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Newburyport Youth Soccer Association

Newburyport Youth Soccer Association


Codes of Conduct

NYSA adheres to the Mass Youth Soccer Codes of Conduct and Zero Tolerance Policy:


  • NYSA does not offer refunds unless there are extenuating circumstances. Please contact NYSA if you need to discuss such a circumstance.



  • Soccer is an all-weather sport. League games will be played in most weather conditions (rain, snow flurries, etc.). However, NYSA administration certainly takes into consideration the safety of all its players and will always cancel games for a thunder and/or lightning storm. Additionally, there are other cases where the fields may not be suitable for play due to prolonged wet weather.
  • Parents. To help assist parents and players, league administration will make a decision on game day whether to conduct or cancel games. If you are not notified, the event is on. Also, please be aware that if coaches see lightning or hear thunder, they must end practice immediately so your child’s practice could end early on stormy days.
  •  Coaches. For practice you must wait 30 minutes after seeing lightning or hearing thunder before returning to the soccer field. Please use the moto "If you can see it, flee it. If you can hear it, fear it." You must end practice immediately when you see lightning or hear thunder.


Out Of Town Players

  • NYSA’s mission is to provide children that want to play and learn the game of soccer the ability to do so.  As a result, we allow players from other towns outside of Newburyport to compete within the NYSA organization based on the guidelines outlined below.
    • Space will always be provided to Newburyport residents and students that attend schools in Newburyport.
    • When programs are at capacity, preference will given in the following order:
      • 1: Newburyport residents and players that attend school in Newburyport.
      • 2: Players that played in NYSA previously and were once Newburyport residents or attended school in Newburyport and have not played in another town program since moving or changing schools.
      • 3: Out of town players.
    • Out of town residents are required to pay a town administration fee of $10 during registration.
    • In Town (Tots – U10) is open to out of town players for any age group in the program.
    • Travel (U12 - U14) encourages out of town players to play in their home towns unless they go to school in Newburyport. NYSA requires out of town residents to pre-register for the travel program by contacting the NYSA travel director first. No exceptions and no refunds will be given for uniforms ordered before approval. Players will be required to obtain a written release from the organization where they live and provide a valid reason for wanting to play for NYSA.


Playing Up

NYSA highly encourages all players to play at their appropriate age level. In rare situations, players will be allowed to "play up" but this is extremely uncommon and requires players to complete the process outlined below. For U12 and U14 travel leagues, ECYSA has final approval rights for requests. When considering the "play up" possibility, please keep the following in mind:

  • Safety is our #1 concern. Players will not be considered if they would be put in an unsafe situation. While wrestling with older larger siblings might be safe, playing a competitive sport with strangers several years older than a player is not the same.
  • Playing up requires a player to be physyically, mentally, and emotionally mature. They will potentially be playing with and against physically superior players on a larger field with a larger ball and at a level that is more intense. They also could be practicing more times each week and for longer periods of time. Players must be able to handle all, not just some of this.
  • Being a standout at a player's appropriate level builds confidence for the player. They may not achieve this if they play up.
  • Playing up does not mean the player will play on the most advanced team on the level they are playing up to (for tiered levels only). They will be subject to the same placement procedures as all players.
  • Players that play up one season are not guaranteed to be allowed to play up in the future as players grow, change and progress at varying rates.

Reasons players might play up:

  • Their size or physical ability is creating an unsafe situation at their current level.
  • They are dominating at their current level. Dominating can be defined as controlling the ball for over 50% of each game or scoring 75% of their team's goals.
  • The player is age and physically appropriate for the level above.

Invalid reasons:

  • Coach requests.
  • The player desires to play with friends or siblings.
  • The player has played up in the past.
  • The player wants to play with "better" players to help them improve.

Required steps to play up:

  • Parents must submit a written request to the NYSA president and board of directors by the halfway point of the previous season. This means that if the player is attempting to play up in the fall, they must submit a request before the 5th game of the spring season.
  • The parent will be sent a questionnaire to complete and return.
  • Player feedback will be collected from current and past coaches around ability, maturity, playing style, stamina, and attitude. This feedback will be considered a recommendation to proceed or not proceed with the process.
  • The player must participate in a practice with a team in the requested level 1-2 times. Feedback from the coach running the practice will be collected.
  • If the requested level requires a tryout (U12 and U14), the player must participate in the tryout for that level. The player must have a combined placement score from the tryout and standard end-of-season coach evaluation that would place them in the top 50% of the A Team (not the entire grade) in the grade above their actual grade in a grade divided league structure, or in the top 20% of a mixed grade league structure. A player is not permitted to play up two grades in a divided league structure. League structure is determined by the travel directors and can change from year to year.
  • Players will not displace promising age appropriate players on high level teams in tiered levels (U12 and U14). The NYSA board of directors and travel directors will determine player placement and give precedence to age appropriate players with similar placement scores. No players playing up are permitted to play on any team other than the top two in each level.
  • The NYSA board of directors will have final say on all requests and if the request is approved, will submit the request to ECYSA for final approval for travel leagues (U12 and U14). It must be emphasized that the board takes into consideration multiple factors in addition to skill when determining whether or not a player can play up such as strength of skill in grade above, number of registered players in the grade above, attitude and sportsmanship of the player.
  • When a "playing up" player enters the U12 division early, he or she is strongly encouraged to rejoin his/her grade level peers the following year.
  • This process must be repeated every year as players are not allowed to play up indefinitely if they have played up for one season.


Fee Waiver

  • Youth soccer players unable to participate in the Newburyport Youth Soccer program due to financial reasons may qualify for a registration scholarship only as a means of financial assistance. Within certain limits of our league we are able to provide financial assistance for registration only to those who qualify based on certain criteria and completion of the necessary paperwork. 


Lopsided Scores

NYSA strives to create a fun, fair environment for all players. One of the biggest frustrations expressed by players and parents is teams losing by a lopsided score. Saturday games should not be times to blowout friends, classmates, and neighbors. Players leave these games with destroyed confidence and some quit the sport completely. While NYSA takes steps to distribute talent evenly, dominant teams and lopsided scores still happen. However, coaches have the ability to control this issue using strategies listed below. These strategies should be implemented when the goal differential hits 4 goals. This allows for a small cushion, but the differential should never exceed 6 or more. 

  • Remove a player on the dominant team from the field and play with less players.
  • Add a player to the weaker team, allowing them to play with more players.
  • Encourage players on the dominant team to only shoot with their weak foot.
  • Require players on the dominant team to pass 3-5 times before shooting.
  • Dominant teams can create stronger groups and weaker groups. When the weaker group is on the field, it gives the other team a better chance to score. Encourage the stronger group to pass or even play keep away.
  • Dominant teams should rotate players into less familiar positions.
  • It is usually clear from the start if a game is going to be uneven. Coaches of dominant teams should identify this early and encourage stronger players to get weaker players involved from the beginning. Watching a team pass to a player that has never scored a goal over and over is fun and rewarding for everyone.

Lopsided score policy:

  • U8 and U10 games should not end with a 6+ goal differential.
  • The first time a team wins by 6 or more goals and is reported to the in-town director or league president, the coaches on the winning team will be issued a warning.
  • The second time this same team wins by 6 or more goals, the roster will be adjusted with strong players moving to other teams.
  • The third time this same team wins by 6 or more goals, the head coach will receive a 1 game suspension.
  • U6 does not keep score and plays on multiple fields. While there is no official policy, all coaches must do their best to keep games fun and even.
  • U12 and U14 travel leagues follow the policy set by ECYSA.



The following outlines who is eligible for each level of NYSA

  • Tots (U3/U4): 3-4 years old by September 1.
  • Tots (U4/U5): 4-5 years old by September 1.
  • U6: entering or attending Kindergarten.
  • U8: entering or attending 1st or 2nd grade.
  • U10: entering or attending 3rd or 4th.
  • U12: entering or attending 5th or 6th grade + Newburyport resident OR attends school in Newburyport OR has a written release from the youth program in their town of residence.
  • U14: entering or attending 7th or 8th grade + Newburyport resident OR attends school in Newburyport OR has a written release from the youth program in their town of residence.
  • Out of Town Players: See our out of town player policy for information.
  • Playing Down: Players do not typically play in divisions below their age/grade level. There are occasional exceptions, which need approval from NYSA. Please contact our registration director, appropriate level coordinator, or travel director here
  •  Playing Up: See our playing up policy
  • Special Circumstances: We realize there are special circumstances that are not outlined above and we will do our best to accommodate all players and families. Please contact our registration director, appropriate level coordinator, or travel director here.


Non Discrimination

  • NYSA agrees with the No Discrimination Policy set forth by the constitution of Massachusetts Youth Soccer.
  • Mass Youth Soccer is organized to develop, promote, and administer the game of soccer, among youth (boys and girls under nineteen years of age) within Massachusetts for the benefit and development of all youth as young men and women as the higher and greater purpose of youth soccer and not just as players.
  • Each Mass Youth Soccer member Organization and League shall offer a soccer program, without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or national origin.
  • For the purposes of registration on gender-based amateur teams, a player may register with the gender team with which the player identifies, and confirmation sufficient for guaranteeing access shall be satisfied by documentation or evidence that shows the stated gender is sincerely held, and part of a person’s core identity. Documentation satisfying the herein stated standard includes, but is not limited to, government-issued documentation or documentation prepared by a health care provider, counselor, or other qualified professional not related to the player.


Newburyport Youth Soccer Association

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