WPL Ethics Policy

Puget Sound Premier League - Ethics & Anti-Discrimination Policy


Membership in any Puget Sound Premier League, or other PSPL competitions, is considered to be an automatic acceptance of its rules, policies and procedures. Membership is defined as players, teams and clubs agreeing to play in PSPL-run leagues, events or tournaments. 


Ethics Mission Statement 

The purpose of this league is to set the highest standards for Soccer Clubs to develop youth players to their fullest potential – both physically, emotionally, ethically and tactically. As such, participants must conduct themselves to the highest standard. At all times, adult participants are expected to be role models for the youth players who participate in this league. Adult participants are expected to exhibit good sporting behavior in victory and defeat.  All participants in PSPL Events are members of US Club Soccer and therefore must adhere faithfully to its stated bylaws, rules and policies as well as to their intent.

In addition to the league's ethics Mission Statement, here are additional rules and policies that govern PSPL participants in events, leagues and tournaments:

Discrimination Policy

1(a) The Washington Premier League is an equal opportunity organization and does not engage in, or allow discrimination based on age, ethnicity, gender, national orgin, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic background.

1(b) The WPL’s position on the issue of racism is unequivocal: racism or any form of discrimination simply have no place in youth soccer. The PSPL is actively committed to fighting all kinds of discrimination within soccer and within society as a whole. 

1(c) Discrimination of any kind against a player, team, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by fine, suspension or expulsion.

Coaches & Player Policies

2(a) No coach/player will have in his/her possession, or consume, alcoholic beverages during any PSPL event.

2(b) All coaches, managers, players and spectators will adhere to the PSPL Code of Ethics.

2(c) Any coach, manager or official found guilty by a PSPL Ethics Committee of knowingly using an ineligible player(s) (over-age, improperly registered, or under disciplinary suspension) will be suspended from participation in all PSPL activities for the current and potentially the subsequent seasonal year

Club officials of the PSPL, including PSPL Staff members, shall not:

3(a) Recruit Players – The definition of “recruit” for purposes of this league shall be: Approaching a player who is registered to and actively playing for another team within a PSPL or US Club Soccer Club and asking them to either try-out, play or guest play for any other team, without first receiving prior written permission from the player’s current club Director Of Coaching – even for purposes of guest play. (Email is considered acceptable “written permission”).

3(b) Acquire whole teams from outside a Club’s natural boundary area. Natural boundary is defined as the area where the majority of your membership lives, where your club has traditionally trained players and hosted home games.

3(c) Engage in behavior so as to be suspended, by any WPL or US Club Soccer disciplinary body, and/or acquire enough accumulated points (see disciplinary point system) so as to be required to stand before any US Club Soccer or PSPL disciplinary body.

4(a) Unnecessarily hamper the playing of any scheduled match at its originally scheduled time and place, or cause undue hardship should the re-schedule of a match become necessary.

5(a) Allow players to exhibit unsporting behavior before, during, or after any sanctioned match or practice. This includes, but is not limited to blaming, (or teach players to blame) others in the case of defeat, or to excuse unsporting behavior.

5(b) Accept players from another club who have outstanding fees to another member of PSPL Premier Soccer or US Club Soccer. (Clubs should have written player/parent agreements for each year)

6(a)  Take a team en masse to another club. Players are free to play for any youth soccer club but US Club-registered players must agree to practice and play home games in the traditional boundary area of that club. If a team of players follows a coach to another club, that coach is prohibited from coaching those same players in the new club for one complete, 12-month soccer season.

7(a)  Hold try-out related activities in a neighboring Clubs community without contacting the affected neighboring Clubs to receive approval for usage of their home based fields.

8(a) Participate in the PSPL leagues while openly working to undermine its operations, solicit PSPL clubs to move to alternative leagues not sanctioned by US Club Soccer, or take advantage of the privilege and platform created by the PSPL to persuade players, coaches, teams and clubs to join a league or organization in direct competition with the PSPL.  

Hearing Process

1.1 - PSPL club representatives seeking to appeal a league decision or raise other grievances related to league business, rules, ethics or financial policies can file a claim through the League's Ethics Policy composed of at least three, but no more than, seven league officials or representatives, who will act as the League's Grievance Committee.

1.2 - PSPL club representative alleged to be in violation of United States Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer or PSPL Codes of Ethics rules will face PSPL Hearing Committee composed of at least three, but no more than, seven league officials, who will act as the League’s Ethics Committee.

1.3 - Petitioners seeking to file a grievance must file an Exception Request report to the league office and pay a $200 non-refundable application fee. 

1.4 - The complaint and/or grievance will be sent to PSPL Discipline Committee. The petitioner shall submit a written claim with supporting evidence to the committee. The committee will return a written decision within 10 working days. Decisions are final.  

1.5 - In an ethics hearing, if a PSPL club representative is accusing another PSPL club representative, individual, club, or organization of an ethical violation, the petitioner must file a Violation Report and submit to Discipline Committee. The petitioner shall pay a $300 deposit to formally activate the hearing process. 

1.6 - A formal ethics violation will trigger an automatic panel hearing in front of the PSPL Ethics Committee. A hearing would involve up to 30 days to arrange following formal approval of the complaint. The losing party in an ethics complaint would be responsible for paying the deposit fee and any other expenses incurred in organizing the hearing. 

1.7 - The Grievance and Ethics committees reserve the right to formally approve or deny the merits of the complaint, claim or allegation. 

1.8 - Allegations of ethics violations will be made in accordance with United States Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer and PSPL Premier Soccer rules and operating procedures, with a copy sent to the Chair of the PSPL Discipline Committee. A written decision of suspension by a  PSPL disciplinary body is automatically considered to be a written allegation of a PSPL Ethics Violation.

1.9 - Petitioners have the right to appeal the decisions by the Grievance and Ethics committees to U.S. Club Soccer and to the United States Soccer Federation. 


PSPL Coaches Code of Ethics

Purpose: This code of ethics has been developed to clarify and distinguish approved and accepted professional, ethical and moral behavior from that which is detrimental to the development of soccer within the PSPL and US Club Soccer Organizations.

Article I - Responsibilities to Players


(1) The coach shall never place the value of winning over the safety and welfare of players.

(2) Coaches shall instruct players to play within the laws of the game and within the spirit of the game at all times.

(3) Coaches shall not seek unfair advantage by teaching deliberate unsportsmanlike behavior to players.

(4) Coaches should not tolerate inappropriate behavior from players regardless of the situation.

(5) Demands on players’ time should never be so extensive as to interfere with academic goals or progress.

(6) Coaches must never encourage players to violate PSPL recruitment, eligibility or player’s rules and policies.

(7) Coaches should direct players to seek proper medical attention for

injuries and to follow the physician’s instructions regarding treatment and recovery.

(8) Coaches should take an active role in educating their players about sports nutrition, fitness and about prevention of tobacco use.

(9) Coaches should educate themselves on a constant basis in order to provide their players with the highest level instruction possible.

(10) Coaches should always place the individual players development first and place team success second.


Article II - Responsibility to  PSPL and Member Associations


(1) Adherence to all PSPL, USSF and US Club Soccer rules and policies, especially those regarding eligibility, team formation and recruiting are mandatory and should never be violated. It is the responsibility of each coach to know and understand these rules.

(2) Any problems that cannot be resolved between coaches or clubs

should be referred to the appropriate  PSPL committee.


Article III - Responsibilities to the Laws of the Game


(1) Coaches should be thoroughly acquainted with and demonstrate a working knowledge of the Laws of the Game.

(2) Coaches are responsible to assure their players understand the intent as well as the application of the Laws.

(3) Coaches must adhere to the letter and spirit of the Laws of the Game.

(4) Coaches are responsible for their players’ actions on the field and must not permit them to perform with intent of causing injury to opposing players.

(5) The coach must constantly strive to teach good sporting behavior.


Article IV - Responsibility to Officials


(1) Officials must have the support of coaches, players and spectators. Coaches must always refrain from criticizing officials the presence of players or spectators.

(2) Professional respect, before, during and after the game, should be mutual. There should be no demeaning dialogue or gestures between official, coach or player.

(3) Coaches must not incite players or spectators or attempt to disrupt the flow of the game.

(4) Comments regarding an official should be made in writing to the appropriate organization assigning the official.


Article V - Responsibilities regarding Scouting and Recruiting


(1) All PSPL rules pertaining to recruiting shall be strictly observed by coach, manager or any team representative.

(2) It is inappropriate to recruit player(s) actively playing for another

team - unless the players club provides written permission.

(3) It is unethical for a player to be recruited or enticed from the PSPL Surf Academy program, or thePlayer Development Program setting, either by his Surf Academy/PDP coach or any other coach, manager, player, parent or team representative present at said event.

(4) When discussing the advantages of his/her organization, the coach

has an obligation to be forthright and refrain from making derogatory

remarks regarding other coaches, teams and organizations.

(5) It is unethical for any coach to make a statement to a prospective

athlete which cannot be fulfilled; illegal to promise any kind of compensation or inducement for play; and immoral to deliver same.

(6) It is unethical for coaches to attend tryouts for other clubs, unless invited by the club in writing, or to have players attend tryouts at other clubs to recruit players.

(7) It is unethical for a team or groups of players to be recruited from one club to another club by a coach working in the teams present club, a coach from another club, or any club representative from inside or outside the club.


Article VI - Responsibility of Public Relations


(1) Coaches have the responsibility to assist their players in conducting themselves properly when in public when representing their team, their club, US Club Soccer and the PSPL.


Article VII - Other Responsibilities


(1) A coach’s behavior must be such as to bring credit to himself, his organization and the sport of soccer.

(2) While the concept of rivalry is wholly embraced, it cannot take precedence over exemplary professional conduct.

(3) The attitude and conduct of the coach towards officials, players, spectators and coaches should be controlled and undemonstrative.

(4) It is unacceptable for a coach to have any verbal altercation with an opposing coach or bench before, during or after the game.

(5) Coaches must use their influence on his/her spectators that demonstrate intimidating and/or unacceptable behavior towards officials, player(s) and opposing team members.


ARTICLE VIII - Accountability & expectations for all PSPL club officials


The behavior of coaches, players, and club officials must be such as to bring credit to themselves, their organizations, the PSPL, and the sport of soccer.


No coach, player, club, or club official shall engage in any conduct, or associate with any individual that has engaged in any conduct which:


(1) Damages the public confidence in sports;


(2) Damages the honor, integrity, or reputation of the PSPL or its member clubs;


(3) Constitutes corruption in any form.


Any violation of this Article shall be grounds for removal or exclusion from the WPL.

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