POLICIES & BYLAWS
OUR BYLAWS ARE FOUND IN THE DOWNLOADABLE .PDF FILES BELOW
To download a copy of our Bylaws: click here
To download a copy of our Bylaw ammendment: click here
OUR POLICIES ARE AS LISTED BELOW
All registered families are voting members of the Club. In order to vote at any general meeting, one must have a valid Club membership. The membership is renewable annually and available for a fee of $5 per family of a South West United (SWU) player. The membership fee will be charged at the time of registration.
3. Parent Conduct Guidelines Membership
The SWU parent conduct policy adheres to the CMSA Spectator’s Code of Ethics as stated in the CMSA Rules of Play as follows:
1. Remember that youth play organized sports for their own fun.
2. Be on your best behavior.
3. Applaud good plays by your own team AND visiting teams.
4. Show respect for your team’s opponents.
5. NEVER ridicule or scold a player for making a mistake during the competition.
6. Condemn the use of violence in all forms.
7. Respect the officials’ decisions.
8. Encourage players to always play according to the rules.
In addition, SWU expects parents to:
9. Show respect to all Coaches and Managers
10. Refrain from consumption of alcohol or illegal substances at all team events
11. Demonstrate respect and decency when interacting with other parents.
Parents adjudged to be in breach of this Code of Ethics could face disciplinary action which includes suspension from attending all team events or removal from the club. Incidents will be reviewed by the Disciplinary Committee, consisting of (a minimum of two of) the Club President, Executive Director and the Director of Soccer Operations. Parents may be asked to meet with the club to discuss their infractions, though SWU reserves the right to decide on disciplinary action without formal discussion with the offender in question.
5. Team Official & Age Group Coach Selections
Age Group Coach Selection Process and Criteria
The Age Group Coach program was formed based on commitments from several Senior Coaches at SWU and was not subject to an open selection policy. Going forward, all Coaches or volunteers interested in becoming an Age Group Coach may apply by notifying the Executive Director. New placements will only be made when there are position openings available. All applicants will be considered.
Key criteria for selection as an Age Group Coach includes strong organizational skills, an ability to provide rudimentary coaching education and the time to dedicate to meetings and team visits. Age Group Coach placements will be determined by the Executive Director, in cooperation with the Director of Soccer Operations, Technical Director and the Technical Committee.
Head Coaches Selection Process and Criteria
All Coaches at SWU are volunteers. SWU guidelines prohibit coaches from receiving payment for coaching duties directly from the club. This includes honorariums and all other material incentives.
Coaching placement for all Tiers are determined by the Director of Soccer Operations, under advisement of the Club Technical Director and the Technical Committee.
Coaches are placed based on performance history, coaching certification levels, parent and player evaluations and general volunteering history with the club. Coaches are not guaranteed a placement on the same team they coached in preceding seasons and coaching history with a particular team does not necessarily grant a coach an advantage in coaching assignments. SWU retains the right to remove a coach at any point during a season.
Assistant Coaches and Manager Selection Process
Head Coaches are responsible for identifying, vetting and selecting their Assistant Coaches and Managers. SWU retains the right to deny the placement of an Assistant Coach or Manager if necessary.
7. Team Building
One of the primary objectives of SWU is to provide the best possible player development for all players, at all levels of the game. Individual player progress is considered a higher ideal than maintaining consistent team rosters. The belief that pairing like-skilled, like-minded players is an ideal strategy for individual player growth is the key premise behind the Club’s team building policy. This strategy applies to the formation of all CMSA teams competing in U10 Tiers A to C and U12-U18 Tiers 1 to 5.
Single Birth Year Teams
Whenever possible teams will be built to form single birth year teams. This practice is to ensure that there is a greater possibility of players playing together throughout their SWU career. Exceptions will only be made to accommodate for imbalanced registration numbers or to place players at a level not available to them within their single birth year.
Playing in Older Age Groups
Players are encouraged to play within their own age group unless they have received a recommendation to play in an older age group by either the Club Technical Director or the Director of Soccer Operations. Requests for player placement in older age groups will be declined unless registration numbers are conducive to a move and the club deems that the move satisfies player development and safety considerations.
Playing in Younger Age Groups
Players may not play at an age group younger than that which they qualify for by their birth date (including at the SWU and Community Grassroots levels), unless the Club is presented with a letter from a doctor stating the medical reasons for requesting to do so.
Player Placement Requests
SWU does not guarantee that team placement requests for CMSA teams will be met, as there are often unmanageable factors which do not allow requests to be fulfilled. Requests made for CMSA program team placements (U10 – U18, all Tiers) will be a secondary factor to player placement considerations based on player evaluations. In general, requests to be placed in Tiers lower than that which a player has been evaluated for can be met. However, the Club reserves the right to restrict placement in lower Tiers than that which a player has been evaluated for, on the grounds of intending to provide like-skilled environments for players at all levels. Requests to play in higher Tiers will not be met unless a player evaluates at the level requested.
Recreational Members who would like to request a specific team placement may do so in the “notes” section of their registration. The club will attempt to meet all requests for team placement in our Recreational (U3-U12) programs, but placement on requested teams are not guaranteed.
Player Selection Criteria
The SWU evaluation process seeks to identify and rank players with the requisite athletic ability based on their technical skill. In other words, technical ability and game sense is rated highly at SWU and our Evaluation Strategy favors players who demonstrate strong technique and an ability to control the ball, dribble, pass and utilize space in a small area. These attributes lend well to the style of play encouraged within the club. Players must however be considered to have a sufficient baseline level of athleticism to be considered for higher Tiered teams (regardless of technical ability and game sense).
Final player placements will be determined based on a combination of scores from evaluation sessions, SWU Technical staff in-season evaluations, Coaches player evaluations and, in some instances, player team placement requests.
The evaluation process is ongoing and SWU reserves the right to move a player upon observations made in any preseason training which may occur or at any point during the season. Participation on a prior season’s team does not guarantee a player’s continued placement on that team.
Subsequent to the conclusion of the final evaluation each season, the Club Technical Committee, in consultation with the Technical Director, Director of Soccer Operations, the Club’s Technical Staff and Age Group Coaches, will be asked to finalize the team rosters.
Team Tier placements will be determined by the Club Technical Committee, in consultation with the Technical Director, the Director of Soccer Operations, the Club’s Technical Staff and Age Group Coaches. Factors that will determine team placements include, player evaluations and historical team placement and performance statistics.
Based on current CMSA protocol, Pre-Season team placements can be modified following the Pre-Season (U12-U18). Requests for Tier changes following the Pre-Season must be communicated to the Club by Head Coaches prior to the CMSA Tier change submission deadline. The Club Technical Committee, on advisement from the Technical Director, the Director of Soccer Operations and the Age Group Coaches will review Head Coach requests and choose to approve or disapprove the Tier change request.
9. Player Placement Appeals
Players who wish to appeal their placement within a team are entitled to do so within the timeframe for appeals determined by the Club at the start of each season. Appeals are to be directed to the Club Technical Committee Chair and must include an explanation of the extenuating circumstances that may have resulted in an inaccurate evaluation of their playing level.
All appeals received within the designated time frame will be reviewed in the following manner:
1. Evaluation results will be checked for mistakes or anomalies and contrasted with information held within existing player history for inconsistencies or bias.
2. Player’s Head Coach and Age Group Coach will be consulted for feedback regarding the player’s performance in any Pre-Season events (if applicable).
3. All evaluation data and feedback will be reviewed in a Player Appeals Meeting by the members of the Club Technical Committee and the Director of Soccer Operations, along with the Technical Director.
Player movement decisions will be determined following these steps. All rulings regarding player appeals are final.
11. Playing Time
U10 – U13 and all Tier 4-6 and all Recreational teams
The club intends to provide fair and equitable developmental opportunities to all players at this level, thus playing time is required to be fair amongst all players.
U14 – U18 Tiers 1-3
Playing time at this level is determined at the discretion of the coach, is non-negotiable, and is based on a combination of the following factors: attendance, match fitness, performance, ability to contribute in the predetermined tactical match plan, and the player’s attitude on and off of the pitch.
Absolutely no phone calls, e-mails or conversations at the pitch or elsewhere will occur between coach and parent regarding the above as all queries involving playing time should occur between coach and player.
Each player U10 and above at SWU commits a $100 uniform deposit at the time of registration. It is the shared responsibility of both the coach and the player to ensure that all jerseys are returned (socks are to be kept by the player). Unreturned uniforms will result in deposit cheques being cashed.
Authorized Team Uniforms
SWU prides itself on being recognized as one of the top soccer clubs in Canada and it is important for the continued growth of the SWU brand that our teams are easily identified as SWU whenever they are representing our Club. The purpose for the uniform policy is to ensure that the Club identity is universal and that all teams support this vision by following the uniform policy.
Primary club colors are Red and Black with an alternate White and Black.
SWU official club uniform
SWU Jersey – Red
SWU Alternate Jersey – White
White shorts are permitted as an alternate. Teams must purchase club-approved brand and/or style, if specified. No other colors are permitted.
Teams may choose to have alternate socks however these must be within the approved club colors (red, black, white). All players within a team must be wearing matching socks.
SWU club uniform (or acceptable alternates noted below) must be worn for all games whether those are league, tournaments (including Provincial and National competitions) or friendlies. There are no exceptions.
Teams are not permitted to wear an alternate third jersey except as noted below.
Only the official, approved SWU alternate jersey is permitted. “Third jerseys” are not permitted except in the case where the Board of Directors has authorized a club-approved third jersey. These would be available, for purchase, to any teams interested in providing an option for their players.
Player names are not permitted on SWU jerseys.
Fitting the players for appropriate sizes and numbers will be the responsibility of the Team Officials. Team officials are responsible for following the SWU uniform policy and will be held accountable if teams are found in violation of the policy. The Club retains the right to discipline teams, coaches and managers for failure to observe this policy. Penalties for non-compliance shall be at the discretion of the Club and may include suspension or removal of the coaches and/or team manager.
Teams are not permitted to add sponsors logos or information to the approved club uniform without obtaining approval from the SWU Board of Directors.
No player is guaranteed to receive the same jersey number, in the same size, in subsequent seasons. Though the Club may strive to make this possible stock limitations do not allow for guarantees. No special orders for particular sizes, in particular jersey numbers will be considered.
Numbering of Shorts and SWU Merchandise
Players are permitted to have numbers added to owned (Club approved) shorts and other merchandise. However, the choice to do so is at the player’s discretion and the Club will not grant special consideration to teams and players with numbered equipment when assigning jersey numbers and sizes to teams.
When a player registers for SWU we guarantee that player placement on a team, but will not guarantee a certain level of play. Player placement will be determined in the evaluation process. An administration fee will be deducted from any player who chooses to withdraw, up until registration formally closes. After registration closes, a player can still choose to leave the club but the following applies;
1. If a player has not attended an Evaluation (this includes invites to practices or technical training sessions for observation where applicable) and their request to leave is before the registration deadline or otherwise specified refund deadline, they will be charged an administration fee of $50 from each of both the registration fee and the academy fee (if applicable) with the rest of the registration fee to be refunded.
2. If the player has attended an Evaluation, or the refund request date is after the registration deadline or otherwise specified refund deadline, there will be NO refund granted under any condition, with the exception of season-ending injuries as noted below. No exceptions will be granted, and no appeals will be reviewed or considered.
If a player has a season ending injury, a refund or partial refund may be issued at the discretion of the Executive Director (partial refunds will be granted based on a pro-rated formula related to games played). Players requesting a refund due to season-ending injuries must complete a refund request form, which will then need to be submitted for review along with a doctor’s note explaining the injury.
When a player registers for the SWU Soccer Club we guarantee that player placement on a team. An administration fee of $25 will be deducted from any player who chooses to withdraw, up until player placement occurs. After the designated player placement date there will be no refunds.
SWU and member community soccer programs require a volunteer deposit of $100.00 per family for players registered in U10 to U18. Failure to fulfil an officially recognized volunteer role will result in the processing of the volunteer deposit.
Recognized Volunteer Roles
The following volunteer roles are the recognized opportunities for fulfillment of SWU volunteer requirements:
• Head Coach (U3 to U18)
• Assistant Coach (U3 to U18)
• Team Manager (U10 to U18)
• CMSA Field Marshall
• Bench Parent / Chaperon
• Lines Person (U10 to U18)
• Set Up of Nets (U10 to U18)
• Team Treasurer (U10 to U18)
If roles are not available within the team, please contact the club to fulfill your commitment through club opportunities.
• Age Group Coordinators (U3 – U8)
• Casino Volunteers
• Board Member
• CMSA and ASA Events
• Data Entry
• General Office Assistant
• Equipment Assistant
• Evaluation Assistant
Fulfillment of Volunteer Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the volunteer to ensure that their volunteer commitment is fulfilled. Coaches are not responsible for finding volunteer roles for parents within a team.
The volunteer contact (coach, manager or other club personnel) in charge of monitoring volunteer commitment must forward information regarding volunteer commitment fulfillment to the SWU Volunteer Coordinator.
There is a limited number of volunteer roles that may be assigned on each CMSA team. Indoor teams may not report more than 10 fulfilled volunteer positions for the season. Outdoor teams may not report more than 9 fulfilled volunteer positions for the season.
Any disputes or challenges to the volunteer deposit must be filed with the club within 60 days of processing.
6. Team Official Behavioral Guidelines
Team officials are never to be left alone with any one player. Male coaches of female teams must always have a “bench Mom” present at all practices and/or technical sessions.
Team Officials Disciplinary Procedures
Team officials who are proven to be abusive (either verbally or physically) to their own players, opposition players, or referees will face disciplinary action in the form of suspensions or expulsion from the club. Repeat offenders will be removed from the club immediately. Decisions regarding the validity of accusations and complaints levied against a team official will be assessed independently of CMSA or ASA disciplinary rulings. Final rulings on team official disciplinary action will be handled by a Disciplinary Committee consisting of (a minimum of two of) the Club President, the Vice President, Executive Director and the Director of Soccer Operations. Team Officials may be asked to meet with the club to discuss their infractions, though SWU reserves the right to decide on disciplinary action without formal discussion with the offender in question.
8. Evaluation Protocol
The evaluators will be a combination of the Club Technical Director, Club Director of Soccer Operations, Age Group Coaches, Senior Club Coaches or volunteers.
The preferred method of player evaluation at SWU is the “2 up, 2 down” system (or a variation of the concept), wherein players play small sided matches for 6-8 minute intervals and are monitored by a pair of evaluators on their performance within each interval. Players will be evaluated on athletic ability, technique and game understanding. At the end of each period of play, coaches choose the top two players to move “up” a field, and choose two players to move “down” a field. By the end of the evaluation session, each player will have been given multiple opportunities to advance to the highest field of play they are capable of performing at. The movement between fields is recorded and an overall score is rewarded to each player.
Player’s will be “pre-sorted” based on their most recent level of play, year of birth, as well as the SWU Technical staff in-season evaluations and Coaches player evaluations and placed on a field accordingly. The ultimate goal of the evaluations is to form teams of “like minded” and “like skilled” players. A player’s placement on a particular field during the evaluation at any given moment is not necessarily indicative of where he/she will ultimately be placed.
SWU reserves the right to use alternate methods of evaluation when deemed necessary.
Team and Player Placement Notification Process
All players will be notified by the club of their Pre-Season placement, along with conditions of their placement on the selected team, by e-mail. Players will be given a specified time frame to reject the terms of their placement (which may include technical training commitments). If a response in not received declining the invitation, the player will be formally placed on the team and any additional fees associated with the placement will be charged once team rosters have been finalized.
Indoor and Outdoor Evaluation Variances
SWU considers the full soccer “season” to effectively run from the beginning of the Indoor season, to the ending of the Outdoor season. It is during this period that the players remain constant in their age group. At the beginning of the Indoor season each year, the birth years change for each age group and therefore new factors are considered for team building and a more intensive evaluation process is required.
Though in some age groups and Tiers registration numbers will change drastically following the indoor season, and therefore a complete restructuring of teams is required, in situations wherein little player movement is required, minimal evaluation is considered necessary between indoor and outdoor seasons.
Evaluation Process Exceptions and Special Conditions
There are some exceptions to the standard evaluation model as presented above, and there are some special conditions for each age group. These instances are listed below:
U10 – U12 All Tiers
Due to the rapidly changing skill sets and performance levels of players at the U10 and U12 levels, a minimum of two evaluations will be required between each season. Movement of players in pre-season and during the season may be more common in these age groups as the club strives to find the correct placement of players.
U14 – U18 Tier 1
Evaluations for Tier 1 teams are done at technical sessions held for the team the player would like to evaluate for. Players are evaluated by Nick’s Academy staff and player placements are determined by the Club Technical Director.
All players within SWU who wish to evaluate with a Tier 1 team are entitled to the opportunity to do so on at least one occasion per pre-season period. If a player would like to arrange an evaluation, they should contact the Director of Soccer Operations prior to the beginning of the season.
U18 All Tiers
U18 teams trials may be held (where necessary) by the team coaches, in conjunction with the Club Academy staff. Mandatory trials for all players will not be held under typical circumstances.
10. Player Movement & Callups During the Season
Pre-Season Player Movement
SWU determines Pre-Season rosters following the evaluation process. The Pre-Season roster is designed to present a window for review of player placement decisions by the Club Technical Committee, based on these factors. This review window will incorporate Head Coach feedback based on pre-season training, player placement appeals and additional Club Technical Committee evaluations and reviews.
Final decisions for player movement during the season will be determined by the Club Technical Committee, in consultation with the Technical Director, Director of Soccer Operations, the Club’s Technical Staff and Age Group Coaches. No further appeals against a player’s new placement will be considered.
Player Movement During the Season
The Club reserves the right to make changes in player placement at any point during the season, up until the CMSA internal player transfer deadlines. Player movement during the season may be based on Head Coach feedback, SWU team needs, and observed player performance, attendance and attitude. Player movement decisions during the season will be determined by the Club Technical Committee, in consultation with the Technical Director, Director of Soccer Operations, the Club’s Technical Staff and Age Group Coaches. No appeals of mid-season player movement decisions will be considered.
Player Call-up Procedure
It is a requirement of each coach to support other SWU teams with call ups when contacted about a player. Coaches may not “hide” talented players and restrict them from their play-up opportunities. At any level of coaching within the club, it is the coach’s responsibility, as a player developer, to encourage and promote the advancement of players.
Any coaches requesting a call up must contact that player’s coach directly, not the player, in order to arrange for a play up (this includes requests for play-ups that originate from technical training staff). Coaches are obliged to allow play-ups requested by coaches from an appropriate higher age-group or Tier, provided that the call-up does not conflict with that player’s current team schedule, present significant injury risk, or reward a player who has demonstrated poor attendance within their current team.
Adult Soccer Play-ups
If a CMSA player is aged 16 or older, they are eligible to play as a call-up player in Calgary adult soccer leagues. If an adult team coach requests a youth player call-up, coaches are encouraged to allow their players every opportunity to participate in additional soccer events and attain additional playing experience, provided that the additional commitment does not conflict with the player’s primary commitment to their SWU team, or presents a significant injury risk.
12. Participation in Additional Training & Programs
Fitness and Strength Training
Players are encouraged to engage in extra fitness and strength training if needed. However, participation in additional physical training is not considered a legitimate reason for foregoing team practices, technical training or games. All additional training must be scheduled around Club events.
Secondary Sports Programs
Players who participate in other sports and activities should not be discouraged from doing so, provided that it is not observed that the additional activities are contributing to physical overexertion resulting in reduced performance and health risks. However, participation in additional physical training is not considered a legitimate reason for foregoing team practices, technical training or games and may result in reduced playing time.
Advanced Soccer Training Programs
SWU will not discourage or hold back any player in pursuit of an ASA or professional opportunity. However, the team will not actively reschedule matches which happen to conflict with ASA or professional opportunities. SWU will allow for larger rosters wherever possible at the elite level and will continue training and match play in the absence of any ASA or professional level players.
Each season, CMSA teams will be provided with equipment bags that contain a sufficient number of pinnies, cones, balls (including game balls), along with a first aid kit, ball pump (with needles), a Keeper jersey and Keeper gloves. In addition, each team will be given two sets of jerseys, and one set of socks, to be distributed amongst the players. All equipment delivered to coaches at the beginning of the season will be expected to be returned at the end of each season. Coaches will sign off on an inventory list when picking up equipment and that list will then be cross-referenced against returned equipment.
SWU and Community Grassroots programs equipment packages may vary, depending upon the program.