Soccer Update from Jerry Snodgrass

To: Athletic Directors of Soccer Playing Schools
From: Jerry Snodgrass, OHSAA Assistant Commissioner
Re: Early Season Soccer Reminders
With the regular season upon us, I thought I would provide you with a few items related to the start of the season. As you know, each school must be represented at a “Rules Interp. Meeting” and many things were conveyed to coaches; from certification requirements to ejection issues. A few things to provide you:
  1. Check your Coach’s Rules Interpretation Meeting Attendance
Rules Interp. meetings are mandatory for each boys and girls head coach. A school must attend to be eligible for the OHSAA tournament. The deadline for completion is Friday, August 17. You can check your coach’s attendance in the myOHSAA system by logging in and clicking “School Summary” under “Participation Info” from the navigational tools on the left. The information is listed at the bottom of the page in the “Sanctioned Sports” section.
  1. A “Point of Reference” to coaches in their Rules Interpretation Meetings deals with administrative coverage at contests. OHSAA Bylaws do not requireadministrative coverage at soccer (though most of you certainly do!) so it often puts the COACH as the administrator in charge of the contest. This includes insuring the safety of officials, handling inclement weather and dealing with severe injuries. It’s just a reminder from ‘me to you’ to remind them of this important responsibility.
  2. Speaking of Crisis Management Plans…Inclement weather is a constant threat in Ohio during the fall. There is no “flash to bang” procedure dealing with lightning and any lightning and/or thunder observed requires a 30-minute delay from the moment it is observed. If 29 minutes elapse and lightning is observed….another 30-minute count begins. Does it test everyone’s patience? Yes. Does it insure safety? Yes. We cover this in detail at Rules Interp. Meetings with coaches and officials. You may want to simply review with your coaches your safety plans in the event inclement weather hits and you are at a volleyball game, a freshmen football game, etc. Just a note of caution.
  3. Red Card Ejections. Unfortunately, they are a reality in soccer. The numbers were up last year and though there has been no directive to officials to ‘target’ players and coaches, EVERY year behavior is a point of reference. If an ejection occurs, you will receive correspondence from the OHSAA and a copy of the official’s report. Officials are to notify you or your Principal within 48 hours to make you aware of the ejection. Though ejections cannot be appealed, there is an opportunity to respond via the “School Response Form” included with the report sent to you. I assure you; they are all read and checked.
  4. In an attempt to better communicate with Soccer Coaches in Ohio, I post an “Ohio Soccer Weekly” communication approximately once per week to address current issues and provide some informative items. I have posted 2 to date and you can read them from the soccer webpage at: http://www.ohsaa.org/sports/so/boys/default.asp
  5. Non-Interscholastic Soccer. It would be a good time to remind coaches to remind their players to not participate in anything non-interscholastically. We continually have issues with players practicing or trying out with non-interscholastic teams that result in ineligibility of the athlete.
  6. “College Tryouts/Workouts”: There have been an increasing number of NCAA and NIAAA colleges that are asking high school seniors to come ‘workout’ (tryout). This is a violation of the non-interscholastic rule.
  7. Anchoring Goals…..Rules do not permit a game to begin if goals are not adequately anchored. A bit like ‘remembering to put up the flag before a FB game’, this is one of those things you might want to just ‘check’ to make sure. They can be anchored into the ground and where this is not done, 3-4 sandbags will suffice.
  8. Rating Officials. I will send more on this later AND I remind coaches several times to RATE THEIR OFFICIALS. This is of special concern when assignors do the assigning of officials. Most often, they will not use myOHSAA to contract officials and therefore the officials are not in ‘the system’. Most likely, you have your GAMES in myOHSAA but often the officials. Your coach may enter them himself after the contest. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions on that. Trying to save you some fine $$$$$ since it is the only way to insure officials get rated; an important part of tournament assignments.
I attempt to communicate with soccer coaches on a ‘weekly’ basis by posting a communiqué called “Ohio Soccer Weekly”. Two have been posted to date and can be accessed on our website or directly at: http://www.ohsaa.org/sports/so/girls/2012/OSW2012.htm. I address common questions and current issues in high school soccer. Please encourage your coach to check these out.
Thanks for your efforts. I know there are many late nights ahead for you in everything from August heat to November cold. Trying to get a bus for an away game or cancelling at the last minute because a team is short players….all behind the scenes things few appreciate. From my end…thanks for providing the opportunity for kids. They just want to play…and you make that possible. Please do not hesitate to email with questions should they arise. I hope this helps just a little before things get very hectic.

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