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Hopkinton Soccer Club:Policy & Guidelines  
 
 
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Hopkinton Soccer Club
93 Bassett Mill Road
Hopkinton, New Hampshire
03229
 
  Policy & Guidelines  
 

HOPKINTON SOCCER CLUB GUIDELINES
HSC Statement of Purpose

HSC is organized and operated exclusively to teach and to promote soccer
among Hopkinton area youth. The Club's geographical scope includes
neighboring communities. Attaining exceptional skills and winning games are
secondary to molding good character among the future men and women of the
community. The club offers the committed soccer player an avenue to play in
competitive leagues with other skilled players year round.

Club Management and Coach Selection

The Board of Directors, as the governing body of the club, performs the
administrative duties of the club, including selection of coaches. Election
of board members is conducted annually. All head coaches must be licensed by
the New Hampshire Soccer Association (NHSA) and possess the appropriate
license for the age group which they are coaching.

HSC Affiliation

HSC is registered with the NH Soccer Association (NHSA) and NH Soccer League (NHSL)

HSC Sessions

HSC teams compete year round starting outdoors in the fall, continue through
two winter indoor sessions and finish outdoors with a spring session. These
four sessions constitute a "soccer year." Teams and players that register
for the fall are members of the team for the entire soccer year. HSC
believes strongly that players develop best when able to remain with their
teammates and with a head coach for at least one year. HSC believes that
dropping and adding players during a given soccer year is not in a team's
best interest, is administratively difficult, and is not encouraged.
Therefore, while a player need not participate in all sessions, a coach may
take into consideration the expected level of participation for the upcoming
soccer year when considering player selection.

HOPKINTON SOCCER OPPORTUNITIES

Two organizations provide soccer opportunities for Hopkinton's youth, the
Hopkinton Soccer Club (HSC) and the Hopkinton Youth Sports Association
(HYSA). Both organizations are non-profit organizations run exclusively by
volunteers in our community. While the principal goal of each organization
is the enrichment of our community's youth, each offers different approaches
and emphasis. HSC is a travel soccer club that offers a competitive soccer
program year round. Selection of players is based on soccer skill, athletic
ability, and player attitude. Not all who try out will make the team. HYSA
offers recreational soccer in a less competitive environment. There are no
tryouts. All Hopkinton youth who register are placed on a team. HYSA offers
a soccer program in the fall only. Accordingly, parents should consider the
alternative approaches when deciding the best selection for their child.
Neither organization can be all things to all children.

HSC wishes to stress that both organizations offer valuable opportunities for
our youth. Neither organization should be regarded as "better" or "elite."
We hope that parents and coaches communicate this fact to all youth who
participate in one or both of these programs. Player attitude and fair play
are prime goals of both organizations. The "better" program is the one that
best suits your child's needs.

Player Selection

HSC conducts OPEN TRYOUTS before fall registration for the upcoming soccer
year. This means that players who have played for HSC the previous year ARE
NOT GUARANTEED a position for the next soccer year. However, a coach may
consider a player's past participation with the team when making his
selection, as team morale and chemistry are important criteria when
developing a team. HSC may also hold open tryouts for newly created teams
for the spring session    (i.e., teams that did not register the previous
fall) when selecting its players.

Although skill is an important factor, selection of players is not based on
soccer skill alone. Player loyalty, commitment, contribution, spirit, hard
work, athletic ability, attitude, maturity, and cooperation all play an
important role in player selection and team success. Accordingly, a more
skilled player may not make the team while a less skilled but more motivated
player may.

Ultimately, player selection is made by the head coach, often after
discussion with other coaches and board members who were involved in the
tryout process. This recognizes the fact that the head coach sees a player's
talent, is most familiar with the team, and has the entire team's interest in
mind.

OPEN TRYOUTS ARE NEITHER REQUIRED NOR GENERALLY CONDUCTED other than prior to
the fall session and for teams newly created for the spring session.   This
recognizes the fact that players that make the team in the fall through open
tryouts are on the team for the entire soccer year. Players who are in "good
standing" will not be replaced by other players during the soccer year for
which they were selected. "Good standing" means that players come to
practices, show up at games, follow their coach's instructions and maintain a
positive attitude.

Not uncommonly, a few openings occur on a team during succeeding sessions in
the same soccer year. Players, for example, move, develop other commitments,
or choose to play another sport and therefore choose not to continue on the
team. A coach may attempt to fill any such open positions by recruiting
players without an open tryout. (See player recruitment below)

A player who learns that he or she will drop out of the HSC program during
the soccer year should make that information known to the coach as much in
advance as possible. A player should also make known his or her desire to
return at a later session within the soccer year well in advance of the
session. The coach, after discussion with the player in question, shall make
the decision whether that player will be permitted back on the team for the
remainder of the year.

Player selection is perhaps the Club's most difficult issue to deal with in
our community. HSC believes that open tryouts are essential to a
competitive soccer program. Open tryouts facilitate challenging play and
encourage players to work hard to improve soccer skills. Some parents may
disagree with this philosophy and find a less competitive program better
suited to their child.   Accordingly, when choosing the organization for your
child, please consider carefully the selection process offered by each
organization.

Player Recruitment

Notification of fall open tryouts and team offerings will be made by notice
in the local paper, handouts at school and/or direct contact by a coach to a
player. Coaches are always looking for good players to make their teams
better. Contacting potential players by phone is an appropriate and accepted
method of player recruitment. In the fall session, coaches may recruit
potential players by telephone, but only to invite them to participate in the
Club's open tryouts. Parents of children who are not contacted by phone or
who have not otherwise received notice, may contact the club president or
coach to inquire about fall tryouts or available openings for the winter or
spring sessions. Coaches should avoid recruiting players already signed up
or committed to another HSC team, soccer club or organization for that
session.

Team Selection

Team selections are based on the availability of licensed coaches as well as
the number of players participating in fall tryouts. When enough players are
available to support two teams, the coaches of those two teams shall be
responsible for deciding on the player distribution, as well as the divisions
that each team shall play. While other coaches and board members may
participate in such discussions, final decisions on these issues are left to
the head coach for the team in question.

HSC believes that breaking up teams to achieve parity or to provide varied
opportunity for players is not in the best interest of the committed player
and team development.

Out of Town Players

Coaches may select players from neighboring communities. As our club's
reputation has increased, so too have requests from soccer players in
neighboring communities who wish to play on HSC teams. We believe that our
teams may be enhanced with skilled players from other communities. Out of
town players also allow us to offer teams to our community in age groups for
which we ordinarily would have insufficient players. Coaches are therefore at
their discretion to consider players from other towns in the same manner as
they would consider players from Hopkinton.

Recognizing, however, that HSC is a community based club, the number of
players from outside the town of Hopkinton shall not exceed 25% of the
team's roster unless:

a. there are no other "qualified" players from Hopkinton who are interested
in playing for that given team. A "qualified player" is defined as a player
of appropriate age with skills commensurate with those of other players of
the team in question, or

b.   a "select" team has been authorized by the HSC Board. On such a team,
the number of players from the town of Hopkinton shall not be less than 25%.   

Select Teams

HSC recognizes that the level of play in New Hampshire is increasingly
competitive. Some players from our club have chosen to play for "select" or
"premier" teams outside our community, teams that are not community based,
but which draw from many areas of the state. If a coach wishes to develop a
"select" team, he may do so, but only after approval from the HSC board and
only after careful consideration of the effect on HSC and its established
teams.    A "select" team may not be developed from an "established" HSC
team, although any team member may tryout for the "select" team during fall
open tryouts. An established team is defined as one in which 75% of a team's
players have played together for a minimum of two consecutive fall sessions.
If a "select" team is, in fact, approved by the board, no fewer than 25% of
such players shall be Hopkinton residents.

Indoor Sessions

Due to the fact that indoor facilities limit the age groupings for teams to
even years (i.e., U-10, U-12, U-14), as well as the need to optimize the size
of the team for the indoor game, it is often necessary to split a team and to
sponsor multiple teams at the same age level and perhaps even the same
division.

In all age groups, however, each team coach may decide to keep his outdoor
team intact for the indoor sessions. A coach who wants to maintain his team
chemistry has first priority. If a coach believes that it is in the best
interest of the team and the players to split the outdoor team and/or change
the division in which the team plays, then he shall do so at his discretion.

Players not on a fall team may be added to fill the squads. A coach may fill
such openings by recruiting players at his discretion and without open
tryouts.

Any player who does not start the indoor session with his or her fall team
(injuries excluded), yet decides to return to the HSC indoor program, shall
be placed on a team when space is available.

Teams that are added to HSC for the indoor sessions shall be held to the same
conditions as all other HSC teams as described above.

Grievances

Should a parent have a grievance with any aspect of the HSC program,
including a decision of a coach concerning player selection, the parent
should first talk directly to the coach. If still dissatisfied, the parent
may request the club president to assign a board member to mediate the
dispute. If the dispute remains unsettled after mediation, a parent may
appeal to the HSC board by filing a written statement of the grievance and by
requesting a meeting at the next regularly scheduled HSC board meeting. In
such case, the board will convene to render a final decision.

Payment Policy

The Hopkinton Soccer Club is required to make payments in a timely manner not
only for registration fees to state soccer organizations, but also to the
indoor soccer facility where the teams play. In order for our club to meet
these financial obligations, HSC has adopted a collection policy for
procuring the necessary fees. This policy mandates that any player who has
not paid the required session fee by the first game of a session shall
receive a letter from the treasurer requesting payment. If payment is not
received by the second game, the treasurer will call the player's coach who
will then call the parent of the player who has not paid the fee. If payment
is not received before the third game of the session, the coach will not
permit the player to participate in that game or any subsequent games until
the fees are paid. If the payment of such fees creates a financial hardship for a player's
family, that player's parent may request a waiver of the fee by contacting a
board member. This board member will then contact the treasurer or another
board member for consideration of a joint approval for the waiver. All such
requests shall be held in confidence. HSC does not wish any soccer player to
miss playing due to financial hardship.

Parent Conduct

role that parents play in the life of a youth soccer player has a tremendous
impact on his or her experience. With this in mind, please consider some
helpful reminders for the upcoming season:

1. Let the coaches coach. Leave the coaching to the coaches. This includes
motivating your child, after game critiquing, setting goals, requiring
additional training, etc. You have entrusted the care of your child to these
coaches, and they need to be allowed to do their jobs. If a player has too
many coaches, it is confusing for the player and his or her performance
usually declines.

2. Support the program. Get involved. Volunteer. Help out with
fundraisers, car-pool. Show a willingness to do whatever is needed to
support the program.

3. Be your child's best fan. Support your child unconditionally.

4. Support and root for all players on the team. Foster teamwork. Your
child's teammates are not the enemy. When they are playing better than your
child, your child now has a wonderful opportunity to learn.

5. Encourage your child to talk with the coaches. If your child is having
difficulties in practice or games, or cannot make a practice, etc., encourage
him or her to speak directly to the coach. This "responsibility taking" is a
big part of becoming a mature player.

6. Understand and display appropriate game behavior. Remember, your child's
self esteem and game performance is at stake. Be supportive, cheer, be
appropriate. To perform to the best of his or her abilities, a player needs
to focus on the parts of the game that he or she can control (his fitness,
positioning, decision making, skill, aggressiveness, what the game is
presenting to him or her). If he or she starts focusing on what he cannot
control (the condition of the field, the referee, the weather, the opponent,
even the outcome of the game at times), the player will not play up to his or
her ability. If the player hears people telling him or her what to do, or
yelling at the referee, it diverts the player's attention away from the task
at hand. A referee may penalize a team for parent misconduct.

7. Never yell or gesture at the referees. We are having a difficult time
recruiting referees. Nothing will drive away referee involvement more
quickly than a screaming parent complaining about a call. Referees, like all
of us, make mistakes. Let it go.

8. Help your child keep his or her priorities straight. Help your child focus
on schoolwork, relationships and other aspects of life besides soccer. Also,
if your child has made a commitment to soccer, help him or her fulfill his or
her obligation to the team.

9. Reality test. If your child has come off the field when his or her team
has lost, but has played his or her best, help your child to see this as a
"win." Remind your child to focus on "process" and not "results." Fun and
satisfaction should be derived from "striving to win."

10. Keep sports participation in its proper prospective. Soccer should not
be larger than life for you. If your child's performance produces strong
emotions in you, suppress them. Remember your relationship will continue
with your children long after their competitive soccer days are over. Keep
your goals and needs separate from your child's experience.

11. Have fun. HSC will try to challenge your child to reach past his or her
"comfort level" and improve as a player. HSC coaches will attempt to do this
in an environment that is fun, yet challenging.

12. Be kind to your soccer club volunteers. The people who run HSC and who
coach your children are interested parents who have taken away from their
personal time to provide your child with an enriching experience. They, like
anyone else, can make mistakes. HSC has a grievance process that affords
parents the opportunity to discuss issues that will inevitably develop in a
club of its size. HSC, HYSA, the Hopkinton Community Center, and the School
District are all trying to accomplish the same goal: to provide opportunities
to expand the minds and to develop the physical abilities of Hopkinton's
children through participation in sports.

13. HSC may not be the organization for your child. We understand that some
parents may hold a different philosophy than HSC. Remember, HYSA and other
area clubs may offer your child a program that better meets your needs and
priorities.















   
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