The Unofficial Soccer Parents Code of Conduct
Many soccer parents are getting out of control on the sidelines. I see it all the time from U8 and up. No matter if it’s rec, travel, or club soccer, parents and guardians are yelling at refs, berating other players, and showing immature behavior. Let’s be better examples!
At the end of the day, the players are playing and the coaches are coaching. You are there as a spectator. Someone who should sit back and enjoy watching your son or daughter play the sport they love.
Based on what I’ve seen, the following is a list of code of conduct guidelines parents should adhere to. I don’t want to tell you what to do so please use this as a reference point. Your club may have specific rules surrounding behavior on and off the field but these will give you a general sense of how to act (it’s a great reminder for myself too).
Parent’s Code of Conduct At Soccer Games
- Use positive language and cheer for both teams when appropriate.
- Avoid making negative comments to either team.
- Avoid making negative comments about the soccer organization, coaches, or players at any time.
- Avoid the use of foul language or obscene gestures.
- Avoid yelling at your coach or other coaches.
- Avoid telling players where to go and what they should do. Just let them play.
- Do not openly criticize referees before, during, or after the game.
- Avoid making negative comments and/or harsh behavior towards the other team’s parents.
- Do not walk over to the team’s bench to give personal feedback to your child.
- Try to remember to clap after a child is up from an injury.
- Do not post on social media to air dirty laundry about the game.
- If you can, give at least 6 feet from the sidelines to avoid injuries to players and spectators.
Parents who follow the unofficial code of conduct above can have a positive impact on their child’s soccer experience, as well as the experiences of other players and families.
By modeling good behavior and sportsmanship, parents can help create a culture of respect and fair play that benefits everyone involved. Ultimately, soccer games should be for your enjoyment and others!