Is it true that games are never canceled due to bad weather?
Conditions that require cancellation of an athletic or field activity:
1. No field will open until the spring thaw is complete.
2. A field is automatically closed if standing water is evident.
3. Footing is unsure and slippery.
4. Ground is water logged and "squishy".
5. Grass can be pulled out of the ground easily.
7. Severe weather storms
8. League Officials make their decisions if weather / field conditions change after the initial cancellation (i.e. the sun comes out and dries the fields). They must use good judgment. If in doubt, do not play or practice.
How will I know if a game is canceled?
Check the website! This will be updated throughout the day so check back prior to your game. There are also 3 links from the top left side of the home page of the website: Weekend Mites Field Status, Weekend Field Status, and Weekday Field Status. Selecting these links will give information about the fields. If the fields are closed, the games to be played on those fields are canceled.
What is your Late Fee Policy?
Unfortunately, late fees seem to be the only choice we have to convey the need for timely registration, and it is a stated policy of the Westwood Youth Soccer (WYS) program that we just DO NOT waive the imposed late fee, as it would be impossible for us to determine fairly how to do that. The policy is firm regardless of whether the late registration was 10 minutes, 1 day, or 10 days after the close. We do not have a “grace period” after our close date. Late fees are not waived for anyone including Board Members, Coaches, referees, or even town officials.
WYS goes through significant effort to make families aware of the registration period, which is over 4 weeks long, and the late fee policy. Our late fee is stated clearly on our website and in many of the reminder notices you received about our registration process.
• Multiple emails are sent directly to families in our database noting the registration dates.
• Coaches are asked to remind their team parents on the field and through emails about the registration dates.
• Soccer Registration flyers are included for multiple weeks in all the school District Bulletin
• Soccer registration sign boards are up in various high traffic places in town
• Soccer registration notices are placed in all of the local newspapers for several weeks.
It is VERY important for WYS to get an accurate player count by grade and gender as soon as possible. Within days after the end of the registration period, some team planning starts for the next season.
Team planning literally starts the day registration closes. There are many steps involved and even a few extra players can change the number of teams in an age group, and the number of players on the teams. Late registrations cause havoc for all, and we publicize and enforce our late fee policy strictly.
Do you have a Fee Waiver program and how does it work?
Westwood Youth Soccer honors requests for registration fee waivers due to financial hardship. The fee waiver covers 100% of the registration cost for any of our programs.
Requests are made during the normal registration process simply by selecting Fee Waiver as the payment method.
For audit purposes, we require that families requesting a fee waiver send the WYS Registrar a short email supporting the request with a rationale substantiating the financial hardship. Each season requires a written rationale. No detailed financial information is required.
Generally, fee waivers need to be requested during the Open registration period, as they are not honored for late requests except if a family qualifies for the free/reduced fee lunch program at school. That automatically qualifies the family for a fee waiver at any time.
Why do players at 2nd Grade and younger play on such small fields?
The small-sided game format with no goalkeepers is endorsed by both the United States Soccer Federation and Massachusetts Youth Soccer (as well as most major European Federations). The small field format ensures that players are engaged and learning ball control more of the time. In essence, fewer players per ball in a tighter space equals more touches per player. This “constant game involvement” allows players to improve soccer skills by playing in a fun, creative and less competitively driven environment.
What is involved in being a Coach in the Mites(K-2) program?
Mites Head Coaching Responsibilities:
• Be at virtually all Saturday games or arrange for assistant coach to fill in (not a random parent)
• Make the season enjoyable for the kids!
• Provide encouragement and trying to instill a love/respect for the game
• Teach soccer skills through running prepared activity drills
- Meet with Coach Mentor 15 minutes prior to each Saturday session to review the week’s drills
• Coaching small sided game:
- Provide direction, enthusiasm, and support
- Maintain player safety (no slide tackles in Mites, watch for excessive pushing/shoving)
- Manage substitutions fairly
- Rotate field positions (forward to back, etc)
- Make sure parents are on sideline opposite to team and players are on the team bench
• Complete WYS Coaching requirements (Annual Registration, CORI, SafeSport, License/ID Validation, Annual Concussion Training)
• Suggested but not Mandatory: Complete at least the introductory 4v4 level Mass Youth Soccer Coach License course
• Respond promptly to all Coordinator emails if necessary
- Complete end-of-season player assessment forms
• Create and assign a team treats/popsicle schedule (critical!)
• Communicate weekly to player parents regarding schedule and any items that need reminding ( i.e. no dogs on field, parking restrictions, etc )
• Manage team inventory
- T-shirts are distributed pre-season or at first game
- Balls are pumped up as needed through the season
- Required WYS equipment inventory assessment forms are returned promptly
• Attend fall and spring WYS Pre-Season coach meetings
How can I change my registration info/email?
You can update your information in our Registration system on Admin Sports located here: Change Email
Can my child play wearing earrings or other jewelry?
During WYS soccer activities, earrings or any jewelry even if covered, are NOT allowed. Articles that may constitute a danger to the wearer or any other player must be removed, i.e. jewelry, earrings, watches, barrettes, chains, belts, head coverings with any visor or protrusions, etc.
Can my child play wearing a cast or brace?
During WYS soccer activities, players with plaster casts or hard splints, even if padded, cannot play -- even with the permission of a parent, or medical approval. Players with orthopedic braces that have exposed or uncapped metal parts are also not allowed to play.
I enjoy coaching my 2nd Graders but I never played soccer, will I be able to coach at the 3rd Grade level?
Yes you can coach at the 3rd Grade level; however, you will have to try and attend coaching clinics and do research on your own to be able to develop and implement the necessary drills to improve ball skills at this level. Your players are expected to complete accurate throw-ins; pass the ball to their players successfully; and create offensive and defensive plays successfully. Information is on WYS website, under Links; research on Youtube: English Football; American soccer; etc. to get ideas for ball skills.
How are the 3rd Grade teams initially formed?
We ask 2nd Grade coaches to provide input on each of their team players using specific guidelines and to submit a completed evaluation form to the Age Group Coordinator. These data are combined with the registration information for the upcoming season. A Team Formation Committee made up of the 3rd Grade coordinator, the WYS Director of Coaching, as well as several neutral Board members meet to discuss the team formation and coach selections. Based on the number of players signed up for the next session we determine the number of teams, trying to have 11-14 players per team.
Since 3rd Grade teams play each other and are not placed in the tiered BAYS travel league, our goal is to form balanced teams. Balancing means that each team's players come from all ability levels but that the aggregate team skill level should be comparable. Head and assistant coaches are selected and then additional players to create the balanced teams. This 3rd Grade team formation is similar to K-2 Mites but different than the team formation process for 4th-8th Grade which starts with the players, and only after a team has been formed by player ability, then coaches are selected.
At the 3rd Grade level, we do still try to take school into account by seeking to have no single player from any given school so that 3rd graders should have someone from their own school on their soccer team. At times, this may not be possible, especially with late registrations.
How do the coaches and players ask about calls by the ref?
Players on the field can always ask the ref to explain his/her call. The coach and players on the sideline cannot. Spectators cannot speak or comment to the ref.
How does travel work at the 3rd Grade level?
Westwood works with several local towns to create our own local 3rd Grade league so travel is all within a 20 minute radius. Since Westwood generally places a larger number of 3rd Grade teams into the league, many games during the season are still Westwood v Westwood. We feel that this allows the 3rd Grade players a precursor to the travel experience without participating in the BAYS travel league which is more geographically dispersed.
Why do we have to rotate players in various positions?
By the 6th Grade level, all players should know how to play every position in a soccer game including Goalie. To achieve this, it is imperative that every position is played by everyone during the course of a season. Players experience and see the field differently depending on their assigned position during a game and this knowledge adds to their skill level and abilities.
What can I do if the referee is making bad calls?
If you are a Coach you should fill out the referee evaluation form and make specific comments about referee performance. You can also talk quietly to your team to teach them to adjust to the situation, which includes adjusting to that particular referee.
If you are a Spectator you need to hold your tongue while at the game. The BAYS Zero Tolerance Rules Applies - No audible comments to the referee or about the referees calls.
You can speak with the coach later - but he/she is probably already quite aware.
Consider this a time to be a role model of good behavior.
If you think the matter is particularly important - contact the Referee Coordinator
Is it OK to question or yell at a referee?
No. Our BAYS League and local 3rd Grade league operate with a Zero Tolerance Rule - No audible comments to the referee or about the referee's calls. Westwood Youth Soccer strongly supports this rule.
Here is the Zero Tolerance Policy we follow:
All individuals responsible for a team and all spectators shall support the referee. Failure to do so will undermine the referee’s authority and has the potential of creating a hostile environment for the players, the referee, and all the other participants and spectators.
Thus, 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.
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.
Violators may be ejected and are subject to disciplinary action by the league.
Can a player speak to the referee?
Yes. The BAYS Zero Tolerance Rule applies to coaches and spectators, but not players.
Instead, players are governed by the rules of soccer. These include a rule prohibiting dissent against a referee's call. A player may speak to a referee - but use caution !
When can a Coach speak to a referee?
Coaches meet with the referee before the game. This is a good time to review rules such as offsides and the length of each half.
During the game coaches can ask for substitutions and point out if a player is down with an injury. That's all.
After a game a handshake and a "Thank You" or "Good Game" is appropriate. Nothing else. Do not start discussing the game or giving the referee advice. If you made a mistake during the game, do not apologize after - that just starts a conversation you shouldn't have.
Should a Coach consider becoming a Referee?
Yes ! We need more mature, experienced people to referee. You can learn some soccer, be involved and contribute back to the game.
How old do I need to be to referee?
The Massachusetts State Referee Committee (MSRC) minimum age is 14 years old.
What is Referee Re-Certification?
Every Referee must take a re-certification course each year, usually between November and January. Passage of this course is indicated by a new badge which is valid for the shown calendar year.
What is an Assistant Referee?
An Assistant Referee is a referee who works along half of one sideline, indicating offsides, out-of-bounds and fouls to the center referee who makes the calls.
What options are available to my younger soccer players?
Here's a list of places in the area that offer programs for younger children including preschool age.
Westwood Rec, Mini-Athletes, Little All-Stars & MyGym offer generalized sports and fitness classes geared towards the pre-school population.
ForeKicks, Totplex, and Dedham Health & Athletic Club all offer soccer specific clinics or camps for this age group.
Westwood Recreation Dept, Westwood
Norwood Youth Soccer - Pre-K (no residency requirement child must be 4 by the season start)
Compete Indoor Sports Little All-Stars, Norwood
My Gym, Westwood
ForeKicks Lil'Kickers Programs, Norfolk
Dedham Health & Athletic Club, Dedham
What options are available if my child has physical or mental challenges?
TOPSoccer Challenger League - Norwood TOPS program
US Youth Soccer TOPS (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community-based soccer program designed to meet the needs of players with physical and/or mental challenges. Soccer is truly a sport for all children. If your player (5-21 years) is not able to participate in the Westwood Mites or Travel programs, you can register with the TOPS Challenger program based in Norwood which provides an opportunity to learn and play soccer in a safe, non-threatening environment.