Silent Sidelines Reminder
At January’s 2002 Annual General Meeting the membership passed a policy stating that “Each Fall and Spring playing season the Board of Directors shall sponsor a statewide Silent Sidelines weekend. Coaches will be permitted to give players direction from the sidelines. Spectators will be directed to refrain from making any comments to players, coaches or referees, but will be permitted to applaud efforts by players.” Referees are not responsible for the enforcement of this rule. It is the clubs responsibility to inform your spectators of the guidelines for Silent Sidelines.
The Spring Silent Sidelines weekend will be the third weekend of May and the Fall Silent Sidelines will be the third weekend of October. The goals of Silent Sidelines Weekend are to:
1. develop our players to make decisions on the field without sideline intervention.
2. improve the players’ communication on the field by reducing the outside noise level.
3. support our youth referees by eliminating dissension from the sidelines.
This rule was drafted and passed at the request of a CJSA player. We need to help our players develop without the continued interference from the sidelines. The objective is to promote greater awareness of this development by coaches and parents as well as the players and referees.
We are requesting that all spectators remain silent on these weekends. For the sake of our kids, we are asking for one weekend where we stand back and just let the players play. We would like to provide each player at least one game of their season that is free of the distractions caused by spectators screaming and yelling at them.
This program was first sponsored by CJSA in September 2000 and was successful. Many players stated they enjoyed the opportunity to communicate with their teammates and be heard. One player, Tommy Schanzer, enjoyed the experience so much that he spearheaded a movement to bring back Silent Sidelines each season.
The guidelines are simple. Spectators are to be quiet, talking in a normal tone to the person next to them. What is to be avoided are comments that can be heard by players, referees or opponents. Applause is permitted and encouraged.
The program works. It has increased the awareness by both coaches and parents of the players’ development. In addition, it has increased referee retention.
Your help is needed. We are asking everyone in CJSA to promote and support Silent Sidelines Weekend and give the game back to the kids.
(The above message is a modification of Andrea Duffy’s May ‘02 Presidents Message.)