Coach Guidelines

CoachCoaches need help too!  This section should help guide you through some areas that you may need assistance.  If you cannont find the information here, contact us.

Got a roster?  Send an email:  

Getting Started as a Coach

Thanks for volunteering.  Our club cannot be successful without the over 200 parents who volunteer each season.  There are a few things you still need to do to start coaching.

1.      If you did not register to volunteer as a coach or assistant during your player's registration, you will need to do so now. To check your status, from the Registration section of this website, log into your family's AdminSports account as a returning user.  Once logged in at blue Family Information screen, click on the Volunteer button under your name to officially register or to check your coach record. Update the phone numbers and email address to be sure that we have the correct email for you.  This is where we send all important coach information.

2.      Register for a CORI background check on the [Mass Youth Soccer website]

3.      Double check that your Coach Registration has the proper email address and phone number.  This will ensure that all important club-related communication reaches you.  (see how to in step #1 above).

4.      Prepare for the season by:

  • Signing up for a coaching course: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 or higher – more details below.
  • Reviewing rules of soccer: [link]
  • Attending the mandatory coaches meeting held prior to the beginning of each season

Coach Education

Milton Soccer is committed to the continuous training and education of our coaches.  Throughout the year coaches have several opportunities to enhance their knowledge of the game and learn how to run better practices, keep soccer fun while providing the best possible instruction.  These include: (1) periodic clinics held by Milton Soccer’s Player Development Officer, a professional soccer coach whose goal is to not only develop our players but elevate the level of coaching throughout the program; (2) mandatory coaches meeting at the beginning of each season which includes an hour-long coaching clinic; and (3) access to the NSCAA series of coaching courses, hosted locally in Milton, run by our parent organization, Mass Youth Soccer, and paid for by Milton Soccer.

Soccer Library

New to coaching?  Looking for some extra tips?  [Milton Public Library] Milton Soccer has purchased soccer materials for the Milton Public Library. Search on keywords: youth, soccer, coaching, training etc.

Coach Licensing

Along with many other towns, Milton Soccer has recently switched from the US Soccer G-> F -> E license system to the NSCAA Level 1 -> Level 2 -> Level 3…. series of coaching courses. Although all coaches are welcome at any level course (there are no pre-reqs and taking a refresher of a course you’ve already completed is welcome), Milton Soccer puts forth the following minimum licensing expectations, which vary according to the age of the team you are coaching:

  • NSCAA Level 1 (4 hours): For K-2nd grade coaches (and any other coaches who would like a refresher)
  • NSCAA Level 2 (6 hours):  For all 3rd and 4th grade coaches - Champions League and Travel (and any interested coaches who would like a refresher)
  • NSCAA Level 3 (9 hours): For all 5th-12th grade coaches

What if I already have a G or F License?

  • If you already have a G license, a good next course for you is the Level 2 or 3
  • If you already have an F license, a good next course for you is the Level 3
  • Milton Soccer will reimburse coaches for all NSCAA sanctioned courses.      


Local Coach Licensing and How to Register

Milton Soccer normally offers a local Level 1, Level 2 and/or Level 3 course each Fall and Spring. Look for email notifications early in the fall and spring seasons to see what courses are planned. Pre-registration and payment is required and can be done directly from the Mass Youth Soccer NSCAA Courses Schedule. This schedule lists not only Milton hosted courses but others in our area as well. Milton will reimburse you the course fee. Email your Certificate of Course Completion typically received about four weeks after the course is completed along with your address to our treasurer and we will send you a check.

If registering for the course very close to the date, you may be directed to contact the course host directly to register. You will have to pay for the course in person during course check in. Be sure you are a Milton affiliated coach before attending or you will be charged the non-member fee.  Check with your program's registrar to confirm your membership status with Milton Soccer.

Course Cost Reimbursement

Milton Soccer reimburses coaches for successfully completing coach licensing.  Forward your certificiate of course completion typically received 4-8 weeks after completing the course to the registrar, along with the cost of the course and your address.  A check will be sent out to you within two weeks.    


Travel program coaches conduct practices twice per week including player clinics.  Practice times are set by coaches after teams are formed just before the season begins.  Times are usually set up after the coach talks with team members and find a time convenient for members of his/her team.  Milton Soccer does not refund registration fees for a player's inability to meet team practice times.  Champions League coaches are encouraged to hold practice at least once per week and there are other sessions available as well.  K-2 practices are held prior to game time on Saturdays.

Guidelines for good practices:

• The coach smiles frequently and encourages with positive comments, catching players doing things right.
• Every player has a ball at his or her feet. 
• No players stand in line, ever. They're always doing something with the ball or moving to a ball.
• The kids are having fun. The coach has organized games that teach skills. There are no "rote" drills.
• The practice includes a "live game" scrimmage for at least 15 minutes (30 minutes for older kids).
• The kids go home tired

Practice fields

Milton Soccer does not have a field reservations system.  Rather, we give coaches fields and guidelines for who should use those fields and let them arrange amongst each other how the fields are shared.  During practices, you need only half a field to practice on.  If there is another team practicing, invite them to scrimmage with your team at the end of your practice.  Note, make-up games take priority over practices.  

Rules of the Game     


What Coaches Need to Know About Referees

Referees in soccer are the only individuals who have the authority about the rules of the games at any match.  In the BAYS league there is zero tolerance with regards to the conduct towards referees by coaches and spectators.  This is the most important aspect to be mindful of when interfacing with a referee.  The “zero tolerance rule” is the result of an unfortunate history of referees being harassed and threatened by spectators, coaches and players.  As a result there is a critical shortage of qualified youth soccer referees in Massachusetts. Referees have cited repeatedly that the main reason for quitting refereeing is because of the abuse taken from parents, coaches and players. 

At Milton Soccer there are far more adolescents referees than adult referees with varying degrees of experience and maturity.   Zero tolerance is in place to preserve the integrity of the match and protect the referee from unruly behavior.  It does not preclude the coach or spectators from voicing their opinion or concern.  It only attempts to prevent this from happening on the field of play.   MYS and BAYS have protocols for the voicing of concerns and complaints.  MYS is very invested in developing and retaining referees and feel that a partnership between coaches and the referee program is an important part of the success of the program.  Providing positive and negative feedback about a referee is a vital part of working to improve the functioning of a referee. We understand that it is inevitable that a coach or spectator is going to have a concern or complaint about a referee and want to encourage the use of communicating those concerns through the appropriate means.  As well, coaches are encouraged to communicate when a “job done well” should be noted.  This feedback has been very useful in working with referees.  At MTS the best method is to email the referee coordinator, Bryan Taylor.  

Coaches are responsible for the conduct of their players and spectators.  As stated, informing players and parents about zero tolerance is an important part of your job.  If a referee has a problem with a spectator he or she is going to approach the coach to take care of the problem and may hold up the match until it is resolved to their satisfaction.

Here are some Guidelines to follow regarding referees:

●      Support the referee's decisions.  Refereeing soccer, like playing soccer, looks easier from the sidelines then it is on the field.  The field is large, there are a number of players moving both with and away from the ball, and the referee cannot see everything from all angles.

●      Understand the laws of the game.  FIFA rules give soccer referees a great deal of discretion.  They are not required to call every single breach of soccer's laws.  Reasonable humans often disagree whether conduct resulted in a breach.  Under FIFA rules only the referee's opinion counts; if the referee didn't call it, it is not a foul.  Coaches who want to advance their careers learn the rules by taking the referee certification courses at Massachusetts State Referee Committee (Mass Ref) or learn them by reading the “Laws of the Game,” which can be located on line at: [Click Here]

●      Support BAYS Zero Tolerance.  No one, except the players, is to speak to the referee during or after the game. Exceptions: Coaches may ask questions before the game, call for substitutions and point out emergencies during the game, or respond to the referee if addressed.

●      Convey to other coaches, players and parents that zero tolerance means   absolutely no disputing calls, during or after the game.  No remarks to the referee to watch certain players or attend to rough play. No yelling at the referee, EVER, and no criticism, sarcasm, harassment, intimidation, or feedback of any kind during or after the game.

●      Remind coaches and parents that violators of zero tolerance may be ejected and are subject to disciplinary action by the BAYS Sportsmanship Review Committee.

●      Inform coaches or spectators that if they have questions regarding particular calls, rules, or a referee, or wish to give feedback regarding a referee, to contact MTS referee coordinator for the game in question, or contact the BAYS Referees Representative at  Remind parents that when considering making a formal complaint it is often helpful to give some time before issuing the complaint.  Generally taking a 24 hour period to think about what to say can make the process more productive.

●      Remind parents that if they disagree with a call they should ask the coach to explain it after the game and away from the field.  Parents should not question referees directly under any circumstances.

●      The over riding rule in youth soccer is “SAFETY FIRST.” If you feel that the conduct and decisions being made by the referee is infringing on the over all welfare of your players and putting them at risk for injury you have the right to pull your team from the field and refuse to play.

●      Please remember that this is youth soccer and many of the referees are young adolescent boys and girls trying to do their best.  It is often helpful to consider what it would be like for you if it was your child out there doing the job of referee.  How would you like others to treat him or her?