Coach Responsibilities

Highlighted below are some of the Administrative components of coaching. These activities are critical to the successful management of your team and our BAYS league.

Covered below is information organized by:  Season Management  :  Before Games  :  During Games  :  After Games 

Overall Season Management:

Playing Rules
Take the time to review the BAYS Current Rulebook which includes the Laws of the Game and BAYS Match Rules at: Even if you are a veteran coach, familiarize yourself with the current rules! Also, encourage your players and parents to review the rules. Please note that when you sign your roster, you acknowledge that you know the rules. These rules have several modifications from standard FIFA/IFAB rules as noted. See:

Playing the Schedule
All games are to be played as scheduled per BAYS Match Rule 8 

Rescheduling Games
Ensure you are familiar with the rules and timeframes allowed for rescheduling games: generally 4-5 weeks plus the Sunday. Get the games in. Being short a few players is NO REASON to cancel. There is a summary chart here: listing how many players a particular grade group requires to start/continue a game. EVERY effort should be made to play the games as scheduled. In some seasons, BAYS may grant extensions to the allowable rescheduled time window.

Home coaches MUST inform their club organization that a game will not be played as scheduled so that it can be marked as UNSCHEDULED in the system. It is the responsibility of the home referee assignor/field scheduler to make that update in their Game Management system. This will avoid confusion for both teams especially now that system notifications are generated based on the scheduled game date.

Inform your Division Director as soon as possible of any games that will NOT be played as scheduled and the planned timing of any make-up games that have been agreed to be played. Fines may apply for games canceled without sufficient notice. See below. Section captains can also be notified, but they do not have any authority to approve timing. Skip copying your Division Director on all the back and forth about potential dates, but they should be notified why a game is not happening to begin with and then copied when the reschedule date has been finalized. 

Field closures due to weather/field conditions: If you are the HOME coach and a match on your HOME field is closed due to field/weather conditions, please notify the AWAY coach via email AND text/call as soon as possible to avoid them traveling unnecessarily. Notification timing is listed in MR8: Click HERE for details.

Midseason Swaps
BAYS Division Directors consider teams that are overmatched or underchallenged for midseason swaps. If you find that after the first three weeks or so your team could benefit from a swap to a different section, contact your assigned Division Director or your own Travel Director/Registrar. Not all team swaps can be made. Click here for more information about team swaps: 

BAYS uses many different section configurations and some have unique elements. Not all games count in standings in some sections, most notably in paired 5-team and single 5-team sections. Additionally, standings are affected because BAYS has a declining point value scale for a win in a game with an excessive goal differential to discourage teams from running up the score. Click here for more details about how team records are reflected in section standings:

Before Every Game:

Coaches are notified by the system three days in advance of a scheduled game. This Upcoming BAYS Game Details email contains coach contact information as well as a summary of the scheduled game information. In addition, you can use the method below to contact your opponents if you are planning to reschedule.

Contact Your Opponents to exchange your direct contact information and confirm game specifics!
Make sure you are logged into the BAYS site, then simply click on the blue envelope symbol after a coach’s name. This will open an email to them directly in your own email system.

Reach out to your opposing coach by at least the Wednesday prior to your weekend game regardless of whether you are the home or away team and confirm the game date, time, location, and jersey colors. If there is a color conflict, the home team must change jerseys or wear pinnies. 

There is a substantial Late Cancel Fine in effect for failure to cancel/notify within a specified timeframe. See MR16 and Late Cancel Fine Policy

In addition, the home coach should convey any home town specific issues, like no pets allowed on the field or no sports drinks can be brought onto a turf field. Some towns may have restrictions that coaches need to be aware of ahead of time so that you can prep your team and your team spectators. There could be some variance from your own town's policies. Home town rules always prevail. Away team coaches should communicate the home team's policies to their parents and players and ensure they comply with them 100%. We do not want to ever put a town in a situation where their field permit is taken away due to visiting players and parents not being aware of or simply ignoring local rules.

At EVERY Game:

BAYS RESPECT Campaign is ongoing. We ask that all in the BAYS community join together to help us make the youth soccer experience the best it can be for all of our players, coaches, referees, clubs, parents, and fans. We are asking that the BAYS RESPECT Statement be read out to the players before each match. The statement can be read by the coach, or in some cases, clubs may have decided to have their center referees or even a player such as the home team captain read the statement. See the statement and details here:

Rosters and Credentials

  • Coaches must have two signed, official, approved paper rosters at every game; 
    • One roster is for the referee and one should be made available to the opposing coach. 
    • Rosters must be signed/stamped by your Club Registrar and must match the official roster submitted by your Club Registrar into the BAYS roster management system.
    • Player jersey numbers should all be listed and can be written in. No duplicate numbers.
    • Players not at the game should be crossed off.
    • Any credentialed coach not listed but present on the team sideline should be written in.
  • A valid, Current Mass Youth Coach Credential lanyard is required to be WORN by ALL coaches on the team sideline and be visible to the referee. 
    • Referees have been instructed to not allow any coach on the team's sideline unless they are wearing their valid credential. If for some reason, no coach listed on the roster is present or credentialed, any Mass Youth credentialed adult from the team's club can coach the team. 
    • No more than THREE team officials are allowed on the sideline during the game, and all must WEAR a valid Mass Youth credential.
    • At least one credentialed adult must be on the team sidelines at all times or the referee will terminate the game.

For any roster changes (coach or player adds/drops) during the season, your Club Registrar must submit a new roster through the Roster Management system. Rosters must be approved prior to the new player(s) playing in a game. You cannot hand-write anything onto your game roster except modifying jersey numbers, your signature, noting a substitute credentialed coach, or to cross out any players and coaches not there for that specific game. Adding on players by hand will result in a forfeit.

Coaches can access an electronic PDF copy of their approved roster by logging into BAYS and going to: My BAYS->Coach/Manager->My Teams. This is for convenience only. Electronic copies do NOT satisfy the on field roster requirement. The referee MUST always be provided with the hard copy, paper rosters that meet the criteria above.

Make sure you understand the rules regarding equipment ( No Casts (even if padded) and jewelry adornments (including earrings of any kind even if taped) are allowed. See the Wearable Item Safety Policy that covers religious, cultural, and medical items:

Players can play with assistive devices such as prescription glasses, cochlear implant processors, hearing aids, insulin pumps, and other approved equipment that is essential for them to wear in order to play.

It is the Coach's responsibility to point the specific equipment out to the referee before the game, so that if there is an issue—such as the assistive device coming off the player during the game—the referee is aware of the need to stop the play to provide assistance.

It is the referee's responsibility to ensure that the players' equipment and other items are safe.

BAYS Zero Tolerance Policy
The Zero Tolerance policy is critical. Coaches and spectators are required to follow the policy. Coaches are responsible for the zero tolerance violations by their team's spectators. Please remind all of your team parents of the zero tolerance rule, which prohibits addressing refs during and after the games. Zero means ZERO.

  • Be a positive role model, support the referee, and adhere to the policy at all times. 
  • Explain zero tolerance to your team’s parents and reinforce compliance with the policy
  • If a referee stops a game and directs you, as the coach, to reinforce the ZT policy with your game spectators or assistant coaches, please comply immediately even to the point of removing the offender from the field.
  • BAYS is vigilant in responding to reports of ZT violations. We take this seriously and filed reports go directly to the involved Club Presidents.
  • There are consequences to ZT violations, and they are tracked
  • Thanks much to all those coaches who comply and set a positive example for their players and supporters. 

Lopsided Game Management
BAYS would like to see goal differentials of no more than 5 goals. Beyond that, it is considered poor sportsmanship and lack of respect for your opponent. Winning by more than 5 goals does not enhance the experience for the winning team, but it can significantly diminish the enjoyment and interest in soccer for the losing team. It is the coaches' responsibility to manage the scoring and take the necessary steps to keep within the suggested goal differential. 

  • Managing these situations is completely within the control of coaches. The trick is to start early in the game.
  • Review the attached presentation that describes useful strategies to manage lopsided game situations
  • Discuss this scenario with your players in practice BEFORE it happens in a game and develop a plan that your players understand and have practiced. 
  • Recognize the potential for a lopsided game early (e.g. if 2-0 after <10 minutes) and manage it immediately. Do not wait until it’s 5-0.
  • Consider having a sign or code word for when you want your players to implement lopsided score management techniques.
  • Ensure your players understand that there are consequences for disobeying your instructions...and follow through when the situation warrants it! 
  • Please note: BAYS automatically sends the team coaches an email with copies to the Division Director and your Club President whenever there is a lopsided game score recorded in BAYS. You will be asked to provide some details on the proactive steps you took to manage the situation. BAYS will determine if whether any further action should be taken.
  • BAYS has a declining point value for a win in a game with an excessive goal differential to discourage teams from running up the score. See

At all times, you should set a positive example for your players and parents. Encourage and insist on good sportsmanship from your players toward referees, opponents, and teammates.

Please be proactive in stopping:

  • Dissent and disrespect directed at refs or opponents,
  • Taunting,
  • Racially-charged, degrading, sexist, biased, or hurtful language/action of any kind
  • Poor sportsmanship shown towards opponents, 
  • Violent or reckless play of any kind, and
  • Any violation of the rules, laws, and spirit of the game.

Player Safety

Ensuring player safety is the responsibility of all adults and referees involved with a BAYS soccer game. There are two mechanisms for the termination or abandonment of a match either during or immediately prior to the start of play: termination by the referee and abandonment by a coach. 

  1. Termination by the Referee

BAYS referees have a duty to determine if “the condition of the field of play or its surrounds or the weather conditions are such as to allow or not to allow a match to take place.” BAYS referees are empowered to decide to officially start, stop, suspend, or terminate a match for infringement of the Laws such as excessive red cards, for outside interference, and for the safety of the players should weather or field conditions require that action. 

  1. Abandonment by a Coach

Coaches may abandon their team’s participation in a match if they become concerned that by continuing with the game their players would be exposed to a risk of serious injury due to player infringement of the Laws, outside interference, weather conditions, or field conditions. To abandon a game, coaches shall call their players to the sideline in front of their bench and request that the captain or another player inform the referee that the team is abandoning the game. Coaches are required to follow the Zero Tolerance Policy when communicating to the referee that they are abandoning the game. The game shall be abandoned when the referee signals that the match has ended. 

The resolution of a terminated or abandoned game shall be determined by BAYS in accordance with our guidelines.

After the Game:

Reporting Scores

Scores are to be reported to your Section Captain within 48 hours of the game being played. Both home and away teams should report. The simplest thing is to report the score immediately after your game using your phone. Please do not procrastinate. Please do not report scores to your Division Director unless specifically requested.

It is a good idea to verify the game score with the opposing coach at the end of the game so that everyone walks off the field with the same understanding.

To find your Section Captain, just login to BAYS and navigate to your team page. Click on the Section Number in blue listed near the top left of your team page. Once you click on that, you will see your Standings page and your Section Captain will be listed at the top. You should be able to just click on the blue envelope symbol next to the Section Captain's name to email directly if you are logged in.

Team standings depends not only on your team wins and losses, but also takes into account your section configuration and goal differential in games: Click here for more details:

Game Feedback Reports
Feedback can be a Compliment or a Concern. When issues happen in a game, instead of reporting them via email, Coaches should be directed to file sportsmanship, referee, or both sportsmanship and referee game feedback reports online at the BAYS website. To file a report (only one coach per team should report): Login and go to MY BAYS—>COACH/MANAGER—>GAME FEEDBACK. 

  • Find the right game and click the Create Feedback button in the game row.
  • There are different types of feedback but they will all get reviewed:
    • Feedback reports can be Compliments or Concerns
    • Feedback Types: Sportsmanship : Referee : Both Referee and Sportsmanship
  • You can use the reports to provide constructive feedback about referees. This goes to their Referee Assignor, not the referee, so be honest! You can even compliment referees too, if they do a great job!

You can also nominate opponents for the BAYS Sportsmanship Award.