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Respect The Game

Respect The Game Program

Saturday May 19 through Friday May 25, 2018

During "Respect the Game" week, at all East Central League soccer games (including those at Recreational, Academy and Classic levels), we will ask parents to pay close attention to their sideline behavior, making sure that cheering for our players is positive, and that we're creating an environment in which players can listen to their coaches, and coaches and referees are able to focus on player safety and development. 

Starting on Saturday May 19 and continuing through Friday May 25, 2018, all clubs within the East Central Soccer District will be asked to participate in "Respect the Game" week. This initiative was created to promote positive and appropriate sideline behavior and respect for those around us, including players, coaches, referees and other fans. 

Over the past few years, East Central Soccer District has seen a rise in inappropriate sideline behavior, making it more difficult for coaches to effectively coach and players to effectively play; we've also seen a rapid decline in recruitment and retention of referees. We're hoping that by taking some time to promote positive sideline behavior and reminding ourselves what is and is not appropriate, we can reverse those trends. 

So here's what we're asking: During the week of May 19 through the 25, 2018, let's really make an effort to examine our sideline behavior and ensure that we're respecting not only our players and coaches, but our referees and other fans, too. Here are suggestions: 

  • Cheer Verb-Free. Yell, cheer, be creative in ways that you motivate your favorite players and team, but do so without the use of verbs. That's right - no coaching from the sidelines. See if you can make it through the week without the use of verbs. Be creative!
  • That ref - she's your daughter. As you see the ref make a call that you disagree with - treat him like you would your own son. Be kind. You may disagree with a call, and it may even be the "wrong" call - but the referee made it, and making inappropriate comments on the sideline isn't going to change it. Disputing it isn't the job of our fans. Don't say anything to the referee that you wouldn't say to your own child in front of a large group of people.
  • Make signs. How creative can you be in the way that you cheer for your team? Show them that you're there to watch them play hard AND have fun. And it's okay to have fun while watching them have fun. You might even find a new way to motivate them! 
  • Stock up on candy. No, not because you need a little extra sugar on the sidelines, but a piece of hard candy or a lollipop could keep you from yelling things that you should think twice about. 

We hope that you continue to help us promote the importance of respect for not only the game of soccer, but for our players, our coaches, our referees and each other. We look forward to seeing what this week has in store and all of the creative ways we can all find to cheer for and motivate our players and keep our positivity level at its highest!

Links to Sportsmanship