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News - Details

Don't Coach from the Sidelines


(August 16, 2023) – EASTERN NY YOUTH ASSOCIATION (ENYYSA) is proud to join US Youth Soccer and 24 additional state associations to launch a “Don’t Coach from the Sidelines” Campaign targeted at improving sideline etiquette from spectators and coaches. Leveraged by the membership of the 24 state associations that are involved with this initiative, more than one million players and 100,000 coaches will directly receive the message of the national campaign.

As part of this initiative to improve sideline behavior, a video has been created to provide education and improve awareness around this critical topic

Click for Video: 

EASTERN NY YOUTH ASSOCIATION (ENYYSA) has seen its membership base grow to over 100,000 youth players, 10,000 active coaches, and thousands of volunteers through its network of 10 member leagues and more than 350 member clubs across the state. This growth is thanks to efforts by the state association, member leagues, member clubs, referees, and the soccer community at large. To ensure the continued growth and development of soccer in our state continues, EASTERN NY YOUTH ASSOCIATION (ENYYSA) believes we must all do our part to create a safe, friendly, and fully inclusive soccer environment for our youth players to enjoy the game. “We’re grateful to Indiana Soccer for leading this project in an effort to improve the environment for our youth players,” said Laura Francis, ENYYSA Operations Director. Sideline behavior is crucial, and we will continue to make it a priority so that players enjoy their soccer experience”.

Ball State University recently conducted research that included parent surveys regarding their sideline experience, and their work also involved the surveying of referees who stepped down from officiating. Based on their research, the element that predominately led to a diminished experience for parents and the key reason officials leave the game is the negative sideline etiquette from spectators and coaches. The common themes were verbal abuse of the referees and the parent's coaching from the sidelines. As a result, US Youth Soccer and participating state associations are developing a series of behavior modification videos to help improve the experience of all stakeholders.

“The recent survey conducted by Ball State University clearly revealed that only a small portion of coaches, parents and players are diminishing the experience for the vast majority of stakeholders,” said Dave Guthrie, Executive Director of Indiana Soccer. “Unfortunately, these few bad actors are ruining the game for the masses. It is our hope that through education, which is what the video was created to do, will educate the offenders and they will realize that their behavior is toxic and unwelcomed.”

The Don’t Coach from the Sidelines Campaign is an expansion of a focused initiative to improve sideline etiquette from spectators and coaches. Earlier this year, a Respect The Ref Campaign and corresponding video was launched, and the national initiative has now seen its efforts broaden to the commitment of 24 state associations.