Return to Play Guidelines
Policy 26 Acceptable Recruitment Practices
TSSA Policies and Procedures
Zero Tolerance for Abuse
- TUSC has adopted and abides by the USYS Code of Conduct in regards to dealing with abuse issues. It is the responsibility of every coach and volunteer to participate in the effort to create a safe environment for all soccer participants.
Tennessee United Soccer Club (TUSC) Constitution
As amended January 9, 2006
I. Name – This organization shall be known as the “Tennessee United Soccer Club,” dba “TUSC,” a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public soccer training, development and educational organization, incorporated under the laws of the State of Tennessee and hereafter referred to as the “association.”
II. Purpose – The purpose of the association shall be to develop, promote, advance and administer the sport of competitive youth soccer among youth players registered with the association, regardless of their ability to pay.
III. Affiliation – The association shall be affiliated and comply with the authority of the Tennessee State Soccer Association (TSSA), and thereby shall be affiliated and comply also with the authority of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) as administered by its Youth Division, the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) and its Amateur Division, the United States Amateur Soccer Association (USASA). The association may also choose to affiliate with other organizations such as U.S. Club Soccer as deemed appropriate by the association.
IV. Governance – The association shall be governed by its constitution, bylaws, guidelines, policies and procedures except when these provisions are superseded by the governing authority of USSF and its divisions or by TSSA with whom the association is affiliated. Enforcement will be overseen by the Board of Directors of the association.
V. Membership – Members of the association shall be affiliated players, soccer officials, other organizations and individuals as needed or specified by federal or state laws to comply with non–profit status. All players and/or members will be registered with TSSA and must abide by the constitution, bylaws, guidelines, policies and procedures.
VI. Legal and Tax-Exempt Status
A. The purpose for which the association is organized is exclusively educational within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Code. The organization is to be a charitable organization and must operate within the laws governing such structure.
B. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, this organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Code.
C. In the event of dissolution, the residual assets of the organization will be turned over to one or more organizations which themselves are exempt as organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) and 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or corresponding sections of any prior or future Internal Revenue Code, or to the federal, state or local government for exclusive public purposes.
VII. Amendments and Bylaws – Amendments and/or changes to the bylaws or this constitution must be approved by a two-thirds vote of eligible voting members of the Board of Directors.
TUSC Policies and Procedures
revised November 15, 2012
Purpose of Policies & Procedures
The purpose of these Policies & Procedures are to provide the leadership, coaches, trainers, players, parents and everyone involved with the Tennessee United Soccer Club (TUSC) program, a set of procedures to operate by in growing and managing our club. In addition to these Policies & Procedures, the club and all its participants are expected to abide by the Club Bylaws, Policies & Procedures, Guidelines, and Constitution. In addition, all involved are expected to abide by the procedures of our member organizations including the Tennessee State Soccer Association (TSSA) and the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA). In the event of a potential contradiction with the Policies & Procedures contained herein, the Policies & Procedures of these organizations take precedence. Such contradictions should be brought to the attention of the TUSC board and remedied at the earliest possible opportunity.
Teams may choose to have additional procedures and guidelines over and above the minimum requirements contained herein, but must be approved by the Board of Directors.
It should be noted that the Policies and Procedures of TUSC may be changed, but will be communicated to the club membership.
Tennessee United Overview
TUSC, a select soccer club, is a member of the Tennessee State Soccer Association, with approximately 700 youth select soccer players and 40+ teams. The club is headquartered, practices, and plays on the fields at Goodlettsville’s Moss Wright Park and Hendersonville’s Drakes Creek Park. TUSC has its own distinct bylaws and governing body. The governing body consists of a President, Secretary, Treasurer, Registrar, and at-large directors,. The board and club will be operated per its bylaws and constitution.
TN United Club Philosophy and Approach
TUSC will focus more on the process of development than anything else, especially in the U12 and under age groups. TN United teams are formed and organized to provide an opportunity for boys and girls of our area, to develop their skills to the greatest degree possible. Such a process will eventually allow TN United teams to play soccer at the highest competitive levels. The long-term goal is to produce both quality players and people who can use soccer as a stepping-stone for high school play, college admission (or maybe even a potential soccer scholarship) and life in general. Winning will eventually come as a natural result of a well-executed process on behalf of the players, coaches and the club’s philosophy. The TUSC philosophy will be accomplished by…
- Putting the overall development of the player first while balancing the needs of the overall program.
- Encouragement and support of the players by the club, team and parents
- Providing the best possible coaching and top-level training to facilitate players toward individual development and the team toward achieving its greatest potential
- Organizing the fairest and best possible teams through annual tryouts
- Seeking out top-level competition with other players of the same or higher caliber
- Basing playing time on merit earned by a player through skills and
- Conditioning, development, ability, attendance, performance, attitude, teamwork and adhering to the expectations listed herein
- Playing competition in “classic” games, scrimmages, league play and a minimum of two tournaments per season
- Receiving strong financial support to pave the way for achieving the above goals through corporate sponsorships, team fund raising, individual donations, parental support, and tournaments.
Club and Team Structure
TUSC has sole responsibility for and authority over each team. Any dues or fees paid by parents and any fund raising, sponsorship or other funds that accrue to the team immediately become the property of the club, as are any other good purchased for or donated to the team. The BOD, with the recommendation of the Directors of Coaching (DOC), will appoint a coach for the team and sometimes a trainer (if different than the coach), both of whom will answer directly to the club’s director of coaching who ultimately reports to the club’s BOD. Likewise, the BOD will appoint a team manager who will work under the direction of the team’s coach. The coach, trainer and team manager are not elected positions voted on by the parents or players of the teams. Parental involvement and support are obviously vital to the success of any select team and the coach, trainer and team manager should encourage that involvement and support whenever possible. All decisions involving division of play, competition level and the scheduling of games and tournaments will be made by the coach with input from the Director of Coaching, Assistant Director of Coaching and the Technical director. The coach may occasionally solicit input from the team manager regarding tournaments to participate in but it’s ultimately the decision of the coach. All decisions involving training sessions will be made by the coach/ trainer with input from the Directors of Coaching. All decisions involving lineups, playing time, positions and addressing the players will be made by the coach. Such decisions are not at the discretion of the parents, team manager or the players. All decisions involving fund raising, participation in other team- or club-related activities (including associated dates and times), team publicity and image, travel arrangements, and the expenditure of funds will be made by the team manager and are ultimately subject to the authority of the coach, and the TUSC board. Any of the above areas of responsibility may be delegated, from time to time, by the individuals responsible, but none of the decisions require a vote of the parents or players. TUSC greatly desires a harmonious and cooperative atmosphere between parents and team management.
Executive Director Expectations
The Executive Director position is responsible for providing strategic leadership for the club by working with the board of directors and the DOO to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies. This will include development and implementation of a strategic plan to advance the club’s vision, mission, strategies and objectives and to promote goals, sustainability and growth for the club. The ED also in coordination with the DOO, establishes, develops, maintains and oversees all internal and external fundraising and sponsorship opportunities while also establishing and maintaining external business and soccer partnerships and relationships. The position accomplishes this through a respectful, constructive and energetic style, guided by the objectives of TUSC.
Director of Operations Expectations
The Director of Operations position provides the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that the company has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place to effectively grow the organization and to ensure financial strength and operating efficiency. The Director of Operations of the Club also, coordination with the Executive Director of the Club, establishes, develops, maintains and oversees all internal and external fundraising and sponsorship opportunities while also establishing and maintaining external business and soccer partnerships and relationships. The position accomplishes this through a respectful, constructive and energetic style, guided by the objectives of TUSC.
Director(s) of Coaching Expectations
The club, through the TUSC board, will enlist the services of a Directors of Coaching (DOC) to provide guidance, counsel and leadership for the purposes of developing the TUSC program and its players in accordance with the clubs Policies & Procedures and promotion of its philosophy. Expectations and requirements of the Directors of Coaching include but are not limited to…
- Work closely with the TUSC board and associated committees in the organization and management of the program
- Advisement to the MTFC and HSC recreational programs in developing programs for recreational and developing players.
- Solicit, interview, screen, background check and staff all coaches and trainers for each team
- Provide a reasonable fee structure for development services, coaches and Trainers provided to the club
- Participate in monthly TUSC board meetings and Committee meetings and meet the administrative requirements associated with providing the services outlined herein
- Oversee the overall development and training of the United program’s players, trainers and coaches.
- Make available summer and winter foot skills and player development training to the teams within the program
- Continually seek education and training in order to ensure the continuous improvement of the club
- Serve as a positive example and role model to the players and coaches within the program
- Conduct business in an ethical and professional manner
- Promote the club in local schools and organizations
Coaches, Trainers, and Team Management
The TUSC board, with input from the Directors of Coaching is ultimately responsible for approving team leadership for all United soccer teams. Coaches of each team are expected to conduct themselves with professionalism and dignity at all times and is to refrain from abusive or foul language, smoking or drinking in front of players, and is to be role models for the players of the United program. The club expects likewise of the club’s leadership and from each individual team’s leadership. Coaches, trainers and team managers can be removed at the discretion of the Board of Directors and all positions are for no more than a one year term, although the appointment can be renewed for subsequent years. The classifications and job descriptions of each team will include at a minimum…
- Head Coach — Responsible for the overall development and success of the team and its players; will adhere to the goals and objectives of the team at all times; will be at practice and games before scheduled time; will guide and prepare the players both mentally and physically for games; will determine lineups, playing times and positions of players; must adhere to the Policies & Procedures established by the TUSC board, including those contained herein. Head coaches are usually appointed for the duration of one year (2 seasons). The DOC’s with the approval of the BOD may reassign or remove a coach at any time in order to accommodate the best interests of the club and individual teams.
- Assistant Coach — The decision to obtain an assistant coach is the responsibility and decision of the DOC. The assistant coach will work under the authority of the team’s head coach and will assist as directed. The position of Assistant Coach must be approved by the DOC in advance.
- Trainer — In addition to or in conjunction with each team’s head coach, the team may have a DOC/TUSC BOD approved trainer to conduct practice sessions for the team. In some cases a team may desire to have a paid trainer in addition to a paid head coach. The DOC may require a team with an unpaid head coach to utilize the services of a paid trainer.
- Team Manager — Responsible for the overall administrative aspects of the team, including rostering of players, scheduling tournaments and games under the direction of the head coach, planning lodging, team communication for the coach, and other duties assigned by the head coach and club leadership. The team manager is not a coach (and should not be on the sidelines during a game except in those instances when requested by te head coach or DOC), and is to work under the leadership of the coach and club Policies & Procedures. They are to present the decisions of the BOD and DOC in relation to club policies and procedures to parents and players in a positive and supportive manner. In the absence of a team treasurer, the team manager may also be responsible for the role of managing the finances of the team as outlined herein.
- Team Treasurer — Responsible for the overall financial aspects of the team; will provide financial reports as requested to the team manager, and TUSC Chairman, President, or Treasurer; will properly and ethically manage the team’s finances; will be responsible for collecting and distributing money for the team.
*It should be noted that only two coaches will be allowed on the team’s sideline during all games. In some instances the trainer or team manager may join the two coaches on the sideline with the head coach’s permission. Parents are not allowed to be on the team’s sideline during games or during half times as it can be a distraction and is against the rules in most tournaments.
Coach, Trainer, and Team Manager Selection
The TUSC board, with the advice, direction, and recommendation of the Directors of Coaching, will approve and assign all coaches, trainers, and team managers to all United teams. In the event that Directors of Coaching are no longer on contract with the United program, the TUSC board will be responsible for appointing coaches and trainers to each team until a new Director of Coaching is available to serve in such role. Each coach and trainer will be screened via interviews with the DOC’s and background checks by the club and/or city to take every feasible measure to ensure the safety and well being of the players.
** If and/or when a vacancy occurs in any of the above mentioned positions, these teams will be required to fully comply with the above criteria and Policies & Procedures in the selection and oversight of these individuals and teams and the “grandfathering” associated with this specific subject will no longer exists.
Coach and Trainer Criteria
Individuals requesting an interview for a coaching position must submit a written request to the Director of Coaching. All coaches are expected to be qualified per state standards at a minimum, although the program desires coaches and trainers to possess qualifications that are over and above the minimum requirements.
A paid/non-parent head coach is desired for all teams, but is a requirement for any Division I or II team except in rare circumstances where approved by the DOC. Coaches and trainers are also requested to continually improve their coaching skills and knowledge of the game through ongoing training and course work.
At a minimum, a coach/trainer must have:
- Division III – USSF E License
- Division II - USSF D state certificate (Or NSCAA Equivalent)
- Division I - USSF D License (Or NSCAA Equivalent)
**All coaches must hold the required license for the teams applicable Division unless they have been granted a one time waiver by the TN State Soccer Association. Coaches and Trainers of “grandfathered” teams may continue to coach their teams assuming all Policies and Procedures are followed. Upon the vacancy or creation of a coaching/training position for these teams, all aspects of this section immediately apply for future coaches and trainers assigned to the formerly “grandfathered” team.
Paid Coach and Paid Trainer Compensation
On an annual basis, the board will establish and publish standard coaching and training rates as provided by the program’s Director of Coaching. Compensation is to be submitted to the coaches and trainers by the 10th calendar day of each month for services rendered the previous month.
Player Commitment and Expectations
A division I, II, or III select soccer team concept requires a much greater level of commitment than a recreational division IV soccer team. Each player, and parent, is expected to dedicate the time and effort necessary to continually improve his or her individual skills, contribute to the team’s success and do what is best for the team as a whole. Players that are not dedicated to becoming the best soccer player possible may not be suited for the select soccer team concept. It is completely understandable that some players may not feel such a commitment and may need to consider other options in fairness to those teammates that have made such a commitment.
A few of the commitments and expectations include…
- Representing the team and club in positive manner at all times
- Maintaining good grades and behavior in school
- Being on time for practice and pre-game warm-ups
- Notifying a coach in advance, to the greatest extent possible, of an absence or tardiness
- Attending, to the greatest extent possible, all practices and games
- Coming to each game prepared and dressed to play with shin guards, both home and away uniforms, ball, socks, cleats, water bottles, etc.
- Maintaining a positive mental attitude toward both games and practice
- Continually developing skills on non-practice days
- Dedicating themselves to off-season conditioning and training
- Refraining from illegal drugs, smoking and alcoholic beverages
- Paying attention and respecting coaches and trainers during club activities, practices and games
- Displaying good sportsmanship at all times toward the team, opponents and referees
- Maintaining a healthy diet and getting plenty of rest
Given the more important priorities of family and school, it is understood that soccer is not the most important thing in life. Despite these priorities, each player must understand that the team will require a strong commitment compared to most other outside activities. It should be understood that missing games, practices and team meetings, regardless of the reason, could have an impact on playing time and starting positions. Ultimately such absences or tardiness, as well as violating any of the above expectations, could impact a player’s ability to make or remain on the team in the future if these policies are abused or habitual. The coach will determine whether an absence is excusable and/or will impact a player’s playing time or status on the team. In some cases, a player may be removed from the team for violating the above rules, with or without notice, and would be subject to the Policies & Procedures in the section “Players Leaving a Team.”
Typically, the fall season will officially begin in late July or early August and will end with tournament or “classic” game play around mid November before Thanksgiving The spring season will typically begin with practice in February and end with tournament play in late May or early June. Seasons for Division I teams could certainly begin earlier and last longer. All TUSC teams are expected to practice and play at least until the middle of November in the Fall season and the end of May in the Spring season currently following a 14 week macro cycle. Older age group teams may extend their seasons to incorporate showcase type events or regional league play. Conditioning and foot skills classes may be provided in the winter and summer months on a voluntary basis, although all players are encouraged to attend if scheduled. It should be noted that players are expected to commit to both the fall and spring seasons, given tryouts will be conducted for an entire soccer year (August through June). The select program is not generally intended for those that only commit to one season given such a partial commitment could deny a player who is committed to both the fall and spring soccer seasons a spot on the roster.
It is very important for players to participate in some form of training during the winter and summer off-seasons. Failure to train in the off-season will result in a team that is out of shape and not ready for demanding tournament play. Many teams in the area continue to train during the off-season, thus United teams must do likewise in order to remain competitive. Some teams may choose to hire a trainer for agility, speed and conditioning sessions. Failure to train in the off-season could also ultimately impact a player’s ability to maximize playing time and earn a starting position given the importance of physical conditioning. Training during the off-season will be increasingly important as the players mature and increase their level of competition. Coaches should discuss formal training program length, duration and content with the DOC’s in order to maintain standards of technique and fitness while allowing players, parents and coaches an adequate period of rest to recuperate from the prior season.
Parental Involvement & Conduct
The team would obviously not exist without the involvement and support of parents. Each parent is making a tremendous sacrifice in terms of time, finances and energy. It is completely understood that parents are not mere spectators to the process of select soccer but are one of the key ingredients to a successful team. It is hoped that the parents of the team will co-exist in a harmonious and encouraging manner. It is imperative that players, parents and coaches work well together given the amount of time spent together. Unfortunately a team can’t effectively exist with 20-30 coaches. Thus, decisions regarding positions played, playing time, team organization, team formation and addressing the players will be the sole domain of the team’s coaches. Sideline coaching, negativity, yelling, screaming and instructing will only distract and confuse the players, thus it will be required that parents focus on encouraging the team as a whole and let the coaches do the coaching. At no time will a coach discuss another player’s performance with any parent other than the parent of the player, nor will “bad-mouthing” another player’s child from the sideline be tolerated.
In no circumstance are parents to approach the coach after a game to discuss performance of the team, playing time, etc. Playing time will be based on merit earned by a player. If a problem does arise, the concerned parent needs to address the coach and not a player or parents on the sidelines. The goal of the coaches is to alleviate the problems mentioned in this paragraph through regular and ongoing communication with parents of the team.
Other expectations of the parents include…
- Making sure players are picked up on time after practices and team events
- Representing the club and teams in a positive manner at all tournaments and games.
- Avoiding bad language, fighting or yelling at or arguing with referees and other parents.
- Understanding that, unless mutually agreed to between the parents and the coaches, coaches will not serve as “babysitters” before, between or after games; before and after practices; or while traveling to team events of any kind.
- Violation of these Policies & Procedures could result in a parent being referred to the Disciplinary Committee (see “Disciplinary Committee” section).
Team Selection Process
TUSC will host tryouts at the Hendersonville Drakes Creek Park and Goodlettsville soccer fields at Moss Wright Park or other predetermined location for the purposes of evaluating and selecting the team’s players on at least an annual basis. A prospective player must attend these tryout events to be considered for selection. In some cases the coaches, with prior approval, may conduct a special tryout after the original tryout if additional players and/or teams are being sought. Special circumstances regarding a potential player missing a tryout will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the coach or the Director of Coaching. A coach or the Director of Coaching may grant an ill, injured, or player missing for an excusable reason (which is at the DOC’s or Head Coach’s discretion) a roster position based on past performance. Past performance, skills and experience may also be used in addition to tryout evaluations as criteria with which coaches formulate an opinion and pick their teams. Ultimately the head coach, with guidance from the DOC’s is responsible for picking the players he/she desires to fill positions on a team
Players will be evaluated by a predetermined group of evaluators chosen by the Director of Coaching which may consist of a specific team’s coaches, other club coaches, trainers and possibly other club leadership, but under no circumstance will a coach or evaluator evaluate their own child. The goal of the tryouts is to form a team that is made up of those soccer players perceived to contribute the most to achieving the team and club goals. The number of players to be selected for the team will typically not ever exceed the allowable state maximum roster. The tryout process will be repeated on at least an annual basis, thus a player is not guaranteed a spot on the roster for more than one complete soccer year (fall and spring).
In the event more than one team could be formed in an age division, the TUSC board may designate that both a “premier” and a “classic” team be formed. The club may form more than two teams in an age group stratified by ability. A premier team would consist of those players that would be considered more developed than those playing on the classic team, although teams would be distinguished by color (i.e. TUSC ’99 Red, TUSC ’99 blue, TUSC 99 white etc.) and/or Division (I, II, or III) and not “premier” or “classic”.
Players will be notified in a timely manner as to whether/which team they have been selected to play for. Notification of players in age groups with multiple teams will occur after a slightly longer period as roster spots on the “premier” team must be accepted or rejected before those on the “classic” team can be offered and filled.
In the U9 and U10 age groups it may be decided by the DOC, with board approval, to form multiple teams of similar skill levels or parity teams given it is difficult such young ages to determine those players that are more advanced given rapid changes in growth development, etc. Furthermore, players in these age groups are not allowed to participate in state tournaments/championships per state Policies & Procedures thus such a division of players is not important. As players approach the Under 11 and older age groups, teams will begin to be formed based more upon skill level and corresponding division than in the Under 9 and Under 10 age groups.
Age divisions will be structured per the Tennessee State Soccer Association Policies & Procedures. TSSA provides Policies & Procedures which state the birth date criteria for age divisions. The club will determine which age divisions that United teams will represent based upon the anticipated number of select level players available to form a team. If enough select level players are not available for a specific age group, a team may not be formed. Ultimately it is at the discretion of the TUSC board with input from the DOC to determine if a team should be formed to represent a specific age group.
In some instances, a player may possess the maturity or skills to “play up” in an older age division. Although it is the desire of the club for a player to roster in the appropriate age division, a player may play up, assuming their ability to make the team in the older age division, after the DOC’s consultation with the coaches of both the younger and the older team, and the Director of Coaching’s recommendation to the BOD and their ultimate approval. Such instances will be rare though, reserved for phenomenal players and those whose development would be greatly hindered if not allowed. Such instances are to be examined and approved on a case by case basis.
A player may also play up an age group if the Director of Coaching decided that a player cannot be rostered (due to maximization of roster size, or inability to be competitive on a team, or if enough select level players are not available for a specific age group and a team may not be formed) at their own age and ability appropriate level but can contribute by playing for a team in the next age group up where their ability level is similar or the team needs players to fill a roster, A player may also play up if in the opinion of the DOC he/she should be rostered differently to protect the viability or competitveness of a team, or would otherwise through exceptional circumstances not play at TN United. This exemption is for the remainder of playing year with the understanding that players will compete with their own age group at tryouts the following year.
It is understood that such criteria does not apply to players of U15 and older age groups (U14 if in high school) given such players may be playing high school soccer plus the difficulty of forming teams, and that such players have already many times reached puberty.
It is understood that players included in a whole non high school aged team coming from a club outside TUSC to TUSC may, if the DOC deem necessary be “grandfathered” or integrated together for a maximum of one playing year Fall and Spring with the understanding that that players will compete with their own age group at tryouts the following year.
Borrowing players from other teams for games and tournaments, commonly referred to as “Guest Playing,” is commonplace in youth soccer. Unfortunately this occurs many times between two different clubs at the expense of existing players within a club/team who would benefit by the experience, and is also used by some teams as a form of recruiting players from one club to another. The Tennessee State Soccer Association Policies & Procedures are to be followed regarding guest playing plus the policies of TUSC which are over and above the TSSA requirements. This guideline should be followed even between two TUSC teams. Guest playing without the consent of the player’s TUSC coach may result in disciplinary action. TUSC not only allows, but encourages its coaches and teams to allow guest playing within its own club (i.e. a United ’01 player guest playing for the United ’00 team). Players are “club passed” so technically belong to an age group not a team until they are rostered and play a game in a state tournament or state league.
Given the size of our club and the number of players available, TUSC teams are discouraged from utilizing guest players from other clubs, and advises teams to do so only when necessary (i.e. three or less substitutes, injuries, etc.) and only after attempting to “play-up” players from younger age groups or on similar age teams within the club. In addition, TUSC players are strongly discouraged from guest playing for other clubs under most all circumstances. If a player or parent is contacted by another coach to guest play, the player or parent should notify the TUSC coach. Before granting permission to guest play outside the club, the TUSC coach must have been contacted by the coach of the team requesting a guest player to understand coaching philosophies, club philosophies, reason for the request, etc. The TUSC coach must then consult the DOC for final approval. All TSSA paperwork must also be completed and processed. Under no circumstances will a player be allowed to guest play or practice with another club’s team on dates that their TUSC team has games, tournaments, practices or events planned or if asked to guest play on the same dates in tourneys/games by a another team within TUSC.
Given the lack of player availability on older teams, it is understood that allowing guest players on Under 14 and older teams is more acceptable but is not recommended unless necessary and is not to be abused.
It is the ultimate desire of the TUSC program to allow the process and philosophy to speak for itself and to have players seeking participation in the club without solicitation. In addition, all involved with the program are to conduct themselves professionally and in good taste when discussing the club with a player currently involved with another team. Each team and its players, parents and leadership are to abide at all times by the state guideline: “It shall be deemed unethical behavior to contact a player directly or indirectly, encourage or otherwise entice a player to transfer from one team to another during that team’s seasonal year without first contacting the current player’s coach.” TUSC coaches that suspect other clubs are recruiting current United players are to contact the DOC. Coaches, managers, players and parents are expected to adhere to policy 26 as outlined by TSSA
Paperwork and Administrative Requirements
The team manager of each team will be expected to provide the TUSC board, Registrar, Secretary and the Director of Coaching, upon request, copies of all rosters and paperwork submitted to state and national soccer organizations. In addition, the following information will be compiled by the TUSC Registrar as received from each team manager and forwarded to the appropriate person at the parks department approximately one month prior to the beginning of each fall and spring season:
- Updated roster of each team
- List of names, addresses and phone numbers for all players
- Waiver forms
- Requested date of first practice during upcoming season
- Requested days of the week and times for practices
- Anticipated schedule of dates and times for tournaments, scrimmages and “classic” games
- Each team should be aware that any changes of schedules, practice/game times or fields, could result in the City Of Goodlettsville Parks Department denying access or play on the fields. As a result, the use of fields at any time not previously designated should be approved in advance by the TUSC Director of Fields or the TUSC Chairman/President and, in some cases, the City Governments.
Facilities and Playing Fields
The Hendersonville and Goodlettsville Parks Departments are known for their top-notch facilities and playing fields. Its reputation for having an extremely clean park system and their dedication to youth sports is unsurpassed in Middle Tennessee. In addition to tournaments and games, the select teams will have access to specific fields for practice, team training, camps and scrimmages as needed, assigned by the TUSC Director of Fields and Scheduling assigned to each of the two facilities.
At the beginning of each soccer year, TUSC will assign a team to a specific park to train for the upcoming soccer season.
It should also be noted that on occasion, the fields may be off limits to teams because of field maintenance issues, sodding/sowing, mowing or other reasons intended to improve the complex. In the event the fields are closed by the park system, under no circumstances are teams to practice and/or play on the fields until reopened and approved for play. Teams are also to check the assigned parks hotline and/or website for status on fields’ closure, etc. In no circumstances are teams to practice/play games at a time or day not approved by the Director of Fields and Scheduling.
Please note that no smoking will be allowed within the soccer complexes of both Moss Wright and Drakes Creek parks.
Practice sessions will be well organized, last approximately 1.5 hours, and will focus primarily on improving both the technical and tactical aspects of each individual player and team. Practice sessions may also be utilized to improve the players’ fitness although ideally this will be done with a ball utilizing “economical” training methods. The DOC’s will provide guidance with the creation of a suitable curriculum but each coach should be aware of, and teach age appropriate skills and tactics utilizing a written lesson plan for each training session. Teams will have scheduled practices an average of two times per week during the Fall and Spring season. The decision to make up a practice is at the coach’s discretion, although use of fields at non-scheduled times must be cleared through the TUSC Director of Fields and Scheduling and park management. To request the use of a field at a non-scheduled time, team managers or coaches should contact the TUSC Director of Fields and Scheduling to verify availability. The director of Fields and Scheduling is currently the Technical director.
Each player is to attend practices wearing the team-provided practice t-shirt/sweatshirt,
not game uniforms. The purpose of this guideline is to promote the select program while displaying team unity and conformity. Players should note that individual practices and conditioning is just as important as scheduled team practices, and doing so will play a huge role in the overall development of a player and the team.
Team Names, Team Uniforms, Team Colors
The official name of the club is Tennessee United Soccer Club. Where space is at a premium, as in tournament applications and other team listings, teams will be listed as TN United ’__ (with a two-digit year following the word “United”), Uniforms for the team will be ordered upon selection of the team, unless already available from the previous year. Club colors are a combination of navy blue, red, and white. All uniforms must have the club-approved TUSC embroidered crest or patch and be approved by the TUSC board. The club may approve kits of uniforms for teams to choose from. All teams are required to wear the club approved uniform in all tournament games. Team sponsors may have their name silk screened on bags, shelter tents, warm-ups, etc. Sponsor names are allowed on game jerseys with size and positioning approved by the TUSC board, but not allowed on game shorts or game socks. At some point the United program may have a club-wide sponsor which may have its name on the uniform.
The items in which each player is required to have includes; One primary game jersey one secondary game jersey, one pair of game shorts, two pair of soccer socks —all of which have been approved by the TUSC board. Two training t-shirts or sweatshirts with the official TUSC Crest or logo. Each player is responsible for providing shin guards, cleats, extra socks, practice shorts, goalkeeper gloves, goalkeeper shirt, sports drinks/water bottle, etc. Players are to bring both jerseys, both pairs of shorts and both pairs of socks to each game in their bags. On hot or rainy days, the players may need to change for comfort. In addition, during tournaments, both the primary and secondary jerseys will likely be worn. It is hoped that the players will be able to get two full years of wear from the uniforms provided. Socks, t-shirts, etc., will be replaced on a more frequent basis. If a player outgrows his or her uniform, it is the responsibility of the parent to pay the cost of a larger size, unless an exchange can be arranged with another player in the club. Coaches are asked to wear club-approved shirts and/or warm-ups to all games and are, in all situations, to be dressed professionally.
Players Leaving a Team
In the event that a player quits, is expelled from the team, is not chosen during tryouts for the next season or will not return to the team for any reason, items which are purchased for the players through fundraising or sponsorships — including warm-ups, bags, sweats, balls, jackets, or any other items — must also be returned to the team when it is determined that a player will not be returning to the team for any reason. Parents will be required to replace these items under the same Policies & Procedures as replacing unreturned uniforms if lost, destroyed or stolen.
Tournaments and Games
Most teams will play in a combination of “classic” games (“friendlies”) and tournament games in both the fall and spring seasons. Games are typically played on Saturdays and/or Sundays, and in some instances will be played on Friday evenings. It is expected that most teams will play an average of 20-30 games per season. Games will be played both within and outside the middle Tennessee area. Although the club requires that each team enter a minimum of two tournaments per season, it is projected that the average United club team will play in approximately three tournaments per season most within the middle Tennessee area and ocassionally a tournament in the Southeastern U.S. or further afield requiring an overnight stay.
As the team progresses in age and ability, it is possible that a team could play less in middle Tennessee and more in other areas of the U.S. It is the philosophy of the club that, in order to be the best you can be, you must not only focus on player development but should also attempt to compete, when possible, against competition that challenges the team to play at a higher level. The coach, with input from the Director of Coaching, is responsible for developing the schedule and determining tournaments appropriate for the team. Such decisions do not require a vote of the parents. It is required of each team to enter the TUSC-sponsored tournaments (at no charge), the state tournament (U12 and up) for the division in which the team is registered (unless recommended not to by the DOC) and a minimum of one additional tournament per season.
In addition to tournament play, many teams will play in “classic” games against various local teams. Such games may be played on a week night if field space allows or starting no earlier than 7:30a.m. on Sundays, to be completed before dusk and on Saturdays, to be completed by 8:30 p.m. and not to supersede the field needs of our rec affiliates. Games may be played on other fields in the Middle Tennessee area and beyond on a rotating basis.
Team Sponsorships and Fund Raising
In order to offset the majority of costs associated with growing and maintaining a top-level soccer team, it is necessary for many teams to seek outside funding and sponsorships. The team manager may enlist a number of sponsors and facilitate a number of fund raising events. It is possible that the team sponsors fund the costs of all bags, warm-ups, miscellaneous equipment and other items required for the team.
Fund raising events could include concession stand duty at professional teams’ games and general donations from the community. The greater the amount of fund raising, the less parents will be required to contribute as part of the team fees. All parents are expected to participate to the greatest extent possible. Failure to participate may forfeit a player’s pro-rata share of any fundraising or sponsorship dollars distributed from a tournament or fundraising event. Through hard work and effort, it is possible to cover the entire cost associated with a team, including travel related fees. The TUSC does not allow advertisements or sponsorships from tobacco, alcoholic beverage, nightclub, adult entertainment or other companies which may serve as a bad example for children. The TUSC board reserves the right to deny sponsorship or affiliation with the program or any team to any company or organization which it feels does not serve as a good example. Funds raised via sponsorships and/or fund raising are to be managed by the team manager and/or the team treasurer. Such funds are to be reported to the TUSC treasurer as part of the team’s financial reporting procedure.
Parent Work Days
It may be necessary for parents to occasionally help in preparing for club events (tournaments, ODP events, etc.), in the concession stand, lining fields, participating in clean-up days and assisting in other activities as necessary.
All parents are required to participate equally. It is expected that approximately 8-10 hours will be required per season at a minimum. Those parents that participate in another role such team manager, coach, etc. within the club will not be required to participate in such events at the same level as other parents given the time and effort that will be required in those positions. Failure to participate may forfeit a player’s pro-rata share of any fundraising or sponsorship dollars distributed from a tournament or fund raising event.
As stated previously, the team should strive to receive full funding at some point in the future from such sources as sponsors, fundraisers and donations. With the club conducting its own tournaments, it may be possible at some point for a portion of such funds to filter back into the select program to lower player costs. The team manager or team treasurer will be responsible for outlining the fees associated with the team to the parents.
The team will be responsible for paying its own state registration, club-approved coach/trainer fees, tournament fees, and referees for “classic” games, camps, travel and other costs associated with the team. The team is required to pay a club fee for each player rostered as well which will cover the city fee and the club fee. One check will be submitted to the TUSC Treasurer by the Team Treasurer of each team for its team’s club/city fees. In the event a player quits or is removed from the team, fees paid to date, advertising commissions and any fund raising monies are non-refundable. Such a policy is necessary given fees are paid and other items purchased in anticipation of a specific number of players on a team.
Financial Reporting and Record keeping
Each team is to have a team account established TUSC designated local area banking institution where funds collected from fees, sponsorships, fund raising and other revenue sources must be deposited. All teams are to have their accounts at the same bank. The account will also serve as a means to pay team fees and expenses such as tournament registrations, uniform expenses, coach/trainer fees and other team-related expenses. Two club-approved persons (one of which must be the TUSC treasurer) are to be authorized to sign checks and their signatures are to be on file at the banking institution. The team treasurer or team manager will be responsible for collecting all sources of team revenue and paying all team-related expenses and fees from the team account. The team treasurer will provide at least two financial statements each season to the parents of the team and to the TUSC Treasurer and will provide a full financial disclosure at the conclusion of each fall and spring season to the TUSC Treasurer. Detailed fall season disclosures (July 1–December 1st) are due to the TUSC Treasurer no later than January 15 of each year and detailed spring season disclosures (January 1–June 30) are due to the TUSC Treasurer no later than July 15 of each year. The financial statements/disclosures are to include a detailed activity/transaction summary, balance sheet, 1099 forms, operating statements and copies of bank statements for the previous six months. Such disclosures are to be reviewed by the TUSC Treasurer and reported on at the next scheduled board meeting. Questions regarding the financials of a team are first to be addressed to the team treasurer and questions regarding the financials of the TUSC are first to be addressed to the TUSC Treasurer. If concerns exist after such reviews, such concerns should be submitted in writing to the TUSC Chairman and will be reviewed at the next TUSC board meeting.
Grievance and Complaint Process
In the event of a player or parent having a problem, grievance or complaint, the immediate first step should be to attempt resolution with the team manager if concerning administrative issues and for all on field issues resolution should be attempted with the head coach. In the event a resolution is not reached at this point, the DOC may be contacted to intercede. If no resolution is forthcoming a formal written complaint should be forwarded to the attention of the DOC, then the President, and ultimately the TUSC Chairman for review with the full BOD if not resolved. To be accepted for review, the written complaint must include the submitters name, address, phone number, the player’s team and coach’s name, a detailed outline of the issue, and a recommendation for resolving the issue. The TUSC board will review the formal written complaint and respond in writing within 10 days. The TUSC board may or may not refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee.
The Disciplinary Committee is an independent arm of the TUSC Board. The chairman of the committee, which is a board member, plus the members of the committee which are selected, by the Disciplinary Committee chairman. The Disciplinary Committee’s findings and determination of proper disciplinary action are reported to the TUSC Board of Directors which has the option, with a secret ballot vote, of rejecting the committee’s findings and the option of returning the matter to the Disciplinary Committee with any new or additional information. The purpose of the Disciplinary Committee is not to be a “police force,” but rather to ensure that TUSC soccer is fun and a pleasant experience for all involved. In most instances, discipline of players will be left to the sole discretion of the coach. This does not preclude the Disciplinary Committee or TUSC board from recommending or imposing alternate or additional discipline should the situation warrant. When the subject of a review is a parent or other non-player, it is the TUSC’s desire to do everything reasonably possible to avoid penalizing the associated player. Following are the general steps the Disciplinary Committee will employ. Depending on the severity of the infraction, the Committee may choose to start at Step 2 or even Step 3.
- Probation — The terms of the probation are put in writing and the person on probation will receive a copy. This document will spell out, in clear language, what is expected of the person on probation, not the least of which will be the cessation of the offensive activity, and make it clear that, since that person is on probation, they will be held to an even higher standard of conduct than other people. Probation lasts for the balance of the then-current season. If probation is violated...
- Partial Suspension — The person is excluded from all team activities — parent meetings, practices, informal scrimmages, etc. — but the person is allowed to attend games where paid referees are used (such as “classic” and tournament games) provided the person remains at least one field’s width away from the field on which the game is played. After a period of one month, the person goes back to step one (probation). Attendance at ANY excluded function violates this partial suspension. If partial suspension is violated then step 3.
- Full Suspension — The person is excluded from all team activities and games for the rest of the then-current season. After that season, the person goes back to step one (probation) for the next season. Attendance at any function violates this full suspension. Additionally the player associated with the person on suspension cannot participate in any game, training or practice during the time the person on full suspension is present. If full suspension is violated then step 4.
- Player Suspension — The player associated with the person on suspension is suspended for a period of time determined by the Disciplinary Committee.
Web Site Management
The TUSC board will be responsible for the overview and information sections of the site. In some cases, team managers and coaches are required to provide input and information applicable to their specific team. Questions regarding the site can be forwarded to the web site representative. The TUSC board reserves the right to change the website when deemed necessary.
Guideline Changes and Updates
Any changes or updates to the Policies & Procedures contained herein are to be made only by the TUSC board and may be made at anytime by them. Copies of the Policies & Procedures will be forwarded to all members of the TUSC board, it committees, coaches and managers/treasurers of each team, and will be made available on the club website. The chairman of the board and the TUSC secretary will maintain original copies of these Policies & Procedures and will be responsible for distribution upon revisions and updates. Questions about these Policies & Procedures should be directed to Chairman.
Any player, coach, manager, referee, officer, volunteer or parent may be placed in Bad Standing by the Board of Directors of TUSC for reasons that harm the club, its members or its reputation. The reasons for being placed in Bad Standing may include, but are not limited to, any violation of club or team rules, non payment of fees, not returning or damage to club or team property, not turning in club or teams funds, violation of disciplinary codes or misconduct unbecoming a TUSC member.
“Any person deemed in Bad Standing by TUSC will not receive permission from TUSC to transfer, participate, register, etc until the cause for the ruling of Bad Standing has been remedied and the status of Bad Standing has been removed by TUSC.”
“It will be TUSC’s policy to not accept the registration and participation of any person who is currently in “Bad Standing” with any other association until a review of the circumstances leading to the determination of “Bad Standing” and TUSC is satisfied with the situation.”