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North Quabbin United Soccer Club

North Quabbin United Soccer Club

Parent Responsibilities and Code of Conduct

Thank you!

As a parent, relative, or guardian, you are the best fan your child and fellow soccer players will ever have.  We appreciate your support in reinforcing the NQUSC player development objectives, respecting all players, coaches and referees, and ensuring your player is at practices and games ready to play. Your encouragement of all players on your child's team, even after poor results, will provide a positive experience for everyone involved.  You set the example for good sportsmanship by avoiding negative comments about referees, coaches and players, especially your own player, and cheering for players on both teams. Together we can keep our soccer games fun and safe for everyone!

NQUSC Provides

To ensure that your child is prepared to play soccer, and can develop soccer skills in a safe environment NQUSC will provide the following:

  • Coach*
  • Soccer balls (Players are encouraged to bring their own as well)
  • Properly equipped soccer field for practice and games
  • Insurance via Athol YMCA and Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association

* NQUSC coaches are volunteers and must complete a CORI form (criminal background check) before they can work with children. In addition, coaches are asked to partake in a grassroots course offered by Mass Youth Soccer. They are required to take the Heads Up Concussion Awareness certification and Safe Sport certification courses.

In the event that you have a concern regarding your child’s coach or team, please address the issue directly with the coach and allow adequate time for resolution. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, please notify one of our NQUSC board members.

Parental Responsibilities

Parents and guardians are asked to provide:

  • Soccer cleats
  • Shin guards
  • Water bottle for practices and games
  • Transportation to and from practices and games

Please note weather can be unpredictable. Be prepared by bringing sunscreen, bug repellant, rain jackets, sweatshirts, etc.


The philosophy of NQUSC is to allow each player to grow and develop to the best of their ability while having fun. Therefore attendance at practices is essential to player development. It is our goal to make the most of our practices and teach your child the skills they need to play in games.

At the beginning of the season your coach will communicate where and when your practice location(s) will be. For practice sessions, we ask that your child arrive on time, equipped (shin guards, water, etc.), and ready to play. Please pick up your player promptly at the end of practice. 


For games, plan to arrive 30 minutes before the start time to allow for warm-up drills and any instructions the coach may have. Parents must refrain from addressing the referee at any time during the game. In addition, parents must sit on the opposite side of the field from the teams, and we encourage you to cheer for both teams, remembering that these are young children playing to have fun. Our emphasis is on playing, learning and having fun, not on winning.

Safety First

There are no emergency facilities available at any of our fields. You are the best person to care for your children in the event of an emergency. Please keep this in mind when choosing to drop off your child for practices and/or games.

Please keep children off of goals and nets.

  • Goal safety is critical and is everyone’s responsibility. Movable soccer goals can fall over and kill or injure children who climb on them or hang from the crossbar. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reports of at least 35 deaths since 1979 resulting from soccer goals falling over.
  • NEVER allow anyone to climb on the goals
  • NEVER allow players/ children to carry the goals

Please watch small children during practices and games

Siblings of players can be easily injured when unsupervised at the fields. Children should remain with their parent(s) at the sidelines and be kept from entering the field of play. It is not the responsibility of club volunteers, coaches, referees or other parents to watch out for other children. Your cooperation will help ensure that we keep all of the kids as safe as possible and that everyone can enjoy the games.


Weather and Cancellation Policy

  • TRAVEL parents should check the website for a status. NVYSL attempts to make cancelations between 24 and 2 hours before the scheduled game
  • We encourage parents to check the website for a status, and attempt to make cancelations at least an hour before scheduled game time. In addition, we will send an email notice to all members affected by the cancelation
  • Postponements may be used to allow time for weather or conditions to improve
General guidelines

Cold is okay, wet is okay, cold and wet together are not okay. Both cold and wet conditions must be reasonable and must not introduce any safety risks or substantial damage to the fields.

NQUSC Parental Code of Conduct

I will:

  1. Be encouraging, supportive, & affirmative in regard to my child’s play on the field
  2. Respect officials & accept their decisions
  3. Support the coach, manager, the team, & and the club
  4. Volunteer my services & talents to the club when possible
  5. Familiarize myself with the laws of the game 
  6. Comply with rules, policies, & procedures of the team & club as they apply to me
  7. Discuss my child
  • Only with the coach, not with the Assistant Coach, Team Manager, or any other person
  • Only at a time mutually agreed upon with the coach
  • Never prior to, during, or directly after a game
  • Nor his or her playing position or playing time with the coach

Further, I will never:

  1. Engage in dissent directed toward a Referee, Assistant Referees, or Referee Evaluator
  2. Engage in any kind or type of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player, parent, or fan
  3. Interfere at any time with the duties and responsibilities of the coach or team manager 
  4. Act in any manner which is detrimental to the team or NQUSC Organization


Guidelines for Exemplary Spectator Behavior

The following points will be strongly enforced by all coaches. Please do not be offended if you are reminded of these guidelines:

On Game Day:

  • Please sit at least 3 feet from the sidelines. This allows room for proper play and throw ins. By keeping a distance from the sidelines it is also easier to keep small children from entering the field.
  • Cheer on your child and the team, but DO NOT COACH THEM. A Player learns best by making his or her own playing decisions. Telling your child when or how to move, pass, shoot, or dribble, etc., is not appropriate and it does not help them to play better. Coaches spend time teaching skills and strategy during practice sessions and then let the players play on Game Day with occasional calm instructions from the sidelines and pointers at the bench during breaks. Please keep in mind it is just a game.
  • Good play by either team is reason to applaud. Sportsmanship means not only being a gracious winner, but also a graceful loser.
  • Always support the Referee, even when you disagree with the call. Never speak to or about a referee except to alert he/she of an injury on the field. The Nashoba Valley Youth Soccer League (NVYSL) and NQUSC enforce a "ZERO TOLERANCE" policy towards spectator or coach dissent or abuse and it is the responsibility of the coach to control game spectators.?


  • 1st Infraction – Referee shall stop the game and ask the coach to quiet the offending spectator
  • 2nd Infraction – A verbal warning. Referee should stop the game and ask the coach to warn the spectator that the next infraction will be an ejection or the referee will abandon the game.
  • 3rd Infraction – The referee shall instruct the coach to direct the spectator to leave the field. The referee should abandon the game if the spectator does not leave the field. If the referee abandons the game, the referee shall file a report, and NVYSL may impose a forfeit on the spectator team.

Cheering vs. Coaching

There is no need for coaching from parents. In fact, there is little need for a coach to talk directly to players on the field during a game. Unlike most other sports, soccer games do not provide frequent opportunities for active coaching – no time outs, infrequent substitutions, no huddles. The players on the field must make their own decisions and apply what they have learned during training without input from the sidelines.

Cheering, on the other hand, is encouraged!

What’s the difference between cheering and coaching, you ask?


“Go” ,“Good Job” , “Nice Pass” ,“Great Hustle” ,“Unlucky” ,“Well Done”  (Positive reinforcement only!)


 “Kick it” , “Pass it” ,“Boot it” , “Shoot Now”  (Telling a player what to do)

Soccer, like all other youth sports, is meant to provide your children with an opportunity to have fun in a group environment. Learning how to love and enjoy an activity is the key to progress in any sport. In order for your child to benefit from the experience, you need to be an active supporter in the process of learning. Personal growth and achievement cannot be forced, it can only be encouraged.

Seven tips to help your child succeed:

  1. Support the coach. Think of your child’s coach as his/her teacher. While in the team setting, it is the coach’s responsibility to focus on specifics of teaching skills and running the games. It’s the parents’ responsibility to praise their child’s effort.
  2. Recognize what your child and the team is trying to do, not the result. Your child is learning the game and mistakes are an important part of learning.
  3. Stay calm. Its very easy to get emotional on the sidelines of your child’s games, but remember that it is confusing to a child to have many adults yelling different things to them. Avoid yelling directions (Shoot!, Get Open!, RUN!!) and focus on encouragement and positive reinforcement (Great effort!, Great idea, Good try!). Obviously avoid pacing the sidelines and yelling negative comments like, “what are you doing?” and “wake up out there!”.
  4. Foster the educational benefits of your child’s participation in youth sports. Leadership, commitment, goal orientation and preparation are life lessons taught through youth sports, and are even more important than athletic benefits.
  5. Be a good example and support the referees. Many of the referees are young and are learning from their experiences in the game. Mistakes will be made. Respect their efforts and encourage your kids to do the same. NQUSC and NVYSL support the zero tolerance policy for berating or verbally assaulting refs which states that “No coach or spectator is to address the referee during the game!


North Quabbin United Soccer Club
545 Main St. 
Athol, Massachusetts 01331

Phone: 978-249-3305
Email: [email protected]

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