Coaching Responsibilities

To achieve the league’s overall objectives, BCSL coaches must do the following:

  • Encourage all children to participate, to learn something and to have fun.
  • Teach soccer skills through the use of simple fun-filled games and drills.
  • Solicit active participation of parents in many of these games/drills and when we need other coaching help.
  • Work on a few soccer skills one day and then let them go the next day to focus on something else.
  • Play everyone equally and through all positions if there is interest.
  • Teach the children to respect themselves, their talents and the rules of the game.
  • Encourage both parents and children to show respect their coaches, opposing players and coaches, and game/League officials.
  • Communicate with players and parents in a positive manner and keep parents informed about team and League activities.
  • Communicate with the coaches of the opposing team before the game about number of players, etc., as an example to the children to show that one can be respectful and friendly to the people on the other side of the field.
  • Maintain high standards of personal conduct, be enthusiastic and be generous with deserved praise.

The 4 and 5 division coaches are responsible for reffing their own games.


Basic Rules for Beach Community Soccer Referees

BCSL rules are our interpretation of standard soccer laws. We have instructed our referees to interpret them to:

  • enhance the flow of the game – avoid repeat whistles, stoppages in play
    if an innocuous violation occurs offer the players to PLAY ON
  • provide safety to all participants - if safety is a concern blow the whistle LOUD. If still not heard. Blow it again. LOUDER
  • instruct players – players need to learn the rules. Sometimes this means explaining a rule while not calling it e.g. “watch the pushing”

The basic rules are as follows. A more complete version is available on our website.

  1. No Hands, please
    Most people who know nothing about soccer still know that you aren’t supposed to use your hands unless you’re the goalie.A couple of points to clarify.
    The proper way to look at this soccer rule is that a player cannot “handle” the ball. A ball that is kicked and hits a player’s hand or arm is not a hand ball. This means that the referee must use his or her own judgment to some extent in determining whether or not a hand ball is accidental contact or a purposeful attempt to gain an advantage. Put it another way, the referee must determine if the play was:
    Ball to Hand (legal)
    Hand to Ball (illegal)
  2. Throw-ins
    There are no throw-ins for the 4 division. None initially for the 5 division but should be introduced with the first few weeks. A throw-in is taken when the ball crosses a sideline and leaves the field. Retrieve the ball quickly and hand it to a player on the appropriate team. Do not tolerate delays either by arguments as to who throws the ball or a player who refuses to release the ball. Use encouragement and your whistle to speed things up.The two basic soccer rules for a proper throw-in are to have both feet on the ground and to throw the ball with both hands over the head.
    For teaching purposes it is common to allow players under the age of 9/10 to take more than one (1) attempt. Referees should model the throw in for the player. If the throw is still foul after the second attempt, PLAY ON!
  3. Corner Kicks & Goal Kicks
    A corner kick or goal kick is taken when the ball leaves the field across the end line – the end of the field.
    If the offensive team kicks it out, play is restarted with a goal kick. If the defensive team kicks it out, play is restarted with a corner kick.The goal kick is taken from anywhere inside the “goalie box” as it is affectionately called. It can be taken by any player, not just the goalkeeper. As we often do not have official crease lines we use the ten yard rule where players must be 10 yards away after any stop in play. This should be enforced at all times – refs should walk the 10 yards of players are encroaching. No one can touch the ball until it
    The corner kick is taken from the corner nearest to where the ball left the field.
  4. Fouls
    The common rule of thumb on fouls is “If it looks like a foul, it probably is.”A player cannot kick, trip, jump at, charge, strike, push, hold, or spit at an opponent.

    So what’s the problem? Soccer can be a physical, contact sport.

    For less obvious fouls, refs should let the play continue with a warning of ‘watch the pushing” or “play on”. Hard fouls need to be called and a free kick should be awarded. Players should be given an explanation. Slide tackles, regardless of their success, are considered illegal in all divisions of BCSL and should always be called. Egregious fouls like a punch or an attempt to injure should be whistled immediately. Players should be taken aside and sternly warned that this will not be tolerated and sent off for a shift.

  5. Direct and Indirect Free Kicks
    The simple difference between the two is this: On a direct kick you can score by kicking the ball directly into the goal. On an indirect kick you cannot score. An indirect kick must be touched by another player before it can go into the goal – that is the kicker and a second person. This includes a member of the opposing team.In general, a direct kick comes from a contact foul or hand ball. Everything else is indirect. However, in BCSL play, all infractions, including a penalty kick result in an indirect free kick.
  6. Two-touch Rule
    A player cannot touch the ball twice in a row when putting the ball in play. You will see this called many times in youth soccer. It applies everywhere. You will see it frequently on kick-offs or direct and indirect kicks. If a kid barely hits the ball and decides to take another swipe at it, that is a two-touch. This also applies to throw-ins. A kid cannot throw the ball in and then kick it.
    We have flexibility with the younger divisions (under 7-division) but an explanation should be provided.
  7. Ten Yard Rule
    All players must provide ten yards at every stop in play except a throw in. This avoids accidents and gives weaker players a chance to clear the ball. Children should be marched back if necessary.
  8. Offside
    There is no offside in these divisions (thank goodness).


Coaches should also be aware of the following:

  1. Game Duration
    All games begin at 7:00. This might require a 5-minute coach reminder. All Divisions have a 5-minute half-time break.
    The 4 Division plays a half hour game until 7:30. The 5 and 6 Divisions play two 20-minute halves. The 7, 8 and 9/10 Divisions play two 25-minute halves. The 11/12 and 13/14 Divisions plays 55 minutes.
  2. Number of players on field
    The 4 year old Division has 5 players on the field. (goalie optional) The 5 Division 7 players on the field, including a designated goalie. These can be altered in communication with opposing coach.
  3. Line changes/Substitutions
    For all Divisions, except the 11/12 and 13/14 divisions, substitutions occur every five minutes. Referees are instructed to blow the whistle at a stoppage in play and both sides are asked to substitute players. Remember that all players receive equal playing time and are to play a variety of positions. Coaches should have the next line ready to ensure a smooth and speedy transition.
  4. Injuries
    Any injury will require a stop in play. Coaches are asked to supervise a serious injury. Please refrain from moving those who may suffer a serious injury and report the incident to the Field Manager at the shed who will call for professional assistance, and will inform BCSL representatives. First Aid kits and/or ice packs are available in the shed.
  5. Coaches on field
    With the exception of the 4 and 5 divisions, (where all coaches are allowed on the field provided they don’t disrupt play), only one coach for each team is allowed on the field. The other coaches must stay on sidelines on their side of the field. The 9/10 and 11/12 and 13/14/15 divisions do not permit any coaches on the field.