Serving the Northern Virginia Community Since 1990
Gunston Soccer Club

Gunston Soccer Club Code of Conduct

Parents, players, coaches and spectators represent the Gunston Soccer Club. The actions of each one of us affect the image of all of us and the Club. This Code of Conduct encourages good sportsmanship, which means in part, treating opponents, coaches and referees with respect regardless of the situation. Parents must set an example for the children by exemplifying the highest standards of sportsmanship. The game is for the children and their participation in and enjoyment of the game is important.

  1. All players should arrive promptly at the designated time for all practices and games.
  2. Water, cleats, and shin guards are required for all practices and full uniforms for all games.
  3. Practices are run by designated coaches.  Unless the coach specifically asks for assistance from a parent, parents should not be on the field or participate in practice from the sidelines or otherwise.
  4. At all games, parents and spectators are to stand back at least 5 feet from the touch line. This allows the players to play the sidelines and everyone to see the game. No parent or spectator may stand behind either goal line. Parents and spectators should be on the opposite side of the field from the coaches and players (except where there is only one side available).  
  5. Parents coaching from the sidelines is unacceptable conduct. It is counterproductive because it distracts the players from their decision making on the field and their enjoyment of the game. While cheering and positive encouragement are a natural part of soccer, parents must not coach their child from the sidelines during matches and training.  This includes comments like “clear it” and “shoot” which may or may not be what the coach has directed. 
  6. Under no circumstances, including injury, may a parent walk onto the field during a game unless requested to by a referee or other emergency personnel to assist in medically evaluating or removing an injured player. 
  7. Parents and spectators may not criticize their own players, coaches and assistants nor the opposing players, coaches and parents. Only positive comments are permitted. Cheer in a way to reward the good play of both teams and promote fair play. Applaud good plays by your team AND by members of the opposing team.  
  8. Parents are expected to respect the authority of the referee and his or her assistants. Parents should not harass, abuse, or berate the referee during or after the match. Parents should not disagree with, question or criticize the referee. This applies even if the referee makes a mistake. Be tolerant of the referee’s calls, whether you agree with them or not. 
  9. Please respect the 24 Hour Rule:  Parental concerns about anything that occurs in a game including playing time, player positions, or other coaching decision should be put on hold for 24 hours and then discussed with the team manager. Do not make negative comments about the game, the coaches, the referees or teammates in your child’s presence. This can negatively influence your child’s motivation and overall experience.  
  10. Please bear in mind that Gunston Soccer Club is only possible by the dedication of the coaches, assistants and Board Members.  Most of these individuals are not being compensated for their time and investment in your child’s life. Volunteers are what keep the league operating.  If there is any area that you feel needs improvement, we welcome your suggestion and willingness to join as a volunteer. 
  11. Our goal as a league is to maximize playing time for all players. In order to do so, it is imperative that every team member adhere to the following:
  • Arrive to practice and games promptly at the time directed by the coach or team manager.
  • Be committed to the team by attending practices regularly.
  • Behave respectfully to all teammates, coaches, opposing players, and officials at practices and games.
  • Do not disrupt practices.