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When in Doubt, Find Out

At the beginning of Spring League; the District staff had a ‘Coaches Meetings’ to go over some very important topics that have been ‘hot button topics’ of controversies over the past few years of District Playing League. We had a brief discussion of a couple of them, but the District staff made one important thing very clear….Coaches needed to develop a plan for more than just a ‘practice session’ or a match.

Each coach who attended those meetings was given a copy of the District Playing League’s Rules. The Rules were also put on the District website (Specific web page ). It was impressed upon those in attendance…know these specific Playing Rules.

To make clear for all coaches; you are responsible for your team’s ACTIONS and INACTIONS. You are responsible for not only the players but their parents as well.

TEAM ACTIONS examples are (IE. Mercy Rule, conduct fouls during match and TEAM conduct during match (player, coaches, and parents)

TEAM INACTIONS examples are (IE. Failure to appear, forfeits, and improper lack of communication or adherence to the correct process)

Coaches need to make absolutely clear to their team (parents and all) that they may get sanctioned (fined) based on the TEAM INACTIONS because of the lack of consideration of their INACTION on their opponent. Coaches need to ‘know and understand their role’ in the proper operation of any Playing Opportunity. The justification of “I’m just a volunteer’ does not apply any longer as reasoning for improper knowledge or lack of consideration. The operation of these Playing Opportunities is still run by volunteers as well. The following example is used to explain this.

Two teams are supposed to play on Saturday. Rain has been in the forecast, but the site remains ‘PLAYABLE and OPEN’. One of the two team’s coaches takes it upon himself to text the other coach and let them know that they won’t be at the match because they THINK it will be cancelled due to the rain.

The game remains on the schedule and the referee shows up for the match. Site preps the field for the game and the teams do not show up. What happens??? Expectation is the Playing League will reschedule, but that is NOT the case. The Rules state that the Teams ‘NO SHOWED’ and are SUBJECTED to a possible fine. The fines are paid by the TEAM (coach and parents) due to the reasoning that the coaches did not contact the Playing League to find out if the game was STILL scheduled….DON’T ASSUME ANYTHING!!!!

All coaches are STRONGLY encouraged to read those rules and ‘WHEN IN DOUBT…FIND OUT’… The journey continues…

By Mike Hodges – D-7 Coaching Administrator

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