Club Policies and Rules and Regulations
Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club Soccer Association
Rules and Regulations
The following Rules and Regulations will govern all day-to-day activities of the Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club Soccer Association. It is meant to augment the Association's Constitution and By-laws. Should any conflict arise among these three, the Constitution shall take precedence over the Bylaws that shall take precedence over the Rules and Regulations.
CONFLICT WITH PA WEST, USYSA, USSF, FIFA RULES
If a rule set forth here conflicts with or violates the Constitution, By-Laws, or rules and regulations of PA WEST, USYSA, USSF, or FIFA, such rule shall be declared null and void. It shall be removed or amended to conform to these associations' rules.
MATTERS NOT PROVIDED FOR
Matters not provided for in these rules shall be determined by the Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club Soccer Association's Executive Committee, and decisions made shall be final and binding. Conflicts arising from the implementation of these rules shall be handled as provided for in the Constitution and bylaws.
WHO IS COVERED BY THESE RULES
All players, coaches and referees registered/associated with Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club shall abide by these regulations. They shall conduct themselves at all times in a sportsmanlike and civil manner. All behavior within the context of a Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club activity shall be consistent with and appropriate to the ages of the children present in such an activity. All coaches shall be responsible for the behavior of the parents and guests of the players of their team.
ARTICLE I. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND ILLEGAL DRUGS
No alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs shall be allowed at any time on the Association's playing fields. Such restriction shall include all parents and/or spectators. Individuals visibly intoxicated shall be removed from such premises and the appropriate authorities notified. The use of tobacco products is strongly discouraged.
ARTICLE II. PLAYERS
1. It is the objective of the club to develop the appreciation of soccer in all, without limiting access to the program to any. The opportunity shall be afforded to all without consideration of race, color, sex, creed, religion, country or national origin.
2. A player must be duly registered with Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club and through it with PA WEST Soccer or US Club Soccer, in order to participate in any activity, including practices, tryouts, scrimmages, and games. A player is considered registered only after having completed and submitted the proper registration form accompanied by appropriate payment of registration fees in an amount sufficient enough to bring their account up to date. This includes any past due amounts from prior purchases or session.
3. A player may be rostered on more than one team provided that such multiple rostering does not violate PA WEST rules and is consistent with the Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club constitution, bylaws, and these Rules and Regulations.
4. Players shall be assigned to designated teams by the Travel coordinator and/or the In-house coordinator.
a) The travel coordinator shall assign players to travel teams which will benefit the player the most in terms of age grouping and skill level.
b) In assigning players, the coordinators may use tryouts to evaluate the players using the criteria outlined in Article III, Section 4 of these Rules and Regulations.
c) Unless a player(s) is (are) required in order to meet minimum or practical roster requirements, players may not be assigned to teams such that this assignment leads to the team's inability to play in the division appropriate to the majority of players in the team.
d) The coordinators shall work closely with coaches in making these assignments. Final travel team placement is based on recommendations from the Travel Coordinator and approved by members of the Executive Committee.
e) The coordinators may designate others to assign players to teams, but shall always have to approve or disapprove such assignments.
5. Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club has the right to deny players playing privileges either temporarily or permanently for conduct that violates these rules or those of PA WEST or US Club Soccer. Such action shall be taken under Chapter 5 of the Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club By-laws.
6. Chronic absence, disruptive behavior, or defiance of authority shall be considered detrimental to the development of other players and shall be grounds for disciplinary action. Coaches directly responsible for players displaying such behavior shall be initially responsible for ensuring that this behavior is rectified. The coach may then refer the matter to the Executive Committee for disciplinary action under Chapter 5 of the Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club By-laws if the matter cannot be resolved at the team level.
ARTICLE III. TRAVEL PROGRAM
1) Travel teams shall be organized to participate in inter-club leagues and tournaments.
a) Travel teams shall be organized in all age groups where player numbers make it possible to do so and will be allowed to participate in PA WEST sanctioned leagues and tournaments.
b) Travel teams shall be recreational/developmental or competitive according to the age group and the divisions involved. As a recreational association, it is the goal of Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club Soccer Association to create teams in the best interest of all children registering to play at the travel level, with a priority on recreational/developmental team formation, before or in addition to competitive teams, as well as teams that are not only age-appropriate, but of similar skill level. Competitive teams will be formed when appropriate and with the Travel Coordinator's recommendation and the Executive Committee's approval.
c) A "recreational/developmental team" shall compete in boys divisions 5 and 6 or girls divisions 5 and 6. All teams up to and including U-19 shall be considered recreational/developmental regardless of playing division, with the acknowledgment that those teams registered in division 4, are required to abide by a different set of rules with regard to playing time.
d) A "competitive team" shall compete in boys division 4 or girls division 4 in ages groups U13 and up. The Executive Committee may, upon the recommendation of the travel coordinator, designate a team as competitive even though such a designated team plays on divisions which would otherwise be considered recreational/developmental provided that the team is U-13 and older. In making this recommendation, the travel coordinator shall take into consideration factors such as the nature of the teams and the level of competition. Teams U12 and below my be required by PA West rules to participate as a competitive team in division 4 due to an excessive number (as established by PA West rules) of rostered players who also participate on a classic team registered through PA West.
e) Travel Players should not guest up two age level unless in case of emergency to field a team. This rule does not apply to age group divisions are merged in older age groups like U13/14 and U15/16. This is done for player safety and player development.
f) All players assigned to a recreational/developmental team shall be guaranteed approximately 50% playing time provided that coaches are allowed to modify this only for health or disciplinary reasons. No such restriction shall be made on competitive teams, although coaches are encouraged to provide each player with a significant amount of playing time.
2) Teams shall compete in playing divisions appropriate to the playing level of a majority of the players assigned to the team. The decision as to which division to enter a team shall be at the discretion of the coach in close consultation with the Travel coordinator and the Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club Executive Committee. The Executive Committee must approve all division selections prior to team registration. All division selections shall be consistent with all PA WEST guidelines or directives.
3) All players are to play in their age-appropriate bracket as determined by PA West birth date guidelines. Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club will make exceptions to age-appropriate play under certain circumstances in accordance with applicable PA West rules.
Having been recommended by the coach(s) and the travel coordinator, players may be permitted by the Executive Committee to play up 1 age bracket provided that the following criteria are met:
a) A player has demonstrated the ability to play competitively with players from the higher age bracket as determined by the player's coach(s), in-house and/or travel coordinators, the Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club Executive Committee, and the player's parents. Moving to the higher age bracket will be deemed not detrimental to the player and to the other members of the higher-aged team.
b) When there is one or more unfilled roster spots on a team that cannot be filled by a player that is age-appropriate to that team. Under no circumstances will a younger player be permitted to assume the roster spot of any age-appropriate player.
c) When allowing the younger player to play in the higher age bracket does not hinder the younger team from adequately filling its roster. Maintenance of the minimum roster size of the younger team takes precedence over any issues pertaining to the older team including it's ability/inability to achieve minimum roster size.
In the event that more players are deemed eligible to play up than there are available roster spots on the older team, tryouts will be utilized in accordance with Article III, Section 4 of these Rules and Regulations.
4) Tryouts shall be used when:
a) There are enough players to form two teams for a given age group in which case tryouts shall be used to assign players to teams with the goal of placing players in teams that shall play in divisions appropriate to their age, experience and level of competitiveness.
The Executive Committee may choose, with input from in-house and travel coordinators, coaches, and parents to:
i) Place the most talented players on one team with the intention of playing in a higher competitive bracket.
ii) Divide talent equally between the teams with the intention of both teams playing in a similar competitive bracket. This is the preferred andprimarymethod.
b) There exists an excess of players to form one team but not enough to form two.
c) There exists one or more roster openings and there are more than that number of players eligible to play up from a younger age group according to the criteria outlined in Article III, Section 3 of these Rules and Regulations.
All tryouts shall be held under the direction of the Travel Coordinator and the Executive Committee by an impartial team of evaluators assigned by them. The coaches' input will be considered except under condition c) above where the coach of a higher age team will have no involvement in the decision of which younger player(s) will play up to his/her team.
5) Established teams (an established team is one that has played at least one playing session) with their coaches may be reassigned for the following reasons:
a) Attrition brings the number of players below minimum or practical requirements.
b) The team moves from one division to another that may make it inappropriate for some players to compete at that level. Such reassignments shall need the approval of the Executive Committee and shall be made in a manner consistent with PA WEST and USYSA rules.
6) In the event that two teams exist for a given age group, players may be transferred from one team to the other only on the recommendation of the Travel Coordinator and upon the approval of the Executive Committee. In making this recommendation, the travel coordinator shall ensure that such transfer is in the best interest of the player(s). All transfers shall be made in a manner consistent with PA WEST and USYSA Rules.
7) All red and yellow cards issued against a player or coach of a travel team shall be reported to the travel coordinator and Executive Committee within twenty four hours of the issuance. The coach will have the responsibility to report the player or himself/herself. The coordinator shall maintain a list of the names of all players and coaches who have been issued such cards. Any player who receives a red card or accumulates two yellow cards in a playing session shall be referred to the Executive Committee for possible disciplinary action. The Executive Committee shall meet with these players or coaches in order to discuss the matter and provide the parties counsel in avoiding future incidents. Gross disciplinary matters (violent conduct) shall be directly referred for disciplinary action as provided for in the Constitution and bylaws and according to the process outlined under Chapter 5 of the Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club Bylaws.
8) Any game report to be filed with league or tournament authorities shall require the Travel coordinator (or his/her designated agent) and Executive Committee's approval. Coaches who fail to obtain prior approval shall be referred for disciplinary action.
9) Select or Classic league teams may register through Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club only with the approval of the Board of Directors provided that such teams agree to abide by all rules and procedures of Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club. The Executive Committee may at its discretion impose added conditions and/or costs for the registration of these teams.
ARTICLE IV. IN-HOUSE PROGRAM
1) The in-house program shall serve to introduce soccer and to develop the skills of young and beginning players. It shall also serve to provide recreational soccer to those who choose not to compete at the more competitive travel level. As such, all in-house teams shall be classified as "recreational/developmental" such that all conditions outlined in Article III, Section 1, subsection e of these Rules and Regulations apply.
2) The in-house program shall be divided into the US Club Soccer defined two-year age groupings namely U-6, U-8, U-IO etc. In-house leagues for older age groups may be formed as the need arises.
3) The In-house coordinator shall be responsible for designing the in-house program with the condition that major changes to existing programs shall require the approval of the Executive Committee.
a) The In-house program shall be designed for the player's development and enjoyment.
b) The program shall attempt to provide adequate training to ensure that Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club shall continue to field competitive travel teams.
c) Winning shall be handled as an incidental outcome of the program.
d) Program design shall ensure maximum possible playing time for all players. At no time shall a player play for less than half of the allotted game time as per Article III, Section 1, sub-section e of these Rules and Regulations.
4) Players shall play in an age-appropriate bracket but may be permitted to play up whenever a player has demonstrated the ability to play competitively with players from the higher age bracket as determined by the player's coach(s), the in-house coordinator, the Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club Executive Committee, and the player's parents. Players may also be permitted to play down if their level of ability suggests that this would be beneficial to their soccer development and/or safety. In granting the decision to play up or play down in age, the utmost consideration will be given to:
a) The safety of the player and/or other players in the program.
b) Ensuring that proper development of the player is not impeded by such action.
5) Players shall be allowed to play in both the travel and the in-house program provided that all relevant criteria as outlined herein are met. Conflicts regarding practice and scheduling of games shall always be resolved in favor of the travel program.
ARTICLE V. FIELDS and SCHEDULING
1) The in-house and travel coordinators shall be responsible for maintaining and enforcing practice and game schedules on all permitted fields.
2) A "Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club field" is one for which Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club holds the permit from the proper authorities. No practices or games may occur on fields for which Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club does not hold a current and valid permit or on a field that has not been properly insured by Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club or any opposing team.
3) The coordinators shall follow the following guidelines in assigning practice schedules:
a) Each travel team shall be given an appropriate amount of time and space for practice.
b) No teams shall be allowed to practice with a frequency that would jeopardize other teams' ability to practice.
c) In house programs shall be given the same consideration in field assignments as travel teams.
4) Changes to practice schedules shall need prior approval from the coordinators.
Likewise, a coach may not use any field for which Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club holds a permit without prior approval of the coordinator and the Executive Committee.
5) League games shall take precedence to all practice schedules.
6) Scrimmages with other clubs will require prior approval from the coordinators and shall not unduly inconvenience other teams who may be practicing on the same field.
7) All coaches shall provide the committee with their game schedules as soon as these schedules are made available.
8) All make-up games must be scheduled 72 hours in advance in order to allow for the proper notification of the referee assignor and any other team that may be using the field at the same time.
9) The Executive Committee will maintain final approval of all uses of Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club fields.
ARTICLE VI. RISK MANAGEMENT
1) The Executive Committee will approve the participation of each coach and volunteer-based upon the known character of the individual. Prior to participation, each adult will be required to successfully complete and submit the currently required clearances and forms as required by both the State of Pennsylvania, PA West Soccer, and/or US Club Soccer. Should it come to the Board's knowledge that an individual may not be suited to serve in a particular capacity with Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club, (for example, if it becomes known that he/she provided false information on the Disclosure Statement or cannot currently pass any of the required background checks/certifications), that person will be subject to disciplinary review and/or removal from their position according to Chapter 5 of the Bylaws. Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club reserves the right to suspend coaching/administrative privileges until such time as a final determination can be made.
2) All coaches and volunteers must have at least one adult with them at all times when working with children. The association recommends one adult for every six children. One parent, guardian, or designated adult caretaker per child will be present at each practice or game as a condition for participation. All adults working with our youth members in any capacity must have the required clearances/ forms submitted per Article VI subsection 1.
3) Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club will use the following safety standards for all games and practices:
a) All goals shall be anchored at all times when in use. Goals shall be properly stored and secured when not in use. Coaches who violate this process shall be subject to disciplinary action. Field end lines and touch lines will be clearly marked with painted lines, cones, flags, or a combination of the three.
b) The field shall be checked for debris and uneven playing surface collectively by all coaches and referees participating in the scheduled practice or game. Debris shall be cleared before use and the participating coaches and referees will determine if the field is safe for soccer activity. Disagreement which cannot be resolved among coaches and referees present as to the safety of the field will result in postponement of the scheduled event.
c) The area surrounding the field including, but not limited to parking and spectator seating areas, shall also be checked for potential hazards. Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club will assume no responsibility for unsafe behavior of parents or spectators during Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club events (games/practices) at facilities deemed safe for play.
d) Coaches and referees will have the responsibility to continuously monitor the weather. At the first sighting of lightning, all children will be moved to a safe place indoors or to vehicles. Parents and spectators will be advised to seek shelter as well. Coaches and referees present will monitor the time of each lightning strike, and resumption of activities may occur 30 minutes after the last lightning strike. In the event of thunder but no visible lightning, coaches and referees will determine whether seeking shelter is in order. Resumption of play will be contingent upon re-verification of safe field conditions by the coaches and referees present as outlined above.
ARTICLE VII. MISCELLANEOUS
1) FUND RAISING
Any fund raising effort or sponsor's solicitation must be approved by the Board of Directors which will delegate the authority to supervise such fund raising activities to the Fundraising Chairperson. Teams who wish to raise funds for their individual teams may do so after receiving permission from the Board of Directors, and only if the funds are raised through a direct contribution from the parents/guardians of the players on the team.
2) REFUND POLICY
a) Refunds for children whose insurance has been paid but did not participate in the program will be reimbursed fees paid minus the cost of insurance incurred by Thomas Jefferson Soccer Club.
b) Refunds for children whose insurance is paid, starting in the program and received a shirt will be reimbursed the registration fee minus $15.
c) No refunds will be given after the second week of the session unless the Board of Directors determines that there are extenuating circumstances involved.
e second week of the session unless the Board of Directors determines that there are extenuating circumstances involved.