch during a game will be considered as threatening physical abuse and subject to above penalties. 

Verbal Abuse 

Verbal Abuse is defined by MSA as a verbal attack of a sustained, excessive, obscene or offensive nature. It is not intended to include mere dialogue or questions by or among coaches and/or referees. 


Upon any initial incident of verbal abuse directed toward a referee, any player, any coach or any other spectator, the referee will stop the match (if ongoing) to warn the coach and allow the coach to advise their spectator(s) of the warning and counsel the spectator(s) to cease immediately. If such incident occurs before the match, the referees will similarly warn the coach and instruct the coach to warn their spectator(s). If such incident occurs following a match, the referee will notify the MSA Board and the incident will be considered an initial incident for the purposes of the offending team’s next games. A repeat offense occurring during the same match will be cause for stoppage of the match, at the sole discretion of the referee, and thereupon the coach associated with the offending spectator(s) must immediately provide the name(s) of the abusive spectator(s) to the referee and assist in the removal of the spectator(s). If coach refuses to do so, he will be suspended immediately from all MSA matches until the offending person(s) is identified in writing to the President of MSA. If the spectator refuses to leave the match, it will be terminated and the spectator is suspended from all future matches for the season. A second incident of abuse occurring at a future match by the same offender during the same season will result in a suspension of offender for the remainder of the season, or for the entire next season if the incident occurs during the last match of the season. MSA Board members who witness abuse have the same rights to issue warnings and suspensions to abusive spectators and coaches regardless of actions not taken by the referee. 

Yellow and red card policy and other disciplinary matters 

In MSA, both players and coaches can receive red and yellow cards. Two yellow cards equal a red card and an ejection from the match. Ejected players and coaches must leave the field area immediately. The referee has the authority to issue both red and yellow cards from the time they arrive at the field to the time they leave. The referee never has to warn a player or a coach before issuing either a yellow or red cards. Generally cards will be shown, but it is not necessary for the referee to show the card in order for disciplinary action to be taken. The Disciplinary Committee will monitor yellow card reports. Disciplinary action may be taken, with or without warning, against habitual and repeat offenders. Such action may include phone calls from the Disciplinary Committee to the participant, coach or spectator, letters of warning or reprimand, and/or summons to a disciplinary hearing. However, it is never necessary for any of these actions, or any other form of warning, to occur before stronger disciplinary action can be initiated when deemed necessary by the Disciplinary Committee or the MSA Board. The MSA Disciplinary Committee will handle red cards. The coach of the team to which the coach or player is registered will be notified of the committee decision in about two (2) weeks or less after the red card report has been received by the MSA President. This policy means the player or coach will serve a minimum suspension of however many games occur within this time frame. Note that every disciplinary action for various red card infractions stated in the MSA Constitution, Bylaws, and elsewhere, is always stated as minimum. You may be suspended for many more games than the stated minimum, and the Disciplinary Committee has the power and authority to suspend any participant, including spectators, for up to 99 years. Every red card will be evaluated on an individual basis and there is no appeal to precedent. The MSA Board in conjunction with assigned referee will be responsible for the enforcement of suspensions. 


I, ______________________________________________________, have read and agree to abide by the Medina Soccer Association “Coaches Code of Conduct”, and “Disciplinary Guidelines” outlined in the Soccer Coaching Handbook.

Signature: ______________________________________________________________

Print Name: ____________________________________________________________ Date: __________________________________