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AYSO Region 1631 - Downtown San Jose

Sideline Etiquette

Sideline Etiquette

Downtown San Jose AYSO Region 1631 prides and strives itself on creating and maintaining a healthy and fun environment for our children and our community.  One of the ways in which our children can learn and continue to have these experiences is by our demonstration of good sideline behavior. Our children learn by watching and imitating our conduct. Keep a positive outlook and demonstrate it by supporting the coaches, players and referees. We do this is by maintaining a high standard of conduct at our games:

  • Cheering on our players!
  • Negative comments and complaints about officiating are prohibited.
  • Parents and players sit on opposite sides of the field.  
    • Coaches must remain in the Technical Area during a match.
    • Spectators must remain in the Spectator Zone during a match. 

Parents / Spectators

As a parent, you play a special role in contributing to the needs and development of our children. Through your encouragement and good example, you can help assure that all the boys and girls learn good sportsmanship and self-discipline. In AYSO, young people learn to work together, to sacrifice for the good of the team, to enjoy winning and deal appropriately with defeat – all while becoming physically fit and healthy. Best of all, they have fun.

The Spectator Zone is the part of the field that is the opposite side of the field from their teams. Spectators should be no closer than two yards from the touch line, and between the penalty areas (18 yard line). Under no circumstances will anyone be allowed behind the goal lines. Familiarize yourself with these field markings and remain within the area defined.  Allow the coach to be the sole source of coaching during the match, communicating tactical or technical adjustments to the players.

  • Support Your Child – Supporting your child by giving encouragement and showing interest in his/her team is very important. Help your child work toward skill improvement and good sportsmanship in every game. Teach your child that hard work and an honest effort are more important than victory – that way your child will always be a winner despite the outcome of the game!
  • Always Be Positive – Parents serve as role models for their children. Become aware of this and work to be a positive role model. Applaud good plays by your child’s team as well as good plays by the opposing team. Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from youth sports activities.
  • Remember: Your Child Wants To Have Fun – Remember that your child is the one playing soccer, not you. It’s very important to let children establish their own goals – to play the game for themselves. Take care not to impose your own standards and goals on them. Don’t put too heavy a burden on your child to win games. Surveys reveal that 72% of children would rather play for a losing team than ride the bench for a winning team. Children play for the fun of playing.
  • Reinforce Positive Behavior – Positive reinforcement is the best way to help your child achieve his/her goals and overcome his/her natural fear of failure. Nobody likes to make mistakes. If your child does make one, remember its all part of learning. So encourage your child’s efforts and point out the good things your child accomplished.
  • Don’t Be a Sideline Coach or Referee – Coaches and referees are usually parents just like you. They volunteer their times to help make your child’s youth soccer experience a positive one. They need your support too. That means refraining from coaching or refereeing from the sidelines. Your “instructions,” if even heard by the children, are more often confusing and distracting rather than helpful. If you really need to coach or referee, remember that as a volunteer organization, there’s always an opportunity for you to take your interest in coaching or refereeing to the next level and to become one yourself!


Coaches must remain in the Technical Area. The Technical Area is on the sideline, within 10 yards of the halfway line. Whether or not the technical area is painted, coaches must go no further from the halfway line than the edge of the center circle. The Technical Area is limited to the registered Head Coach and Assistant Coach for that team. Not only are these to be the only persons occupying the “technical area”, they are the only persons who may coach (give tactical or technical information) during the course of the match.

 The Team Manager may sit on the team side to help coaches with the team, but may not coach in any way and may not be inside the Technical Area.

  • Only coaches may “coach” (i.e., instruct and direct the players).  Others on the sideline should cheer and encourage, but never coach.
  • Coach participation in matches is limited to comments that are positive, instructional, or encouraging.
  • A coach should not speak to opposing players, except perhaps to compliment them on their play.
  • Coaches and spectators are not entitled to question the referee’s calls or ask for explanations during a match.
  • Coaches are not permitted on the field unless specifically invited by the referee. Exceptions: (6U and 8U) 
  • Alcohol and tobacco products are prohibited at AYSO games and practices, and in the immediate vicinity of AYSO fields.
  • AYSO games (and practices) require a certified, currently registered AYSO coach.
  • AYSO scheduled games require a certified, currently registered AYSO referee. If there is no referee, there can be no game, but the teams may still scrimmage. 

3 Ways AYSO Region 1631 Parents Can Use Their Voice During A Game

Have you ever wanted to yell at a referee during your young athlete’s big game? Maybe you thought the ref made a bad call or has been favoring the other team for the whole game. 

Here are the 3 Ways AYSO Region 1631 Parents Can Use Their Voice During A Game:

The First Step: Support Referees
-  It is the Coach’s responsibility to respectfully speak to the Referee. Remember, your job as a parent is to role-model good behavior. 
- Please read this very well written resource: WHY AND HOW PARENTS CAN SUPPORT REFEREES IN YOUTH SPORT
- Under NO circumstance is a parent/spectator permitted to interact with a Referee. Referees are volunteers who should be treated with the utmost respect. 
- At the discretion of the Referee any parent/spectator can be given a Yellow Card or Red Card without consultation of the Head Coach before, during, or after a game. (According to the Area Handbook: 3 Yellow Cards = 1 Red Card. Any Player/Coach/Spectator who receives 3 Yellow Cards or 1 Red Card shall be ineligible to play/attend the next scheduled game, regardless of whether the next scheduled game is during the regular season or in a tournament.)

The Second Step: Speak to your Head Coach AFTER the game. 
- Parents/Spectators must trust that your Coaches know and understand the rules of the game and are speaking up on behalf of your player. If you would like clarification on a call, approach your Head Coach after the game. 
- Parents/Spectators are welcome to video/photograph any play or call during the game to go over with your Head Coach after the game.

The Third Step:  Send an email to the Coach and Commissioner.
- If you are not satisfied after speaking to your Head Coach then you are welcome to send in a request for the Board of Region 1631 to start an investigation. 
- The investigation will be based on the asked yet optional feedback of all parents, spectators, referees, and coaches in attendance. 
- The conclusion of the investigation can take up to 14 business days. 

Rain Policy

We play rain or shine, unless the City closes the fields. Even if it's raining out, it doesn't mean the fields are closed. Assume games and practices are on unless/until you hear directly from the league. The City of San Jose closes grass fields when a steady rain is falling, there is standing water, and/or when fields are overly saturated.

The Field Conditions Hotline at (408) 794-6532 is used to confirm the status of all City of San Jose fields. The hotline is updated as conditions change. We will send an all-league email when fields are closed, but you're also welcome to check the status using the City's hotline.

Note: It is a bummer that practices or games may be canceled in the future. We have had seasons where 2-3 weekends of games have been canceled due to either rain or wildfire smoke. It's just part of outdoor sports, especially these days. What we recommend is that coaches think about making one of their weekly practices into a scrimmage with another team (from within our own region) - this is usually a win-win. Kids get more "game" time, coaches get a break from running a full session. What we would not recommend is coaches trying to find their own makeup field space, schedule their own makeup games with other regions without going through our official schedulers, and coaches trying to get indoor space (school gym, indoor sportsplex, etc.) because that is not covered by AYSO insurance.

Air Quality Policy

Each event leader (Coach / Referee etc) will make the decision upon playing / modifications or cancellations for their locations as the AQI numbers can change quickly. If you believe your child has an increased level of sensitivity due to air particulates, you may decide to keep them out of all activities.

When To Cancel/Modify AYSO Team Practices/Matches Due To Air Quality:
Green Level - AQI = 0 to 50: Regular activities without limitations or modifications.
Yellow Level - AQI = 51 to 100: Air quality is acceptable, some pollutants might impact a very small number of people. Parents and coaches to make modifications for sensitive players if needed.
Orange Level - AQI = 101 to 125 - Air quality is undesirable, some pollutants might impact a small number of people. Parents and coaches to make modifications for players, possibly including no play or practice.
Red Level (and above) - AQI = 126 (and above) - All Region activities to be cancelled. 

The below guidance is being used by all AYSO Area 2J Regions for Air Quality.  The Local Air Quality is being monitored using Purple-Air.

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AYSO Region 1631

AYSO Region 1631, PO Box 486
San Jose, California 95103

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 669-247-7199
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