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Clarke County Soccer League

Coaching Overview

Field times

  • Game times vary by division. For U6, U8 and U10 games, start times are typically 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. (when needed). For U12, start types are typically 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. For travel teams, start times vary from season to season.

  • Practice fields are typically half a field for all ages except U6 who should have a whole field to practice per team. For U6 and U8, practice timeslots are from 5-6 p.m. or 6-7 p.m.  For all levels, teams practice 2 times per week except for u6 who practice once a week.

Coach Benefits

  • Opportunity to make a positive impact young athletes in the community

  • Coach shirt, training

  • Coach Education - Clinic with Challenger each summer, $25 reimbursement toward any VYSA certification, Drills/Game ideas on website (including Challenger clinic notes), manuals


Each coach will be equipped with a CCSL bag containing balls, scrimmage pennies, cones, goalie jersey and gloves, as well as a first aid kit. U6 coaches will receive a new U6 ball for new CCSL U6 players. All coaches are responsible for the complete return of CCSL equipment at the conclusion of the season. The CCSL cleat exchange will be at the field the first few weeks of practices & first games if players need equipment. Jerseys will be distributed during the first few weeks of practices, prior to the first games.


Only 2 players are “protected” on a given roster– the coach’s child and the assistant coach’s child. Beyond that, CCSL evenly distributes players on rosters based on age, gender and experience.

First Team Meeting

When you get your roster, contact your team immediately to set up your first team meeting. It’s common this meeting occurs at the beginning of your first practice. CCSL recommends all teams have, at minimum, a head coach and an assistant coach. CCSL also recommends teams assign a team manager to assist with team communication, halftime snack scheduling, and other logistics. Be sure to cover the following at your first team meeting:

  • Share information about yourself and your assistants, your experience and your practice schedule

  • Distribute and keep on file Code of Conduct and Medical Release forms and keep them with you at practices/games. During your intro email, ask parents to complete these forms and bring them to the first team meeting.

  • Set expectations of both parents and players. U6 coaches, remind parents that they are required to attend the full length of practice and not drop the players off and come back for pick up at the end of practice.

  • Clearly articulate your expectations, philosophy, discipline procedures

  • Reinforce to players and parents that CCSL’s focus is on skills development, sportsmanship and learning the game. Not winning.

  • Discuss equipment requirements (jerseys, shin guards, cleats). Nice to haves often include water bottles at practices and games, your philosophy on players bringing their own balls to practices/games. Remind players about the cleat exchange. Let new U6 players know they’ll get a new ball from CCSL at the start of the season.

  • Explain field closures. As coaches and team managers, simplify your life and remind parents (and players where applicable) to ensure they’ve opted in to text messages in our league system. If they aren’t sure or haven’t, have them log back in and check the box to receive texts from the league. This way they get league-wide text notifications when fields close. On weekdays, field closure texts are distributed after 3 p.m.. On Saturdays, field closures are sent by 7:30 a.m.

  • Introduce the use of the GameChanger Team Manager app. Explain to parents that it will be used for team communications throughout the season.


  • Reinforce your expectations explained during your team meeting, like when players should arrive to warm up before games and how players should notify you if they’re unable to attend the game

  • During games, coaches and their teams need to be on the opposite side of the field from spectators. On fields where the sideline area is narrow, coaches and teams should use that space and spectators should use the area on the opposite side.

  • Talk to your fellow coaches during the game

  • Games are much more fun when evenly matched and competitive. Use the time to have fun, help players learn new skills and demonstrate good sportsmanship. If you're in U10 or U12 divisions, reference the Mercy Rules below. 

  • Give each player at least 50% playing time

  • For U8 and up, coaches may substitute players during any stoppage of play, except on corner kicks or free kicks. Coaches must wait for the referee to acknowledge the substitution and motion the new players to come onto the field. All substitutions must occur at the halfway line out of bounds.

  • Respect your referees! The U8 and U10 levels are the training grounds for our young referees. Show them respect during the game and expect the same from your team. Do not challenge a call during the game. If you do have any issues, you may address them with the commissioner and the referee coordinator via email after the game.

  • If a game is cancelled for whatever reason, make up the game and take the following steps:

    1. Email [email protected] to request a reschedule. Copy your opposing coach for that week. Reference your Coach Contact Info that you received for that season. Include why you’re requesting to reschedule. Once a reschedule is approved:
    2. Inform both teams' parents/players that the game is being rescheduled. Do not include a date/time.
    3. Pick a reschedule date/time that works for both teams, where you can make up the game and where a field is available (see the Practice Schedule on the website).
    4. Notify [email protected] and [email protected] so we can ensure the field is indeed available for the game and so that we can get refs in time for the game, as well as ensure the refs already assigned to this game are informed of the cancellation.
    5. Once the field availability is confirmed by CCSL, notify your teams/players of the new date/time. 
  • CCSL Mercy Rule for U10 and U12:  
    • When a team is losing a game by four (4) goals, it may add one (1) additional player
    • When a team is losing a game by five (5) goals, it may add another additional player
    • When a team is losing a game by six (6) goals, it may add another additional player [See clarification below]
    • The maximum player advantage is two (2) players in U12.
    • The maximum player advantage is three (3) players in U10.
    If the losing side narrows the score, they must remove a player accordingly. If the losing side surrenders another goal when at their maximum Mercy Rule allocation, the game is over. The winning side must choose between removing a player or providing a player to the losing side, if the losing side has no players remaining on their bench. If the losing side narrows the score, the winning side retains their player. 

    Further Guidance: When the mercy rule is implemented, the winning coaches should focus on ways to appropriately challenge their team. That includes (but is not limited to) things like; requiring a number of passes before shooting, shooting with the opposite foot, shooting from outside the box only, etc.. This is based on the winning coaches' discretion with the goal of good sportsmanship in mind.

Clarke County Soccer League

P.O. Box 720 
Berryville, Virginia 22611
Email : [email protected]
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