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AYSO 114 Long Beach

About Silent Saturdays

Let's always encourage and support our players while they are learning and playing the game, but for this one Saturday, "Mum’s the Word."

Silent Saturday is used in AYSO Regions throughout the country. Its main purpose is to allow kids to just play and have fun. Silent Saturday is a throwback to the old schoolyard days when kids would congregate after school and on weekends just to play all day, without regard to who was winning and repercussions for poor play and decision-making. Coaches are requested to communicate and reinforce this with spectators!

The objectives of Silent Saturday are:

  • To emphasize that the game is about letting the kids have fun and play.
  • To show that kids can play well on their own with limited instruction.
  • To help the few parents and coaches who feel they must provide constant direction, understand how disruptive it can be.
  • To give players the chance to trust their skills and instincts without sideline input.
  • To encourage leadership skills among the individual players as they have the unique opportunity of giving their own instruction on the field.
  • To encourage a sense of true teamwork as the players must learn to rely upon one another and communicate with each other accordingly.
  • To support our volunteer referees, both youth and adult, by eliminating sideline interference and comments.

While the vast majority of adult verbal participation is intended to be positive and constructive, the fact of the matter is that the games have become so loud that players often have difficulty hearing and communicating with each other on the field. Taking one week off from any verbal interference, may help adults gain perspective on just how loud they've been in the past.



5U - 6U

Coaches: You may coach as normal. However, Silent Weekend is an opportunity to be mindful about how much direction / "joystick coaching" you are doing during a typical game. Are you able to manage the game, rather than coaching every moment?

Spectators: You may cheer, however we encourage you to participate in the spirit of Silent Weekend and eliminate any sideline coaching (which you should not be doing anyway), and simply cheer what happened, rather than telling players what to do. If you can support your players through just applauding, please do so.

7U and up

Coaches: Do not provide instruction to players on-the field. Do not use your players as megaphones to provide instructions. Let the kids play! You can talk to players on the bench, and you can make coaching points before the game, during quarter breaks, at halftime, and after the game. Silent Weekend is a great chance to be mindful of how much "over-coaching" you normally do. If you have less experienced players who need support, you may call them over to you during gameplay (they must remain on the field), and have an "indoor voice" conversation calmy and quietly. Use this as an opportunity to encourage leadership in players who are ready to lead the team.

Spectators: You may applaud/clap. Please no noise-makers or horns.

All Players

While on the field, you are encouraged to speak to each other as normal. Continue to support and provide direction to each other, as you have in the past. Players on the bench should may not be used as a megaphone or substitute for their coach's tactical instruction.


For this special day, referees are asked to monitor the spectators' and coaches' adherence to these guidelines and to offer gentle reminders if the recommendations are not being followed. Continue to verbalize often during the game as you normally do. You are there to help the players have a safe, fair and fun time.

IMPORTANT: Silent Weekend is for 114 matches only. EXTRA (Long Beach United) and 14U-19U matches against other regions are NOT subject to Silent Weekend guidelines.

Why Silent Saturdays

This anecdote was excerpted from the "Now What?" section of AYSO's weekly "Hey Coach" email newsletter. Re-posting it here might help to enlighten everyone on what "Silent Saturday" really is supposed to be about. Hopefully it gives coaches ideas on helping their parents also understand what it's about.

"My Region has decided to implement Silent Saturdays as a way to reduce the loud noise on the sidelines and parents are upset! They think their children enjoy the loud sideline noise and cheering. They don’t understand how Silent Saturdays helps the kids. Now What?"

Answer: Silent Saturdays were designed to eliminate the epidemic of parents and coaches yelling instructions from the sidelines. An easy analogy is if you were in the middle of a task, would it help to have someone screaming at you and telling you what to do? No, so why is this acceptable on a soccer field? Parents need to understand the spirit of Silent Saturdays, which is to allow players to make decisions and learn the game. After all if the child doesn't make their own mistakes, it will hinder their development in the sport. If parents think their children are confused and don’t know what to do without sideline instruction, that's an indication that players haven't been allowed to make their own decisions. Players will learn the game by making their own decisions, learning from their mistakes and continuing to play.

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Long Beach, California 90808

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