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Guideline - ARTICLE 7

Information About the Program

Team Assignments Attendance; Participation Parental Participation
Registration Fees; Refunds Protests Facilities
Eligibility Conduct during Games Sponsors
Length of Season and Cancellation of Games Refreshments at Games Equipment

Team Assignments

Team assignments of players shall be made by those persons delegated such task by the Regional Board. Retention of players on any team shall be limited to the head coach's child(ren). Otherwise there shall be no automatic retention of players on any specific team or with any specific coach from the previous season. Every attempt shall be made to balance the skill level of teams within each division. Once teams are formed, no transfer of any player from one team to another may be made without the approval of the coaches of both teams involved, the Age Division Manager, the Regional Commissioner and the parent or guardian of the player. In the case of inter-Regional play no transfer of any player from one team to another, after such teams are formed, may be made without the additional approval of the Area Director and, if affecting section play, the Section Director.

Registration Fees; Refunds

The registration fee for each player participant shall be fixed annually by the Regional Board. The fee for this season is set forth in Appendix D to these Guidelines. The Regional Board may by specific grant or scholarship, or by Regional policy, waive such registration in whole or in part with respect to any participant if such fee would create a hardship for such participant or his or her family. Any player who withdraws prior to participating in the first game of the season shall be entitled to a refund of such registration fee. In exceptional circumstances, the cost of the uniform (if it cannot be reused) or other specific non-recoverable costs may be deducted from the refund.

Eligibility

All boys and girls, between the ages of 4½ and 18, based on their age as of July 31st of the year in which the season begins, (unless a different season date is established by the Region and approved by the Area Director and Section Director), shall be eligible to register for the program, subject to field availability, volunteer support, AYSO operating regulations, and such rules as may be issued by the Regional Board.

Length of Season and Cancellation of Games

The season shall be of such duration as determined by the Regional Board, and as set forth in the Regional Calendar attached to these Guidelines. Inclement weather or poor field conditions may necessitate from time to time the postponing or canceling of games. Any such postponement or cancellation will be made at the discretion of the Regional Commissioner or the Regional Risk Management/Safety Director as early as practical before game time. Once the game begins, only the referee in charge of the particular soccer field may suspend or cancel the game.

Attendance; Participation

Every player shall be entitled to play at least half of every game. Moreover, it is the policy of the Region to encourage each coach to (a) play each player at least three quarters of every game, wherever possible, and (b) to allow different players to start the first quarter of each game. It also is the policy of the Region, in Divisions 4 through 7, to have different players play the same number of quarters as goalkeeper, if any, as in any other field different position. Each player is strongly urged to attend every team practice. Any player who misses practices regularly may have his/her playing time limited to one-half (but not less than one-half) of a game.

Protests

No protest of games shall be permitted. However, coaches are encouraged to file with the Regional Referee Administrator a written report within 48 hours after a game of any misapplication by a game referee of the Laws of the Game or rules and regulations. This procedure shall not be used as a means of complaining of, or criticizing, any judgment call of a referee or assistant referee. If, after investigation by the Regional Referee Administrator, it is found that a law, rule or regulation was misapplied, such referee shall be so informed in order to ensure that no further misapplication occurs.

Conduct during Games

The highest standards of conduct and good sportsmanship must be maintained at all times by players, coaches, referees, spectators and all other participants. Offensive, insulting or abusive language is forbidden. The use of alcohol, tobacco products or illegal drugs in the vicinity of the playing field during practices or games is strictly forbidden.

All participants must wear the official uniforms provided for all games and dress in them in a neat, clean manner. The use of shin guards is required at all practices and games.

Coaches are expected to be positive and set the best possible example for the participants. Excessive coaching from the sidelines shall not be permitted, and the function of the coach should be to provide encouragement and a positive direction. The coach may enter the field of play only with the consent of the referee and may coach only within 10 yards in each direction from the half-way line of the field (in no event in either of the penalty areas or from behind the goals).

Spectators at games must remain behind the spectator control line (three yards from the sideline) and between the penalty areas, and their vocal efforts should be limited to positive compliments to the participants. Under no circumstances should they attempt to coach or address remarks derogatory to players, coaches or the referee.

At the end of the game, the players on each team shall line up and shake hands with the players of the opposing team and thank the referee and assistant referees.

Discipline shall be up to the referee at each game. The referee shall have the power and authority to caution and eject and send off players and coaches (as well as spectators, in the case of outside interference) from the playing area, or terminate the match if necessary, if their conduct violates the Laws of the Game, these Guidelines or otherwise interferes with the course of play. No appeal of disciplinary action taken by a referee shall be allowed.

A player or coach who is sent off (red card) or cautioned (yellow card) may be subject to additional disciplinary action (e.g., parent conferences, game suspensions, expulsions) at the discretion of the Regional Board upon thorough review of the incident following the procedures outlined in Article 9 (Dispute Resolution). A coach, assistant coach or spectator who is sent off or cautioned may also be subject to similar or additional disciplinary action at the discretion of the Regional Board upon thorough review of the incident following the procedures outlines in Article 9 (Dispute Resolution). The Regional Board may adopt an automatic additional one game suspension for any participant who is sent off the field by a referee for a disciplinary reason.

Refreshments at Games

It shall be the responsibility of each team to supply its own refreshments. It is suggested that the best kind of refreshment is cool water.

Parental Participation

As AYSO is an "all-volunteer" Organization, each parent or guardian who has a player in the Region shall be strongly encouraged to volunteer his or her valuable time and services in some way. The Region shall not reduce or eliminate the player fee based upon voluntary work done by a participant's parents or guardians and shall not charge an additional fee to those parents of players who do not volunteer their services or who do not donate funds to the program. No fee distinction shall be made based upon parental or player participation in Regional fundraising activities. No Region may condition the registration of a player based upon any requirement of volunteer participation by a parent or guardian.

Facilities

It shall be the responsibility of both teams for the first game each day to set up the goalposts and nets and both teams for the last game of each day to take down the goalposts and nets. Each field shall be lined under the direction of the Regional Commissioner and/or the Director of Playing Fields, and each group of fields shall be provided with a first aid kit. No trash should be left at the facility except in designated containers. Parking shall be limited to those areas designated at the fields.

Sponsors

The Region encourages local businesses and individuals to support its program. Suitable recognition shall be given to them. Contributions are strongly encouraged to be made to the Region rather than to a particular team. All such contributions are considered charitable contributions and are deductible for U.S. tax purposes, subject to the applicable limitations in the Internal Revenue Code.

Equipment

The Region shall make arrangements to supply each player with a shirt with the original AYSO logo properly affixed thereto and, if possible, a pair of socks, and shorts. Each player is expected to provide his/her own appropriate footwear and shin guards. No player may participate in a game without such shirt, socks, shorts, appropriate footwear and shin guards. Players may not wear jewelry of any kind (including chains. Watches, body jewelry and earrings, bandannas or other ornamentation or anything else that is likely to cause risk of injury to himself or herself or to other players during the game)

Medical information bracelets should not be removed, but must be padded and taped to the player's skin.

Prescription eyeglasses may be worn, but must remain firmly on the wearer's head or restrained by a strap. Non-prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses are not permitted to be worn by a player during a game.

Hard casts (including padded casts), splints, helmets and hard padding are not permitted to be worn by a player during any game or practice. Players with permanent orthodontic braces are strongly encouraged to wear mouthguards.

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