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April 1-2, 2023 (Section 11 Wide - Silent Weekend)
All 9U-19U teams, including EXTRA teams.

October 7-8, 2023 (Section 11 Wide - Silent Weekend)
All 9U-19U teams, including EXTRA teams.

Silent Weekend

Let's always encourage and support our players while they are learning and playing the game, but for this one Weekend, "Mum’s the Word."

Silent Weekend is used in AYSO Regions throughout the country. The purpose of this tradition is to encourage players to think and communicate with each other on the field, and to develop their decision-making skills without outside interference. This is particularly helpful for younger players who are still learning the game and developing their skills. The game is the best teacher of the game, when we allow players to make decisions in a game setting. Coaches are requested to communicate and reinforce this with spectators!
 
 
The objectives of Silent Weekend are:
  • To emphasize that the game is about letting the kids have fun and play.
  • To show that kids can play well on their own with limited instruction.
  • To help the few parents and coaches who feel they must provide constant direction, understand how disruptive it can be.
  • To give players the chance to trust their skills and instincts without sideline input.
  • To encourage leadership skills among the individual players as they have the unique opportunity of giving their own instruction on the field.
  • To encourage a sense of true teamwork as the players must learn to rely upon one another and communicate with each other accordingly.
  • To support our volunteer referees, both youth and adult, by eliminating sideline interference and comments.
 

General Guildlines

Spectators
We request that you cheer and support all players. Therefore, cheering for positive accomplishments (after a score, a save, or other action) is encouraged. However, spectators should not coach and/or direct comments to the players, referees, or coaches. This means spectators should not be yelling while the ball is in play. There are additional ways to cheer such as clapping, shaking a pom-pom, or twirling a rally towel. AYSO National policy does not allow for horns, whistles, or noise makers of any kind.

Coaches
  • U6 and Younger – These age groups are still learning and need a lot of guidance from their coaches. So, these guidelines do not apply to these age groups.
  • U8 – This age group may have played before but still need a little guidance. For the coaches, please try to use one or two-word directions, more positionally directions like “spread out” - “drop back” - “move up” – Do not use words like, shoot, pass or dribble. These are the things we want them to do without direction.
  • U10 and Above – Your coaching moments are before the game, half time, or with the players on the bench. For those on the bench, coaches should provide direction on playing strategies for when they enter the game. Coaches shall not provide any direction – verbal or non-verbal – to the players on the field. During active play, coaches should be evaluating the performance of their team and decide on coaching points to be discuss at halftime and for the next practice. When we allow the players on the field to communicate and make decisions, they learn from each other.

  • Players
    While on the field, players are encouraged to communicate, to support and provide direction to each other. Thus, to improving their game play. Substitute players on the bench should communicate with their teammates on the field as well. Substitutes are the 12th players on the field, and they see the game from a different perspective. Learning to use your voice as a player from the touchline is a huge tool to help their team. IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not the coach telling the players what to say, this is the players watching the game and verbalizing what they are seeing to their teammates.

    Referees
    For this special day, the referee should give the coaches a friendly reminder before the game and ask the coach to handle their sidelines regarding the silent weekend.

    Why Silent Weekend

    This anecdote was excerpted from the "Now What?" section of AYSO's weekly "Hey Coach" email newsletter. Re-posting it here might help to enlighten everyone on what "Silent Weekend" really is supposed to be about. Hopefully it gives coaches ideas on helping their parents also understand what it's about.

    "My Region has decided to implement Silent Weekend as a way to reduce the loud noise on the sidelines and parents are upset! They think their children enjoy the loud sideline noise and cheering. They don’t understand how Silent Weekend helps the kids. Now What?"

    Answer: Silent Weekend were designed to eliminate the epidemic of parents and coaches yelling instructions from the sidelines. An easy analogy is if you were in the middle of a task, would it help to have someone screaming at you and telling you what to do? No, so why is this acceptable on a soccer field? Parents need to understand the spirit of Silent Weekend, which is to allow players to make decisions and learn the game. After all if the child doesn't make their own mistakes, it will hinder their development in the sport. If parents think their children are confused and don’t know what to do without sideline instruction, that's an indication that players haven't been allowed to make their own decisions. Players will learn the game by making their own decisions, learning from their mistakes and continuing to play.

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    San Clemente, California 92673

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