Rainier Valley Slammers
Player Handbook 2013-2014
We have learned that one key ingredient of success is clear, consistent communication between the club, its teams and coaches, and players and parents. This Handbook is one way of explaining the expectations of you as a member of Auburn Youth Soccer Association NW and the Rainier Valley Slammers club. This Handbook will help answer questions about the club’s decision making process. As you have committed to become a member of the Rainier Valley Slammers, it is important you take time to read the following pages carefully.
The Club and Team
Members of Rainier Valley Slammers (also referred to as “the Club”) agree to put the Club ahead of the team. When decisions are made regarding conflicts between the Club and a particular team, the Club will come first. Club decisions will be made by a majority vote of the AYSA Board or duly appointed committee. The decisions of the Board will be final and without appeal.
The Team and The Individual
Members of Rainier Valley Slammers agree to put the team ahead of the individual player. If conflicts arise between the team and a player or parent, the Team Coach under the direction of the Director of Coaching will be responsible for making decisions for the good of the team. These decisions will be made after considering all relevant information and consultation of those involved. The coach’s decision will be objective and will be based on their best evaluation of the facts. Once a decision has been made, it is final. Players and parents must agree to abide by the decision.
You are not under any pressure to join the Club. Instead, we hope you and your parents will consider all of your options and choose what will be best for you, taking into consideration your goals and aspirations as a person and a soccer player. Once you commit to join Rainier Valley Slammers, you agree to abide by the policies of the Club and your team. This commitment is for one soccer season only. The soccer season begins after tryouts and continues through the following April or May, depending on the age group and/or success of the team through state, regional, and national competition. At the end of the soccer season your commitment to the Club is over, and you are free to leave the Club if you feel it is in your best interest.
The next soccer season, you are again free to tryout under the tryout guidelines. Remember, in the event your team qualifies for regional or national competition, we expect your full commitment to your team through the end of that competition regardless of your status with the Club for the following season. We expect our players and parents to be ethical and honest and to honor their commitments, both verbal and written. Therefore, you should make your decisions thoughtfully and carefully. Once your commitment is made, the Club expects your full participation and support for the entire soccer season. Take into account that when you make your commitment, the coaching staff may need to inform potential players that they did not make the team. Please be sensitive to others and consider your decision carefully. If you have committed to the Club, the Club will also be ethical and honest, honoring its commitment to you. No player will be cut from a team during a soccer season unless it is for disciplinary reasons or failure to fulfill financial obligations. The Club can suspend training at any time, however, if such action is necessary to enforce the collection of fees.
As a member of Rainier Valley Slammers, you are responsible for your own performance and conduct. Honesty, communication, and reliability will be expected at all times. This requires that you maintain a healthy lifestyle and a healthy team attitude. Any use of drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes is not acceptable to the Club and may result in temporary suspension or even removal from the team. In addition, our Club will insist you maintain a positive team attitude and personal sense of sportsmanship and fair play. At all Club or team functions you will be expected to conduct yourself in a respectable manner and to represent the Club and your team in a positive way.
Before, During and After Games
During the soccer season, the team and its players participate in practices, league competitions, tournaments, US Club Soccer State and National Cup. The coaches will make decisions on player selections, game lineup, player positions, amount of playing time, tournament participation, etc. Players agree to be positive in fulfilling the role they are asked to perform for the team at any given moment, not being in the starting lineup, not playing a desired amount, or playing in a different position.
From the designated arrival time at all practices and games, players are expected to concentrate on soccer. Players must arrive on time with required equipment (shoes, proper Rainier Valley Slammers Training or Game Uniform, soccer ball, shin guards, etc.) and be ready to practice or play. Practicing and playing require undivided attention. Therefore, there will be no visiting between players and parents, family and friends, pets or others who might cause players to lose focus on soccer, from immediately before the practice or game until they have been dismissed by the coach. This includes half-time and the conclusion of the games, when players are expected to get water, then immediately join the team and coach for game discussion or team adjustments. There will be times between games when the coach will require the team to stay together while waiting for the next game. When team responsibilities are over, players are free to join family and friends. Nutrition and rest are also part of the player’s personal responsibility as a member of Rainier Valley Slammers. We expect players to eat nutritious, healthy food in a timely fashion so as not to interfere with performance. If players have questions about which foods are best for performing athletes, please ask the Team Coach.
Coaching and the Player
The Director of Coaching and the Team Coaches are responsible for creating an environment where you can play quality, competitive soccer. The soccer we play will be taken very seriously. We recognize there are things more important in life than soccer. In terms of priority, family and education come first. However, if the coaches see that you are not willing to put your soccer above other recreational activities during the season, it may affect your playtime and/or your status with the Club. As a member of Rainier Valley Slammers, we expect you to commit to the sport of soccer and your team as your first recreational activity and priority. Do not expect the coaches to praise everything you do well. After a time, there are things the coach will come to expect from every player. There are times they will be critical of players, and other times they will be generous with praise. Players are expected to take constructive criticism, along with praise for a job well done, and be able to deal with both.
Our attempt with this agreement is to clearly present exactly what will be expected of you and what you can expect of the Club, the team, and the coaches. If you are uncertain what is expected, it is your responsibility to ask on of your coaches. By knowing and understanding these expectations, your participation in the Club will be positive for you as you develop you soccer abilities to the highest level possible. We have expectations of the Club, the team, the coaches, and you. These expectations are really the rules, regulations, and policies for Rainier Valley Slammers. So that you and every player in our Club can get the maximum benefits, we need you and every player to abide by the Club rules, regulations, and policies.
If disciplinary actions are necessary, the following steps may be taken:
1. The Team Coach and/or Director of Coaching will discuss the problem directly and privately with the player, with the assumption the problem will be corrected immediately.
2. If the problem persists, the Team Coach and/or Director of Coaching will communicate with the player’s parents to discuss the problem and lack of response on the part of the player.
3. If the problem still continues, the Director of Coaching and/or Team Coach may temporarily suspend the player from training. If the situation warrants, the Director of Coaching may recommend to the Board that the player be removed from the Club. The Director of Coaching will notify the parents of the recommendation.
4. The parents of any player recommended for removal from the Club may request to meet with the Board and the Director of Coaching. Our desire is to work in a positive, constructive way with you to help solve the problems you may have. After we have exhausted all efforts to solve the problem, we will be left with little choice other than to pursue disciplinary action as outlined above.
Intra-Club Transfer Policy
A player making a commitment to a Rainier Valley Slammers team does so for the entire length of the season. Any player wishing to transfer within the club prior to fulfilling their entire commitment must understand that the Club reserves the right to approve or disapprove their request. Intra-club transfer will only be granted when all participating parties are in complete agreement. The parties involved are: Player, Parent, Coach of existing team, Coach of new team, Director of Coaching, and Rainier Valley Slammers (AYSA) Board. Any player fulfilling their seasonal commitment to Rainier Valley Slammers team is free to tryout for any other Rainier Valley Slammers team at the appropriate time.
Elections of new officers are held each year at the Annual General Meeting. A list of officers will be posted on the AYSA website after the elections are held. The protocols for elections are in the AYSA Bylaws.
Rainier Valley Slammers, as part of the Auburn Youth Soccer Association NW, will hold meetings on the 3rd Monday of each month. The place and time for meetings will vary but you may check the website of contact your Team Board Representative, Team Manager, or any board member for the time and location. You are welcome and encouraged to attend all meetings. The assigned Team Board Representative is required to attend each meeting and give a brief team update as well as report back to their team on club happenings.
Team and Club Functions
Players are expected to participate in all team and club functions. Even when a player is injured, that player is expected, if possible, to attend games to support their team. Players are also encouraged to support other Rainier Valley Slammers teams by attending their games, especially when teams advance during State Cup play and other key tournaments.
Each player will be fitted during a scheduled Uniform Fit night. Each player is required to order and pay for their personal order. Players will be required to wear the designated training or game uniform to all training session and games. No other club or team gear shall be worn at any time during training or games (including warm-ups and time on the bench).
All families are required to participate in the Auburn Youth Soccer Association NW/Rainier Valley Slammers fundraisers each year. During the initial team meeting, the Club will be asking for several volunteers willing to work together to lead those fundraising efforts.
The mandatory club fundraisers for the 2013-14 season are as follows:
Rainier Valley Slammers Classic Tournament, which is scheduled for June 28-30, 2013, at Starfire
AYSA Auction: The Auction is our annual fundraiser and is our primary means to provide scholarships to players. Each team will be required to provide donated items for the Auction and, in addition, each team is required to designate representatives to work on the planning committee. Each player will receive two Auction dinner tickets as part of the annual player’s fee structure. All players are required to take part in the annual Auction or pay an opt-out fee of $150 per family (must be same member account or last name). This is a decision that needs to be made carefully. Once a decision is made to either participate in the Auction or to opt-out, the choice cannot be reversed.
Guidelines FOR participating in the Auction:
*Sell no less than 20 Raffle Tickets at a price of $5 each.
*Procure an item to be auctioned off at the event. This item should have a retail value of $35 or more.
*Contribute to the "Team Basket.” Each team is required to put together a themed basket with a value of at least $150 to be auctioned off.
*Each team will have assigned duties at the event and our expectation is for you to provide any necessary help. Duties could include one of the following:
*Selling tickets at the event (Raffle, Drink, etc.)
*Attend the Auction or give your tickets away. Two tickets are included with your registration fee.
Guidelines for NOT participating in the Auction:
*Pay the $150 Opt-out Fee.
* Contribute to the "Team Basket." Each team is required to put together a themed basket with a value of at least $150 to be auctioned off.
*Attend the Auction or give your tickets away. Two tickets are included with your registration fee.
The optional club fundraisers for the 2013-14 season are as follows:
Selling Golazo: To help offset player fees, Rainier Valley Slammers has partnered with Golazo to sell their Sports Hydration Drink. 80% of the profit will go to the player to use for their player fee, or team expenses.
Teams are encouraged to do other fundraisers as desired. (All fundraisers must be approved by the Board.)
Rainier Valley Slammers Gives Back Program – Community Service
Each team is required to take part in or plan one community service event during the year. Teams are welcome to work together. Possible ideas include food drives, coat drives, park clean up, filling sand bags, etc. If possible, teams are encouraged to submit a summary and photographs of their event participation to the AYSA webmaster.
Auburn Youth Soccer Association NW and Rainier Valley Slammers has reserved a limited amount of funds that are available to those truly in need of financial assistance. All scholarship applications must be completed and submitted no later than June 1, 2013. Funds are limited, so please ensure you submit your request prior to the deadline. No late scholarship applications and no incomplete applications will be accepted. The Auburn Youth Soccer Association/Rainier Valley Slammers scholarship application form may be found on the website at www.auburnsoccer.org. If you cannot submit your application online, please contact the AYSA Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (714) 299-4765. Scholarships do not cover 100% of club fees. All scheduled payments must be made until notified that a scholarship has been awarded toward the middle/end of June.
List of Team Jobs
There are many areas where volunteer activity is required to support a successful program. All parents are urged to become involved by choosing one of the following jobs:
Team Manager – Coordinates all of the team volunteers. When something needs to be done for the team, the coach should only have to call the Team Manager and the Team Manager gets the word out to the appropriate coordinator(s). The Team Manager should be available to contact team members with changes to team schedule, and must be able to get other necessary communications out to players and parents in a timely fashion. The Team Manager also keeps a book of player information including rosters, medical release forms, player cards, etc. They also coordinate the details for league, tournament, and post-season State Cup play.
Team Treasurer – Manages the financial records for team expenses outside the budgeted club payments. Collects money from individual and team fundraising, maintains a ledger for all money collected (player and team), deposits all money to the designated club account. This position is guided by the Association Treasurer.
Team Board Representative – This parent will attend ALL Auburn Youth Soccer Association Board meetings. Each team MUST have a representative at each Board meeting. The purpose is to report how and what the team is doing, relate team issues to the Board, and to report back to the coach, team manager and other team parents any important information discussed during the meeting. Occasionally, distribution of club paperwork, uniform items and spirit wear may be made to the Team Board Representative at Board meetings. Board meetings are held the 3rd Monday of each month. Date, time, and location will be posted on the AYSA website. The Team Board Representative is the team’s voting member on all policy matters brought before the Board. Each team gets one vote.
Auction Committee Representative – Coordinates the distribution and collection of raffle tickets and money. Works with the team to come up with a Theme for the team basket and collect all the items for the basket as well as individual auction items procured by each participating player. Coordinates team volunteers for the Auction -- each team is required to have 4 volunteers available on the day of the Auction. Attends 3 to 4 Auction Committee meetings (possibly as soon as June). Follows directions of the Auction Chairpersons and must be able to communicate with families.
Club/Team Event Coordinators – These parents will communicate with the Board and work with Club Coordinators to help promote, plan, and coordinate club events such as the Rainier Valley Slammers Classic and the annual Auction. They will also coordinate team social events including the end of year team party and other occasional fun activities for the players. They also must communicate with the Team Manager and Team Treasurer before planning any events.
Hotel Coordinator – Assists the Team Manager in making hotel/travel arrangements for team tournaments or league games that require an overnight stay. Communicates with parents when they need to call and pay for rooms. For summer tournaments, reservations need to be made VERY early to insure accommodations.
First Aid Coordinator – Purchases and maintains the team’s first-aid kit (using team funds). The first aid kit needs to be present at practices, games and team events. If the coordinator is not in attendance, he/she will need to work with the Team Manager to find a back-up.
Uniform Coordinator – Academy Teams ONLY – Works with the club to order, receive, and distribute uniforms.
Equipment Manager – Brings or arranges for necessary equipment at all games including, team bench, canopy, etc.
Team Photographer/Picture Coordinator – Coordinates team photography and videography. Takes candid pictures and/or video throughout the year at practices, games, tournaments and other team events. Posts the photos and/or video on a shared team site. (May want to have 2 or 3 people for this job.)
College Coordinator (U15 and above) – Works with the Club College Coordinator to assist players and parents in preparing for upcoming college needs. Also prepares team profile booklets for recruiting tournaments (should be someone with good communication and writing skills).
Financial Policy – Club Fees
The Association payment policy gives each family multiple choices to pay for the player fees. Parents can choose to pay the annual fee at once or enroll in the convenient payment plan for a small monthly fee. Parents and players will be given a payment schedule as well as a budget that estimates the team’s expenses for the upcoming season. Upon accepting a spot with Rainier Valley Slammers, each parent/guardian and player will be required to sign the Terms of Acceptance Agreement and adhere to the payment schedule. When older teams shut down for high school season, the financial obligation and payment and schedule for the club fees continues. We realize that occasionally things happen that could make payment of expenses challenging. If this situation arises, please contact the Association Treasurer at email@example.com who will work with you through this period.
Should the monthly payment not process for whatever reason, a 10-day grace period will be extended to allow the parents the opportunity to correct the situation. At that time, parents must log into their member account from the AYSA website and make their monthly payment. Failure to make the monthly payment within the 10-day grace period will result in the player’s card being pulled and participation in the program stopped (includes, but not limited to, practices, tournaments, league games, and scrimmages). Collection expenses will be the responsibility of the parent(s) if this action is necessary.
Payment during injury -- Unfortunately, players can get injured. If the injury is short-term, payment of club fees need to be made. If the injury is long term and could result in a player missing several months, the parent/player must notify the Association Registrar (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Association Treasurer (email@example.com) in writing as soon as possible. A doctor’s note confirming inability to play must be submitted with any request to alter a payment schedule due to non-participation. Additionally, a doctor’s note releasing the player back to play must be submitted to the Association Registrar and Treasurer. It is also helpful for the coach and team manager to notify the Association Registrar and Treasurer immediately of any long-term player injury. Any financial adjustments for injuries will be handled on an individual case basis. At time of registration, all parents and players will be required to read and sign the Washington State mandatory concussion compliance law.
Players Who Join Late -- Players who join a team during the 1st and 2nd months (June and July) of the season will pay all scheduled club payments for the season. Those who join during the 3rd - 11th months will be given a payment schedule based on prorated fees for all non-fixed costs in the club fee budget. All U10-U18 players are responsible for 100% of uniform and training kit costs.
Players Who Leave Early – If a player decides to leave their Rainier Valley Slammers team before the end of the season, termination must be made in writing by the parent/player (by mail to Rainier Valley Slammers address or via email to the Board. Mailing address and email addresses can be found on the AYSA Website). Financial obligations to the club continue until the Board is properly notified. The minimum amount due for players who leave their team early is equal to the first 3 scheduled payments. Money paid for uniform and practice kit items is non-refundable. If a player leaves their team between the 4th and 7th month of the season and a termination notice was properly given to the Board, then club fees will be prorated to the termination date. Players who terminate between the 8th and 11th month of the season will be obligated to pay all club fees on the payment schedule.
Questions and Concerns
If there are questions or concerns regarding playing time, training, coaching, etc. please direct them to the coach first. Please do not address these issues during practice time or at games when the coach needs to work with the players. The coach is willing to work with you at other times. The appropriate path of resolution for these types of concerns is Coach, Director of Coaching, and finally the Auburn Youth Soccer Association Board.
If you have questions about an area identified on the Team Job List please direct them to the person who is assigned to that job for your individual team or your Team Manager.
Please address all other question or concerns first with your Team Manager. If your concern cannot be resolved at the team level, contact the Auburn Youth Soccer Association Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org to have the item added to the agenda for the next Board meeting.
All payment questions should be directed to the Association Treasurer at email@example.com.
In closing, it is everyone’s intention to have a positive, nurturing and productive experience with the Auburn Youth Soccer Association and Rainier Valley Slammers. We believe clear and concise communication between the Association and its members is the foundation for long-term success. We look forward to supporting each other as we build a program that allows our young athletes to grow and prosper as soccer players and good citizens.