Code of Conduct

Coach Code of Conduct & Ethics


This Code of Conduct has been developed to clarify and distinguish approved and accepted professional, ethical, and moral behavior from that which is detrimental to the development of the sport of soccer. (The term “Coach” shall include, but is not limited to Director of Coaching, Head Coach, Assistant Coach(s), Manager/Trainer and/or Team

Responsibilities to Players

  1. Coaches must never place the value of winning over the safety and welfare of players.
  2. Coaches shall instruct players to play within the written laws 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 should not tolerate inappropriate behavior for players regardless of the situation.
  5. Coaches should be a positive role model and set the standard for sportsmanship.
  6. Demands on a players’ time should never be so extensive as to interfere with academic goals and progress. Motivation for excellence should include academics as well as athletics. Coaches should keep sport in proper perspective with player’s academic education.
  7. Coaches must never encourage players to violate ISA recruitment, eligibility, or guest player rules and policies.
  8. Under no circumstances should coaches authorize or encourage the use of medicinal or performance enhancing drugs. Players should be directed to seek proper medical attention for injuries and at no time should a player be put at risk by returning from injury prematurely or by being forced to play while injured.
  9. Coaches should continue their own education in the sport in order to be able to educate the players in technical, tactical, physical and psychological demands of the game for their level.
  10. It is recommended that coaches become certified in basic first aid and be prepared to handle medical emergencies at all practices and games.
  11. Coaches must complete and submit an ISA Disclosure Statement to their ISA affiliated association.

Responsibility to ISA and Member Organizations

  1. Adherence to all ISA and ISA approved Member Association rules and policies are mandatory and should never be violated. It is the responsibility of every coach to know and understand these rules.
  2. Any problems that cannot be resolved between coaches should be referred to the appropriate ISA Official, Member Association or League Director.

Responsibility for “The Laws of the Game”

  1. Coaches should be thoroughly acquainted with and demonstrate a working knowledge of the laws of the game of soccer. Coaches are also responsible to ensure that their players understand the intent as well as the application of the laws.
  2. Coaches must adhere to the letter and spirit of the laws of the game.
  3. Coaches are responsible for their players’ actions on the field and must not permit them to perform with the intent of causing injury to opposing players.
  4. If coaches permit, encourage, or condone performance, which is not in the letter or spirit of the laws, coach is derelict in their responsibility to players, Member Organizations, ISA and the sport worldwide. The coach must strive constantly to teach good sporting behavior.

Responsibility to Officials

  1. Officials must have the support of coaches, players and spectators. Criticism of officials undermines their purpose in the game.
  2. Officials should be treated with respect before, during, and after the game. Officials should be addressed as “Referee” and not by name. Professional respect should be mutual and there should be no demeaning dialogue or gesture between official, coach, or player.
  3. Comments regarding an official should be made in writing to the appropriate organization assigning the official.

Responsibility Regarding Recruiting

  1. It is unethical to recruit player(s) while they are registered on another team.
  2. Coach and team representatives shall strictly adhere to ISA and league rules pertaining to recruitment.
  3. 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, parent, or team representative.
  4. Coaches have an ethical obligation to be forthright and refrain from making derogatory remarks regarding other coaches, teams, and organizations when discussing the advantages of their organization.
  5. It is unethical for a coach or team representative to provide compensation or inducement to a player. It is unethical for any coach to make a statement to a prospective athlete, which cannot be fulfilled.
  6. Allegations of illegal or unethical recruiting are very serious and should be based on concrete facts rather than hearsay and innuendo. Documentation of recruiting violations must be submitted in writing to the league and ISA.

Responsibility for 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 the media should be positive and constructive, never prejudicial or inflammatory.
  2. Coaches have the responsibility to assist their players in conducting themselves properly while representing their team, league, and ISA in public.
  3. Comments blaming officials, organizers, players, etc. for a loss or unsuccessful endeavor are detrimental and should be avoided.

Game Day and Other Responsibilities

  1. Coaches’ behavior must bring credit to their organization, and the sport of soccer.
  2. Coaches shall exhibit a respectful attitude towards players, officials, spectators, opposing players and coaches. Verbal abuse or physical assault is unethical and shall be punishable by fines and/or suspension from the program.
  3. Coaches should use their influence to control the behavior of his players, parents
    and spectators.

All Member Associations are directed to form their own Conduct & Ethics Committee and to hold hearings – WITH THE PARTIES HAVING THE RIGHT TO BE PRESENT – on alleged violations of the ISA Code of Conduct when properly submitted in writing.