Youth soccer league requiring parents to remain silent on the sidelines

A youth soccer league is taking measures to make sure rowdy parents and visitors quiet down. The South Carolina Youth Soccer Association is enforcing "Silent September" during which game attendees are being to asked to remain completely silent on the sidelines at the risk of being kicked out of the game.

A statement on the SCYSA website says the "Silent September" is being implemented to bring attention back to appropriate behavior and code of conduct after issues with parents on the sidelines.

"Due to continuing problems/issues with sideline behaviors on the parent/spectator touchline – and the impact that inappropriate behavior has upon our youth, especially upon youth referees; and the additional impact that inappropriate sideline behaviors have upon overall referee retention, SCYSA is implementing a SILENT SEPTEMBER for all SCYSA sponsored league games, statewide, at all levels," SCYSA said in a statement.

SCYSA released these guidelines for making sure parents follow the "Silent September" rules.

1. All parents and visitors shall be silent during the game. No cheering, no jeering; just enjoy your player and the game that they love. Also during this Silent September, all parents and visitors shall be on that half of the parent touchline opposite their team’s bench.

2. In the event of a parent or visitor violates this rule, on the first instance during a game the referee will ASK the coach to counsel his parents/visitors to remain silent, on the second instance during the game the referee will TELL the coach to counsel his parents/visitors to remain silent, upon the third instance during the game the referee will direct the coach to DISMISS the offending spectator(s) -- if they do not leave or the coach refuses - then the coach will be sent off. If there is not an appropriately carded adult to continue coaching the game, the game will be abandoned and the circumstances reported to SCYSA. Likewise, if the offending spectator(s) still refuse to leave, even after the coach is sent off, then the game will be abandoned and the circumstances reported to SCYSA.

If in the opinion of the referee the situation warrants, first two steps (ASK/TELL) are not required.

3. Prior to the beginning of the season, each team manager shall obtain parent signatures on behalf of each player on their roster acknowledging their awareness of the parent/visitor code of conduct.

4. Team managers are expected to be on the parent touchline in order to address any inappropriate behaviors directly.

5. Teams / Parent Groups / Individuals who are reported as having been dismissed from a game are subject to sanctions for their inappropriate conduct. Repeat offenders will be sanctioned more severely.

The purpose of this SILENT SEPTEMBER is to make parents/visitors aware of the SCYSA focus on appropriate sideline behavior and of the existence of a CODE OF CONDUCT, and re-establish that managing parent/visitor behavior is the responsibility of coaches and clubs, NOT referees.

After Silent September, SCYSA will be enforce Silent Saturdays and Silent Sundays periodically to remind visitors of proper conduct.