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Bylaws & Policies


Bylaws

Click here to view Loudoun Soccer's Bylaws.

Policies

Click here to view Loudoun Soccer's Policies & Rule Book.
Below are policies often cited for common scenarios and frequently asked questions on the following:

Refund & Return Check Policy
KidSafe Coaches Background Checks
Team Formation Policy
Special Request Policy
Play-Up and Play-Down Policies
Single Program Registration Policy
Playing Time Policy
No Dropoff Policy
Coach Selection Policy
Practice Field/Time Allocation Policy
Prohibited Items at Fields
Inclement Weather and Unplayable Fields Policy
Paid Coaches and Trainers
Out-of-Club and Out-of-Season Events Policy
Referees
Issue Escalation Policy and Line of Authority
Heading Policy
Concussion Policy
SafeSport Policy


Refund & Return Check Policy

Fall 2019 Refund Policy

  • Refund requests for Fall 2019 must be received by August 23, 2019 for all Recreational programs (see below for admin fee information, as processing fees vary depending on the time of your request).
  • Requests must be sent to [email protected]
  • Requests after the deadline will NOT be approved, regardless of circumstance.
  • Requests can be emailed, mailed, or hand delivered.
  • If the initial registration was paid for by credit card, the refund will be processed back to that credit card.
  • No refunds will be made for cancellations due to inclement weather, injuries or other circumstances beyond our control. While all efforts are made to schedule and reschedule soccer events (practices, games, tournaments, etc.), Loudoun Soccer cannot guarantee all events will occur due to variables beyond our control.
  • Please note: Late Fees are only refunded if your child is NOT placed on a team.
  • WAIT LIST REFUNDS: Players that are on the Loudoun Soccer wait list will be refunded in full (including Late Fees) after the second game of the season if we are unable to place your player on a team. Refund requests from wait listed players before this time are subject to processing fees.

Following are the admin fees which will be deducted from any refund (by program):

ProgramAdmin Fee
Player Registration Fee$25 admin fee through July 30, 2019; $50 admin fee from July 31-August 23, 2019
Supplemental programs only (7U Pre-Academy, Rec TTA)$25 admin fee
Uniform (MUST be unused)N/A
Summer Camps and Spring Break Camps$25 admin fee
Winter Foot Skills CampsNo refunds for winter camps.


Returned Check Policy:

The following fees will be charged for returned checks:

Check TypeReturned Check Fee
Paper checks$25
E-check$15

KidSafe  Coaches Background Checks

Since 1996, Loudoun Soccer (as a part of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA)), has been participating in the Virginia Youth Soccer Association KidSafe Program. The KidSafe program is a risk management program designed to ensure safe circumstances for every person, and especially every child, who participates in a US Youth Soccer affiliated activity. Criminal background checks are performed as part of this program. The KidSafe Program is intended to ensure that all Youth Soccer volunteers and paid employees are screened for any past or present behavior that may pose a threat to any player participants in US Youth Soccer.

All Loudoun Soccer Board members, coaches, and all other volunteers are screened for initial or continued suitability in the Loudoun Soccer program. All USSF-certified referees officiating at Loudoun Soccer games are screened as well, under a separate program administered by the VYSA State Referee Administrator (SRA). This program is expected to further reduce the potential for any type of abuse against youth participants in US Youth Soccer caused by Youth Soccer volunteers and paid employees.

If you would like to coach your child, this background screen must be completed and is submitted when you register. Background clearances are valid for a period of two years.

Volunteers disqualified due to their background check will be notified.

If you have questions about this, please email our KidSafe Coordinator at [email protected]


Team Formation Policy

Players register on a season-to-season basis (separate registration for Fall and Spring), and teams are formed accordingly – the team roster from the Fall will likely be different than the Spring.  Players are placed by registration date, meaning those who register earlier in the process are more likely to be placed than those who register late (first come, first served).

Teams are formed by Town of Play (e.g. Ashburn, Leesburg, South Riding, Purcellville, etc.), and the number of teams formed is based primarily on three factors:

  1. the number of players registered;
  2. the number of players that may be placed on each team to comply with our minimum playing time standards; and
  3. the number of available volunteer coaches.

For example: if 40 players register in Grade 4 and four coaches volunteer, four teams of 10 may be formed, as the ideal roster size is 10-11 and the maximum roster size is 12.  In this situation, no players are turned away.  If only three coaches volunteer, then three teams of 12 may be formed, and the players who registered last (in this case #37-40) may be reassigned to another town of play, placed on the Wait List to be assigned when or if an assigned player drops, or refunded if they’re not assigned after the first game of the season.

Since registration is on a season-to-season basis, team formation is also seasonal. This also means there is no guaranteed roster continuity, as there is no guarantee that players from one season will re-register for the following season, and all attempts to form balanced teams must be made.

Balanced teams in this case represent the relative placement of returning and new players to each team; in other words: Loudoun Soccer attempts to divide new players who are likely inexperienced in soccer across the teams formed in each age group and town of play. The actual ability of players is typically unknown, and cannot be determined prior to team formation (only Challenge, due to its nature and smaller player pool, evaluates players before team formation).

Special requests are considered in all subprograms except Challenge, and are not guaranteed. See below regarding Special Request Policy.


Special Request Policy

Loudoun Soccer may collect special requests from families during the registration process. These requests may include placement on a team with a particular friend or neighbor, or placement on a team with a specific coach.

There is NO GUARANTEE that special requests will be accommodated, due to the rules of the program, specifically:

  • The placement of players by registration date
  • The need to form balanced teams

All efforts are made to accommodate special requests without violating these two tenets. Any error in special request submission (e.g. requesting a coach who volunteers for a different age group than one your child is in) likely results in that special request being ignored, so families are encouraged to be certain of their request before submission.

No special requests are accepted for the Challenge program, due to the more competitive nature of that program.

Play-up or play-down requests must be submitted to the club office in writing (see below).


Play-Up and Play-Down Policies

Loudoun Soccer organizes most of its Recreation programs in age groups by grade and when grade is not available by an August 1-July 31 calendar. The lone exceptions are SFL and U8 Academy, which must adhere to US Soccer’s age groups organized by birth year (January 1-December 31), where grades are not considered.  In all but an extremely small number of instances, it is most appropriate for a player to play in their proper age group.

Certain exceptions may occur. Requests for these exceptions must be submitted in writing to the appropriate Program Manager (Rec or Minis) and/or the Director of Player Development as early as possible – preferably before registering your child.

a) Playing-Up – Based on Ability

Players capable of playing-up an age group based on ability are extremely rare.  To be beneficial to the player and the player’s teammates, a player who is playing-up must be able to perform at an average to above average skill level for that age group.  When determining if a player should play-up based on ability, the following must be considered:

  • Physical Characteristics – size, speed, strength;
  • Individual Skill Level – technical skills such as dribbling, passing, and receiving;
  • Emotional Maturity – ability to interact with other players and handle different competitive levels;
  • Mental Development – ability to understand teamwork and the dynamics involved in an older age group where the game is faster and more complicated.

Failure to account for all these factors can be detrimental to the development of the player and his or her teammates.  Requests to place players in an older age group must be made in writing, detailing why the player and the player’s teammates would benefit from that player participating in an older age group. Independent verification of the player’s ability may be required before a decision will be made by Loudoun Soccer.

For additional information on playing-up, please read this article.

b) Playing Down

Play-down requests are only considered if a physical or mental deficiency exists. Additional written information and justification (e.g., a doctor’s note) may be required before the request can be considered.

c) Teams Play-UP

Play-up requests shall only be considered on an individual basis. Requests for entire teams to play-up will not be considered, as registration is on a seasonal basis, and teams only exist for the duration of a season.

d) Playing Out Of Age Group – Last Resort for Player Placement

As a last resort, under certain circumstances (usually in lower populated areas), it may be necessary for an AGC to consider placing a player on a team out
of his/her age group in order for them to play.  Because this decision may affect team parity and/or player development, any consideration to play a player out of his/her age group for these reasons shall be done in conjunction with the appropriate Program Manager.  Approval shall be obtained from the player’s parents and League Commissioner and/or appropriate Program Manager.


Single Program Registration Policy

Loudoun Soccer prohibits players from participating in its Recreation (in-house) program, and another Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) sanctioned program. This includes Loudoun Soccer Travel, unaffiliated Travel programs, or other Recreational Programs.

This policy is in place to prevent overuse injuries, and to prevent Rec teams from experiencing roster difficulties (e.g. playing short-handed because players choose to play with their other program).

Players found participating in an additional program may be suspended and/or removed from their Recreational team.


Playing Time Policy

The nature of the Recreation program is clear in its name – recreational.  While competition is an element of games, it does not trump the recreational nature of our program, which entitles players to a fair share of playing time in each game.

Any player who attends one of the team’s two scheduled practices prior to that week’s game is entitled to play at least 50 percent of the match.  For example: for a game that is 40 minutes long divided into four, 10-minute quarters, eligible players are entitled to two of the four quarters. For games divided into halves, coaches should manage substitutions accordingly to ensure minimum playing time is met.

Furthermore for players grades 1-4 only: no player may  play all four quarters unless all eligible players receive three quarters of playing time.

Please note the goalkeeper playing time rules for the following age groups and formats:

  • For Rec 2 (Grades 3-6) and Challenge 1 (Grades 3-4) games: players may not play as a goalkeeper in more than one quarter, and their 50 percent play time only counts when playing on the field and not as goalkeeper (they must play two quarters on the field in addition to playing one quarter as the goalkeeper).
  • For Challenge 2 (Grades 5-6): the goalkeeper may play no more than one half’s length per game, and should also receive some time on the field.
  • For Classic (Grades 7-8) and U16-U19 SFL: there is no restriction on goalkeeper rotation but coaches are encouraged to rotate players through this position.

No Dropoff Policy

The majority of Loudoun Soccer programs are not dropoff programs; for Fall and Spring season programs with children Grade 6 and younger, a parent or designated adult (e.g. another parent on the team, a babysitter, etc.) must be present for all practices and games. Practices and games at these ages are typically 60 minutes or less in length.

For older age groups, parents are expected to pick-up their child to and from all soccer activities (practices, games, etc.) punctually if they are not waiting during those activities.


Coach Selection Policy

Volunteer coaches are critical to the success and growth of the club’s Recreational program.  They are the primary influence on the development of players, both in terms of skill and enjoyment of the game.

Coaches register each season, and are typically selected by the Age Group Coordinator (AGC), who is responsible for assigning players to teams.  Program Managers shall approve all coach selections prior to the notification of each coach’s selection, as Program Managers may be aware of circumstances that may either encourage or discourage the selection of a particular coach.

Several factors are considered when selecting coaches, including their experience, coaching licenses or accreditation, prior years coaching in the program, and their conduct (positive or negative).  No coach is guaranteed placement simply because they coached in a previous season, although their returning status is one of many considerations.

Ordinarily, coaches who volunteer are placed due to the club’s desire to accommodate all registered players.  Coaches who volunteer as a Head Coach and not assigned may be assigned as an Assistant Coach instead, or may not be assigned at all.

All coaches MUST pass a background check before being assigned to a team.


Practice Field/Allocation Time Policy

Teams are assigned to a specific practice field day, time, and location by Loudoun Soccer. These logistics are determined based on each coach’s request, as well as available field space allocated by Loudoun County Parks and Rec.

Lighted grass and lighted turf fields are in high-demand, as there are few accessible within the county, thus it is unlikely that Recreational teams are assigned to either type of practice field.

Coaches are expected to practice at the day, time, and location assigned to their team. In the event that the particular assignment is double-booked (e.g. two teams show up at the same place), coaches should complete the following steps:

  1. Note the name of the other coach and team;
  2. Determine if other fields are unused during that time;
  3. Resolve the immediate conflict amicably by sharing space, or moving to a different space; and
  4. Provide their AGC with the information from Steps 1-2 to determine a solution.

Coaches are expected to resolve these conflicts amicably and respectfully.


Prohibited Items at Fields

To ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all players, coaches, families, and teams, the following items are PROHIBITED at Loudoun Soccer practices and games:

PETS: Loudoun Soccer has a strict NO PET policy to insure the safety of all players and spectators; only properly documented service animals are permitted.  Additionally, per County Ordinance, pets are NOT permitted on any school property, and only on certain Park Sites.  If you are at a park site that allows pets, said pet must be kept a minimum of 50 yards from the playing field (in all directions).  Please leave your pets at home.

ARTIFICIAL NOISEMAKERS: Artificial noisemakers (including but not limited to megaphones, cow bells, thunder sticks, air horns, sirens, etc.) are prohibited from games by teams and spectators, in order to protect the enjoyment of all participating members (players, coaches, spectators, and referees).

ALCOHOL (unless sold at privately run facilities used for soccer games and practices)

TOBACCO

FIREARMS: Per Virginia law, firearms are prohibited on the properties of school grounds, and private property when prohibited by owner; these facility types make up the majority of fields used by Loudoun Soccer.

For games and practices played on turf fields – all food, seeds, gum, and/or sports drink (Gatorade), are permitted on the turf.


Inclement Weather and Unplayable Fields Policy

The majority of grass fields are allocated by Loudoun County Parks and Rec to Loudoun Soccer.  In cases of weather-related turf conditions, Loudoun Soccer will first follow the decision of Parks and Rec regarding the closure of fields. In rare cases, Loudoun Soccer may be instructed to make their own decision regarding field playability.

At that point, Loudoun Soccer will determine if the field is playable. When deciding whether a field is playable, consideration is given first to player safety and next to the possibility of detrimental field impact. In cases where fields are left at a “Game Time Decision” status, referees will be the first authority as to field playability unless Loudoun Soccer personnel determine otherwise (for Micros and Minis, the lead trainer decides).  In the absence of a referee, coaches will be that authority.  Referees and coaches should use the above mentioned guidelines when making their determination.  If there is ever a doubt as to player safety, then the deciding entity is to err on the side of caution, and not play.

NO ACTIVITIES ARE TO OCCUR ON CLOSED FIELDS.

All coaches, parents, players, and referees are individually responsible for checking for any game cancellations and field closures.  All field closures are updated, as soon as possible on the club website and via RainedOut.com. CLICK HERE to join our Rainedout.com distribution list.

Absolutely no activity should occur in the presence of thunder or lightning. Any sign of thunder and/or lightning requires a 30-minute delay, in which all players and adults must take cover in a car or a building. Any additional sign of thunder and/or lightning re-sets the 30-minute delay. No one should be outside during a storm. Any Loudoun Soccer in rare occasions will cancel club-wide activities given extreme inclement weather (tornado or storm warnings, extreme heat or cold, etc.)

For Micros (ages 3-4) and Minis (Pre-K and Kindergarten): the site coordinator (lead trainer) is the first authority at sessions regarding inclement weather.

For all other games (Grades 1-8, and U16-U19): the referee is the first authority at games regarding inclement weather; in the absence of a referee, coaches will be that authority. Referees and coaches should use the above mentioned guidelines when making their determination.  If there is ever a doubt as to player safety, then the deciding entity is to err on the side of caution, and not play.


Paid Coaches and Trainers

Loudoun Soccer Recreational Coaches and/or parents shall not hire paid coaches or trainers for their teams. Those interested in higher-level training are encouraged to contact the Director of Player Development.  The Director of Player Development will assist you in determining your exact needs and work with you to develop a plan to meet those needs.  Loudoun Soccer offers a variety of seasonal camps, clinics, and programs that provide its players training and instruction from professional coaches and trainers.


Out-of-Club and Out-of-Season Events Policy

Requests by Recreation teams and/or players to participate in outside events and/or out-of-season training above and beyond the current menu of options are rarely granted; this is primarily due to the seasonal nature of Recreation teams in Loudoun Soccer.

Outside events are tournaments and competitions hosted by non-Loudoun Soccer organizations.  Out-of-season training is practices that occur before a team is officially formed or after a season concludes.

Team Formation Overview:

Players register within Loudoun Soccer on a season-to-season basis (e.g. a player registers for the Fall and Spring seasons separately, and each season is organized as a separate period of time), and team rosters reflect this; players may be placed with different teammates and/or a different coach each season.

Recreation teams – which includes our Rec 1 (Grades 1-2), Rec 2 (Grades 3-6), Challenge 1 (Grades 3-4), Challenge 2 (Grades 5-6), Classic (Grades 7-8), and SFL teams – are not officially formed until two or three weeks before the first game of the season.  Teams cease to exist once the season concludes, which is typically after their last game.

This means a team’s existence is typically:

  • Fall: forms in mid-August, and disbands in early November
  • Spring: forms in mid-March, and disbands in early June.

Out-of-Season Training Requests:

Out-of-season training is practices that occur before a team is officially formed or after a season concludes.

Requests for pre-season practices on dates prior to the formation of rosters cannot be accommodated, since teams do not yet officially exist.  Additionally, Loudoun Soccer typically does not receive field allocation at that early of a date, and does not have access to gym space during the winter months for its Recreation teams.  All teams may begin practicing on the dates established by Loudoun Soccer.

Players who are interested in additional training opportunities are encouraged to register for the numerous programs offered by Loudoun Soccer, including Summer Camps, Rec Technical Training Academy, and Winter Foot Skills Clinics.

Individuals may rent space at Loudoun Soccer Park but would do so at their own volition and expense, and not at that of Loudoun Soccer.

Outside Event Participation Requests:

Outside events are tournaments and competitions hosted by non-Loudoun Soccer organizations.

Many Recreation tournaments typically occur before or after Loudoun Soccer teams are formed and disbanded, which means Loudoun Soccer teams cannot participate in these events since they technically do not exist.

Outside events that occur during a team’s existence typically conflict with the team’s league schedule, which prohibits a team’s participation.

Loudoun Soccer’s Recreation Program is limited by design to offer a reasonable participation and cost to the most number of families.  The club offers post-season opportunities for players and teams, including:

  • Fall Classic (optional end-of-Fall-season in-house tournament for Grades 3-6)
  • Spring Cup (optional end-of-Spring-season in-house tournament for Grades 3-6)
  • All Stars – U9-U12 teams formed via tryouts, Classic and SFL teams offered the chance to attend an event at coach’s discretion; both attend a post-season event, and are optional.
  • Challenge 2 and Classic post-season playoffs

Request to Participate in Outside Events:

Participation in outside events requires several factors to be in favor of the interested team:

  • The outside event must accept Rec teams (teams are coded as Rec or Travel; tournaments accept only specifically coded teams);
  • Loudoun Soccer must agree to produce an official roster and player passes, and does so at its own discretion as per Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) rules.

Teams wishing to participate in an outside event must contact the Rec Program Manager at least 45 days before the event date to request permission to attend, and should only register for the event when/if permission is granted.

Note that since most outside events will be organized by US Soccer mandated birth year age groups, a grade-based Rec team will likely have to play up against older teams to be eligible.


Referees

Loudoun Soccer contracts with outside parties to assign certified referees to all of our Grade 1 and older matches. Loudoun Soccer also assists these parties in certifying new officials by providing logistical support.  Visit our referee page for information on certifying as a referee.

Games may lack referees for a variety of reasons – some legitimate (car trouble, ill, family emergency) and others due to irresponsibility (forgot, slept through alarm, etc.)

In the event no referees are present for a match, the coaches of the two teams should coordinate to determine an appropriate solution to ensure the match is played. This may include soliciting a parent or another adult (regardless of whether they’re certified as a ref) to officiate, or the coaches officiating the match themselves (each can oversee their half of the field, or can trade quarters/halves of the game).

The coaches should notify the club office of the referee’s absence, so that Loudoun Soccer can notify the assignor. Referees with unexcused absences may be fined and also removed from consideration of future assignments.

Loudoun Soccer has a strict ZERO TOLERANCE policy in regards to referee abuse (verbal) and assault (physical – including the threat of harm). Any coach, parent, or player who commits referee abuse or referee assault will be dealt with swiftly and severely, including but not limited to being suspended from the program.

Referee related issues will be addressed by Loudoun Soccer’s Referee Director ([email protected]) and/or by Loudoun Soccer.  You may contact either with specific questions or issues.

It is important to note the following:

a) referees interpret the Laws of the Game – those interpretations will vary from ref to ref, and game to game.

b) most referees assigned to Rec games are young and are still learning the job – and they are human. In other words, mistakes are to be expected. Additionally: referee errors occur at all levels of the game – including the professional and international level. If they occur there, they will likely occur too in a Recreational game in Loudoun County on a Saturday afternoon.

c) there is a severe shortage of referees. To ensure they continue to accept assignments and serve as referees, all coaches, parents, and players are expected to treat them fairly, with respect, and most importantly, as human beings.


Issue Escalation Policy and Line of Authority

Questions, concerns, issues, and conflicts may occur each season.  It is critical that these matters are addressed to the appropriate person in a professional, adult manner.

An escalation policy exists for both coaches and for families.  These matters should be addressed in this order, due to the relative involvement of each party at each level.  Failure to follow this escalation policy (e.g. contacting the Board of Directors immediately) may result in the issue being ignored completely or not addressed in a timely fashion, because it is not being directed to the attention of the appropriate party.

The club’s Line of Authority & Issue Escalation Policy (see links below) addresses how to proceed.


Heading Policy

Per guidelines established by Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA), the governing body of youth soccer in this state, heading is NOT permitted in programs considered U11 and younger.

11U and Younger (Grades 5 and below)

  • US Soccer guidelines are players in 11U programs and younger shall not engage in heading, either in practice or in games.
  • For games involving 11U and younger, the following rule is enforced: Whenever the ball strikes a player in the head, play is stopped. The proper restart depends upon whether the player deliberately played the ball with his or her head.  If deliberate, the proper restart is an indirect free kick to the opposing team.  If this occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.  If the play by the head is deemed inadvertent, then the proper restart is a dropped ball.

12U & 13U age groups (Grades 6-7)

  • US Soccer guidelines are for players 12U and 13U programs, that heading in training is limited to a maximum of 30 minutes per week with no more than 15-20 headers per day, per week.
  • All coaches should be instructed to teach and emphasize the importance of proper techniques for heading the ball.

14U and older age groups (Grade 8, 16U-19U): no restriction.


Concussion Policy

Per Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) rules and regulations, players suspected of suffering a concussion in practice or in a game should be removed from play immediately for assessment, and are prohibited from returning to play that day (VYSA rule of thumb: “When in doubt – sit them out.”)

The coach is expected to promptly notify Loudoun Soccer per its stated method, and the player may return to athletic activity only when a licensed healthcare provider has provided written clearance, which may be emailed or mailed to the club office.

Coaches are expected to read and carry the CDC Concussion Fact Sheet for Coaches, and to complete the CDC’s Online Concussion Training for Coaches.

Click here to view Loudoun Soccer's Concussion Policy & Information, including fact sheets and reporting forms.

Contact Us

Loudoun Soccer
19798 Sycolin Rd 
Leesburg, Virginia 20175

Fax: 703-777-1029
Phone: 703-777-9977
Email: [email protected]

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