Welcome coaches - please read the following carefully as it covers many of the questions you may have about coaching this season. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the WYSA Director Travel Program
. For more information CLICK HERE for the MYSL Coaches Handbook.
Table of Contents (click on link to jump to that section)
Contacts Contact information is available on the "Contacts" page but is listed here for convenience
- WYSA Website: www.westfordyouthsoccer.com - WYSA Director Travel Program: Stephen Jones - - WYSA Referee Coordinator: Paul Pickersgill - - WYSA Field Schedule Coordinator: Rebecca Carroll - - MYSL Age Directors: See MYSL Website - www.middlesexsoccer.org (Click on Board/Management tab)
- MYSL Game Schedules - www.middlesexsoccer.org(Click on Schedule tab)
Please refer to the MYSL web site to get your game times. You have to use the filter fields at the top of the page to specify your team. Select your age group for the League, and your team number for the Team. Then click the View Games button.
Contact your opposing coaches to confirm game times and locations at least one week prior to game day.
If you have any trouble contacting your opposing coach, please contact the WYSA Travel Director and they will follow up with the town’s travel coordinator for the opposing team
If it is raining, it is up to the home team to determine if the game will be played (some towns have turf fields and will play in heavy rain).
On rainy game days, we decide if our home games are playable by 7:30am and update our web site. If the fields are open you should play your game, if the fields are closed you must not play.
If it is raining on practice days, check the WYSA web site to see if the fields have been closed – if they have you must cancel your practices.
If a referee does not show up for your game, you do not have to play the game. Alternatively, you and your opposing coach may choose to appoint an emergency referee. If you do play with an emergency referee, the referee is official for the duration of the game and you’ll have to live with the game results.
U12 and U14 teams require a minimum of 7 players to play a game, if you do not have 7 players you will forfeit the game. Please make sure you confirm with your parents who will playing each game.
There are no games scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. Many teams attend tournaments this weekend, and all the referees are busy refereeing tournaments. We encourage you to take your team to a tournament too (see the notes below for how to do this).
You cannot reschedule a game for convenience – games may be rescheduled only due to weather cancellation, and school sponsored or religious events. See rescheduling a MYSL travel game below.
If the coach you share your practice field with is playing a makeup game, they get the field and you will have to make do with any space you can find.
If a game is cancelled in progress (for a thunderstorm for example), that game does not count and must be replayed in its entirety (even if there were only a couple of minutes left to play). The safety of the players is paramount. The decision to cancel is solely the responsibility of the referee.
This is a game for the kids. You should set a good example for your players.
Do not under any circumstances argue with the referee. This includes showing obvious signs of anger (don’t throw down your hat or stomp your feet when you see a bad call).
Remember that the referees are kids that are learning how to be referees – accept that there will be bad calls. Please comment on the referee in your game report, both good and bad, this information will be used by the league for referee development.
Remind your players and parents to accept bad calls quietly. You are responsible for the behavior of your players and their parents. You should explain this to them before you play your first game.
As a rule do not discuss the game or any aspect of the game with the referee. While you may be trying to help the referee by pointing out a misunderstanding of the rules, this will often be interpreted as hostility.
If you feel that an important game was decided by bad refereeing, contact the WYSA Travel Director and we will work with you to file a protest. This happens after the game has been played.
Please avoid blowout games – if you are dominating a game, do not run up the score. In general we do not want to see anyone winning by more than four goals. While most towns have similar policies, you may encounter a coach that runs up their score, just accept this and do your best to encourage your kids.
You should write each player’s shirt number on your roster and make lots of copies before your first game. Because you may not have much time between getting your roster and playing your first game, you should ask all of your players for their shirt numbers now.
Before each game you will give the ref two copies of your Approved roster with the "Approved" watermark and the uniform numbers filled in. There must not be any duplicate uniform numbers. If you do have duplicates the numbers can be altered on the jersey with white tape. Failure to have these rosters with you at the time of the game may result in a forfeiture of the game. The referee will keep one and give the other to the opposing coach. If you do not have two copies of your roster, your team will not be allowed to play – the referees have been instructed to allow no exceptions.
The referee should write their name on the other team’s roster that they give you. You should make sure the name is legible and include it with any comments you make about your referee in your referee report (not the game report - see below).
Passcards are required in the Spring season for all travel coaches and also all players U12 and older.
Failure to have the passcards with you at the time of the game may result in a forfeiture of the game.
Coaches should keep the players passcards. When your players line up for the referee, give each of them their card so they can hand it to the referee during check-in. The referee will hold the cards during the game and return them to you at the end of the game.
If a player receives a red card (ejected), the referee will keep that player’s card so they will not be allowed to play the subsequent week.
Players without a passcard will not be allowed to play – the referees have been instructed to allow no exceptions. So be sure to give an assistant coach the player passcards if you will not be able to attend a game.
Passcards are made up in sheets, make sure your passcards have all been cut out of the sheet before your first game – otherwise if there is a red card, the ref will keep the whole sheet that includes the ejected player and all of those players will not be allowed to play the next week!
The day after each scheduled game, you will receive an email with a URL that you should click on to report your score.
When you report your scores you will be provided an opportunity to comment on the game. Comments are public for all to see. Please do not use this space to comment on the referee. Avoid words like dominating, destroyed, blowout, etc. Game comments might look something like this:
For a game ending in a 1-0 win: "A very even match between team A and team B, with many scoring attempts throughout the game. Team A was able to get a point in the xx minute giving them the win. Well played game on both sides!"
For a game ending in a 8-0 blowout loss: "Team A came to the match prepared to play and definitely played an impressive game. Many players put up points against Team B's defense in the win, while team B struggled to match the scoring. Overall, Team A had some talented players and we can't wait to meet this team again."
The referee report will be emailed separately and you will need to fill in the game ID to get the game information and the referee's name. At this point, you can comment on the referee's appearance and performance for that game. This is very important for the referee's to be able to improve their performance, and also for the league to understand any issues that occurred (such as an injury). We encourage you to enter both positive and negative comments. When you comment on your referee, you will need to provide the referee’s name. The referee is supposed to write their name on the opposing team’s roster which you will receive before the start of the game. Please make sure the name is legible before the game starts.
Players must be wearing a standard uniform. This includes a uniform shirt with a number, shin guards, and socks that completely cover the shin guards. There is some flexibility on shorts and socks, but the shorts must be maroon, and the socks must be maroon. Baseball cleats are not allowed (baseball cleats have an extra stud on the toe which is dangerous when playing soccer).
All travel teams wear the same uniform. Parents must purchase a travel uniform which they can use from season to season. Uniform sales dates will be posted on the WYSA web site www.westfordyouthsoccer.com.
No watches, earrings, or jewelry of any sort is allowed on the field. You cannot “tape over” earrings. The referee will not allow anyone to play until they have removed such items.
Rescheduling a MYSL Travel Game
Rescheduling a game can only occur if there was a weather event which caused either the town or the referee to cancel the game. Lack of players due to vacation is not a legitimate reason to reschedule. Legitimate reasons may include graduation, sanctioned invitational tournament, school trip or religious activity. Coaches must provide significant documentation that fewer than 11 players (U14 and up), 8 players for U12 or 6 players for U10 will be available. In the event that a legitimate reason exists the MYSL Age DIrector must be notified at least two weeks in advance.
The home team is responsible for rescheduling games. So if you are the away team, the process is simple: work with the opposing coach to pick a mutually agreeable date/time at least a week in the future, show up on time, and play your game. If you are the home team, the process is more complex:
Pick the game date/time – if it is a home game, if possible you should use one of your normal practice slots. However, you should not schedule a makeup before 6:00, as the other team and the referee have to travel to get to our field. Work with the opposing coach to come up with an agreeable date/time.
Send a note to the field schedule coordinator ( specifying your team number, game number and the date/time you wish to play your makeup game. Wait for confirmation that you can have the field on the date/time you requested. An email will be sent to any coaches that share your practice field to warn them that they will not be able to use the field.
The next step is to send an email notifying the appropriate league officials of the makeup game. Referee assignment for U10 games is done by WYSA. Referees for all other games are assigned by MYSL.
For U10 teams: send an email to the WYSA Referee Coordinator () to arrange for refs. Please specify your team number, the date/time of the originally scheduled game, and the date/time you wish to play your makeup game. The WYSA Referee Coordinator will arrange for a referee for your makeup game. If the originally scheduled game date/time has not yet passed, he will also notify the referee not to show up for the regular game. Copy your MYSL U10 Age Director to make sure they know the game has been rescheduled. You can find your MYSL U10 Age Director’s email address at www.middlesexsoccer.org (click on the Board/Management tab)
For U12, U14, and U16 teams: send an email to your MYSL Age Director specifying the following information:
Your town (Westford)
Your team number (BU12-3, for example)
The date/time of the originally scheduled game
The MYSL game ID#
The date/time you wish to play your makeup game
You can find the MYSL Game ID# in the expanded information area of the MYSL game schedule for your team. You can find your Age Director’s email address at www.middlesexsoccer.org. (click on the Board/Management tab) The MYSL Age Director will review your makeup game details, and contact the MYSL Referee Coordinator. The MYSL Referee Coordinator will notify the referee not to show up for the regular game (if you are requesting a makeup before the regular game would have occurred), and arrange for a referee for your makeup game. Note that it is notoriously difficult for MYSL to get referees for makeup games, so be prepared for the possibility that you may not have a referee.
In either case, notify the WYSA Travel Teams Coordinator () and he will update the MYSL web site with the new game date/time.