SC soccer league bans cheering, parents must be silent


A SC soccer league is working to get fans’ attention by banning cheering, good and bad, when the season starts this fall.

The South Carolina Youth Soccer Association is starting “Silent September.” Burns Davison, who’s over the league’s Rules and Compliance, said the board took this step because parents weren’t paying attention to the current rules.

Silent September requires parents and visitors to be silent during the game. According to a memo there will be “no cheering, no jeering; just enjoy your player and the game that they love.” If parents ignore warnings to remain silent, they will be dismissed from the game. Parents will have to sign an acknowledgement of the code of conduct.

After Silent September, there will be periodic Silent Saturdays and Sundays as a reminder.

The SCYSA has approximately 30,000 youth statewide. Upstate clubs include:

Spartanburg United Soccer Academy
Bethlehem Ridge Soccer Club
Carolina Elite Soccer Academy
Carolina Futbol Academy
Carolina Football Club
CESA Development League
Clemson Anderson Soccer Alliance
Cobra Soccer Club of the Upstate
Easley Soccer Club
Greenville Legends
Greenville United
Furman United Soccer Club
Foothills Soccer Club of Greer
International Elite Soccer Academy
Lakeland Toros
Tiger Soccer Club
Tuzos South Carolina
Upstate United Soccer Club


SILENT SEPTEMBER – Fall 2017 – “Just let them play!”
Due to continuing problems/issues with sideline behaviors on the parent/spectator touchline – and the
impact that inappropriate behavior has upon our youth, especially upon youth referees; and the
additional impact that inappropriate sideline behaviors have upon overall referee retention, SCYSA is
implementing a SILENT SEPTEMBER for all SCYSA sponsored league games, statewide, at all levels.
The current CODE OF CONDUCT applicable to game day behaviors of Parents and Visitors includes:
a. Children have more need for example than for criticism.
b. Attempt to relieve the pressure of the competition, not increase it.
c. A child is easily affected by outside influences.
d. Show respect to your child’s coaches and officials. Many coaches are volunteers giving of
personal time and money to provide a recreational activity for your child.
e. Applaud good plays by your team and by members of the opposing team.
f. Do not openly question an official’s judgment and honesty.
g. Officials are symbols of fair play, integrity, and sportsmanship. Accept the results of each
h. Encourage your child to be gracious in victory and to turn defeat into victory by working towards
i. Remember, your children are involved in organized sports for their enjoyment, NOT YOURS!
Encourage your child to always play by the rules. Teach your child that honest effort is as
important as victory so that the result of each game is accepted without undue disappointment.
j. On game day, officials should be treated with respect before, during, and after the game.
Officials should be addressed as “Referee” or “Mr. or Ms. Referee” and not by name.
Professional respect should be mutual and there should be no demeaning dialogue or gesture
between the official and the parent.
Since behaviors which are contrary to these guidelines are occurring far too frequently the following
shall be the protocol for Silent September:
1. All parents and visitors shall be silent during the game. No cheering, no jeering; just enjoy your
player and the game that they love. Also during this Silent September, all parents and visitors shall be
on that half of the parent touchline opposite their team’s bench.
2. In the event of a parent or visitor violates this rule, on the first instance during a game the referee
will ASK the coach to counsel his parents/visitors to remain silent, on the second instance during the
game the referee will TELL the coach to counsel his parents/visitors to remain silent, upon the third
instance during the game the referee will direct the coach to DISMISS the offending spectator(s) — if
they do not leave or the coach refuses – then the coach will be sent off. If there is not an appropriately
carded adult to continue coaching the game, the game will be abandoned and the circumstances
reported to SCYSA. Likewise, if the offending spectator(s) still refuse to leave, even after the coach is
sent off, then the game will be abandoned and the circumstances reported to SCYSA.
If in the opinion of the referee the situation warrants, first two steps (ASK/TELL) are not required.
3. Prior to the beginning of the season, each team manager shall obtain parent signatures on behalf of
each player on their roster acknowledging their awareness of the parent/visitor code of conduct.
4. Team managers are expected to be on the parent touchline in order to address any inappropriate
behaviors directly.
5. Teams / Parent Groups / Individuals who are reported as having been dismissed from a game are
subject to sanctions for their inappropriate conduct. Repeat offenders will be sanctioned more severely.
The purpose of this SILENT SEPTEMBER is to make parents/visitors aware of the SCYSA focus on
appropriate sideline behavior and of the existence of a CODE OF CONDUCT, and re-establish that
managing parent/visitor behavior is the responsibility of coaches and clubs, NOT referees.
Following SILENT SEPTEMBER, SCYSA will have periodic SILENT SATURDAYS/SUNDAYS as a reminder.

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