Coaches Code of Conduct

It is the responsibility of all coaches to maintain the highest standards of conduct for themselves, their players and supporters in all matches. Failure to do so undermines the referee’s authority and the integrity of the game resulting in a hostile environment for players, the referee(s), coaches, assistant coaches and spectators. As role models for all of the participants and spectators, coaches participating in a Heartland Soccer Association sanctioned event are expected to be supportive of, and to acknowledge the effort, good play and sportsmanship on the part of ALL players from either team in a contest.

By example, coaches and assistant coaches are expected to show that although they are competing in a game, they have respect for their opponent and referees at all times. Heartland Soccer Association will not tolerate negative behavior exhibited either by demonstrative actions and gestures, or verbally by ill-intentioned remarks, including those addressed toward the referees or members of an opposing team. Coaches exhibiting hostile, negative, sarcastic or otherwise ill-intended behavior toward referees, opposing players or coaches will be subject to sanction by the match official, league and tournament officials.

Responsibilities to the Laws of the Game

  1. Coaches should be thoroughly acquainted with and demonstrate a working knowledge of the Laws of the Game.
  2. Coaches are responsible to assure their players understand the intent as well as the application of the Laws.
  3. Coaches must adhere to the letter and spirit of the Laws of the Game.
  4. Coaches are responsible for their players’ actions on the field and must not permit those to perform with intent of causing injury to opposing players.
  5. The coach must constantly strive to teach good sporting behavior.

Responsibility to Officials

  1. Officials must have the support of coaches, players and spectators.
  2. Coaches must always refrain from criticizing officials in the presence of players or spectators.
  3. Professional respect, before, during and after the game should be mutual. There should be no demeaning dialogue or gestures between official, coach or players.
  4. Coaches must not incite players or spectators or attempt to disrupt the flow of the games.
  5. Comments regarding an official should be made in writing to the referee development academy director via the game evaluation form.
  6. Coaches should not approach officials after the game to discuss calls.
  7. Coaches shall not offer dissent to any call made by the referee(s) at any time.
  8. Coaches are not to address the Referee(s) during the game except to:
    1. Respond to a referee who has initiated a conversation.
    2. Point out emergency or safety issues.
    3. Make substitutions.
    4. Ask the referee, “What is the proper restart (i.e. direction and Indirect Free Kick or Direct Free Kick)”?
    5. Ask for the time remaining in the half.

Responsibility to Community

As a coach, you agree to not criticize or make any negative comment on or through social media or online regarding an opposing team, coach, player, referee, staff member or soccer community related issue. We understand there are direct methods and channels (phone, email, in-person, website forms) for feedback and communication to HSA and will use these channels to communicate.   You understand that (upon review) the HSA can, and will if necessary, suspend individual coaches privileges should you behave in a manner that is rude, offensive or in conflict with the Coaches Code of Conduct.