Hi Super Parents

This is a very important message that I kindly ask you take on board. This is mainly to ensure we are all on the same wave length when it comes to Sunday match days and to remind you of our code of conduct, plus a couple of new rules we have added in to our Skillz FC Little League.

Firstly, Charlie, Omar and I are overwhelmed with the support you are giving your Superstar on Sunday mornings. From being committed to as many Sundays you can, to actually bringing them along even in the rain, to the lovely atmosphere you create for each player – it truly is wonderful and we are over the moon with how the season has started. By creating this atmosphere, particularly in our u8 league who have been with us for a whole season now, it is allowing the Superstars to develop in an environment that is completely different to the local leagues. Thank you for buying into our philosophy 🙂
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With the above said, I really must remind all parents that some behaviour and actions will not be tolerated at Skillz – whether that is on Sundays or at our training sessions. Over the past few weeks, I have heard the following comments towards our staff:

– “The ref was being biased”
– “You don’t know what you are doing”
– “You are in the wrong job”

Now i know we can all get caught up in the heat of the moment, but I wanted to make our stance clear when it comes to touch line behaviour:
Any parent found questioning the referee, showing any form of negative behaviour to referees or other parents, shouting out to their child what to do (which in turns undermines the manager and coaches) etc. will result in your Superstars Skillz FC membership being terminated as per our code of conduct.

When parents come to our training sessions, they are quiet, encourage and never question a refereeing decision. But on match days, some parents then become very noisy and shout out to us referees and generally put more pressure on their children. Whilst some may argue that match days are a competitive environment (it of course adds that element to it), for us it is still essentially a learning environment for the children to flourish in. Essentially training and match days are no different and shouldn’t be approached any different.

Rule Training & Match Day
Results recorded and logged? No
League Table kept and displayed? No
Learning environment for the Superstars? Yes

If the referee gives a decision you do not agree with, let’s move on and get on with it. It really does not make a difference. If you concede a goal because the referee made a mistake – who cares? Is that refereeing mistake going to effect how your Superstar develops as a footballer? The ultimate question come the end of the season isn’t “did we win most of our games or lose out because the ref made a mistake?” It should be “has my Superstar developed and enjoyed themselves?”
This is not the world cup final – it is a game of u8s and u7s football that should not be taken so seriously from the sidelines.

Part of our philosophy is to let the game flow as much as possible. In a Premier League game of football which is full of top athletes and footballers, out of a 90 minute match the ball is actually in play for only around 30mins! Can you imagine what the numbers are like for a u7 or u8 game of football? Hence why we like to use the “play on” shout a lot. Let the game flow and get as much playing time as possible.

Please kindly note: We will not be entertaining anymore emails or discussions when it comes to refereeing decisions. If you have feedback on how we can improve any other aspect of Skillz, we are all ears, just not when it comes to refereeing as i see it as a massive waste of time.

We have made it absolutely clear how we want Sundays to run so trust that you will support us on the above. The sole reason we created Skillz FC was to make it a pressure free and lovely environment for the children to flourish in. It is all about the Superstars (not adult egos) and their development 🙂

We as a team have spent some time this week discussing how we as coaches can improve on match days (we can always improve) and what we think will help improve our league, so we have implemented a few new rules to Sundays to help the children. Please see below:

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New Rules For Our Own Little League
I have updated our full list of rules for your perusal at the bottom of our page.

No Slide Tackles

Why?
It has never been something we have taught at Skillz, nor do i feel it is necessary. We do always encourage our players to tackle and regain possession as opposed to smashing the ball out of play so feel encouraging each child to stay on their feet to tackle is a good thing. It won’t be long before we move indoors too, and we do not allow slide tackles indoors.

Action: We will issue a free kick to the opposition if a slide tackle is committed.

2 minute Sin Bin

Why?
We have used this sort of thing before but never really “advertised” it. It will help the children learn that certain actions on the football field will not be tolerated, for example lashing out at children off the ball, deliberate kicking etc. We will not have to use this very often though, as it is up to us coaches and managers to educate the children on this.

Action: We won’t make a massive scene of this or issue a card, as we do not want to upset the child. We will ask the manager through a quiet word or signal to take them off and have a chat with them. We ask that you as a parent helps with this too 🙂

Power Play Rule

Why?
As per the start of the season, a team of ours lost 30-0. Neither side will take anything away from this. It resulted in the losing side crying their eyes out and not wanting to play anymore. Im sure the other team no longer found it a challenge. We trialled this two weeks ago between u8 orange and greens and it worked much better and made the game more even.

Action: If a team goes 4 goals down, they are allowed to play with an extra player. This will be particularly useful with the new teams at u8s who are struggling. We may decide that they can play with an extra player from the start. We will play this rule by ear and see how we get on with this.

No Instruction Rule and Quiet Rule- Parents

Why?
I have heard numerous parents turn into Gary Neville and co-comentate on the game by shouting out instructions to the children! This actually stifles their learning and can lead to confusion. For example if us as coaches have set the learning outcome as dribbling but parents keep shouting out pass, the Superstars will become confused and will not think for themselves. We ask that you quietly encourage from the sidelines but do not shout instructions out.

Action: For parents on the side lines there will be a zero tolerance rule on shouting out and being too noisey. If a parent is shouting out, they will be warned. If they persist, their child will be removed from the game. If this is persistent week on week, then they will be asked to leave Skillz FC.

Little League Match Day Rules
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Code of Conduct

I attach our code of conduct below which you all agreed to at the start of the season. Please do take a look to refresh your memory for what is on there.
Skillz FC – Parent code of conduct
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The above rules and procedures have been made with the children’s best interests at heart and they are set in stone. It may be different elsewhere but this is how we like to do things at Skillz. Between Omar, Charlie and I, we have close to 20 years coaching experience with 1000s of hours under our belt – so we do feel we know what we are talking about when it comes to what is best for the children at football 😉 The above changes will have a really positive effect on all involved and we look forward to receiving your support on this! Please do show this to any of your family and friends that attend Sundays with Skillz as the rules will apply to them too.

Thank you once again for being part of Skillz FC and we look forward to seeing you all on Sunday 🙂

Ashley, Charlie and Omar

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