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policies & procedures



Parents can be the most crucial, and some cases the most inhibiting of all the people associated with a player, more than a coach, a teammate, or anyone else.  Parents are of course the most involved with a player, seeing them 95% of the time.  They are the chauffeur's, the cooks, and even the cheerleaders.  However, it is important to maintain strict boundaries and role clarifications for parents, because the positive can be met equally and as quickly as the negatives, when concerning their child.  

●       Parent Coaching – The Albany Alleycats have a strict rule concerning the role of parents and coaching.  Parents of a player are not permitted to coach their own child.  We as a club feel that this is not appropriate for the desire of clear and defined roles in a child’s life.  In brief terms, we feel that each person in the “Player’s Triangle” should maintain their piece or side.  When one person occupies more than his/her side then we enter into a dangerous territory of overlapping roles, responsibilities, and actions by not only the parent, player, & coach, but also that of views of fellow teammates and parents.

●      Sideline Behavior – It is expected and will be enforced that no coaching of any kind can come from the sideline of a parent or family member.  Coaches Coach and Parents Parent.  Parents in the Alleycats Club will only be allowed to cheer in a positive and respectful manner for their own children and child’s team.  They will not be allowed to speak negatively about any player, Alleycat or not.  

o   Please see/refer to Club Policies for further clarification of the “3 Strike Policy”.

●      Behind Closed Doors – Every household is entitled to their privacy, and it is not the place of the Albany Alleycats to teach parenting.  However, it is a loose rule that our parents respect the lives of their child.  We ask that Parents “Let their children come to them” when speaking of club/game/practice related topics.  Kids need time to process things, and sometimes and should be given the opportunity to do so in a consequence free environment.  In addition, it is the club’s viewpoint that when a child comes to their parent, and not the other way around, that it means more in the long run and the communication tends to be better and longer lasting.



Playing Up

Players being good enough to be able to play up in age is a common occurrence in Club soccer.  Every club tends to have its own policy, or way of handling the situation.  Here at the Alleycats our main goal is to develop players. 


Players aged U13 and older must play in their age appropriate groups. Players may request a waiver from this policy based on either special or unusual circumstances or very superior playing ability (top 4 of team requesting to join). The Alleycats Coaching Committee will decide such requests by majority vote.  The committee consists of the Managing Director, the Technical Director, the Age Group Coordinator, the current coach of the player, and the potential future coach of the player.  Our play-up policy is focused on the best long-term interests of the individual player and the club. Playing-up is an ongoing process with no assurance for renewal for following seasons. Therefore, the player is required to repeat the process seasonally.


Guest Playing Up

The Director of Coaching oversees all guest playing opportunities. Under his/her direction, a player may have the opportunity to “guest” play for an older team within the club. This is managed by the Director of Coaching and is another opportunity that gives a player the chance to further his/her development. A determining factor for these opportunities is a player’s commitment, attitude, and performance for his/her true age group team. The Director of Coaching, through the respective age group coaches, will recommend such situations. Requests can only come from the coaches involved and cannot come from a parent or team manager.


Training Up

The Alleycats encourage top players to train up. However, they must attend their current team’s practices as well, unless the coaches involved allow for an occasional exception. This can be handled by the coaches involved.



Club Policies


Warm-ups/Arrival Time

Warm-ups for matches differ in length depending upon the age of the team.  In general, warm-up times for teams should be approximately 5 minutes shorter in length than the length of time of 1 half a match (ex.- 90 minute match, w/ 45 minute halves = 40 minute warm-up).  It is expected that Parents/Players arrive ready to warm-up with their team on the specified times prior listed below.  

●      Academy Ages – Arrive Ready 30 minutes prior to kick-off.            

●      U13-U15 – Arrive Ready 40 minutes prior to kick-off.  

●      U16 & Up – Arrive Ready 50 minutes prior to kick-off. 



Playing Time

It is the philosophy of the club to promote development, thus all players on a roster will play an appropriate amount of a match, with time ultimately determined by the coach based on training habits, attitude, work ethic, and ability in the game.    


24 Hour Rule

After a game or match sometimes parents have questions or concerns that they feel need communication about through the coach.  It is the policy of the Alleycats that a period of 24 hours passes before any communication occurs from the parent to the coach/club, or vice-a-versa.  Sometimes this is also referred to as a “Cooling Off Period”.  It is set in place so that both the parent and the coach can settle and gain perspective of a given situation and approach the matter without the heat of emotion getting in the way.  Parents who do not observe the 24 Hour Rule will not be responded to, and are in no way required by the club to respond to a parent during this period.  The 24 Hour Rule also applies to Coaches towards Parents, and Coaches towards club administrator’s, leagues, referees, and other governing bodies.


3 Strikes Your Out

This Policy is set for Parents or Players of the club that have trouble observing and applying the Alleycat club philosophy toward real life situations.  From time-to-time situations can arise where parents or players have trouble abiding by the rules of the club.  The 3 Strike Policy is to help the parent/player understand that proper behavior and etiquette must be observed at all times while being a member of the club.  


If the Parent/Player is felt to have not followed any of the club rules at any time, they will be given verbal & written warning by the Coach, Director, or Staff Member (1st Strike).  If at any time during the tenure of that parent/player continues then the party will receive a 2nd Strike.  The 2nd Strike will be a written warning that the Executive Director, Administrative Director, Managing Director, Technical Director, Club Administrator, Age Group Coordinator, & Coach must all be copied on.  And finally if behavior by the parent /player continues further with no seeming understanding or correction of behavior the Parent/Player will be asked to leave the Club.  


If a Parent/Player is asked to leave the Alleycats Club, the Alleycats are not required to refund club fees.  Being asked to leave the club will be determined by a vote by the Board of Directors.  The guilty party will be given a chance before the vote to voice their side one time, after which the board of directors will make their final decision

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