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For the Kids, For the Fun of it

Bay Area Soccer Association (BASA) Travel Soccer

Welcome to Bay Area Travel Soccer! We are a group of athletes and coaches who are committed to excellence. To be a member of BASA Travel Soccer means that you are committed to showing respect and support for one another throughout the entire soccer season. The coaching staff and travel advisory board have dedicated themselves to assure that team respect and support is an everyday occurrence. It will be the responsibility of the athletes to follow these standards.

We all have a common goal: team success. To reach that goal, we must be committed to the team and to each other. No one player is more important than the team. Banded together the team is more than the sum of its parts.

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”  - Babe Ruth

It is in this spirit that the guidelines in this handbook are written. All of these policies are established to instill pride in BASA Travel Soccer and to ensure a high degree of achievement within our program. The policies and guidelines have been developed in accordance with the policies of Federation Internationale Football Association (FIFA), United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and Michigan State Youth Soccer Association (MSYSA).

1.0 Travel Soccer Philosophy

Success in soccer is only a part of the goals of the travel soccer program. Yes, one of our goals is to win soccer games, to win league championships, to win tournaments, and to compete at the highest level. But this is not the sole purpose of our program. Player development, on and off the soccer pitch, will be stressed at all times. Sportsmanship, teamwork, decision-making, setting and achieving personal and team goals are all part of our program. Preparing our athletes for the next level of play - be it to the next age bracket in select travel, to a premier team, or to your respective high school soccer team - is the ultimate goal of the program. The coaching staff and travel advisory board will do everything in our power to ensure individual development and success. In order to achieve individual success, a player must be committed and dedicated to the program, the team, the coaches and to themselves. Work ethic and discipline is required and expected from each and every player. Those who put in the greatest effort will reap the greatest rewards. These lessons extend well beyond the game of soccer; they extend to the development of the player as a person. It is a tremendous responsibility for the coaching staff and collectively we are honored to be able to influence young people as they mature in soccer and in life. 

Travel soccer is very competitive. It requires a high degree of skill and discipline to be successful. Because of that, playing time may not be equal for all players. While coaches are strongly encouraged to play each participant approximately ½ of each game, this is not a requirement. Playing time is influenced by player skill, attitude, work ethic, attendance, effort, sportsmanship, and disciplinary status. Players will be given the opportunity to demonstrate these attributes in practice. Playing time is earned in practice, so make the most of this opportunity.

2.0 Team rules and policies

Throughout your soccer career with BASA you are expected to carry yourself in a manner that is befitting our travel program. Take pride in yourself, your team and the BASA program.

2.1 Player Safety

Player safety is the number one concern for our travel coaching staff. All players are required to wear shin guards during all contact training sessions and games. Players without proper equipment will not be allowed to participate. No jewelry of any kind will be permitted on the training or game field, in accordance with USSF and FIFA.       

2.2 Illegal substances

The BASA travel soccer program has established a zero tolerance policy with regard to the use of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. These are illegal substances and their use will not be tolerated. Any player caught by the coaching staff, school authorities, law enforcement officials, or parents in the possession of, or under influence of, these items will be subject to suspension and/or removal from the team.

2.3 Off field behavior

While at our complex, practice field or visiting another soccer complex, both before and after games and practices, we are representing BASA travel soccer.   We will carry ourselves with dignity and class. Anyone showing a lack of respect for others or their property will be subject to suspension from the team. 

2.4 Priority and commitment

A commitment to BASA travel soccer is a total commitment to the team. Other than schoolwork and family, this should be a top priority. Players who miss games and practices hurt the team. They will not know the team concepts that are developed in practice and teammates may be resentful. School and family are priority #1; your travel team family should be #2. Other activities such as recreational sports, jobs, girl or boyfriends, parties, hunting, etc. are further down the list.

2.5 Absences and Unexcused time

Players are expected to attend every game and every practice. Therefore, if you must miss (or be late for) a game or practice for any reason, the coach, assistant coach, or team manager is to be notified prior to the game or practice. A message on an answering machine or e-mail message is acceptable. Please allow enough time for the coach to prepare for your absence, especially on game day. Unexcused absences will cost you playing time as follows:

  1. One unexcused absence = Player will sit out for one half of the next game
  2. Two unexcused absences = Player will attend and sit out one full game in addition to the one half missed previously
  3. Three unexcused absences = suspension from the team for a minimum of one additional game
  4. Four unexcused absences = removal from the team 

2.6 Diet guidelines

For optimum athletic performance, it is strongly recommended that no candy, chocolate, or soda be consumed on either game or practice days. Plan to eat your last meal 2 hours prior to game time. This meal should include plenty of carbohydrates. These store energy for you and allow you to perform at peak efficiency. You should only drink water during practice and games. Players need to stay hydrated, especially on hot days. Coaches will make sure to keep an eye on this. More carbohydrates should be part of the post game snack. Fruit is a great source of carbohydrates. If you are responsible for the team snack, please make sure it contains plenty of fruit. Limit your consumption of fast food on the day before games and game day.

2.7 Parents on the sidelines

We love parents at the games! Cheering and rooting for your child and his or her team is one of the joys of parenthood. Please let the coaching staff coach the players during the game. We work on specific skills and tactical concepts in practice which we want the players to execute in a game. Regardless of the outcome of the game, help us teach your child good sportsmanship. Please refrain from derogatory comments to players, coaches, opponents and officials. BASA guidelines have designated spectator areas on the opposite touchline from the teams. Please refrain from crossing over before or during the game, or at halftime. 

2.8 School work

School is a key priority for our players. All players are expected to maintain their grades during soccer season. Coaches will support parent’s recommendations regarding any academic needs. Parents please advise us of any issues or needs so we can help in any way possible. 

3.0 Practice philosophy

Practice is the time to learn and improve your skills, develop team concepts, and forge friendships and team loyalty. This is where you win games. Success in a game is a direct result of working hard in practice. Coaches are looking for players with a strong work ethic and a desire to improve. These players will benefit not only in faster individual development, but will likely receive the most game time. The following is expected of all players:

  • 100% effort
  • No horseplay, goofing off, or dangerous play during drills or instruction
  • Listen and pay attention to your coaches
  • Ask questions if you do not understand the session
  • Come focused and prepared to play
  • Proper training equipment and clothing 

4.0 Game Guidelines

Travel soccer games are competitive and a lot of fun to play. BASA strives to be a class organization. This needs to be demonstrated every time a BASA travel soccer team takes the field to our parents and fans, officials, and opponents. Your reputation, and that of BASA and Bay City, as a quality, disciplined, and unpretentious program is of the utmost importance. All players are to adhere to the following guidelines during games:

  1. Only the team captain may speak to the referee about a call. No player may argue with the referee at any time. 
  2. No outbursts or temper tantrums, such as swearing or complaining. Such acts reflect poorly on all of us, and can cost you a yellow or red card.
  3. No fighting at any time.
  4. Good sportsmanship is expected, win or lose. Win humbly and lose with dignity. Hold your head high because you gave it your best effort. No trash talking. 
  5. Be disciplined when you play. Be a team player. Encourage your teammates - especially when they make mistakes. Mistakes are not made on purpose and are opportunities for development. Play the position given to you by your coach.
  6. Excessive aggressiveness, leading to or prior to receiving a yellow card will cost you game time.
  7. Play within the team concept. No player is more important than the team. No team is successful with one player, no matter how talented. 
  8. Complaining about a teammate will not be tolerated. The team is a soccer family. This causes team dissention and that will ultimately not allow the team to be successful.
  9. Know the laws of the game. Players are expected to play within the spirit of these laws.

Discipline for violation of these guidelines is at the discretion of the coach based upon the coach’s philosophy and severity of the incident. 

5.0 Player improvement / Personal growth

To be a well-rounded and developed soccer athlete, become a student of every aspect of the game of soccer.

5.1 Referee Development

BASA encourages all of our players (and parents) to become certified referees to grow as players by learning the game from a different perspective and to help our club instruct younger players during their games. The pay is good. If interested, please visit the BASA web page (www.basasoccer.com) to learn how to become a referee.

5.2 Be a Soccer Fan

BASA encourages our players, coaches and parents to watch as much soccer as possible. Learn the game from professionals and players at the highest levels, whether it is a high school game, a college or professional match, a televised international game or World Cup competition. Watch every nuance. Pick a team and cheer them on!

5.3 Practicing at home

All BASA players are strongly encouraged to spend time at home practicing by themselves or with friends and family. The time spent dribbling, shooting and juggling will go a long way toward personal player development.

5.4 Resources

The following are just a few examples of the many resources for books, videos, coaching instruction, personal fitness and many other items of interest for soccer players and parents:

6.0 BASA Travel Team Participation / Discipline Guidelines

These guidelines are established to define the expectations of our BASA travel team players. This policy is an addendum to the BASA Travel Soccer Guidelines established June 4, 2002. Full details are available on the BASA web page (www.basasoccer.com). These guidelines are intended to establish baselines for all BASA travel teams. Individual coaches may supplement this policy with team specific rules, so long as they fit within the policy established herewith.           

  • All BASA players and parents are expected to read and sign (page 7) this policy at the initiation of each season.
  • Players are expected to attend all set practices, scrimmages, and games. Exceptions will be made for excused absences. These excused absences need to be communicated to the head coach, assistant coach, or team manager in advance of missed session if at all possible. Messages left on answering machines by a parent are acceptable. You will be provided with phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses. Please use them.
  • Upon being suspended from the team, a player may be reinstated to the team after holding a meeting between the player, parent or guardian, and head coach. Reinstatement is dependent upon the player and parent agreeing to abide by the guidelines established in this handbook.
  • Upon being removed from the team, the player and parent can appeal this decision to the BASA Travel Advisory Board.
  • All players will show respect to their teammates, referees, opposing players, parents, and coaches on or off the field. This holds for practices and games.

Players in violation of these guidelines will be subject to disciplinary action as set forth by the head coach.

Bay Area Soccer Association Travel Soccer Team Handbook

Please sign this page and return it to your head coach. 

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