Coaching Policy Regarding Club Soccer

Coaches are volunteering with Palo Alto AYSO to provide a quality soccer experience for our Region's players.  Our volunteer coaches are an invaluable asset, contributing strongly to our community, and to Palo Alto AYSO's abilities to deliver a superior soccer program to the kids of our community.  And we especially appreciate our professional and semi-professional coaches from club soccer that volunteer their skills and time to our Region.

Our Region, including our players, parents and all of our volunteers, depend on our coaches to teach and guide our youth. As teachers and instructors, our coaches become mentors to our children.  It is important that our Region can rely upon our coaches to have the best interests of our players in mind at all times.

From time-to-time our Region's players will contemplate club play, and wish to talk to their AYSO coach about club play.  It is important that when the coach discusses the possibility of club play with the player, the coach keeps in mind the player's ability, the level of play, the experience the player may have, and the time commitment it may entail, as well as any other pertinent factors that should be considered.  For some players the coach may wish to encourage the player to try club soccer.  Such encouragement, when in keeping with the player's best interests, is laudable.
However, it is not feasible to separate the interests of the coach from the interests of the player if the coach advises the player to join a club team with which the coach is affiliated.  In such a case, the interests of the coach may be biasing his advice to the player.  This potential conflict-of-interest could be damaging not only to the player, but also to our Region's confidence in our coaching integrity.

For this reason, Palo Alto AYSO coaches agree to avoid this conflict of interest and may not accept players from an AYSO team with which they are personally affiliated, to a club team with which they are personally affiliated.  Coaches agree to this during their tenure while volunteering at Palo Alto AYSO, and for one year after departing.  This does not apply in the case where the player is a child or ward of the coach.  The intent of this policy is to ensure the player's interests are primary, and that it is readily seen to be that way by members of our Region.

It is recognized that it could be in the best interests of the player for a coach to advise an AYSO player to tryout for the coach's club team.  A coach may petition for a waiver in specific circumstances, permitting the coach to talk to the AYSO player about trying out for the coach's team.  Petitioning for a waiver may only be done prior to speaking with the AYSO player about trying out for the coach's club team.  To petition, the coach requests a waiver by email to the RCA.  The RCA will convene a brief meeting with the coach to discover the nature of the request and ensure the player's best interests are being served.  The RCA will recommend to the RC whether to provide a waiver.  Such waivers will not be unreasonably withheld.

Suspected violations of this policy will be reviewed using AYSO procedures with a Review Board.  If the coach is found to be in violation of this policy the coach will not again be invited to volunteer with Palo Alto AYSO.  Further, in accordance with AYSO procedures and mutual agreements with USSF, the coach's record in eAYSO will be annotated, and the USSF will be notified.