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Bill of Rights: Join The Cause For a Better Playing Environment

Published: 2023-10-31
Bill of Rights: Join The Cause For a Better Playing Environment
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Karl Dewazien of FUNdamental SOCCER, Emeritus State Director of Coaching for the California Youth Soccer Association 1978-2012, discusses in this article how we can ignite our players' skills.


As a lifelong member of the United States Youth Soccer Community, my journey spanning over 50 years has been fueled by an unwavering passion for creating a better playing environment for our players. My steadfast goal has always been to ensure fairness, maintain peaceful play, promote the well-being of all, and secure the joys of participating in soccer for a lifetime!

Given the alarming rate of players quitting, I would like to introduce the 'FUNdamental Soccer Bill of Rights' to the United States Youth Soccer Community for consideration and implementation.

Article I. Equal Opportunities:

Players, regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic background, or ability, should have equal access to soccer opportunities, facilities, and resources.


Article II. Safe and Inclusive Environment:

Players should participate in an environment free from discrimination, bullying, harassment, or any form of abuse.


Article III. Access to Quality Coaching: 

Players have the right to well-trained, knowledgeable, and supportive coaches who prioritize skill development, safety, and character building over winning at all costs.


Article IV. Ability-Appropriate Competition:

Players should compete against others of similar skill levels to ensure a positive and developmentally appropriate experience.


Article V. Balanced Schedules:

Players have the right to a balanced schedule that allows them to pursue other interests, maintain a healthy school-life balance, and avoid burnout.


Article VI. Input and Feedback:

Players have the right to provide input on their soccer experience and to be heard regarding their needs, concerns, and goals.


Article VII. Education on Sportsmanship:

Players should receive education on sportsmanship and the importance of fair play 

Youth soccer coaches have a significant impact on teaching the essential values of sportsmanship and fair play.


Article VIII. Parent and Guardian Support:

Parents and guardians should provide encouragement and support without undue pressure or unrealistic expectations.


Article IX. Financial Accessibility:

Financial situations should not prevent any player from participating in soccer. Financial aid or scholarships should be available when needed.


Article X. Rest and Recovery:

Players should have designated rest and recovery periods to prevent overtraining and injuries.








Guideline I. Accountability and Reporting

If you witness any action or behaviors that violate the principles outlined, you are encouraged to speak up!


Parents or guardians who observe any violation of these articles should take the following steps:

  1. Address the Situation: First, kindly and respectfully address the matter with the individual(s) involved.
  2. Contact the Organization: If addressing the issue directly does not resolve the concern, please report the incident to your organization. 


Those entrusted with the well-being of our children should be responsible for their conduct, ensuring a safe and enjoyable environment for all!


Guideline II.  Lifelong Enjoyment:

The primary goal of youth soccer should be to instill a lifelong love of physical activity and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Encouraging fun in youth soccer cultivates the players’ lifelong love for physical activity and healthy living.


Koach Karl’s Comments:

By following these 'FUNdamental Articles and Guidelines’, I am confident we can create a brighter future for our soccer participants, ensuring their lifelong love for the game. 

However, just as our country's founders tailored the Constitution to fit different needs, we must adapt these 'Rights' to suit your soccer communities. ad3

This 'Bill of Rights' isn't a magical solution but requires a collective effort, including education and everyone's support.

So, I invite you, dear reader, to actively engage with me, share your ideas and opinions, and join me in shaping the playing environment for our players. Together, WE can make a difference in the future of youth soccer.  Because… 


I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the following individuals for their valuable contributions in shaping this document. Bill Howe, Denise Plumb, Mike Smiley, Ric Granryd, and Wes Crockett.