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Why Rules Are Important For Everyone - Even You

CYSA has rules.

Isn't that horrible? Doesn't that restrict and impede progress? Why can't I do whatever I want?

I find it amazing that there are actually people in youth soccer that pose these questions in a country founded on the fundamental principle of a government of laws and not men. These are often the same people who complain the loudest when they discover through hard experience what they never in their wildest dreams imagined could ever happen - they turn out not to be the "winners" in no-holds-barred, cutthroat competition.

Law performs a number of valuable - in fact, irreplaceable - functions. It protects by, among other things, ensuring the existence of a "level playing field." How many people do you know who have openly said they are against there being a level playing field? None, right? Unfortunately, however, I am sadly confident that if you watch what is actually being done, you will find quite a few people in youth soccer who are in reality very much against level playing fields.

For example, every year we have to deal with people at all levels of competition trying to win by misclassifying their teams, attempting to load the teams with "ringers," or otherwise circumventing the rules that ensure a level playing field. Yes, the laws that protect youth players from being so treated and that embody the values of using the sport for the benefit of children do get in the way, and they get in the way of some big-time. But then again, that is one of the aspects of law that make it so valuable.


Coaches: Get Your Priorities Straight

Why A Red Card?
Make Sportsmanship a Goal

Well here goes, another article on sportsmanship - why it's important and what you (the player, the coach, the parent, the referee) should do about it.

Having been an active participant in the red card process from all sides (well, except as the sport parent - my son is not quite three and has not yet been carded), I'd like to focus on the issue now wearing my sport psychology hat.

The first step to solving any problem is to become aware of it. According to CYSA, there has been a rise in red cards in recent years. At this point, it is important to note that there is a difference between a violent tackle from behind, made out of frustration, and picking up a second yellow for an intentional handball. The intent of this article is to focus on the unsportsmanlike and violent red card offenses.

What do we do about it? In past articles I have read, it seems like the approach has been a bit unrealistic (think of that lady on the Simpsons who says hysterically: "Won't somebody please think of the children?!!"). While being a good sport sounds good on paper while sitting in a comfortable chair, it's a whole different story in the blazing sun in the heat of battle on the field.


Non-competitive youth soccer leads to more physical activity by kids

Non-competitive youth soccer leads to more physical activity by kids 

A study presented today at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis has shown that the structuring of children's games has a significant effect on energy expenditure.

A research team led by Karla Bruggeman and David Dzewaltowski, Ph.D., measured activity during both elimination- and non-elimination games, using accelerometers, in 29 children in grades four through six.

Both normal weight and overweight children participated in the study, but were not separated for analysis.

In non-elimination games, kids accrued more overall physical activity due to not having to spend time on the sidelines as a result of elimination. They also accumulated significantly more moderate and vigorous physical activity than elimination games.