Club Handbook

To all our soccer parents and players:

Please read this handbook.  It holds the answers to many commonly-asked questions.

We especially encourage you to take the time to review the section on players' and parents' responsibilities and rights with your son or daughter.  Players who are prepared are happier, safer players who will benefit the most from what our club has to offer.




Our mission is to instill in the players an appreciation of the game and a spirit of good sportsmanship and to improve individual skills in the context of good team play. We emphasize that the soccer program is for the players. It is our expectation that all players, coaches, and parents will abide by the CYSA Code(s) of Conduct. 


The Santa Cruz City Youth Soccer Club is a volunteer organization. Its success is dependent upon the involvement of all participants. We encourage everyone to volunteer in some capacity. Board members conduct the day-to-day business of the Club through meetings held on the third Tuesday of each month, except December, usually at the Harvey West Club House. All those who have business they would like to see placed before the Board are welcome to attend. Only Board members are eligible to vote. Parents are encouraged to serve one year on the Board during their child's soccer career. IMPORTANT: The Club depends entirely on parent volunteers. WE STRONGLY REQUEST THAT AT SOME TIME DURING YOUR CHILD'S PARTICIPATION IN THE SCCYSC, YOU FILL A BOARD POSITION FOR AT LEAST A YEAR. VACANCIES ON THE BOARD MEAN NO SOCCER SEASON! Please check in with the Club phone, or plan to attend the Annual General Meeting in November. Each school has a school coordinator, your player's coach will have the name and phone number of that person, should you have questions or concerns during the season. If the School Coordinator can't help you, he or she will refer you to the appropriate Board member. 


The SCCYSC primarily serves those youth residing within the area encompassed by the Santa Cruz City School District, the Bonny Doon School District, the Happy Valley School District, or the Pacific Elementary School District, although players may come from outside these areas. A player must be at least 4 years of age on July 31 of the year s/he wishes to play. 


Players who did not play the previous year in the SCCYSC Fall season must bring a copy of their birth certificate with them to registration. All registration forms and all requests to "play up" (to play in an older age group than the one to which a player would normally be assigned) must be signed by at least one parent or legal guardian. Eighteen-year old players may sign their own registration forms. Competition (Class III) players must bring two copies of an official birth certificate EACH YEAR OF PLAY. There are two walk-in registration opportunities in April preceding the season. After that, registration is by mail-in only. Check the website for locations where forms can be picked up. BECAUSE OF SHORTAGES OF FIELDS, COACHES, AND SPONSORS, no one is guaranteed a spot on a team. What we can guarantee is that we will always do our best to place every child who registers on a team.


Fees will be set by the Board of Directors depending upon current operating expenses and financial reserves. The cost of the program is only partially covered by the annual registration fee. The fees will be kept as low as possible; economic considerations will not keep any interested player from participating. 


Requests for refunds MUST BE MADE IN WRITING. Please include your player's name, age group, and school. Mail with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: SCCYSC, P.O. Box 2039, Santa Cruz, CA 95063. Refunds will be made as follows: Full refunds minus $20.00 (non-refundable CYSA fee) until first game of season. NO REFUNDS AFTER FIRST GAME. 


Our registration fees do not cover all our costs. Sponsorships are CRITICAL to the success of our program. We currently offer the following sponsorship opportunities: $300.00-Business Sponsorship (Business name on jerseys) Business sponsors receive a thank you plaque We encourage parents to sponsor their player's teams! 


Our first priority is to form teams by school attendance areas. We strive to balance teams by age and ability. A head coach and one assistant may request a team assignment for their own children. In the interest of creating full but not overfull teams, we may have to combine schools. If you have further questions please call the Club phone. 


The Club offers two levels of play within the CYSA framework: Recreation (Division IV) - teams are developed without tryouts primarily on the basis of residence and/or school attendance. Advanced Soccer (Division III)- for U-9's and up, teams are developed on the basis of mandatory tryouts and a draft. Teams may form based on the availability of qualified and interested players and coaches. Teams may compete in Santa Cruz County if enough Division III teams are formed to constitute a league on this side of the hill. Otherwise, these teams play in leagues centered in Santa Clara County (though one-half of the teams' games should be home games in Santa Cruz). All Advanced level teams may play in tournaments and have other additional costs not covered by the Club. In addition, for players willing and ready to play at an even more advanced level and who are willing and able to travel on a regular basis and play nearly year-round, the Premier Futbol Club of Santa Cruz County (Division I) builds teams on the basis of tryouts and selection by a particular coach. Call 425-1701 for more information. 


Responsibilities: Players should attend all practices prepared and ready to play unless prevented by family requirements or illness and should call the coach when unable to attend. Prepared and ready means dressed (practice-shinguards and cleats (recommended) or sneakers; games-full uniforms, jerseys tucked in, shinguards and cleats (recommended) or sneakers); no jewelry; in good health; and prepared to conduct themselves as a soccer player. Players are expected to use good sportsmanship on and off the field. Players may not use profanity. Players will not question referee calls, but will direct questions to the coach after the game. 


Coaches will have access to information regarding licensing and skills clinics. CYSA provides free F & E license clinics. The club will provide coaches with rosters, player passes, game cards, a copy of the CYSA manual, a goalkeeper (Division IV), jersey, 2 practice balls and 1 game ball. Players who are present and ready must play 1/2 of the game. The refs' decisions may not be challenged during or after a game. Questions should be directed to the ref coordinator via the Club phone or email. ABUSIVE TREATMENT OF PLAYERS, PARENTS, OR REFS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE ! Coaches must be accessible to players and parents. Coaches must adhere to practice schedules. The Club wishes to remind coaches that practices are for direct coaching. Games are for the players, and are opportunities for the coach to observe, relax and HAVE FUN! All Coaches and Assistant Coaches are required to attend at least one Positive Coaching Alliance Double-Goal Coach Workshop in the Fall. Currently there are three different workshops offered on varying aspects of coaching youth. 


The Club will provide parents with game schedules. Parents will have open access via the coach, school coordinator, Club phone, and the Club website. Parents are expected to ensure that players get to practices and games on time and be prepared and ready to play. Parents are also expected to pick up children on time after practice. As spectators, parents are encouraged to CHEER rather than coach from the sidelines. Questions of the coach should be saved for after the game. THE REFEREES' DECISIONS ARE FINAL! Parents are strongly encouraged to attend a Positive Coaching Alliance Parent Workshop, offered each Fall. IMPORTANT: The Club depends entirely on parent volunteers. WE STRONGLY REQUEST THAT AT SOME TIME DURING YOUR CHILD'S PARTICIPATION IN THE SCCYSC, YOU FILL A BOARD POSITION FOR AT LEAST A YEAR. VACANCIES ON THE BOARD MEAN NO SOCCER SEASON! Please check in with the Club phone, or plan to attend Annual General Meeting in November. 


The Club expects all participants to observe proper standards of conduct. For players, coaches, and spectators alike, abusive treatment (including verbal abuse) of other coaches, players and of referees is not acceptable. SCCYSC soccer games will be administered in accordance with the rules set forth by CYSA, except as may be amended by the SCCYSC. Referees, provided and paid for by the Club, are required to conduct all games, except for the U-6 age group. While the referees' decisions may not always be agreeable to all participants and spectators, their decisions are final. Please refrain from shouting disagreement and/or derogatory remarks. The referee has the power to caution and eject players and coaches and/or terminate the game if necessary. Conduct resulting in the issuance of "red cards" and/or termination of the game will be reported to the Club and will result in disciplinary action. Complaints regarding referee performance should not be directed to the referee on the field either during or after the game, but should be directed to the referee coordinator either by phone or email. In the event that no referee shows up for a game, coaches may still hold the game with the following recommendation: that someone with knowledge of the game acts as center referee; that either coach may call the game if soccer conduct is not observed. Unexcused absences and/or disruptive behavior at practices and games is sufficient cause for a coach to contact a player's parents and to discuss with the player and parents the possibility of discipline or suspension from the team. Coaches are responsible for team discipline and may sideline players and contact parents when necessary. The following penalties will be strictly enforced: A player receiving one red card will automatically be suspended from the next game (including play-off games). Additional suspension may be imposed, based upon the severity of the offense, at the discretion of the Club or League disciplinary committee. A player receiving a yellow card during a game must be removed immediately from the game for three minutes. A player who receives three yellow cards during the course of the season will be suspended for the game following the issuance of the third card. Players and coaches are expected to demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times and not to use profanity. Spectators are to remain at least three feet from the sidelines and no one is allowed behind the goal line at any time during the game. Coaches are to remain on the sideline near the middle of the field. No one other than a player who has been admitted into the game by the referee, in response to a proper request from the coach, may enter the playing field at any time during the game. The one exception to this rule is a coach who has come onto the field to assist an injured player when signaled to do so by the referee. The facilities we play on are provided by local schools and parks departments. Players, coaches, and spectators have a responsibility to help ensure continued availability of these facilities by seeing that the fields are undamaged and free of litter when they leave. Abuse of the fields should be reported to the Board. 


If, after speaking with the parties directly involved, players, coaches, or parents do not feel an issue resolved, a complaint should be made in writing and addressed to:

Grievance Committee, SCCYSC, P.O. Box 2039, Santa Cruz, CA 95063.

The Grievance Committee will make a recommendation to the Board. The Board's decision will be final. The Grievance Committee shall consist of two Board members and one objective third party. 


Team practices will usually be held on weekdays, after school, at practice fields throughout the Club area. It is important that players attend all practices. Practices will normally be held at the same time(s) each week. Parents should make arrangements for players to get home safely immediately after practices and games. This is not the coach's responsibility. Recreational-level teams may not begin practicing until mid-August, after rosters have been distributed at the Club's coaches meeting. The number of team practices is set by the Board as follows: U-6 and U-8 - two 1-hour practices a week U-10 - two l-and-1/2 hour practices a week U-12 - two 2-hour practices a week Coaches may choose to practice less. Coaches who exceed the practice standards set by the Board are subject to disciplinary action. For U12 and up, seven players are required for the start of play for a scheduled game. A team that cannot field seven players or does not have player passes forfeits the game. A team that fields seven or more players but fewer than eleven may play but should not expect the opposing team to play with fewer than the appropriate number. (U8=7, U10=9) The Club will provide a numbered shirt, shorts, and socks for each player. These remain the property of the Club until the end of the season when, with the exception of competition teams, they belong to the player. Players are responsible for seeing that their uniforms are clean before each game. Players provide their own shinguards, which are required for all games and practices, and soccer cleats (recommended but not required). The criteria for proper dress for games: Each player must wear a team jersey, team shorts, and team socks over shinguards. Players may not wear jewelry or hair ornaments of any kind or any object, including a cast or splint, which could cause injury to him/herself or others. Goalkeepers must wear a shirt clearly different from any other field players, they may wear special goalkeeper's jerseys, gloves, pants and/or elbow and knee pads. Additional clothing such as shirts and long pants may not be worn over the uniform in game play, though sweatshirts may be worn under the uniform in cold weather. The Club will furnish the coach of each team with at least three soccer balls and a goalkeeper's jersey. The coach is responsible for furnishing additional balls, practice cones, and any other equipment deemed necessary for practice and games. Each coach is urged to furnish a first-aid kit for his or her team. It is recommended that each player have a soccer ball for home practice. At games, the coach of the home team will be responsible for furnishing the referee with a game ball. The coach of the home team should also provide a completed game card to the coach of the visiting team sufficiently in advance of the scheduled starting time to allow that coach to complete the visiting portion of the game card. A photocopied player roster with jersey numbers can be used to be put on the game card. 


Soccer games may be played regardless of the weather conditions. Games will only be canceled if the fields are not in playable condition. The Club will try to have the status of games and fields on the club phone (460-2549) after 8 a.m. on game day. To keep the phone lines open, coaches only should call the club phone. Games called for weather or any other reason will not be made up officially, though coaches may decide to do so on their own. 


Players in any athletic activity can suffer injury. CYSA provides insurance coverage for registered players, coaches, and referees. THE CYSA POLICY IS A SECONDARY INSURANCE POLICY THAT PAYS ANY CLAIM, OR PART OF A CLAIM, THAT IS NOT PAID BY THE INJURED PLAYER'S NORMAL CARRIER. There is a deductible that the CYSA policy does not cover. Coverage begins at registration and is in effect for practice and games for the entire season, including and post-season league-sanctioned play. The CYSA Team Manual provided to each coach includes an insurance claim form. If an injury should occur, the claim form should be filled out, and the instructions included with the kit should be followed. Copies of the form should be made for your own records. COACHES SHOULD NEVER ALLOW PLAYERS TO PRACTICE WITH THEIR TEAM UNTIL THEY HAVE BEEN PROPERLY REGISTERED AND ASSIGNED. THERE WILL BE NO CYSA COVERAGE UNTIL THAT TIME. 


The emphasis at the U-8 level is FUN, TEAMSMANSHIP, and SKILL ACQUISITION. U-8's play 7 on team (6 + goalie) on a smaller field with a smaller goal and #3 ball. Substitutions are only at the l2 minute mark of each half with the clock running. No direct penalty kicks; no "slide" tackling; and the offside rule is not enforced as such. U-8 coaches are provided with a complete set of rules. Referees are reminded to use calls as teaching opportunities. Bad throw-ins can be repeated, with corrections, within reason. 


U-10's play 9 per side; 8 + goalie. Ball is a #4 and the field and goals are smaller. There are no direct penalty kicks. There is adherence to offside rules.