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Soccer Maine Code of Ethics for Coaches
Coaching a team of young athletes for a Soccer Maine affiliated club or the Olympic Development Program is a high privilege that carries with it great responsibility. A coach should always demonstrate the highest ethical character and should serve as a role model for the players on his or her team. A coach must always remember the influence that he or she has over young athletes. The game is for the players.
If at any time Soccer Maine shall determine that a coach has failed to fulfill these expectations and standards, that shall be cause to discipline, suspend, or remove the coach.
1. Soccer is the players' game. The paramount concern of coaches is the holistic development, welfare, enjoyment and safety of their players. A coach should never place winning above character or good treatment of athletes. While striving to win, a coach should deal honestly and fairly with players with regard to team selection and playing time, while remaining free to make decisions based on the best interests of the team as a whole.
2. Coaches bear responsibility for teaching their players to strive for success while playing fairly with the highest levels of sportsmanship, observing the laws and the spirit of the game.
3. Coaches shall treat officials with respect and dignity, and shall teach their players to do the same.
4. Our opponents are worthy of being treated with respect. Coaches will model such respect for opponents and expect their players to do likewise.
5. In both victory and defeat, the behavior of a coach shall model grace, dignity and composure.
6. Coaches shall adhere to the highest standards and the regulations of the institutions they represent: clubs, Soccer Maine, US Youth Soccer Association, and US Soccer Federation. The position of head coach assumes knowledge of the rules of the game, of registration and rostering requirements, of tournament rules and other requirements of Soccer Maine and affiliated clubs and organizations. The coach is responsible for compliance with all rules.
7. Coaches shall model inclusive behavior, actively supporting cultural diversity while opposing all types of discrimination, including, but not limited to, racism and sexism, at all levels of soccer.
8. Coaches should take a role in educating their players about sports nutrition and fitness and about prevention of drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse. The coach should avoid the use of alcohol or tobacco products when in contact with players or at other times while in official capacity as coach.
9. Coaches shall refrain from all manner of personal abuse and harassment of others, whether verbal, physical, emotional or sexual, and shall oppose such abuse and harassment at all levels of soccer.
10. Coaches shall respect the declared affiliations of all players, and shall adhere to all guidelines and regulations on recruiting established by their clubs, leagues and Soccer Maine. At the first point of contact between a coach and a player, the coach will ask the player if he/she is rostered or committed to another team. If the answer is affirmative, the coach must refrain from further recruiting of that player. In any event, the coach cannot make any statements in regards to the merits, philosophies, programs, coaches, players, board members, or facilities of another club nor extend an offer of any type of financial incentive, including "scholarships", to any prospective player unless the player's family has demonstrated a financial hardship.
11. Coaches shall seek to honor those who uphold the highest standards and principles of soccer and shall use appropriate protocol to oppose and eliminate all behavior that brings disrepute to the sport - violence, abuse, dishonesty, disrespect and violations of the laws of the game and rules governing competition.