PYSL FAQ
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Questions

  1. Problems with the PYSL web site?
  2. Where are the team web sites?
  3. Who do I contact with questions?
  4. Will the fall season start before school is back in session?
  5. What can I do to help organize fall league?
  6. What is the time commitment for families and players?
  7. Why is there a player draft for the fall league?
  8. How can I get my child on a team coached by a specific coach?
  9. How can I get my child on the same team with his or her friends?
  10. My child was on a team that didn’t win any games last year. What can we do about that?
  11. My child played in a lot of games last year that had no referees. Why is that?
  12. I’m interested in coaching - How much time will it take?
  13. I’m interested in coaching - How do I get my players?
  14. Where can my team Practice?
  15. My child twisted an ankle. Can my child use an Active Ankle brace?
  16. What’s this I hear about Adobe, Coastal and Valley?
  17. I don’t live in Petaluma. Can my child play in Petaluma?
  18. Why is U16 city-wide?
  19. Do the U16 teams play teams from other cities?
  20. What does it cost to play in U16s?
  21. My child is injured and can’t play. Can we get a refund?
  22. How Should I manage my team?
  23. Do I have to be certified to be a coach?
  24. One of my players dropped out. Can I get a replacement player?
  25. What is the best way to fill out player evaluation cards?
  26. My child just had their ears pierced. Can s/he tape them instead of removing them?
  27. My child has a broken arm. Can kids play if they wrap the cast?
  28. I’m interested in volunteering. Who do I contact?
  29. I’ve seen some coaches yelling at the referees. Is this allowed?
  30. The referee is not calling fouls. Why not?
  31. How do I add an Assistant Coach to my team?
  32. When should I call my players?
  33. How long should a coach wait to hear from a player before considering him a drop?
  34. We don’t like our child’s coach. Can we change teams?
  35. Why can’t I reschedule a game?
  36. One of my players was taken from me and put on a class III team. Why do they do that?
  37. Why are the schedules so late every year?
  38. My child needs to be on the same team for carpooling purposes. Why weren’t they put together?
  39. Why didn't I get the late signup player I asked for?
  40. U10 players pay the same league fees so why do they have so many games without referees?

Problems with the PYSL web site?

If you are having problem with any part of the PYSL web site, you should check the News page for the latest update information. If you still are having problems, send an email to the webmaster.

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Where are the team web sites?

The team web sites are all located on the Team Sites pages. You can find a team on the Team Select Team page by number or seach by league, class, gender or age.

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Who do I call with questions?

You can find the contact information for all the league directors on the Contacts Page.

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Will the fall season start before school is back in session?

There are a few reasons for the league starting before school starts. The 2002 season is exceptional in that it starts much earlier. However, we almost always start before school is back in session. We have two primary limitations. First is that we need to finish the season before daylight savings time ends. Second, we have to fit 12 game seasons in for all of the teams. How long that takes depends on how many teams and how many fields we have. We just don’t have enough fields to compress the schedule into a shorter timeframe. We are in serious trouble with fields. We were scrambling at the last minute just to find enough fields. That was why the schedules tend to be so late.

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What can I do to help organize fall league?

Email reccoord@petalumasoccer.org. We are all volunteers. The more volunteers we get, the easier it is on everyone. Of course we need coaches and referees. There are less visible but necessary areas where we could use help; registration, team setup, database entry and equipment management, score reporting, field striping, just to name a few. Some of these volunteer activities are as little as 30 minutes a week. You may have specific talents that would help us. It is a rewarding experience.

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What is the time commitment for families and players?

The fall league typically involves one game during the week and one game on Saturday. Teams tend to have anywhere from zero to two practices a week.

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Why is there a player draft for the fall league?

We use a draft combined with player evaluations in an attempt to create evenly matched teams. We try to get the same numbers of strong and weak players on all teams. Our goal is to have as many close games as possible so that all players have an enjoyable time.

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How can I get my child on a team coached by a specific coach?

This applies to players playing levels under 8’s and up. Players are picked for teams based on a draft. Coaches and assistant coaches are guaranteed to get their children on their team. Next most important is that we place siblings on the same team (as long as they are the same age and gender). After that, it is difficult to ‘pick’ a coach. You can write a request on your registration form. Coaches pick the players they chose for various reasons and may not be able to accommodate all requests.

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How can I get my child on the same team with his or her friends?

This applies to players playing levels under 8’s and up. Players are picked for teams based on a draft. Coaches and assistant coaches are guaranteed to get their children on their team. Next most important is that we place siblings on the same team (as long as they are the same age and gender). After that, it is difficult to ‘pick’ a coach. You can write a request on your registration form. Coaches pick the players they chose for various reasons and may not be able to accommodate all requests.

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My child was on a team that didn’t win any games last year. What can we do about that?

See the question about the player draft above. It is inevitable that there will be teams that are weak regardless of how hard we try to balance them. We feel that winning is not as important as having fun. What can you do about it? Consider the following possibilities. In the recreational league, it is possible for a team to improve considerably just by raising the skill level of one or two players. Offer to help the coach with practices. Try to build a team atmosphere. Practice separately with your own child. If players are really concerned about winning, they should tryout for the competitive teams rather than play in the recreational league. However, there are many good reasons why a player that could make a competitive team doesn’t play at the competitive level, such as time commitment, etc.

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My child played in a lot of games last year that had no referees. Why is that?

We continue to have difficulty recruiting and retaining referees. The league is always looking for more referees. Referees are paid for games but the pay is not that much for an adult. The pay is significant for older children (U14 boys and girls and above). However, the younger referees are often intimidated by the parents and coaches that yell on the sidelines. Kids are reluctant to discipline adults. We are planning referee classes to certify referees this summer. Email referee@petalumasoccer.org for details.

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I’m interested in coaching - How much time will it take?

This depends on how serious you are as a coach. We think it is good to shoot for at least two sessions a week for your team. Before the season, that might mean two or three practices a week of about 60 to 90 minutes each depending on the age of the players. Once the season starts, you might hold one practice if you have two games a week – in other words a weekday game and a Saturday game. There are a few meetings that coaches need to attend. We suggest you recruit a parent to be team parent. The team parent can make phone calls for you. Recruit a parent to report your scores. Scores are reported via the website.

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I’m interested in coaching - How do I get my players?

See the question about the player draft.

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Where can my team Practice?

PYSL will have fields reserved for practices. These will be announced at the Coaches’ Meetings on July 13 for U10, U12, U14 recreational level and July 27 for developmental (U6, U7 and U8) level coaches.

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My child twisted an ankle. Can my child use an Active Ankle brace?

No hard brace of any kind is allowed. Use a soft brace or tape the ankle.

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What’s this I hear about Adobe, Coastal and Valley?

Petaluma Soccer is organized or divided up into three clubs. We do this mainly so that we can divide up the volunteer work more easily. The three clubs are Adobe, Coastal and Valley. The dividing lines are Washington Street. and U.S. 101. Everything west of 101 is Coastal. The east side of 101 is split at Washington Street. South of Washington Street. is Valley. North of Washington Street, including Penngrove, is Adobe.

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I don’t live in Petaluma. Can my child play in Petaluma?

You need to get a transfer from your local league. Don’t wait until the last minute because these can take a long time.

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Why is U16 city-wide?

There are much fewer players signing up for U16. There is a big drop-off when kids get to high school. Because there are so few teams (boys had just two and girls had three last year), it is impossible to maintain the club boundaries (adobe, coastal and valley). So, we just mix them all up and try to balance the teams skill wise.

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Do the U16 teams play teams from other cities?

Yes. Since there are not enough players and teams in Petaluma to form a complete league, PYSL joins with surrounding towns to make a playing league for players in this age group. While some travel is involved, these are not "traveling" teams. There are no overnight trips and no pressure for trips, trainers or special uniforms for league play. Teams can decide to add these items as well as tournament play. The travel to nearby cities such as Novato, Windsor and Sonoma. U16 teams typically have games on both Saturday and Sunday.

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What does it cost to play in U16s?

There are no overnight trips and no pressure for trips, trainers or special uniforms for league play. Teams can decide to add these items as well as tournament play. It is PYSL's policy that because this is a recreational program, additional expense is not required of any player.

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My child is injured and can’t play. Can we get a refund?

Yes. Contact the registrar. See the contacts page.

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How Should I manage my team?

Here are some suggestions for making it easier on the coach. Recruit an assistant coach. Recruit a team manager (Team Mom) - someone to make phone calls, set up a drink schedule, etc. Recruit a score reporter - enter scores on website

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Do I have to be certified to be a coach?

No. We encourage our coaches to get certified. The lowest level certification, F, is a one day class. See the classes section of this website.

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One of my players dropped out. Can I get a replacement player?

Yes, if we have players on the waiting list. Contact your director. Yes, The coach should call his or her director. The director should accumulate the drops and replacement requests and get them to the Recreational Coordinator. The Recreational Coordinator will work with the registrar to see if there are any available players on the waiting list. In the meantime, the coaches should at least think about recruiting someone.

The rules for getting players are as follows: The team with the fewest players gets the next player on the waiting list. That is regardless of who recruited the player. You can not add another player if there are other teams with less players – UNLESS the teams with fewer players don’t want any more players. Do not call the registrar directly. Please confirm that the player is dropping. We don’t want any coaches getting impatient because they haven’t been able to contact a player yet. Some coaches didn’t start calling until late July. Give the players at least through the first week in August.

What does the Recreational Coordinator need from the director? Include all information about the drop in you email to the Recreational Coordinator (don’t leave a voice message. If it isn’t written down, the Recreational Coordinator won’t remember it – The Recreational Coordinator just gets too many calls). The Recreational Coordinator needs to know the following (don’t make the Recreational Coordinator look it up):

  1. Player name
  2. Player phone number
  3. Age
  4. Gender
  5. Team number
  6. Coach
  7. Coach phone number
  8. Director phone number
  9. The registration form (the ‘yellow’)

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What is the best way to fill out player evaluation cards?

We suggest that you start thinking about your evaluations before the mid point of the season. By then you should have a pretty good idea about your players skills. There are eight evaluation points. Consider setting up a grid in a spreadsheet or on a piece of graph paper. List the players on the left. List the skills across the top. Start with your best players in each rating category and work down from there. Pictures! I recommend bringing a camera to a game and asking the team manager (team mom) to take a quick snapshot of each player. These aren’t glamour shots. Develop them and cut them down to one inch by one inch squares. Please tape them rather than staple them to the evaluation cards. They are much easier to shuffle.

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My child just had their ears pierced. Can s/he tape them instead of removing them?

They must be removed. No exceptions. This rule has been enforced inconsistently in the past but will be enforced uniformly this season. The best option is to wait until November to get pierced.

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My child has a broken arm. Can kids play if they wrap the cast?

No. Sorry, no casts or other hard or rigid splints or devices. This is a safety issue for the person with the cast and the other players. Any hard objects can't be worn even if they are wrapped. The player can play with a wrap as long as nothing is buried inside. This rule has been enforced inconsistently in the past but will be enforced uniformly this season.

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I’m interested in volunteering. Who do I contact?

We need people to stripe fields. It takes about 20 to 40 minutes a week. Time depends on the size of the field. Frequency depends on how fast the grass is growing. Contact the fields and equipment person. See the contacts section for the fields and equipment person’s phone number. We need people to coordinate score reporting for the various age/gender/club groups. The job involves helping people learn to report their scores, resolve inconsistencies when two coaches report different scores for the same game and hounding coaches who don’t report their scores. Contact the recreational coordinator. See the contacts section for the recreational coordinator’s phone number. We need referees. You need to be certified. Contact the head referee for certification classes and licensing details. See the contacts section for the head referee’s phone number. We need referee schedulers. This job involves calling referees and assigning them to games. You need to be organized. You will probably get calls from refs wanting to do games. You will probably have to call referees. We will provide you with a list of referees.

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I’ve seen some coaches yelling at the referees. Is this allowed?

No. It is never allowed. Those coaches should be warned with a yellow card. A second yellow card is the equivalent of a red card. A red card means the coach (or player) must leave the game and the vicinity of the field. There are several problems with this behavior. It undermines the referees. It discourages referees from being referees. We are already in need of refs and we don’t want to lose more people. It sets a bad example for the players. It encourages the parents to criticize the referees. In the worst cases, it can lead to physical confrontations between spectators from opposing teams.

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The referee is not calling fouls. Why not?

The obvious answer is that the referee won’t see all fouls. In some cases the referee will not call a foul if it would penalize the team that was fouled. For example, if a player gets pushed but he still retains possession of the ball, you wouldn’t want to stop play and let that player take a free kick because it would enable the opposing team to get their players into better positions. I know it is hard to see our little babies getting pushed around but pushing is part of the game. Take a look at high school, college and professional level soccer and you will see a lot more pushing than we permit.

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How do I add an Assistant Coach to my team?

To add an Assistant Coach to your team, the Assistant coach must fill out a coaching application and file it with the league Registrar. You can pick up the forms at the Registrar's house, located at 1712 Pine Avenue, Petaluma CA 94954, in the file box on the porch. If your Assistant coach is already in the PYSL staff database, then you can assign them to your team. Goto your Team / Setup / Data page.

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When should I call my players?

Right after the draft. Otherwise, the directors get a lot of calls asking who’s team their child is on.

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How long should a coach wait to hear from a player before considering him a drop?

Wait until the first week of August. In past seasons we were lucky to have the drafts done by August first.

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We don’t like our child’s coach. Can we change teams?

No. This question comes up every year. And some coaches are loved by some players and not loved (to put it mildly) by others. We don’t always have the luxury of choosing the best coaches. Sometimes we need to recruit coaches. Parents are asked to fill out coaches evaluations at the end of the season. But the best thing to do is to become a good coach, yourself. I know it’s not easy. It takes time. But your child will really appreciate it.

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Why can’t I reschedule a game?

The directors and board members don't have the time to handle rescheduling games. It takes a lot of time and involves several people. We are already using our fields fully and don't have many if any available free slots. We need to keep free slots - that we know are free - so that we can reschedule games to those free slots in emergencies. What are the emergencies? Rainouts. Double booking by Parks and Rec or the schools. Mistakes in our scheduling process causing double bookings. If a coach, just trying to be helpful, rescheduled a game into one of those slots, then we might wind up with a double booking because of a game we had to move.

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One of my players was taken from me and put on a class III team. Why do they do that?

The overall goal of PYSL is to move players up to the more advanced levels. We do not stand in the way of a player wanting to do that. I know it is a blow to a coach to lose one of his/her best players. Since we are in recreational soccer, coaches have to realize that it is just for fun and winning really takes second place.

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Why are the schedules so late every year?

We continue to have problems procuring fields and getting them ready. We can’t create the schedules until we know how many fields we have to work with. We do not have enough volunteers to help with fields. It is a lot of work.

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My child needs to be on the same team for carpooling purposes. Why weren’t they put together?

See the question Why is there a player draft for the fall league? In addition, matching up car pooling requests on top of siblings and fielding other requests makes it much more time consuming to form teams. We don’t have the volunteers to handle that workload. There are also cases in which a coach wants one of the players but doesn’t want the other player; Reasons include personalities, difficult parents, etc. Finally, if it is important to you to get certain players together, you should be a coach or assistant coach.

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Why didn't I get the late signup player I asked for?

There is no guarantee that a waiting list player will wind up on a particular team. The team with the fewest players gets the first player on the waiting list unless that team doesn't want any more players. This is not negotiable. In the case where there are a lot of late signups and there are a lot of teams needing players, it can be possible to get the player you recruited. In those cases, make sure the player writes the coaches name prominently across the top of the registration form. This situation is not that common.

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U10 players pay the same league fees so why do they have so many games without referees?

Some question why the U10 players have to pay as much as the older players when they have more games without referees. First, not all U12 and U14 games have referees. Second, we had more referees at U10 games in 2002 than in the recent past. We continue to have problems finding and retaining referees willing to do U10 games. There are a few factors that contribute to this problem. Older, experienced referees typically do not want to referee U10 games. That leaves us dependent on a steady supply of young referees - our older players. These referees tend to be less experienced. The biggest factor affecting the supply of referees in U10 games is the adults. The parents and coaches yell, criticize and exhibit bad behavior more often than in U12 and U14 games. The older, experienced referees (even adults) do not want to deal with this. The younger referees get a taste of the abuse and decide to quit. We lose about half of our young referees each year. The league goes to a great expense to train referees for U10s and some parents and coaches inadvertently chase them off. The bottom line is that the U10 parents and coaches perpetuate the problem. In effect, their money is being spent but they are not getting good results for their money. The answer is for the coaches and parents to set a good example for the few overbearing adults at U10 games. Remember often even our young referees are the most knowledgeable soccer people at the U10 games.

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