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New Manager's GuidePrintable

This is a summary of the main steps in getting your team organized. Additional information is provided in the References at the end of this document. This document assumes that you are starting in Spring to register to play in the Fall. Fall registration occurs during May-June. If you are forming your team to play in the Spring season, then you should start these procedures during Nov-Feb so that you can register for Spring soccer in Jan-Mar.


  • Affiliate your team with a club. The club will help you obtain fields and referees for your game. Redwood League will not accept your team unless it is affiliated with a club. It is recommended that you align with a club before recruiting your team.
  • Find one or more coaches. Your club will guide you.
  • Interview your potential coaches. Philosophy, player work ethic, player time, cutting and recruitment of players, number of teams, priority for the coach's time, etc.
  • Note that it is advisable to always have at least two credentialed adults present during each practice and match.


  • Many teams hold their tryouts during December-May.
  • Be careful about recruiting methods. You should advertise your tryout in an open forum. Poaching players from another team is not right.
  • If players are not already registered in CYSA, they must fill out a form 1601 (you can use a xerox copy) in order to be covered with insurance during the tryout. At the end of the tryout, if the player is not joining the team, return the 1601.
  • You may have a maximum of 18 players, but you don't need that many (but be prepared for injury and illness). Note that District 2 limits 8v8 rosters to 13 players.
  • Be sure your players (and their parents) understand the commitment involved.
  • Have a team meeting/party to be sure everyone knows one another before the season starts.
  • Encourage communication with the manager and coach.
  • Open a bank account and have players pay for registration and other costs (set a budget which includes fields, coaching, refs, tournament fees, uniforms and a contingency.


  • Get a team registration packet from your club registrar.
  • Register your team online and print off the Team transmittal document.
  • There are player and coaching forms you must turn in with your Team document. Pay your fees. Follow the instructions included with your team packet.
  • RWL registration is usually due around June, but check this website for the actual deadline
  • Research which bracket in the CCSL is best for you? Are you a brand new team using mostly recreational players? Then Copper might be the right place to start. Are you an experienced team moving from antoher organization? then you may wish to play at a higher level.
  • Get a copy of each Player’s Birth Certificate, Passport, or Driver’s License and any required translation and international forms. e.g., the Foreign Document Translation Form
  • You must register with TWO different websites. Register with Redwood/CYSA to get your player passes, insurance,official roster. Register with CCSL to actually play matches, get a schedule, and see standings.


  • You should work through your Club to schedule your practice fields. RWL teams are not allowed to practice on fields that are outside of Redwood League boundaries. RWL teams are not allowed to practice on fields that are not obtained through your Club. Same for matches.


  • Talk to your Club about team uniforms (some clubs have uniform standards). Order them to allow plenty of time before the season starts.
  • You must have an alternate color jersey.
  • You may need a goalie jersey, goalie gloves, pinnies, cones, goals, and nets.

The home team (not the City or School District) is responsible for the field. Your Club may arrange for marking the field and perhaps nets and corner flags. For game day field preparation, you should have on hand:

  • Corner flags
  • Game balls (at least two, often three, especially if the ball is difficult to retrieve at your field)
  • Something to stake or weigh down the goals
  • Duct tape or net fasteners for last minute net repairs.
  • Sand to fill in holes on the field.


  • Tournaments are typically sanctioned by CYSAN (USYSF) or USClub Soccer. Some tournaments are strict about player and guest player rules. Some are lax. Decide which (if any) tournaments your team would like to play in and apply early.
  • Many Clubs or Leagues sponsor tournaments. Typical format is 2 matches on Saturday,; third match Sunday morning and possibly a 4th match for the best teams on Sunday afternoon.
  • Prestigious tournaments will cost more per match than your league matches. Some tournaments include pins, trophies, t-shirts, programs. Some don't.
  • Generally a tournament deadline is 1-2 months before the tournament, but if you really want to play in a tournament, send in your application early.
  • Besides Club sponsored tournaments, there are District Cup, Founders Cup, Association Cup, Presidents Cup and State Cup. District 2 hosts District Cup - which details, dates, and registration info is posted on the D2 website. Founders Cup, Association Cup, Presidents Cup and State Cup are organized by CYSA and held Jan-Apr. Info and registration forms for these tournaments are found on the CYSA website.


You will get the player and coaches passes and paperwork from RWL in early August. Typically the CCSL playing league schedules will be posted 2-4 weeks before the season starts. Season start is typically the first weekend after Labor Day.

  • Laminate the passes and punch a hole in the longer laminated side
  • Use a key ring to keep all of the passes together (you have to give these to the ref to hold during EVERY game).
  • If a player receives a red card, the ref keeps that players card. Refer to the web site for what you do next
  • Note that you cannot play a game unless you an adult is present with an adult pass.


  • Once you have assigned jerseys, create an electronic roster that includes: player’s name, jersey number and CYSA number. You can do this on the CCSL website.
  • As a back up, or for tournaments, pre-print your roster on an Avery label (you can get six rosters to an Avery 8165--full sheet--label.) Print your roster to a size that will fit on the game card) There are options to do this on the RWL website.
  • Coordinate the order of players on your roster with the order of your player passes on your key ring. It makes referee check in go faster.


  • After the playing leagues post the schedules, submit your team's game dates to your club field coordinator and referee assignor.
  • Once you have your home games assigned, contact your opponents and let them know where and when the games will be held, and give them directions. Post you home games on the website (sometimes multiple websites for opponents, referees and field scheduling).
  • As a courtesy to opponents and as a favor to your team parents, game times should be announced as soon as possible.
  • Familiarize yourself with the playing league's rules of play.


  • Player passes (give these to the referee).
  • Adult and coaching passes (note that you cannot play a game without an adult with a valid pass). (Also give to the referee).
  • Referees are asked to enforce NO PASS - NO PLAY - NO EXCEPTIONS
  • Game card - (Even if you are the Away Team - the Home Team might not have one.) Print the game card from the playing league website.
  • Pre-printed (label) roster for game card as a backup. (Also needed for some tournaments.)
  • Official CYSA roster (golden rod copy from RWL) It is on yellow paper, hence the nick name
  • Official USYSA registration forms (yellow copy) for each player - AKA Form 1601
  • A stamped envelope addressed to your playing league's referee coordinator. Give this to the referee to mail in the pass and send off report should one of your players get a red card
  • First aid kit (including instant ice packs or ice) and cell phone. Program in the direct (7 digit) phone number of your local fire and police department. Dialing 911 on a cell phone might send your phone call to a central dispatch far from your community.
  • FIFA Rules of the Game (it won't do you much good to argue with the ref, but you'll be able to look something up and get the moral victory).
  • Copy of league rules and game durations as posted on this website.
  • Money to pay refs if you are paying them at your home games (check your club's procedures).
  • For home games, bring the above listed equipment to make sure the field is ready to play.


  • The game card serves as the referee's record of the game.
  • Most playing leagues use online score reporting, game cards are used to confirm standings and resolve any disputes.
  • Sign the game card.
  • If you are going to protest a game, write your issue on the game card.
  • Some playing leagues /tournaments, or clubs use the game cards to determine referee payment. Either the referee or the home team will take the card after the game.


  • If you're the home team, check the field. It is the ref's job to check the conditions, it is your responsibility to fix them, so fix them before the refs show up and prevent a delay of game.
  • If the weather is doubtful, check the field conditions the day before or early that AM to assess the likelihood your game will be cancelled. Know the field closure phone number for the field.
  • Have phone numbers of opponents and refs to notify them if game is cancelled.


  • Familiarize yourself with standards for coaching and spectator behavior. Note that the referee may hold the coach responsible for spectator behavior or may choose to terminate the game if spectators get out of control.
  • Credentialed adults and players on one side of the field. Spectators on the other side.
  • Soccer is played in all weather conditions. Only the referee can determine that it is unsafe to play. However, the home team can and should not play if doing so damages the field. Lightning and thunder are rare in our area, so the referee and opponents may not know the rules. Games must be stopped when lightning or thunder is detected and cannot resume till 30 minutes after the last evidence of lightning or thunder.


  • DON'T FORGET to retrieve your passes and maybe the game card from the Referee.
  • Clean up the sidelines and field.
  • Pay and thank the referees.
  • Retrieve your corner flags, goal weights, balls, goal nets.
  • Promptly report the score on the web site
  • Retain the game card in case of a dispute.


  • Tournaments will notify you of your acceptance or rejection 2-4 weeks before the tournament.
  • Roster changes are inevitable. Know about transfers, drops, and adds
  • Keep a record of ALL your game scores (league, tournament, and friendlies). You will need to be able to state your team's record if you appeal your seeding, and also tournament applications may ask for this info.


  • After your first fall season, you will need to decide when (and if) you will play during the winter and fall
  • You will also need to recruit new players if you have attrition.
  • If you are going to play Spring season, then register for CCSL Spring Leagues before March. The Spring Leagues are more flexible in regards to rosters. Guest player rules are relaxed.


  • Communicating through email is wonderful; teach your players’ families to check email regularly for your updates
  • Keep your contact name, email and number on the website current. People will be able to contact you to arrange games. Prospective players will be able to find out about your team. The league will be able to keep you informed.
  • The best team managers don't try to do it all, and instead they delegate, delegate, delegate. This also helps prevent manager burn out. So don't be afraid to ask for help from your team's parents.


Published September 2007
Updated June 27, 2013