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Woburn Youth Soccer Association


Woburn Youth Soccer Association, Inc.
Revised: September 2023

It is the intent of the Woburn Youth Soccer Association (WYSA) that all rules, regulations, and actions affecting WYSA help provide for the safety, well being and enjoyment of all players.

WYSA will provide two types of youth soccer play: Travel team play and City team play. City team play will match teams with players of similar age that do not travel outside the city limits against each other. Travel team play will match teams with players of similar age from other cities or towns. WYSA will not sanction out of town play or tournaments for city league teams.


  1. To participate in WYSA a youngster or non-player staff must belong to the WYSA as defined in the WYSA Constitution or be a player as defined in Rule III. Players who have submitted a completed entry form together with full payment before the deadline set by the Board will be guaranteed a playing position on a team in accordance with Rule VIII. (This does not apply to Grade 9 through Post Grad Travel teams.)  Non-player staff will be admitted as a member in accordance with the constitution of WYSA.
  2. All Players must reside in the City of Woburn, Massachusetts unless otherwise approved by a majority vote by the WYSA Board of Directors. 


WYSA will assure that all players and members are affiliated with the appropriate state organization. This affiliation is required in order to provide the proper liability coverage. In the event that affiliation with a state organization is no longer possible, all players and associates must be registered and covered under a separate liability coverage plan. In either case it is the responsibility of the player and associate to make sure that WYSA receives the required information to provide affiliation or registered coverage.


  1. A player is considered registered if he/she has submitted all forms and payment as required by the WYSA Registration Director.  To be accepted, all forms must be completed in accordance with the instructions issued, and must be received by the Registration Director no later than the date set by the Board of Directors for the season the player wishes to participate. Any player that registers after the last day of registration will be charged a late fee.
  2. Registrations will be allowed after registered players have been assigned to teams. An additional late fee shall be charged. If a player registers after players have been assigned to teams, and that player played the previous season, that player shall be placed on his/her previous team provided there are openings on that team. If the player did not play the previous season but played the season previously to that, that player will be placed back with the same team provided there are openings on that team unless that player requests placement on a new team. If a new team is requested or there are no openings, he/she shall be placed on a team with an opening. There shall be a committee that sets the openings per team (see Rule # X). Team roster numbers shall be balanced. A difference of one or two is acceptable.
  3. In order to be eligible for playoffs in the City League, a player must be registered before the seventh (7th) game of that season.
  4. Each team is allowed one Head Coach (Coach) and one Assistant Coach (Assistant), except for Travel team play, where two assistants are allowed.  Each Coach and Assistant must be approved by the Coaches Sportsmanship Committee before assuming their position. Once approved, it is the responsibility of the Coach or Assistant to notify the Registration Director of his or her appointment and provide all the information required to assure affiliation or registration. Other non player members in WYSA: referees, Directors, or other volunteers; must contact the Registration Director and notify him/her of their function and supply all required information to assure affiliation.
  5. Failure to comply with the above registration procedures will eliminate the player or member from participating in the WYSA and may limit the players or members coverage under any liability coverage obtained by the WYSA.


  1. For each team a current roster must be on file with the respective Director.  Rosters are due before the start of play for the season. Unless otherwise specified by the Board, rosters must contain a minimum of the following:

Group             Minimum Maximum

Grade K:               6              8

Grade 1:                8            10

Grade 2:                8            10

Grade 3-4:           10            14

Grade 5-6:           12            16

Grade 7-8:           14            18 MTOC / 22 County

Grade 9-10:         14            18 MTOC / 22 County

Grade 11-12:        14            18 MTOC / 22 County

Grade Post Grad: 14            18 MTOC / 22 County

  1. The Commissioner and Age Directors and other Board members if needed will determine the number of players playing on the field based on the average total of players on each roster while trying to have four or five substitutes for the City League.
  2. No Coach, City or Travel, will be required to carry more than the maximum number of players.
  3. The Kindergarten Division rosters must contain a maximum of 8 players.
  4. Players may not be transferred from one team to another after the rosters have been finalized. Due to extenuating circumstances only, changes may be made with the approval of both Coaches, the Age Director, The Commissioner, and the Registration Director.
  5. At a Coaches request, a Coach that wants a player outside his/her age division to move up must submit a letter to the Board of Directors. The Coach will be notified if the request is or is not approved.
  6. Players grade 9 and above are not allowed to be dual rostered for any other soccer team except for Mass Youth Soccer’s ODP or their Town Select League.  Any player that registers and then withdraws due to being dual rostered, will not receive a refund.


  • Anyone interested in an appointment as a Coach, must be at least 21 years old, and must submit his/her name in writing to a member of the Board of Directors, and fill out the required forms.  Coaches may select or be assigned high school aged players as an additional assistant referred to as a Student Coach.  Student Coaches 18 years old or older must register as an adult.
  • Coaches interested in applying for a Travel Team coach position must apply in writing to the Travel Director by the deadline posted (online and on the application), preceding the fall season in which they hope to coach.  The application may be filled out online or downloaded and emailed to the Travel Director.  Applications must include a resume and may include any letters of recommendation.
  • For the age/grade 9-12+PG teams, applications are due by the deadline posted (online and on the application), preceding the spring season in which they hope to coach.  The application may be filled out online or downloaded and emailed to the Travel Director.  Applications must include a resume and may include any letters of recommendation.
  • In the case of more than one application for one team, the Board may request that each applicant attend an interview process.
  • However, applying for any coaching position does not guarantee a coaching assignment.
  • Coaches will be selected by the Coaches Selection Committee and approved by the Board.  The Board will approve the coaches before the tryouts and player evaluation sessions.
  • Coaches are selected for one soccer year, the Fall season through until the end of the Spring season and Travel Team Coaches must also make a commitment to a team for both the Fall and Spring seasons.  For the age/grade 9-12+PG teams, coaches are selected for the Spring season only.
  • There must be one Head Coach for each Travel Team.  This individual will be responsible for all phases of the team including selecting and managing Assistant Coaches.  Assistant Coach selections must be approved by the Board.
  • In the case of wrongdoings by the Travel Team coach, either in violation of WYSA guidelines or league rules, the coach may be removed during the season by the Board.  A letter of reprimand may be issued for the first time violations and further action may be taken on subsequent violations.
  • In case of no coaching candidates for a particular Team, it will be the responsibility of the Age/Grade Director to obtain a qualified coach for the team.
  • City League Coaches may choose one or two Assistant Coaches, and these Assistant Coach’s children will be placed on their assigned team.
  • Coaches and assistant coaches must be members with the WYSA and completely fill out an acceptable Cori form and have a MYSA adult registration.


The WYSA requires that all players, including Travel team players, will be afforded the opportunity to play at least one half of the available playing time during any game that each player attends.

Although the Coach is not expected to keep exact track of the amount of time each player plays during a game, the Coach is responsible for assuring that all players are provided the opportunity to play one half of the game.

As stated in paragraph one above, each Travel player shall play the equivalent of at least one complete half (50%) of each game they attend provided they meet the requirements of the Travel Commitment Understanding Agreement.  It is the Team Coach’s responsibility to make sure that all Players, Parents and/or Guardians are aware of the Commitment of Understanding Agreement, as well as communicating to them any potential issues that may be developing under the Agreement for resolution, prior to instituting any sanction(s).


Being selected to play in the WYSA Travel Program should be considered an honor, prevents another player from being selected for the team and comes with an implied level of commitment.  Both Player and Parent/Guardian should be aware that by accepting placement on the Travel Team, the commitment will include attendance at practices and games as determined by each team’s coach and must be able to play in the playoffs and be available to go to the end of season tournaments.

This commitment also includes an agreement by each player to conduct themselves in a proper manner in regards to respect and sportsmanship to all coaches, players, referees, parents, and spectators at all times while representing WYSA. 

WYSA encourages its Players to participate in other outside activities, but in fairness to all programs, the commitment requirements for the Travel Program should be considered before choosing to participate in either this program, as well as in fairness to the other program(s), as only compelling reasons will be considered by the Coach for not meeting the requirements.  Compelling excuses for not meeting the requirement are defined as situations, by their nature, are beyond the player's control, i.e. family obligations, school activities, religious functions, etc. The Coach should be informed of these conflicts as early as possible.  If there is a failure to meet the minimum requirements, the player may suffer a loss of playing time, a suspension and or expulsion from the team.

Players are expected to attend all Travel tryouts as described in WYSA Rule X.4.


____________________________________ _________________

Signature of Player                                                        Date

____________________________________ _________________

Signature of Parent/Guardian                                        Date


Each Coach is responsible for verifying that all the players are properly registered and qualified to play on the team.

If it is determined that a team has used an unregistered, overage, or otherwise unqualified player in a game, that game shall be considered a forfeit. In addition, the Sportsmanship Committee may suspend the team, Coach, and / or the player for a number of games or a period of time. Any player who misrepresents his / her age will be suspended for the remainder of the season. A Coach or Assistant knowingly using an overage, suspended, or otherwise unqualified player will be automatically suspended and only readmitted to the WYSA after applying in writing to the Sportsmanship Committee. The Sportsmanship Committee’s decision concerning Coaches and Assistants can be changed only by a majority vote of the Board of Directors during a meeting of the Board, at which a quorum exists.


All WYS Age Groups will be based on Massachusetts Youth Soccer Age Groups effective starting for the seasonal year 2017/2018.  Massachusetts Youth Soccer Age Groups are defined as “Town based programs and league will be using the GRADE based grouping and Open Club based programs (e.g. NSL, NEP) and USYS programs (e.g. TSL, ODP, State Cup, NCS, Region 1, and National League) will be using the AGE based groupings.  This is due to US Youth Soccer changing the Age Groups to birth year (January 1 to December 31).  

Travel age groups will be adjusted according to the Travel League WYSA affiliates with.

WYSA will have age groups for

Travel: Boys Post Grad, Girls Post Grad, Boys Grades 11/12, Girls Grades 11/12, Boys Grades 9/10, and Girls Grades 9/10, Boys Grades 7/8, Girls Grades 7/8.

Travel and City: Boys Grades 5/6, Girls Grades 5/6, Boys Grades 3/4, and Girls Grades 3/4.

City: Grade 2, Grade 1 and Kindergarten.


The cost per player will be set by the Board in accordance with the WYSA Constitution and will be made known at least one month prior to the start of registration.


  1. In each age group, except Grade 9 and above, which is Travel only, and Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2, which are City only, there will be two groupings of teams, Travel and City. Each of those groupings may be arranged into further Divisional levels.
  2. A committee consisting of at least the President, Commissioner, Registration Director, and Travel Director will determine the number of Travel teams to be formed. (All Age Directors shall be invited to attend the meeting to set the numbers of teams each season.) The number of Travel teams determined will include but not be limited to the following:
  1. City Team requirements over Travel team registrations.
  2. Total number of qualified players requesting to play a travel team by age group.
  3. Availability of Travel team coaches.
  1. Players returning to the same age group as the previous season within a City team will remain with the same team except as provided by in section III. If the player did not play the previous season but played the season previously to that, that player will be placed back with the same team provided there are openings on that team unless that player requests placement on a new team. If a new team is requested or there are no openings, that player will be placed on any team with an opening by their age group.
  2. All players requesting placement on a Travel team must participate in tryouts specifically for Travel teams and be selected by a Travel team. Any player in this group not selected by a Travel team will either:
    1. Return to the same City team they played for the previous season.
    2. If they played Travel in the previous season or are changing age/grade groups, they will be placed on the list for a City team by their age/grade group except for the U14/Grade 7/8 group and the high school age/grade groups. These age/grade groups will be placed on a waitlist.
    3. Travel team players who sign up to play in the Spring and who played Travel in the Fall will return to the Travel team they played for in the Fall, unless the Board or the Sportsmanship Committee rules otherwise.
  3. If more than one Travel team per age group is to be fielded, each team will be designated in succession starting with One (1), Two (2), etc. Players who have met all qualifications to play for a Travel team may be selected by one Travel coach. The Travel coach or the designee will select only from the list of qualified players. The order of selection will be determined by the team designation starting with the team designated number One (1) and will not proceed until the coach or designee has selected a full roster the size of which is governed under Section III. The WYSA Board may adjust the number of players per team to balance the rosters.
  4. When there are two or more teams to be rostered for U16 – U19, in order to be considered for placement on the number One team, potential players must attend tryouts.
  5. When the total number of players exceeds 18, 36, 54, etc. the coaches shall be asked to take the maximum number of eighteen (18) players per team.
  6. Players can only be placed on one team.
  7. If a player was unable to attend Travel tryouts, the head coach of any Travel team can petition the Board of Directors to allow them to be added to their roster.
    The petition must be sent to the President and/or Travel Director in writing (email is acceptable);
    This request must be sent in no later than 14 days prior to the roster freeze date of the Fall or Spring season.   This date is determined by the league we are affiliated with.
    The Board of Directors will vote on each of the petitions and a majority vote is required to allow the player to be added to the Travel roster.


  1. All children must be registered to try out.
  2. Registration will close on a day to be determined by the Board each season.
  3. There will be two Travel tryouts and if needed, followed by one City tryout.
  4. A third Travel tryout is allowed if requested by any Travel coach with the approval by the President and / or Travel Director.


  1. This tryout will be run by a Board member, who will oversee the schedule for the tryout, take attendance of the players trying out, keep the tryout to a maximum of 120 minutes, and be in charge of getting volunteers to help run the tryout, if necessary.
  2. All players must attend at least one tryout unless otherwise excused by the Board if they are to be considered for placement on a Travel Team.  Attending only one tryout may affect team placement.


  1. If tryouts are needed, the tryouts will be overseen by a Board member, preferably the Age/Grade Director. 
  2. All registered players are required to attend to be eligible for selection.
  3. Those who do not attend will be placed on teams by random selection by the coaches or by the Directors in charge.


Any player / coach who violates the rules or spirit of the game may, at the discretion of the referee, be issued a red card. The player issued the red card shall be ejected from the game and may not return to the game. The team will continue to play the game shorthanded. In addition, the player may not play in the next game his / hers team plays. The player must be in attendance at the next game, in full uniform, and remain on the sidelines for the entire game. If a red-carded player does not attend the next scheduled game the suspension follows him / her until he / she does attend a regularly scheduled game. The team does not play this game shorthanded unless this player is the only player available.

A player who received a red card for fighting must attend each of their suspended games in uniform and on the sideline or else their suspension continues until they do so.

Any coach and / or assistant issued a red card by a referee must leave the field and surrounding area, far enough to the satisfaction of the referee.  They cannot participate in the coaching of the team for the remainder of the game or the next game. Based on a decision of the Coaches’ Sportsmanship Committee, the coach and / or assistant may or may not participate in future games.

For further clarification on player suspension, see WYSA Rules of Play Rule 12.


When a coach cannot field a team to play a scheduled game for a legitimate reason, specifically, not enough players, the coach shall notify and receive the approval of the Age Director at least 48 hours prior to the game.


The President or the Commissioner will hold the sole authority to postpone Saturday games. If in the opinion of the President and / or Commissioner, the field(s) are unplayable, either due to weather or some other cause, the Age Directors will be notified that the games are postponed. The Age Directors will have the authority to postpone weeknight games, if necessary. The Age Directors will notify the coaches of any postponements.

If, in the course of a game, the field becomes unplayable, the referee will at his / her discretion suspend play in accordance with FIFA Law. In no case is a coach to postpone or suspend a game on his / her own.


WYSA is interested in providing youngsters with every opportunity available to play soccer; therefore all games postponed or canceled will be rescheduled and made up as soon as possible. There are to be no forfeits in City league.


Proper field markings, corner flags, and goal nets are mandatory. Corner flags and goal nets will be picked up and brought to the field by the designated home team. The home team must assure that the nets and flags are at the field 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the game.

The designated away team will collect the nets and flags and return them to the storage container.

The referee maintains the power to declare the field unplayable if the marking or equipment is unsuitable under FIFA rules.


All players must wear commercially available shin guards. Players may wear footwear consisting of cleats, as long as the footwear does not have a “toe cleat” as is found on baseball cleats.

WYSA will provide all teams with uniforms consisting of numbered shirts, shorts and socks. All players are required by WYSA to wear the uniform as issued by WYSA. The only exception being the goalkeeper whose shirt must be a different color than any other player on the field during the game.

All players are responsible for the replacement cost of any part of the uniform that is lost.

WYS teams shall not wear any uniform shirt with a WYS emblem on the shirt in any indoor soccer league unless approved by the BOD.


All referees are urged to attend a certified training class and to become USSF licensed referees. Referees shall be paid at game rates set by the Board.

WYSA, through the Referee Director, will attempt to provide a referee for all games within the city. If a referee has not appeared for a game 10 minutes after the scheduled start time, the game is to be played with a referee agreed upon by both coaches. WYSA will provide payment to the substitute referee at the game rate as set by the Board.

Referees must be 12 years old or older. Twelve year old referees are to referee grade 2 and below games.

Referee Director and Age Directors can name a “Referee of the Season” to a boy or girl with a $25 gift certificate.

WYS may provide Assistant Referees for Grades 5/6 and Grades 7/8 Travel games for development purposes with pay based on half of what the center referees make.


The referee will check each player on both teams to assure that all players meet the requirements to play. The referee will check to make sure that: each player is wearing the proper uniform, including a numbered shirt, shorts and socks; that team colors are separate and distinct; that the goalkeepers have distinctive shirt colors; and that no player is wearing footwear with a toe cleat.

The referee must also assure that all jewelry, watches, necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets are removed. The referee will not allow a player to play with a cast (either hard or soft) to participate in the game.


Teams shall be present at least fifteen (15) minutes prior to game time. The referee may suspend the game fifteen (15) minutes after game time if one team cannot field the minimum number of players as stated in Rule XXVII.

Suspended games shall be made up as per Rule XV.


FIFA Laws of the game shall be in effect except as noted in these rules and in the WYSA Rules of Play issued by WYSA.

Kindergarten & Grade 1 program will model Mass Youth Soccer’s small-sided model and follow US Youth Soccer’s Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 Rules of Play with modifications where applicable.


Kindergarten         4                      8 minutes                 3

Grade 1                 4                    10 minutes                 3

Grade 2                 4                    12 minutes                 3

Grades 3/4            2                     25 minutes                4

Grades 5/6            2                     30 minutes                4

Grades 7/8            2                     35 minutes                5

Grades 9/10          2                     40 minutes                5

Grades 11/12        2                     45 minutes                5

Grade PG              2                    45 minutes                 5



  1. At the end of each period.
  2. At the time of injury. After an injury, the player may return during any stoppage of play. e.g., corner kick, goal kick, ball out of bounds.
  3. No player is to play more than two consecutive periods unless the team is limited to two or less substitutes.

Grade 1:  

  1. At the end of each period.
  2. At the time of injury.  After an injury, the player may return during any stoppage of play. e.g.., corner kick, goal kick, ball out of bounds.

Grade 2:  

  1. At the end of each period.
  2. At the time of injury.  After an injury, the player may return during any stoppage of play. e.g.., corner kick, goal kick, ball out of bounds.

Grades 3/4, Grades 5/6 and Grades 7/8:

  1. After a goal is scored.
  2. Before a goal kick by either team.
  3. On a team’s own throw-in.
  4. On the other team’s throw-in only if they are substituting.
  5. At the time of an injury.


For each team an approved coach / assistant shall be present during the entire game. If no such coach is present, or if the coach is ejected or leaves the game, the referee may accept another person (not a player) as the substitute coach. The game will not be played or continued if the referee, at any time, decides that there is no proper supervision present.

Each coach and assistant should set a proper example of sportsmanship and goodwill while conducting himself / herself properly, and by supporting the referee and assisting in maintaining order before, during, and after a game.  Failure to comply with said rules may result in a review of the coach to determine the problem and be handled accordingly.

Each team in the Grades 3/4, Grades 5/6 and Grades 7/8 Age Groups must use one side of the field for their bench positions, one team on one side of the midfield line and the opposing team on the other side of the midfield line. Substitutions must remain in the designated team bench area. The parents must remain behind the opposite sideline of the teams until the Referee signals the end of the game.

Coaches may coach or instruct from the team sideline. They may walk up and down the sideline between the midfield line and the 18 yard-line on their half of the field. Coaches are not allowed to coach or instruct from within the penalty area or behind the goal line or from the other side of the midfield line.


Protests relating to a specific game may only be made by a coach of a team playing in the game and only within 48 hours following the game. All protests must be filed in writing and given to their Age Director. Protests will usually be denied if:

  1. It is not based on a clear violation against one of the Laws of the game or playing rules of WYSA.
  2. It is based on a judgment call by the referee.
  3. It is not based on a specific incident.


The winning coach shall call the Age Director on the day of the game to report the game results. In the event of a tie, both coaches should call the Age Director with the results.


The Woburn Youth Soccer Association (WYSA) Sportsmanship Committee (the Committee) shall oversee the conduct of all WYSA Coaches. Any Coach who violates the Coach’s Code of Conduct, or who doesn’t adhere to the duties and responsibilities as outlined in the Coach’s Responsibilities and General Guidelines, the Coach’s Handbook, and the WYSA Rules is subject to review by the Committee. The Committee shall meet upon any report of violations and take whatever action is deemed appropriate.

Coaches may appeal the Committee’s decision to the full Board of Directors of WYSA (the Board). The appeal must be made in writing within seven (7) days of the Committee’s decision and given to the appropriate Age Director. The Board will meet on the appeal at their next regularly scheduled meeting. 

The decision of the Board is final.

The Sportsmanship Committee will act as the Travel Disciplinary Committee.

Zero Tolerance Rule

The referee (lead Official) must file a written report to the Referee (Assignor) Director immediately following the game for any misconducts or violations of these Codes of Conduct. The Referee Director shall give this report to the Sportsmanship Committee within 48 hours.

Massachusetts Youth Soccer Zero Tolerance Rul

This Zero Tolerance Policy in an effort to decrease the abuse of soccer Officials (Referee, Assistant Referee, Linespeople, 4th Official). We must all work together to deter and eliminate all levels of verbal abuse or negative criticism of Officials. We would not tolerate such behavior towards our children, we must not tolerate the same towards our Officials. 

This Zero Tolerance Policy is not intended to label Officials as always right and spectators and/or coaches are always wrong. Just as players make mistakes during play and coaches may err in strategy or methodology, Officials will make mistakes in officiating, particularly in the younger divisions where they are learning how to officiate.

The current state of affairs regarding chronic shortages of qualified Officials will likely be with us for some time. We simply cannot afford to experience the high levels of attrition of Officials that have occurred in the past. One consequence of this shortage is the need from time to time for an Official to be assigned to officiate a higher level match than they otherwise might be comfortable officiating. In all cases, our Officials must receive only positive support from coaches and spectators to continue to grow as an official. 

This Zero Tolerance Policy applies to all coaches, players, parents, spectators, and other supporters and Officials participating in a Mass Youth Soccer program or event.

The coach is responsible for ensuring all spectators associated with their team follow this Zero Tolerance Policy relating to communications with an Official. A coach or spectator may not express any disagreement or dissatisfaction whatsoever with the officiating to any Official, directly or indirectly. A coach or spectator may not, before, during, or after a match, discuss with, or voice within earshot of, an Official any critique of the Official's performance, other than to thank and positively compliment the Official. Any other critiques may only be voiced or communicated through the appropriate league’s reporting channels. 

Abusive and obscene language, violent play or conduct, fighting, and other negative or derogatory behavior (such as sarcasm or taunting) directed to or about Officials or otherwise deemed detrimental to the match will not be tolerated. The ultimate responsibility for the actions of coaches, players and spectators resides with the member organizations (towns, clubs, leagues).

It is the responsibility of the coaches to provide all Officials support and spectator control, and it is the responsibility of the member clubs to provide instructions to their coaches on how they are expected to carry this out. This policy applies before, during, and after the match at the soccer field and its immediate surrounding areas. 

Parents, Guardians & Spectators

No parent, guardian or spectator shall address the Officials at any time. 

This includes, but is not limited to: 

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

The only allowable exceptions to the above are: 

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

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

Consequences (for Parents, Guardians & Spectators)

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

  1. Issue a verbal warning to the coach of the offending party’s team and have the coach address the parent, guardian or spectator to cease their actions. 
  2. Stop the match and instruct the coaches to direct the parent, guardian or spectator to leave the field area. 
  3. Abandon the match if the parent. guardian or spectator does not leave the field area. 


The conduct of the players and substitutes is governed by the Laws of the Game as provided by IFAB and USSF and in effect from time to time. The Laws themselves describe the consequences associated with violating the Laws of the Game. Additional consequences for players who engage in misconduct may be established by the club and/or league, but may in no case be less severe than the consequences established by IFAB, USSF, or Mass Youth Soccer and in effect from time to time.

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 (Please refer to our Coaches Code of Conduct). Failure to do so undermines the Official’s authority and the integrity of the match resulting in a hostile environment for players, the Official(s), coaches, assistant coaches, bench personnel, and spectators. As role models for all of the participants and spectators, coaches participating in a Mass Youth Soccer sanctioned event are expected to be supportive of, and to acknowledge the effort, good play, and sportsmanship on the part of ALL players from both teams. For example, coaches, assistant coaches and bench personnel are expected to show that although they are competing in a match, they have respect for their opponent, Officials, and spectators at all times. Mass Youth Soccer will not tolerate negative behavior exhibited either by demonstrative actions and gestures, or by ill-intentioned remarks, including those addressed toward the Officials or members of an opposing team. Coaches exhibiting hostile, negative, sarcastic, or otherwise ill-intended behavior toward Officials, opposing players, or opponent’s coaches will be subject to sanction by the match Official. 

Additional sanctions may be imposed by the coach’s club, the league that the match is being played under, or as allowed by Mass Youth Soccer 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 match 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 Officials at any time.
  • Coaches are not to address the Officials during the match except to:
  1. Respond to an Official who has initiated a conversation.
  2. Point out emergency or safety issues.
  3. Make substitutions.
  4. Ask the Officials, “What is the type of restart (direction and Indirect Free Kick or Direct Free Kick)?”
  5. Ask for the time remaining in the half. 
  • Coaches are allowed to ask an Official after a match or during the halftime interval, in a polite and constructive way, to explain a law or foul, but not judgment calls made. 
  1. Polite and friendly concern can be exchanged with the referee. If the polite tone of the conversation changes, the Official may abandon the exchange at any time and the coach will cease further discussion or interaction. 
  2. 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 Officials once the match has concluded.

Consequences for Coaches, Assistant Coaches, & Bench Personnel

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

  1. Issue a verbal warning to the offending coach, assistant coach, or bench personnel. 
  2. Caution the offending coach, assistant coach, or bench personnel. 
  3. Eject the offending coach, assistant coach, or bench personnel. Once ejected, the individual will be required to leave the field area immediately. 
  4. Abandon the match, if the coach, assistant coach, or bench personnel do not leave the field area after having been instructed to do so. 

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

All cases of alleged abuse or assault of a referee shall be reported to the Mass Youth Soccer State Office and State Referee Administrator within 48 hours of conclusion of the match. Mass Youth Soccer 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 Mass Youth Soccer 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 date of this Zero Tolerance Policy is offered by way of information, as follows:

Referee Abuse

  1. 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. 
  2. 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

  1. Referee Assault is an intentional act of physical violence at or upon a referee. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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 5 February 2023 that could inflict injury; damaging the referee’s uniform or personal property, i.e. car, equipment, etc.

Massachusetts Youth Soccer Coach’s Code of Conduct

Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association, Inc. (Mass Youth Soccer) and its Member Organizations (our Town Programs, Clubs, and Leagues) are committed to promoting the highest levels of respect and consideration in the conduct of all participants (coaches, players, spectators, and referees) during matches at all levels. We want to ensure that matches are fair, positive, and enjoyable experiences for all of the children and adults involved. A soccer match should be friendly and unifying - a spirited social and athletic occasion for all.

To clarify expectations of conduct, we jointly expect all coaches to conform to this code of conduct at all times.

  • Before, during, and after the match, you are at all times an example of dignity, patience, and positive spirit.
  • Before a match, respectfully introduce yourself to the opposing coaches and to the referee/official(s).
  • During the matches and practices, you are responsible for the sportsmanship of your players. If one of your players is disrespectful, irresponsible, or overly aggressive, take the player out of the match or practice until they calm down.
  • At all times (matches and practices), you are also responsible for the conduct of the parents of your players and other spectators rooting for your team. It is your responsibility to explain to them acceptable player and parent/spectator behavior in a preseason meeting. Refer to our Parents/Guardians/Spectators and Players’ Codes of Conduct.
    • Before the season, send out the Parents/Guardians/Spectators and Players Code of Conduct.
  • At matches, encourage all parents/guardians/spectators from both teams to applaud and cheer for good plays by both teams. Discourage them from yelling at players and the referee/official - be as forceful and direct as necessary.
  • During the match, do not address the referee/official at all. Do not question their calls.
  • Acknowledge good sportsmanship when it’s displayed as necessary.
  • If you have a complaint, report your opinion to your League. Your observations will be taken seriously if they are presented objectively, factually, and formally.
  • Demand a sports environment that is free from drugs, alcohol and tobacco and refrain from their use at all matches, exhibitions, practices, and events.
  • Never coach a match or conduct a practice under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Never use profanity or make obscene gestures, or engage in any inappropriate behavior or conduct, at any time.
  • After the match, thank the referee/official(s) and ask your players to do the same.

Coaches who don't follow the expectations described above will be disciplined or removed.

In closing, Mass Youth Soccer stresses two points: Officials (Referees, Assistant Referees, 4th Officials, and Linespeople) - especially young and inexperienced ones - are like your players and yourself, in that they need time to develop. You play an important role in helping them to improve by letting them concentrate on the match. You can help by encouraging them to be their best and by accepting their inevitable and occasional mistakes. Your role as a coach is to concentrate on your players' enjoyment of the sport and their overall, long-term development, and to support the officials. Use self-regulation to monitor your behavior at all times! When you follow these expectations, the spirit of the sport of soccer will be alive and well in Massachusetts and will grow, along with the enjoyment of all.

Coach’s Responsibilities

In addition to the Coach’s Code of Conduct, the following Coach Responsibilities should be followed during every youth soccer related activity:

  • Understand and accept that coaching is a position of trust.
  • Be a positive role model for their players and maintain their personal integrity and dignity at all times.
  • Create a player centered environment where players are free to make autonomous decisions.
  • Remember that players are involved for fun and enjoyment and you should strive to create a positive soccer environment that reflects why they play.
  • Understand that as a youth coach, the match is for the children, not the adults.
  • Consistently have a positive attitude and praise players for their efforts and playing fair regardless of the outcome of the match.
  • Never criticize or yell at any player on your team for making a mistake nor address an opposing player in a derogatory manner.
  • De-escalate any physical or verbal abuse in youth sports.
  • Understand that winning is a consideration, but not the only one, nor the most important one.
  • Place the well being and growth of every player above your personal desire to win.
  • Understand that being a coach means being, first and foremost, a role model.
  • Create a safe, fun and inclusive environment that provides opportunities for all of your players the capacity to improve their skills, gain confidence and develop self-esteem.
  • Create co-constructed team and individual goals. Know and understand your soccer organizations playing time guidelines and give every player an opportunity to play as much as possible.
  • Remind the players about the co-constructed goals and objectives for the team, as well as the rules of the match and the policies of your soccer organization, whenever requested or necessary, to the best of your ability.
  • Inspect all equipment and fields on a regular basis to ensure the safety of players, paying special attention to the security of goal frames.

Massachusetts Youth Soccer Player’s Code of Conduct

All Mass Youth Soccer players are encouraged to take the time to read this Player’s Code of Conduct. As a Parent or Guardian, please encourage your player to read the guidance, or read and discuss it with your younger player, to help them understand the importance of following this Code of Conduct. This guidance applies to players of every age and we rely on our Parents, Guardians, and Coaches to help instill the Code of Conduct in our players as part of the culture of our game. 

Our goal is to help all youth soccer players to develop physically, mentally, and emotionally over time. Soccer matches and practices are our method to accomplish this goal. 

To achieve this goal, Mass Youth Soccer has adopted this Player’s Code of Conduct. We reserve the right to dismiss from our programs any player who does not adhere to this Player’s Code of Conduct. 

The Player’s Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines that all players who choose to participate in any Mass Youth Soccer sanctioned activity or events that include but are not limited to all leagues, tournaments, and practices.

Player Code of Conduct 

  1. Sportsmanship, fair play, and respect are expected from all players. Players will be good teammates and treat others as they would like to be treated. 
  2. Players will not use offensive or abusive language at practices or matches. 
  3. Players will not intentionally harm or threaten coaches, teammates, opponents, or referees. 
  4. Players will not engage in bullying, harassment, or hazing during any sanctioned programs, activities, and events. 
  5. Players will not use social networking websites, cell phones, or other forms of technology to harass or threaten coaches, teammates, opponents, or referees. 
  6. Players will display a positive attitude and show respect toward coaches, teammates, opponents, and officials (Center Referee, Assistant Referee, Linepeople, 4th Official). 
  7. After matches, players shall positively acknowledge the opposing team. This may be done with a team handshake/fist bump or team cheer. 
  8. Players will also comply with all town, club, and league Zero Tolerance Policies. 
  9. Players will not use and possess illegal drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana at sanctioned programs, activities, and events 
  10. Players must treat teammates, coaches, parents, opponents, match officials, and themselves with fairness and respect at all times. 
  11. Fighting in any form will not be tolerated. 
  12. Players are prohibited from using performance enhancing or mind-altering drugs (legal or illegal). 
  13. There is a zero tolerance for referee abuse. (See Zero Tolerance Policy). 
  14. Players are expected to know, follow, and play by the soccer laws of the match. Any intentional act of deceiving the match officials to gain an unfair advantage will be considered a violation of the Player Code of Conduct.

Penalties for Violations of the Code of Conduct

  • Initial Violation: A verbal warning from the coach to the player and parent/guardian. 
  • 2nd Violation: Player misses next practice and/or match. 
  • 3rd Violation: Player is suspended from all practices and matches for the remainder of the season.

The coach will also notify (email preferred) the appropriate Director to report the violation(s).

Massachusetts Youth Soccer Parent’s/Guardian’s/Spectator’s Code of Conduct

Watching our children play any sport can be rewarding. We have the opportunity to observe them develop technical and physical skills (dribbling, shooting, passing), learn what sportsmanship and teamwork are all about, understand how to act and react when winning and losing, and overall become more well-rounded people who ultimately learn how to treat all others with respect and dignity.

We all should be proud of how well our children do as they learn and grow through soccer. Yet, as many of you may know, inappropriate conduct by parents and other spectators has become an increasing problem for youth sports organizations. To deal with this problem in an effective manner, Massachusetts Youth Soccer and all member organizations will implement this Parents’/Guardian’s/Spectator’s Code of Conduct which is detailed below. The Massachusetts Youth Soccer Board of Directors urges all of you to take these policies to heart so that we will all have a safe, enjoyable and successful season.

Parent’s/Guardian’s/Spectator’s Code of Conduct

  1. Do not force your child to participate in sports. 
  2. Applaud good plays; don’t dwell on bad plays. Children play sports to have fun, make new friends, and learn new skills. 
  3. Children imitate their parents. If you are disruptive or act inappropriately, your child, and possibly others, will act in a similar fashion. 
  4. The sidelines are not a place to shout personal instructions. Encouraging from the sidelines is appreciated, coaching from the spectator sidelines is forbidden. A good rule to follow when you cheer/yell/shout from the sidelines is, “No verbs!” 
  5. There is more to life than soccer. Encourage your child to participate in other activities. 
  6. Respect the coach’s decision and abilities. Don’t force your child to decide whether to listen to you or to the coach. 
  7. Stress fair and sensible play. Soccer is a contact sport, let the officials determine fair or foul play 
  8. Promote the long-term importance of practice over the short-term excitement of matches. 
  9. Promote the importance of teamwork. 
  10. Never lose sight of the fact that you are a role model. 
  11. The other team is the opponent, not the enemy. Treat all with respect. 
  12. Mistakes are a part of the learning process for everyone. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. 
  13. Take time to learn the rules of the match and the policies of the club and league. 
  14. Remember that coaches and administrators are usually volunteers. A “thank you” every once in a while is often a nice reward. 

Parent’s/Guardian’s/Spectator’s Zero Tolerance Physical Abuse Policy

All parents, guardians, and spectators of players are subject to the Zero Tolerance Physical Abuse Policy:

  1. Any parent, guardian, or spectator that attempts to threaten or cause physical injury to any individual associated with Mass Youth Soccer or its member Organizations (Towns/Clubs/Leagues) shall be subject to, and their children shall be subject to immediate suspension from play and/or other league involvement, for up to one year at the sole discretion of the authority of the competition where the infraction occurred. 
  2. A second instance of an attempt to threaten or cause physical injury shall result in up to a minimum three year suspension for the player(s) and the parent/guardian from any involvement.

All individuals associated with Mass Youth Soccer are expected to uphold the values of honesty, good sportsmanship, and respect for the integrity of team participation and team play within Mass Youth Soccer and other related sports organizations.

All individuals associated with Mass Youth Soccer are expected to understand and comply with the Mass Youth Soccer Safe Soccer Policies in accordance with U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Center for Safe Sport requirements, and other, similar guidance in force and adopted from time to time. 

Match referees, officials and administration have been instructed to stop play when parents, guardians, or spectators display inappropriate or disruptive behavior that interferes with coaches, players, or other spectators during the match. Referees or club/league officials will identify violators to the coaches for the purpose of removing the violators from the spectators’ viewing and match area. Once removed, play will resume. Lost time will not be replaced and violators may be subject to further disciplinary action or local civil and criminal statutes. Inappropriate and disruptive behavior listed above shall include, but not be limited to: 

  • Use of obscene or vulgar language in a boisterous manner to anyone at any time.
  • Taunting players, coaches, officials, or other spectators by means of baiting, ridiculing, threat of physical violence, or actual violence either in person, electronically, or via social media.  Throwing of any object in the spectators’ viewing area, players’ area, playing fields, or parking areas, directed in any manner in order to intimidate or harm another person or that may create a safety hazard. 

Massachusetts Youth Soccer Soccer Officials Code of Conduct

This Soccer Officials Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines that all match officials (Center Referee, Assistant Referee, Linespeople, 4th Official) shall follow in their participation in any Mass Youth Soccer sanctioned activity or events that include but are not limited to all league play, tournaments, and other matches:

  1. I will always maintain the utmost respect for the game of soccer.
  2. I will conduct myself honorably at all times and maintain the dignity of my position.
  3. Barring any unforeseen circumstances (i.e. sickness, family emergency, act of G-d), I will always honor an accepted assignment or any other official appointment.
  4. I will attend recertification classes to maintain my Referee License and optional training opportunities and clinics so as to maintain and improve my knowledge of the Laws of the Game, their proper interpretation, and their application.
  5. I will always strive to achieve maximum team work with my fellow officials.
  6. I will be loyal to my fellow officials and never knowingly promote criticism of them.
  7. I will strive to maintain proper and appropriate physical condition.
  8. I will control the players with professionalism and respect and do my best to keep the game fair and safe for all players.
  9. I will always strive to conduct myself in a professional manner. I will refrain from indulging in arguments or name-calling with coaches. 
  10. I will not interact with any spectators other than what has been approved via the Mass Youth Soccer Zero Tolerance Policy. Any spectator issues I encounter I will address them with the appropriate coach. 
  11. I do hereby acknowledge my fellow referees' total authority over any matches over which they are duly assigned to officiate, and I pledge that I will never interfere with the carrying out of their prescribed duties, before, during, or after a match. 
  12. I understand that any criticism of fellow referees should be limited to constructive criticism in quiet, private referee-to-referee discussions, and then never within hearing distance of players, coaches, or spectators. 
  13. I will not make statements about any games except to clarify an interpretation of the Laws of the Game. 
  14. I acknowledge that if I am also a coach, player, or spectator, that my conduct towards, and my respect for, my fellow referee doing my game is more closely noticed by all concerned. I will, therefore, strive to set a very high standard of personal conduct under these circumstances to serve as an example to all. 
  15. I will not discriminate against nor take undue advantage of any individual group on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. 
  16. I will not partake of any type of alcoholic beverage or narcotics, smoke or vape before or during any game assignment. 
  17. I consider it a privilege to be a part of the U.S. Soccer Federation and my actions will reflect credit upon that organization and its affiliates. 
  18. I will always faithfully carry out my duties and obligations as a soccer referee/official registered with the Mass Youth Soccer, Massachusetts State Referee Committee and U.S. Soccer. 
  19. As a USSF Certified Referee/Official, I understand that I may be sanctioned by the Massachusetts State Referee Committee and/or US Soccer to include being placed on probation, suspended, or refused referee registration, for significant or repetitive breaches of this Soccer Officials Code of Conduct or any of its provisions. 

XXVII: Minimum Number of Players:

AGE GROUP    Minimum     Maximum   Goalkeeper

Kindergarten           3                  4                 No

Grade 1                  4                   5                 No

Grade 2                  4                   6                Yes

Boys Grades 3/4     5                  7                Yes

Girls Grades 3/4     5                   7                Yes

Boys Grades 5/6     6                 11                Yes

Girls Grades 5/6      6                 11                Yes

Boys Grades 7/8     7                  11                Yes

Girls Grades 7/8      7                  11                Yes

Grades 9-PG           7                  11                Yes

The Commissioner and Age Directors and other Board members if needed will determine the number of players playing on the field based on the average total of players on each roster with trying to have four or five substitutes for the City League.


This is the criteria to be used in the event that at the close of the city season, two teams are tied for placement in the standings by having the same number of total points.

The tie breaker determination is made in this descending order until a winner is determined:

  1. The record of each team in head to head competition during the season.
  2. The least number of goals yielded in head to head competition.
  3. The least number of goals given up during the year.
  4. A separate match between the two teams is made. In extreme circumstances or weather conditions, such as excessive heat, cold, darkness, rain, time of year, etc. the President shall have the authority to decide to use an alternative method in determining placement.


Purpose and Introduction:  The purpose of this policy is to enhance the safety of the children in the Woburn Youth Soccer program, by minimizing and/or eliminating private communication between children and adults other than the parents and legal guardians of the children.  The policy also serves as a way to protect coaches from false accusations from children and parents.

Definitions:  This policy applies expressly with regards to all children in the Woburn Youth Soccer program, and especially to all players from U14 and younger.

E-mail:  Coaches should make sure that all e-mail contact with players must go through the parents.  The following steps should be made to ensure this:

  1. Make sure that the primary e-mail address (addresses) used to communicate with the team or individual players is the e-mail address of a parent, and not that of the child.
  2. If a parent requests that his/her child’s e-mail address be added to the e-mail distribution for the team, get the request in writing (paper or e-mail), and save it.
  3. If a child requests that his/her e-mail address be added to the distribution list, contact the parents, and get their consent in writing.
  4. Coaches should not under any circumstance send an e-mail to any individual child in the Woburn Youth Soccer program.  E-mails to children can only be part of a “distribution e-mail” to the entire team, and each child in the distribution thread MUST also have that child’s parents on the list as well.
  5. If a child initiates any e-mail to a coach, and the coach responds to that e-mail, the coach MUST include the child’s parent by “carbon-copying” the reply to the parent, or by simply sending the reply to the parent and have them forward the reply to the child.
  6. There can be absolutely no private e-mail communication between adults and children with the Woburn Youth Soccer program.

Text Messages:  Since text messages are more difficult to save and/or copy to the parents of children, text messaging between adults and children is very strongly discouraged in the Woburn Youth Soccer program.

  1. An example of a legitimate exception would be if a practice gets moved from a planned venue to an unplanned venue at the last minute, and a player has difficulty finding his team or coach.  It would be more safe for a child that has been dropped off at the field to text his/her coach to find the practice venue than to wander around alone looking for the venue.

Social Websites:  Some coaches and players use social web pages such as Facebook or MySpace.  It is not encouraged for coaches to have their players be included on their “friends” list, however it is understood that many coaches have their own children on their team, and sometimes they have friends of their children on the team as well.  Every parent should be monitoring their own children’s activity on these social pages, and because of that, they will in some cases subsequently have their children’s friends on their pages also.  

  1. If a child is to be included on the friends list of a coach, the child’s parent MUST also be included on the friends list of the coach…NO EXCEPTIONS.  If the parent doesn’t have a Facebook page, the child can not be a Facebook friend of the coach.
  2. All coaches that have children or parents on their friends list on any social website, must maintain their web pages with only appropriate content.

XXX: Miscellaneous Policies

  1. Weather conditions are the responsibility of the game officials, coaches, tournament directors and club administrators per Mass Youth Soccer’s Weather Policy.
  2. Each team attending the MTOC shall be awarded $200.
  3. Eight (8) $500 scholarships will be awarded to WMHS graduates.
  4. City League games will not be scheduled for Columbus Day Weekend.
  5. The fall City season shall be to eight games.
  6. The Spring season will have a ten (10) game schedule.
  7. WYS BODs shall not support requests for any charitable donations from the Association’s general funds but will support donations from BOD members based upon specific fundraising purposes.
  8. WYS teams shall not wear any uniform shirt with a WYS emblem on the shirt in any indoor soccer league unless approved by the BOD.
  9. Coaches and teams may practice after July 4th.  Player attendance must be optional until after Labor Day.
  10. Newly “patched” referees shall be paid $2 extra for each game refereed.
  11. City League games will not be scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend.
  12. Referees must be 12 years old or older. Twelve year old referees are to referee grade 4 and below games.
  13. Referee Director and Age Directors can name a “Referee of the Season” to a boy or girl with a $25 gift certificate.
  14. Every player in the G2 (U8) age group moving up will be awarded a medal presented by their coach.
  15. Any rostered coach who takes the USSF G Course online and takes and passes the test will be reimbursed for the cost of the test.  It is strongly suggested that all Travel coaches without a higher level certification take this course.
  16. Golf cart drivers are restricted to licensed drivers only.

Contact Us

Woburn Youth Soccer Association

P.O. Box 2054 
Woburn, Massachusetts 01888

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 781-935-7480
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