Website Manager

Northwest Jackson Soccer League (NJSL)

Northwest Jackson Soccer League (NJSL)

Guidelines for Coaches

Coaches, by their words and actions, can have a significant impact on the course of a game, the behavior of the fans, as well as the attitude of the players toward soccer specifically and team sports in general.  In keeping with the recreational and instructional philosophy of the NJSL, the following guidelines for coaches are encouraged:


  • EVEN PLAY: All players should be given an opportunity to play offense and defense during the course of the year.  To become a well rounded player, both offensive and defensive play must be learned. All players should get their fair share of playing time during the course of the season regardless of their skill levels.  Law #3 of the NJSL Supplemental League Rules specifies that each player should play a minimum of one half per game.  It is the coach’s responsibility to ensure each player plays a minimum of one half to every game.
  • Teams listed first on the schedule are the home team and wear green, teams listed second are the away team and wear gold. The home team coach is responsible for providing the game ball.  Make sure it is the proper size, in good condition and properly inflated before the game. There is no coin toss at beginning of games - green team is home and kicks off first half, gold team is visitor and kicks off the second half.
  • GOAL KEEPERS: Goal keepers must wear a different color shirt than green or gold. If you know who will start at keeper suggest to their parents to have them bring a shirt they are comfortable wearing as keeper in addition to their NJSL jersey.
  • TIMELINESS: Be prepared to start games on time. If you or your opponent is short players than either loan or borrow players as the case may be. Rotate those substitute players out so they don't have to play for long periods of time for the opponent. If short players discuss with the other coach - you can play 10v10, 9v9, etc as long as each team has 1 substitute player.
    • In the 4/5 age group this season scrimmages will be 5 players vs 5 players (previously it was 4v4). In the 6/7 age group games will be 9v9 (8 players on field plus keeper).  All other ages groups are 11v11.

  • It is recommended that early in the practice sessions you have a mandatory parents meeting at the beginning or end of practice to explain the NJSL philosophy and the importance of good sportsmanship.  This is also a good time to choose (or appoint) an official assistant coach and schedule a linesmen for the games.

  • SNACKS: Coaches are encouraged to make arrangements to provide oranges for the players at half time of the games and, if desired, provide team treats for after the game.  The coach is not expected to provide these.  At the beginning of the season set up a schedule for the parents to provide these refreshments.

  • COACHING DURING GAMES: The laws of soccer have evolved in a manner that may seem strange for most Americans.  Coaches are not expected to take an active role in instructing players during the course of the game.  Excessive coaching from the sidelines during a game is not officially sanctioned and is subject to the discretion of the referee.  The NJSL makes exceptions to this custom in the younger age groups. Neither coach may go beyond the halfway line or along the goal line.  The linesman provided by your team is part of the officiating crew and may not coach while acting in this capacity.

  • Coaches are not allowed to run up the score (please keep your margin of victory to 5 goals) If you are up by 5+ scores you need to move players around, move players to positions they aren't used to playing to improve in other aspects of the game, sit players if you must. Play with extra defensive players and reduce the number of offensive players - be creative.
  • SPECIAL RULES FOR 6/7 LEAGUE: For the first 4 weeks of season, players will receive a second chance to do a throw-in if it is done incorrectly. Starting week 5 if they do a throw-in incorrectly the throw-in is turned over to the opponent. All other age groups do not get a second chance.  Also in the 6/7 age group you can have an assistant coach to be on the opposite side of the field (the parent/spectator side) to assist in coaching the kids during the game. Coaches cannot be on the field during a game, so you may need to ask parents, fans to back off the foul line by a couple of feet to make room for a coach on that side of the field. We know the players at this age can use additional direction so this should help with keeping players spread out and offering support and coaches won't need to be so vocal.
  • REFEREES: The referee’s power is absolute and begins from the time he arrives at the field prior to the competition and does not cease until the referee leaves the field.  It does not matter what calls referees from previous weeks allowed, the current referee’s word is law. If the referee makes a call you disagree with or do not understand, he or she is under no obligation to interrupt the game to explain his or her decision; in fact, the laws of soccer specifically prohibit stoppages in the game to explain calls as this distracts from the flow of the game. In spite of the doleful tone of this paragraph, the essential charge of the referee is to insure the game is conducted in a manner that is safe and enjoyable for the participants and in accordance with the laws of soccer.  Learn as much as you can about the laws and conventions to make your coaching chores easier.  You are encouraged to use the resources made available to you by the NJSL.
  • No one is allowed on the field of play without authority of the referee.  Should you or one of your players enter the field of play without permission from the referee, you may be faced with a yellow card, soccer’s universal warning that you have committed a no-no.
  • FANS: The coach may be held responsible for the conduct of fans, assistant coaches or players if they are behaving in a manner detrimental to the conduct of the game.
  • Teams are scheduled for 2 practices a week in August and September and one practice a week in October. Coaches are NOT to schedule additional practices. If a rain out occurs the coach can reschedule a practice after contacting the NJSL scheduler.
  • When practices and games end please be aware that all your players have been picked up by their parents/have a ride/ are safe. Do not leave players alone or unattended until they have been picked up or have a ride.
  • Kick-offs the ball does not need to move forward. Kick-offs the ball can be passed back to a team mate.
  • Hand ball - just because the ball hits the hand/arm does not necessarily mean it is handling the ball - look for intent. If it is not intentional, it is NOT a hand ball. Think of it this way... did the ball strike the hand/arm or did the hand/arm play the ball
  • Head ball - in keeping with USSF, NJSL has adopted a no head ball rule for younger ages. There is to be no intentional heading allowed in 6/7, 8/9, 10/11 age divisions. For these younger age groups there is no intentional heading of the ball. If the ball bounces off of a player's head unintentionally, it is not considered a head ball. The proper restart for an intentional head ball in the age groups prohibited is an indirect free kick form the spot the ball was headed - this is NEVER a penalty kick.
  • Slide tackling - NO slide tackling is allowed. If a player slide tackles an opponent, it should be a yellow card. If it is severe enough it could be a red card. Also if a player slides feet first in traffic, that could be considered dangerous play (unless the player is sliding away from an opponent) and the opposing team should be awarded an indirect free kick.


Northwest Jackson Soccer League
7257 Fulton Dr NW STE 59, PMB 280
Canton, Ohio 44718

Email: [email protected]

Copyright © 2024 Northwest Jackson Soccer League  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In