Sample Code of Ethics for Coaches


This code of ethics has been developed by the NYSWYSA as a sample for clubs/leagues to adopt, support and enforce. The purpose of this code is to clarify and distinguish approved and accepted professional, ethical and moral behavior from that which is detrimental to the development of soccer within the NYSWYSA.

NY West has adopted this code to apply to all the coaches “employed” by the Association, and NYW strongly recommends that all of its member clubs/leagues, that do not currently have such a code of ethics, also adopt this code. The NYSWYSA requests that all clubs/leagues send a copy of their own code of ethics to the State Office or inform the office when they have adopted this code. NY West will hear any appeals that may come from clubs/leagues enforcing this code and will monitor its impact on the soccer environment. In the future NYW may approach the membership about making this code of ethics a required “minimum standard” for all clubs/leagues.

Coaching is a privilege offered and granted to individuals who perform capably during NYSWYSA sanctioned and affiliated associations’ activities. It carries with it an obligation for each individual coach to uphold and promote the stated goals and objectives. Any conduct considered unethical or a conflict of interest shall be subject to discipline by the club/league.

Article I – Responsibilities to Players

  1. The coach shall never place the value of winning over the safety and welfare of players.
  2. Coaches shall instruct players to play within the written laws of the game and within the spirit of the game at all times.
  3. Coaches shall not seek unfair advantage by teaching deliberate unsportsmanlike behavior to players.
  4. Coaches shall not tolerate inappropriate behavior from players regardless of the situation.
  5. Demands placed on players’ time shall never be so extensive as to interfere with academic goals or progress.
  6. Coaches must never encourage players to violate club/league or NYSWYSA eligibility or players rules or policies.
  7. Coaches shall direct players to seek proper medical attention for injuries and to follow the physician’s instructions regarding treatment and recovery.

Article II – Responsibility to Club/League

  1. Adherence to all club/league and NYSWYSA rules and policies, especially those regarding eligibility and team formation and member association rules and policies that are mandatory and should never be violated. It is the responsibility of each coach to know and understand these rules.
  2. Any problems that cannot be resolved between coaches should be referred to the appropriate club/league officer or committee.

Article III – Responsibilities to the Laws of the Game

  1. Coaches shall be thoroughly acquainted with and demonstrate a working knowledge of the Laws of the Game.
  2. Coaches are responsible to assure their players understand the intent as well as the application of the Laws.
  3. Coaches must adhere to the letter and spirit of the Laws of the Game.
  4. Coaches are responsible for their players’ actions on the field and must not permit them to perform with intent of causing injury to opposing players.
  5. The coach must constantly strive to teach good sporting behavior.

Article IV – Responsibility to Officials

  1. Officials must have the support of coaches, players and spectators. Coaches must always refrain from criticizing officials in the presence of players or spectators.
  2. Professional respect, before, during and after the game must be mutual. There must be no demeaning dialogue or gestures between official, coach or player.
  3. Coaches must not incite players or spectators or attempt to disrupt the flow of the game.
  4. Comments regarding an official should be made in writing to the appropriate organization assigning the official.

Article V – Responsibilities Regarding Scouting and Recruiting

  1. It is unethical for a player to be recruited or enticed from the Olympic Development Program (ODP) setting, either by his ODP coach or any other coach, manager, player parent or team representative.
  2. When discussing the advantages of his/her organization, the coach has an obligation to be forthright and refrain from making derogatory remarks regarding other coaches, teams and organizations.
  3. It is unethical for any coach to make a statement to a prospective athlete which cannot be fulfilled; illegal to promise any kind of compensation or inducement for play; and immoral to deliver same.
  4. Coaches shall not scout any team, by any means whatsoever, except in regularly scheduled games.

Article VI – Responsibility of Public Relations

  1. Coaches have a responsibility to promote the game of soccer to the public. Comments and critiques of governing bodies, teams, coaches, players, parents or media must be positive and constructive.
  2. Coaches have the responsibility to assist their players in conducting themselves properly when in public, when representing their team, club/league and the NYSWYSA.
  3. Coaches must not attempt to influence their club/league, the NYSWYSA or other clubs/leagues in political or financial dealings outside the framework of their own rules and bylaws.

Article VII – Other Responsibilities

  1. The behavior of coaches must be such as to bring credit to themselves, their organization (s), NYSWYSA and the sport of soccer.
  2. While the concept of rivalry is wholly embraced, it cannot take precedence over exemplary professional conduct.
  3. The attitude and conduct of the coach towards officials, players, spectators and coaches must be controlled and undemonstrative.
  4. It is unacceptable for a coach to have any verbal altercation with an official, opposing coach or bench before, during or after the game.
  5. Coaches must use their influence on spectators that demonstrate intimidating and/or unacceptable behavior towards officials, player(s) and opposing team members.

By signing this document I certify that I understand that should I breach this code of ethics, either club or league may impose sanctioning consistent with their documented procedures.

Name of Coach (Print):_____________________________________________________

Signature of Coach:________________________________________________________


Date Received by Club/League:________________________