Code of Conduct

The MDSL Code of Conduct applies across all league and tournament events.

MDSL Code of Conduct

The Maryland Developmental Soccer League has established in its by-laws a code of conduct and responsibilities that applies to all players, coaches, parents, and spectators. It is important that this code of conduct be adhered to in order to ensure that the experience of playing soccer is a positive one for the children across all leagues, tournaments, and events. To that end, the board of directors is now requiring all players, coaches, parents, and spectators to read the code of conduct below. All participants must read, understand, and agree to abide by the code of conduct. Failure to abide by the code, as, determined by the board of directors may lead to sanctions including reprimand, suspension and in extreme cases, expulsion from leagues, tournaments, and events.

The purpose of the MDSL is to encourage participation in youth soccer and to teach soccer in a manner which balances discipline and achievement with our child’s fullest enjoyment of the game. Unfortunately, coaches, parents, and fans, despite their best intentions, do not always realize that their actions, both verbal and non-verbal, can have a lasting and negative impact on our children’s enjoyment of soccer. The ideals of good sportsmanship, fair play, dignity in victory and graciousness in defeat are concepts that are part of the foundation upon which our children can grow to become adults with great character. As adult role models we all share a great responsibility in molding our children. Our adherence to the code of conduct that follows will ensure that we are doing our part to make all leagues, tournaments, and events, in addition to soccer play of which we can be proud.
Code of Conduct: Players
1) Play by the rules.
2) Play fairly and exercise good sportsmanship.
3) Work equally hard for myself and my team. My team’s performance will benefit and so will I.
4) Cooperate with coaches, teammates, opponents and officials. Without them there would be no game.
5) Show respect to opponents at all times.
6) Be gracious in defeat and dignified in victory.
7) After each game, offer congratulations or say “good game” to the opposing team.

8) Play for the fun of soccer! 

Code of Conduct: Coaches
1) Promote fun (on & off the field of play), friendships & learning new skills.
2) Referees, coaches, administrators and opponents should be treated with respect and dignity.
3) Only provide positive reinforcement and encouragement. Remember, it’s only a game, so have fun with it.
4) Ensure that equipment and facilities meet safety standards and are appropriate to the age, maturity and ability of all players.
5) Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every young person regardless of their ability, cultural background or religion.
6) Understand that my attitude can influence the players, coaches and spectators.
7) Official decisions should be accepted, no matter how unfair they seem.
8) Always conduct yourself for the good of the game, good of your team and the good of your program.
Code of Conduct: Parents/Spectators
1) Be my child’s best fan! Support my child unconditionally and make them feel like a winner every time!
2) Remember that children participate in sport for their enjoyment, not mine.
3) Encourage children to participate, do not force them.
4) Focus on the child’s effort and performance rather than winning or losing.
5) Encourage children always to play according to the rules and to settle disagreements without resorting to hostility or violence.
6) Never ridicule or yell at a child for making a mistake or losing a game.
7) Remember that children learn best by example. Appreciate good performances and skillful plays by all participants.
8) Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from all soccer activities.
9) Be kind and respectful to your child’s coaches, officials and program administrators. These volunteers give their personal time to provide a recreational activity for your child. These people are providing a valuable community service, often without reward, other than the personal satisfaction of having served the community and making a positive difference in the lives of children.
10) Report to the coach all injuries, special medical conditions or extenuating circumstances that may affect the player.
11) Send my child ready to play. My child will be dressed in uniform, proper safety equipment and arrive on time.
13) Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every young person regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background, or religion.
14) Do not openly question the referee’s judgment and never his/her honesty. In fact, never say anything to a referee or try to make calls for the referee. Please remember that some referees are still children learning how to ref, so please give them a break. Accept the results of each game and encourage your child to be gracious in victory and to turn defeat into victory by working towards improvement. A child will not remember the results of a game but will remember how they felt because of your words or actions.
15) Realize that your program has provided the tools necessary for your child’s coach to be the best coach and role model possible for your child. You may feel as if you know more about soccer than your child’s coach. Maybe you do; maybe you don’t. However, you should respect the fact that the coach has volunteered his/her time. Stalking up and down the sidelines barking orders to the team undermines the coach’s authority and sends confusing messages to the children, which increases their level of frustration. Let the team coaches, coach. Please have a seat, relax, and enjoy the game.
Being a player, manager, coach, parent/spectator, I have read and understand the Maryland Developmental Soccer League Code of Conduct for all leagues, tournaments, and events. I agree to abide to this code of conduct and practice good sportsmanship throughout all MDSL events. I agree to help enforce this conduct as written to better the soccer experience for all.