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Code of Conduct - Parents

Sterling Soccer Club has adopted the following Code of Conduct, expected of all spectators at Sterling Soccer events, to create the best possible environment for our children and to foster sportsmanship by positive example.  Sterling Soccer Club has a Zero Tolerance policy for verbal or physical abuse toward players, coaches, referees, or parents, be they part of Sterling Soccer or associated with an opposing team. Parents or coaches who verbal or physically abuse another player, coach, referee, or parent will be banned from Sterling Soccer events.




  • Children participate in soccer to have fun. The game is for the players, not the spectators.
  • Children learn best by good example and have much more need for example than criticism.
  • Younger egos are fragile and are greatly and negatively influenced by criticism, ridicule and pressure.
  • The attitudes, actions and words of parents and spectators have significant impact on the children and the playing atmosphere of the match
  • The benefits of development, teamwork and fun far outweigh the benefits of or emphasis on winning.


  • I will be a positive role model, encouraging sportsmanship by my example at all times. 
  • I will make soccer a positive experience for all players, including my child, encouraging and supportive whether the team wins or loses.
  • I pledge unconditional support for my child. I will not force my child to participate in soccer and I will never modulate my level of affection or attention based on my child’s performance.
  • In the excitement of the matches, I will control my emotions and my words. I will refrain from all criticism and negative comments, limiting my participation to cheering and applauding good play from both teams.
  • I will place the emotional and physical well-being of the children above my personal desire to win.


  • Coaches make a substantial commitment to the Sterling Soccer Club and my child, be they paid or unpaid coaches.
  • The coaches have earned the right to direct all coaching of the children during practices and matches.
  • During matches, even well intentioned direction from parents may: confuse and distract players; conflict with coach’s direction; and put unnecessary pressure on the children.


  • I will not coach or yell instructions to any player, including my child, from the sidelines. I will let the children play and have fun and learn from each other and the coach.
  • I will show respect for all coaches and support them in any way that I can.
  • I will let the coaches coach and limit my comments to cheers of encouragement for all players.


  • Refereeing is a difficult job, requiring physical and mental endurance, constant attention and split-second decisions.
  • Many referees are our own children. They are developing skills on-thejob. Since they are human, they will make mistakes. If I yell at and discourage referees who are themselves still learning, I realize it is likely they will not continue to referee games and without referees games cannot be played. Referees will only get better with real practice. I know this is recreational soccer, not the World Cup Final.
  • Our referees have undergone considerable training to earn the right to officiate the match. They are under constant evaluation by those knowledgeable of the Laws of the Game in order to improve their skills.
  • By the Laws of the Game - The Referee is given the full and sole authority to judge the match. Even if they make a mistake, their word is final.
  • Any issues with referee may be conveyed to the coach, the Referee Assignor or a Referee Mentor. NEVER THE REFEREE.
  • Each year the Sterling Soccer Club loses good young referees due to abuse by players’ parents and spectators.


  • I will not address the referee during the match.
  • I will not openly show dissent, question the judgment, or otherwise undermine referee authority during or after a match.
  • I will not use sarcasm, verbal harassment, and intimidation or pose physical threats.
  • I will respect and support the referee, accepting their judgments in a sporting manner.
  • I understand that unsporting conduct of parents and spectators is not tolerated by Sterling Soccer, the VYSA, or US Youth Soccer and may result in my suspension and the suspension of my child. Physical assault or threats of any kind will result in banishment from Sterling Soccer Club events