Good Sportsmanship and Codes of Conduct


AYSO has always encouraged good sportsmanship in its program, but now we’re doing something more about it. First of all, we added “Good Sportsmanship” to our philosophy statement in our National Bylaws. Secondly, AYSO strongly recommends that its individual regions promote good sportsmanship through dynamic programs.

AYSO believes that when players, volunteers and parents understand what is expected of them with regard to good sportsmanship, those individuals will act to meet that expectation.  AYSO understands that good sportsmanship doesn’t just happen. It needs to be taught, encouraged, and demonstrated. To that end, here are the AYSO codes of conduct.


Parent's Code

  • Do not force an unwilling child to participate in sports.
  • Remember children are involved in organized sports for their enjoyment, not yours.
  • Teach your child always to play by the rules.
  • Teach your child that hard work and an honest effort are often more important than a victory.
  • Help your child work toward skill improvement and good sportsmanship in every game. Your child will then be a winner, even in defeat.
  • Do not ridicule or yell at your child for making a mistake or for losing a game.
  • Set a good example. Children learn best by example.
  • Applaud good plays by your team and by members of the opposing team.
  • Do not publicly question referee judgment and never their honesty.
  • Recognize the value and importance of volunteer coaches, referees and officials and give them their due respect. Without them there would be no AYSO soccer.
  • Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from youth sporting activities.
  • Support the Kids Zone program.
  • For U9 and older:  Spectators should stay at least six feet outside the touchline and between the two penalty areas. No spectators should be near or behind the goal line unless they have the permission of the referee. Please note that these spectator locations are a Region 109 standard practice, other regions may have other rules -- particularly at the U16 & U19 level. The six feet from the touchline rule is to give the assistant referee clear view of the entire touch line and allow him/her to run up & down the line without fear of tripping over chairs, children, dogs or water bottles.  If in doubt, check with referee.


Player’s Code

  • Play for the fun of it, not just to please your parents or coaches.
  • Play by the rules.
  • Never argue with or complain about the referee calls or decisions.
  • Control your temper and most of all, resist the temptation to retaliate when you feel you have been wronged.
  • Concentrate on playing soccer and on affecting the outcome of the game with your best effort. Work equally hard for your team as for yourself.
  • Be a good sport by cheering all the good plays, whether it is your team’s or your opponent’s.
  • Treat all players, as you would like to be treated.
  • Remember that the goals of the game are to have fun, improve skills and feel good. Don’t be a showoff or ball hog.
  • Cooperate with your coaches, teammates, opponents and the referees.
  • Support the Kids Zone program.