Posted Sep 5, 2018

Be Nice

This is a very simple concept but one that is often overlooked.  If you trace back the root cause of most "incidents", they could have been avoided if the people involved just tried to BE NICE.  Things happen during the course of a game or practice.  A player get pushed or tripped, that player then gets up and calls the other player a name or tries to retaliate.  If the offending player helped the other player up or apologized (if necessary) and the player who was fouled, got up and continued to play - realizing that fouls are not always called (or seen), incidents can be avoided.  The same goes for Parents, Spectators and Coaches.  No one is perfect - let people make mistakes and let the appropriate people correct them.

Soccer is a competitive sport and emotions can run high.  We expect everyone involved in our club to conduct themselves in a sportsman-like way, demonstrating respect to everyone around them.  Parents, Coaches and Spectators need to support the players to play hard, play fair, and play with good sportsmanship.  

Delaware Union Approach to Safety

The Safety of everyone involved in our program is of the utmost importance.  This includes players, coaches, referees, parents and spectators.  We strive to create an environment where everyone feels safe to participate in any of our programs at every level.  As much as we focus on player safety, we expect our coaches and referees to feel safe when performing their duties.  We also expect our parents and spectators to be able to cheer for and encourage their players, while also demonstrating respect and good sportsmanship towards the referees as well as players, coaches and parents/spectators on both the home and the opposing team.  Name calling,disparaging comments, negative gestures, and any other unsportsmanlike behavior will not be tolerated.  We need assistance from every member of the club to observe and report incidents immediately, so they can be addressed in a timely manner.

We also expect our players' physical safety to be of utmost important to everyone.  This means identifying injuries, especially concussions, (which may be more difficult to identify than other physical injuries) quickly and taking the appropriate action to ensure the players safety.  A player should never be forced or encouraged to play until they are ready and the necessary precautions have been taken.

The information included on this page, provides additional links for specific topics related to safety.

Anti-Bullying Policy

The Delaware Union is focused on providing a safe environment for children to learn and play soccer. Part of creating a positive environment is to identify and respond to bullying quickly and effectively early on. Unfortunately, bullying can be found in all youth sports, between kids, coaches, and even parents. We rely on every member of the Delaware Union family to identify and report bullying when they see it and, in turn, our Club will support parents, players, referees and coaches when an incident occurs.

Bullying is defined as conduct, gestures or comments which are insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful, malicious, degrading or otherwise offensive to a player, group of players and/or teammates, and which create a hostile or intimidating environment, or which negatively affects a player's physical and/or emotional well-being. Bullying is any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it is a single incident or a series of incidents that results in intentional pain and distress to the victim.

Some joking and horseplay between people is normal and would not be considered bullying. However, the intent does not always match the result, and even if someone does not mean to cause harm, the person to which the action is taken against, may perceive the action as harmful.

Delaware Union does not tolerate bullying at any practice, game, or Club sanctioned events. We encourage our coaches and parents to know and identify the signs of bullying when they arise. While some children are prone to report bullying to their parents, coaches, or adults, others will not, due to fear or intimidation.

If you are concerned about bullying on your child's soccer team, follow these steps to address and amend the issue:

  1. Talk to your child. Gather as much information about the events as possible and discuss next steps.
  2. Report incidents to the team coach or manager. If the problem persists, reach out to the Delaware Union by completing our online Incident Report. This will alert the necessary people and allow us to take action and respond to the incident.
  3. For all reported incidents, Delaware Union will speak with the parents of the player who was bullied and may choose to speak with the player and coach as well to understand the extent of the bullying. These discussions are strictly confidential.
  4. The Club will also speak with the parents of the player(s) who were accused of bullying and possibly the players as well to determine the approach for changing the behavior.

Delaware Union has a thorough Anti-Bullying Policy. The following escalation will be applied based on each incident.

  1. In a first incident of bullying, an attempt will be made to encourage the bully (or bullies) to modify their behavior for their benefit, for the benefit of the person bullied, and for the team. An attempt will be made by the coach, manager, or parent(s) to reconcile the situation between players (age and level of maturity and or severity of offense must be considered).
  2. If the bullying persists, disciplinary action against a player may be taken by the team coach and/or Delaware Union Executive Board which may include, but is not limited to, immediate suspension from participation in practices or game(s) for a period of time.
  3. After the incident/incidents have been investigated and addressed, the situation will continue to be monitored by the respective team coach, team manager, and players' parents to ensure the problem is resolved.

We need the cooperation of all members of the club (Parents, Coaches, Players, and Referees) in order to create an environment free of bullying and committed to make everyone's experience with the Delaware Union a positive one.