Sideline Etiquette 

US Youth Soccer: Parents

The US Youth Soccer Association is a wonderful source of information regarding such things as;


While enthusiasm and cheering can be inspiring, and it is natural to get caught up in the emotion of the game, soccer parents should take care to follow proper sideline etiquette.

Step 1:
  • Cheer, don't coach. Avoid yelling specific instructions and issuing commands. This can be extremely confusing for a child and possibly contrary to the coach's instructions

Step 2:

  • Avoid running up and down the sidelines shouting. If you want to follow the action, make sure that you don't distract the players or block the view of other spectators

Step 3:

  • Keep some comments to yourself. Do not speak out to the referee or linesmen. Unless they are complimentary, do not direct comments to members of the opposition

Step 4:

  • Stay away from the goals. In many youth leagues, standing behind the goal is prohibited

Step 5:

  • Stand, or sit, at least 3 to 5 yards back from the sidelines (touchlines). Again, this is a rule in many youth leagues

Step 6:

  • Demonstrate good sportsmanship by applauding exceptional moves by the opposition.


  • Practice silence. Sometimes it is more relaxing for both parents and players, and you will likely view the game differently as well.
  • Ask your children if they like you to cheer. The answer may surprise you.
  • Be positive, never negative. If a child loses the ball, for example, "Way to hustle," is much better than "You can get that ball."


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