Code of Conduct Agreement

As developed by Christopher Stankovich, Ph.D. and approved by OLENTANGY UNITED FC

When kids are surveyed about the reasons why they play sports, the #1 response kids consistently report is to have fun. In addition to the fun kids experience while playing sports, additional benefits from sport participation include physical, cognitive, and emotional growth and development. Unfortunately, all these great things do not happen automatically, but instead occur as a direct result of your positive efforts as a parent. It is in this spirit that we have created the following Parent’s Code of Conduct Agreement to remind parents of a few important tips designed to help your child maximize his or her athletic experience.

As a parent, it is important that you:

RESPECT THE GAME, including your child, his or her teammates, and opponents. This means ensuring that your child attends and comes prepared for all practices and games, and treats both teammates and opponents with dignity and respect. Good sportsmanship means playing fair and safe, controlling negative emotions, and keeping the spirit of competition a healthy endeavor.

RESPECT THE OFFICALS. Remember, soccer officials, (a.k.a. referees), are an important part of the sport of soccer and add to the overall experience for your child. It is important that you distinguish between bad calls (human error) and wrong calls (when an official doesn’t know the rule). In either case, it is important that you respect all officials and develop tolerance skills for when bad calls are made (which will happen – officials are human and like all of us, will occasionally make a mistake ! ). Refrain from coarse and threatening language, as well as all forms of physical aggression. There is never a place in youth sports to use vulgarities, threaten, intimidate, or use physical aggression.

LET THE COACHES COACH. While it may be easy to second-guess your child’s coach from the sidelines, most parents forget or overlook how challenging it is for coaches to both win games and at the same time make sure that all of the players have an opportunity to develop. The job of being a coach is an incredibly challenging task, so be sure to support your child’s coach as much as possible.

Be sure to pay attention to injuries, including concussions, and respond to them in a timely manner. Additionally, pay attention to signs of youth sport burnout and be sure to respond to your child if he or she needs help.
Watch for the safety of all players at all times, including physical and emotional dangers.

Youth sports provide a great opportunity for positive fan support, including cheering. Booing and other negative gestures and language from the sidelines are never appropriate, so be sure to stay focused on positively supporting your child’s team at all times.

Cheer whenever possible, and stay away from booing and other negative fan behavior.


*Failure to adhere to the OLENTANGY UNITED CODE OF CONDUCT can result in suspension and/or removal from the Club. These difficult decisions will be made by a committee of Club Directors after a thurough investigation of the matter(s) in question.


Zero Tolerance

Olentangy United FC

For Parents, Players and Coaches

We expect all parents, spectators and coaches to understand the conduct required at a soccer match. Please familiarize yourself with proper conduct towards the referees.  In many instances, these referees are young children themselves who have just recently become referees.  We need to support them in their development.  Let’s all sit back, enjoy the action and leave the control of the game to the refs.  Don’t get caught up in the heat of the action and say the wrong thing or embarrass your child.  Let the coach coach, the kids play, let the refs ref.   Click below to read the policy:

Parents & Spectators:

 No parent or spectator shall persistently address the referee or assistant referees at any time.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Parents and spectators shall not dispute calls during or after the game.
  2. Parents and spectators shall not make remarks to the referee(s) or advise the referee(s) to watch certain players or attend to rough play.
  3. Parents and spectators shall never yell at the referee(s), including criticism, sarcasm, harassment, intimidation or feedback of any kind before, during or after the game.

The only allowable exceptions to the above are:

  1. Parents and spectators may respond to a referee who has initiated a conversation, until such time as the referee terminates the conversation.
  2. Parents and spectators may point out an emergency or safety issues, such as a player apparently injured on the field or observed fighting. 

Additionally, parents and spectators shall not make derogatory comments to players of either team. 

Penalties (Parents & Spectators)

In the opinion of the referee, depending on the severity of the offense, the referee may take any of the following actions:

  1. The referee may issue a verbal warning to the coach of offending party’s team.
  2. The referee may stop the game and instruct the coaches to direct the parent / spectator to leave the field.
  3. The referee may abandon the game if the parent/spectator does not leave the field.


The conduct of the players is governed by the Laws of the Game as stated by FIFA and USSF.  The Laws themselves describe penalties associated with violating the Laws of the Game.  Additional penalties for players who engage in misconduct may be established by the club and/or league but may in no case be less severe than penalties established by FIFA, USSF, or USYSA.

 Coaches, Assistant Coaches & Bench Personnel

It is the responsibility of all coaches to maintain the highest standards of conduct for themselves, their players and supporters in all matches. Failure to do so undermines the referee’s authority and the integrity of the game resulting in a hostile environment for players, the referee(s), coaches, assistant coaches, bench personnel and spectators. As role models for all of the participants and spectators, coaches participating in an Ohio South Youth Soccer Association sanctioned event are expected to be supportive of, and to acknowledge the effort, good play and sportsmanship on the part of ALL players from either team in a contest. By example, coaches, assistant coaches and bench personnel are expected to show that although they are competing in a game, they have respect for their opponent, referees and spectators at all times. The Ohio South Youth Soccer Association will not tolerate negative behavior exhibited either by demonstrative actions and gestures, or by ill-intentioned remarks, including those addressed toward the referees or members of an opposing team. Coaches exhibiting hostile, negative, sarcastic or otherwise ill-intended behavior toward referees, opposing players or coaches will be subject to sanction by the match official. Additional sanctions may be imposed by the club that the coach or assistant coach represents, the league that the match is being played under, or as allowed by Ohio South Youth Soccer Association policies after a review of the match report.

  • Coaches shall not interact directly or indirectly with the coaches or players of the opposing team during the game in any manner that may be construed as negative, hostile or sarcastic either by way of demonstrative actions and gestures or by ill-intentioned remarks. 
  • Coaches shall not offer dissent to any call made by the referee(s) at any time. 
  • Coaches are not to address the Referee(s) during the game except to:

a.    Respond to a referee who has initiated a conversation.

b.    Point out emergency or safety issues.

c.    Make substitutions.

d.    Ask the referee, “What is the proper restart (i.e. direction and Indirect Free Kick or Direct Free Kick)?

e.    Ask for the time remaining in the half.

  • Coaches are allowed to ask a referee after a game or during the halftime interval, in a polite and constructive way, to explain a law or foul, but not judgment calls made in the game.

a.    Polite and friendly concern can be exchanged with the referee. If the polite tone of the conversation changes, the referee may abandon the exchange at any time.

b.    Absolutely no sarcasm, harassment or intimidation is allowed.

NOTE: It is recommended that coaches or other team members do not engage in any conversation with the match official once the match has concluded.

Penalties (Coaches, Assistant Coaches & Bench Personnel)

In the opinion of the referee, depending on the severity of the offense, the referee may take any of the following actions:

a.    The referee may issue a verbal warning to the offending coach, assistant coach or bench personnel.

b.    The referee may eject the offending coach, assistant coach or bench personnel. Once ejected, the individual will be required to leave the field immediately.

NOTE: Referees are instructed not to display any cards to bench personnel. They are strictly reserved for players and substitutes.

c.    The referee should abandon the game, if the coach, assistant coach or bench personnel do not leave the field or any immediate adjoining area after having been instructed to do so.

Additional penalties associated with the ejection of a coach, assistant coach or bench personnel may be assessed by the local club or league which sanctioned the match in accordance with their documented policy. These penalties may be no less stringent than sanctions as may be imposed by OSYSA following their review, if conducted, of the incident.

 All cases of alleged abuse or assault of a referee shall be reported to the OSYSA State Office and State Referee Administrator within 48 hours of the match that engendered said behavior. OSYSA will then conduct a verification of the complaint and subsequent actions as required by applicable sections of USSF Policy in effect at the time of the incident. Although OSYSA is continually bound by USSF Policy and its various revisions, definition of referee abuse and referee assault found in USSF Policy 531-9 as of the creation date of this Zero Tolerance Policy is offered by way of information as follows:

Referee Abuse

(a) Referee abuse is a verbal statement or physical act not resulting in bodily contact which implies or threatens physical harm to a referee or the referee’s property or equipment.

(b) Abuse includes, but is not limited to the following acts committed upon a referee: using foul or abusive language toward a referee that implies or threatens physical harm; spewing any beverage on a referee’s physical property; or spitting at (but not on) the referee.

Referee Assault

(a)  Referee Assault is an intentional act of physical violence at or upon a referee.

(i) For purposes of this Policy, “intentional act” shall mean an act intended to bring about a result which will invade the interests of another in a way that is socially unacceptable. Unintended consequences of the act are irrelevant.

(b) Assault includes, but is not limited to the following acts committed upon a referee: hitting, kicking, punching, choking, spitting on, grabbing or bodily running into a referee; head butting; the act of kicking or throwing any object at a referee that could inflict injury; damaging the referee’s uniform or personal property, i.e. car, equipment, etc.


*Failure to adhere to the OLENTANGY UNITED ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY can result in suspension and/or removal from the Club. These difficult decisions will be made by a committee of Club Directors after a thurough investigation of the matter(s) in question.