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Area 11-L (South Orange County)

Silent Saturday

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

Silent Saturday is used in AYSO Regions throughout the country. Its main purpose is to allow kids to just play and have fun. Silent Saturday is a throwback to the old schoolyard days when kids would congregate after school and on weekends just to play all day, without regard to who was winning and repercussions for poor play and decision-making. Coaches are requested to communicate and reinforce this with spectators!

The objectives of Silent Saturday 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.
While the vast majority of adult verbal participation is intended to be positive and constructive, the fact of the matter is that the games have become so loud that players often have difficulty hearing and communicating with each other on the field. Taking one week off from any verbal interference, may help adults gain perspective on just how loud they've been in the past.

Rules

Spectators
We request that you make no verbal comments about the game or direct any comments to the players, referees or coaches. Clapping IS allowed! Be creative in how you choose to cheer your child's team - make signs to hold up or bring a rally towel in the team's color and wave it wildly. There are lots of ways to cheer other than verbally - applaud/clap, but please no horns, whistle or noise-makers.

Coaches
It is recommended that you do not provide any direction - verbal or non-verbal - to players who are on the field. Speak to the team before the match, at substitution breaks and at halftime as you normally do. During the match, speak quietly to players on the bench about the game. If required, quietly call a player on the field over to the touchline to provide tactical instruction. Then let them convey the message to the team.

Players
While on the field, you are encouraged to speak to each other as normal. Continue to support and provide direction to each other, as you have in the past. Substitute players on the bench, should remain quiet and not cheer or provide tactical instruction to their teammates. Lest they simply replace the coach or act on their behest.

Referees
For this special day, referees are asked to monitor the spectators and coaches' adherence to these guidelines and to offer gentle reminders if the recommendations are not being followed. Continue to verbalize often during the game as you normally do. You are there to help the players have a safe, fair and fun time.

Links

Links regarding Silent Saturday:

WHY SILENT SATURDAYS

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 Saturday" 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 Saturdays 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 Saturdays helps the kids. Now What?"

Answer: Silent Saturdays 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 Saturdays, 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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AYSO Area 11-L

24310 Moulton Parkway, Suite #O-214
Laguna Hills, California 92653

Email Us: ad@ayso11L.org
Phone : 714-608-6796
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