Integrity must be at the heart of youth soccer. It is one of the most important character traits we all hope to instill in our players through their participation in sports. To teach such values to our children, we must first exhibit them as adults. If clubs, coaches or even parents cut ethical corners, our children will learn that cutting these corners is acceptable. Simply put “bending the rules” is not acceptable, it does damage to the integrity of the league and the game and cannot be tolerated.
Each year LSA receives complaints and accounts of improper recruiting. Occasionally a club, team or coach seeks to gain a competitive advantage by improperly recruiting players from another club. As a result, LSA has expanded and clarified our Ethical Standards Regarding Recruiting in LSA Policy 212.4.
“Improper Recruiting” shall be defined herein as any effort or activity whatsoever that could reasonably be construed as attempting to encourage, induce, entice or solicit a player registered with one club to transfer to another club. Improper Recruiting shall include any form of communication or action, whether written or verbal and whether by post, in person, electronically or by means of mass marketing….
Improper recruiting will include, but shall not be limited to
demeaning or degrading another club
marketing or promoting one club in a manner calculated to target players of another club.
permitting any player to train, practice or play with one club while the player registered with another club.
offering to any player at any time any inducement to play.
misrepresenting the potential benefits of playing for one club over another.
Encouraging a team to move from one club to another.
In addition to coaches and club personnel, improper recruiting is now defined to include the conduct of parents and players. No longer will coaches be able to use kids as agents to accomplish improper or unethical goals.
LSA Policy 212.4 defines conduct that is acceptable as well as conduct that is not acceptable. It also establishes stringent penalties of improper recruiting including suspension of a coach for up to 3 years and/or a fine up to $5,000.00 for a club.
All coaches, managers, parents and club administrators are encouraged to become familiar with LSA Policy 212.4 and to help maintain a sense of integrity throughout the game in Louisiana.