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Question Number: 13657

The Technical Area 9/4/2006

RE: Select Girls Under 10

Eric of Midlothian, Virginia USA asks...

Regarding : Coaching during a match

Is there a specific area the coach must (or should) stay within?

How should a coach ask a question or ask for further clarification during a match?

Is yelling instructions to players on the field allowable or appropriate?



Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Generally coaches stand on the touchline, they should sit about 5 m back from it. A coach should not [may not] ask for clarification during the match because the referee is quite busy with the match. Afterwards is the time for education as long as things didn't get too heated during the match. A team official may convey tactical instructions to the players during the match and he must return to his position after giving these instructions. All officials must remain within the confines of the technical area, where such an area is provided, and they must behave in a responsible manner.


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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

Coaches are allowed to give tactical instruction within the confines of their technical area. In International matches, technical area is similar to a "dug out" in baseball. Youth matches sometimes the technical area is a small unmarked area off on the side of the field like Referee Fleischer pointed out. Either way coaches are NOT to be walking up and down touchlines coaching unless possibly the real little kid games (U8 and below). There is little reason for a coach to address the referees during a match and they may coach their players. Swearing loudly, shouting negative comments constantlly, or any other irresponsible behavior is not to be tolerated.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Eric,
as my colleagues point out common sense applies when technical areas are unmarked. WHEN there are technical areas the coach has an obligation to remain inside. This prevents the AR from being screened along the touchline.

Yelling instructions to youth has significant aspects that can be quite negative rather than positive. There are specific moments when the instructions are simply not absorbed by the wee ones as their attention is not focused just on what you are saying. If you ask the kids many will tell you they are distracted and confused when shouts are aimed at them from the touchline.

As a coach I specifically forbid the parents from ANY instructional advice UNLESS i specifically request it. Their job is to support and praise. That way ANY shouting of instructions from me are not in competition with other instructions. The timing and information must be appropriate, TO the POINT and UNDERSTANDABLE!

I frequently use the unlimited substitutions as a method of relaying information by switching out a player for a one on one and then back in immediately. I have three designated players that act as forward mid or defender and they understand they pop in and out at random during specific time frames.

When I feel the need to yell it is something basic like on offside pushouts I yell OUT! and the players respond as if hit by lightening when we first begin this process. Once the sweeper and keeper begin to accept their roles I do this less and more often in practice. THe nearest two players always challenge the ball carrier. Skin him, Take the shot! Angle! Wide! Hold! Off the ball! Switch! Do not let him turn! Inside! Outside! Support

Acting responsibly also applies to the screams of coaches when they wish their team to let a ball go into touch. Often the authoratative screams stop the young opponets as well. Banshee coaches and parents generally make most everyone else uncomfortable so be aware and use the voice for POSITIVE effect not rant and rave effect !

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