Coaches Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics/Conduct
NTSSA Code of ethics for coaches
This code of ethics has been developed to
clarify and distinguish approved and accepted professional, ethnical, and moral
behavior from which is detrimental to the development of the sport of soccer.
(The term “coach” shall include, but is not limited to the Head Coach,
Assistant Coaches, Manager/Trainer and/or Team Representative.)
Responsibility to Players:
coach must never place the value of winning over safety and welfare of
players. Winning should be the result of participation and discipline with
emphasis on the highest ideals and character traits.
shall instruct players to play within the written laws of the game and
within the spirit of the game at all times.
shall not seek unfair advantage by teaching deliberate unsportsmanlike
behavior to players.
should not tolerate inappropriate behavior from players regardless of the
on 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.
must never encourage players to violate NTSSA recruitment, eligibility, or
guest player rules and policies.
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 follow the physician’s instructions
regarding treatment and recovery. At no time should a player be put at risk
by returning from injury prematurely or by being forced to play while
Responsibility to NTSSA and Member
Adherence to all NTSSA and Member Association rules and policies,
especially those regarding eligibility, team formation, recruiting, and guest
players are mandatory and should never be violated. It is the responsibility of
every coach to know and understand these rules.
Player development and growth of each player through participation is
essential to the growth of the sport. Additionally, the coach must behave in
such a manner that the principles, integrity, and dignity of the sport are
Any problems that cannot be resolved between coaches should be referred
to the appropriate NTSSA Commissioner, Member Association, or League
Responsibility to the Laws of the Game:
should be thoroughly acquainted with demonstrate a working knowledge of the
laws of the games of soccer. Coaches are also responsible to ensure that
their players understand the intent as well as the application of the laws.
must adhere to the letter and spirit of the laws of the game. Those coaches
who circumvent the rules to gain advantage have no place in soccer.
coaches permit, encourage, or condone performance that is not in the letter
or spirit of the laws, they are derelict in their responsibility to players,
Member Associations, NTSSA, and the sport worldwide. The coach must strive
to teach good sporting behavior.
Revised July, 2005
Responsibility to Officials:
Officials must have the support of coaches, players, and
spectators. Criticism of officials undermines their purpose in the game. Coaches
must always refrain from criticizing officials in the presence of players.
should strive to develop a line of communication with officials; giving each
and opportunity to better understand the problem relating to their specific
area. This section shall not be taken as an encouragement to debate referee
decisions during the match.
game day, officials should be treated with respect before, during, and after
the game. Officials should be addressed as “Referee” or “Mr./Ms.
Referee” and not by name. Professional respect should be mutual and there
should be no demeaning dialogue or gesture between official, coach, or
player. Coaches must not incite players or spectators or attempt to disrupt
the flow of play.
regarding an official should be made in writing to the appropriate
organization assigning the official.
Responsibilities Regarding Scouting and
It is unethical to scout any team by any means whatsoever, except in
regularly scheduled games.
use of videotape or motion picture equipment to scout an opponent’s
regularly scheduled games for the purpose of recruiting is unethical.
NTSSA rules pertaining to recruiting shall be strictly observed by the
coach, manager, or any team representative.
is unethical to recruit players actively playing for another team.
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.
discussing the advantages of his organization, the coach has an ethical
obligation to be forthright and refrain from making derogatory remarks
regarding other coaches, teams, and organizations.
is unethical for any to make a statement to a prospective athlete which
cannot be fulfilled; illegal to promise any kind of compensation or
inducement for play; and immoral to deliver the same.
of illegal or unethical recruiting are very serious and shall be based on
concrete facts rather than hearsay and innuendo. While documentation of
recruiting violations is essential, the use of videotape and other
electronic equipment is discouraged.
Responsibility of Public Relations:
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
asked to give a recommendation concerning team, camp, coach, or
organization, it is in the best interest of all concerned if no less than
three referrals are given to provide a professional unbiased source of
have the responsibility to assist their players in conducting themselves
properly when in public while representing their team member association,
Predicting a win is folly, and serves no useful place in a coach’s public
stressing injuries, team, personnel conflicts, or disciplinary problems as
an excuse for a loss or unsuccessful endeavor are detrimental and should be
is unethical for a coach to solicit alumni, parents, booster club or
managers to pressure organizations. Member Associations or NTSSA to alter
established rules. The coach must not attempt to influence these
organizations in political or financial dealings outside the framework of
their own rules and bylaws.
media should be allowed access to the players for comment. Players should be
instructed in how to conduct themselves during an interview.
Game Day And Other Responsibilities:
A Coach’s behavior must be such as to bring credit to
himself, his organization, and the sport of soccer. This is never more evident
than on the day of the contest.
coaches should meet prior to the game and exchange friendly or professional
greetings. While the concept of rivalry is wholly embraced, it cannot take
precedence over exemplary professional conduct.
play, coaches have a responsibility to be as inconspicuous as possible.
Coaches shall exhibit a respectful attitude towards players. The coach must
confine himself to the coaching area. The attitude of the coach towards
officials, spectators, opposing players and coaches should be controlled and
shall be unethical for a coach to have any verbal altercation with any
opposing coach or bench during the game. Hostile physical contact with a
player is considered highly unethical.
coach’s foremost post-game responsibility is his/her team.
6. Coaches should use their influence on unfriendly spectators that demonstrate
intimidating behavior towards officials and opposing teams.