What type of equipment do I need to coach?

At the bare minimum, you need some disc cones (20 or 30 is ideal) and some pinnies. Players can bring their own soccer ball. However, most coaches will accumulate additional equipment over time that can come in very handy. Optional equipment includes:

  • A coach's first aid kit
  • Pop up goals or even portable full size goals like GOLME
  • A dry erase clipboard with a soccer field stenciled on it. Handy for keeping papers together and drawing out things you may try to explain
  • A stopwatch - handy for keeping track of time during matches
  • A small ball pump
  • A colorful keeper jersey and gloves
  • Extra balls are always nice.  It helps keep the practice moving if you don't have to chase balls all the time

For older players - training aids like an agility ladder, hurdles, ball hoops, poles, etc.

You'll notice one item that's not on the list - a whistle. Most experienced coaches won't use a whistle and instead teach the players to listen to what they say.

How much time does it take to coach a soccer team?

This will depend on the type of team and age level of the team you are coaching. Recreational teams will often practice 1-2 times a week and play once a week. So you can expect a commitment of about 3-5 hours total including setup, picking up, etc. Add in an additional hour or so for preparation (practice plans, paperwork, etc).

Regardless of the age of your team or level, you should recruit a team manager to handle all the league paperwork, snack and make-up schedules, etc. It can be a huge help.

A good recreational team schedule to follow is:

  • U4 - once or twice a week for 30-45 minutes each session
  • U6-U8 - once or twice a week for 45-60 minutes each session 
  • U9-U12 - twice a week for 60-90 minutes each session
  • U13 and up- twice a week for 90 minutes each session

What should I do if the referee makes a bad call?

You should respect the difficult job that referees have and recognize that the referee, according to the FIFA Laws of the Game, is the ultimate authority on the field. Whether a coach, spectator, player or parent, you should not vocally dispute a referee call (or even call out for an explanation) during the game.

The coach may speak privately with an adult referee at halftime or after the game to seek an explanation. Youth referees should NOT be approached at half time or after the game to discuss calls. If you have a question, it may be directed to the youth referee through the Referee Assignor or Director of Referees.

At no point in time, in the history or future of soccer, will a referee's decision be reversed.  You must consider this when deciding if you want to "argue" with the referee about a call or seek "clarification" as to why a call was made.  In the end, you still may not agree with the call, but you will at least know why the referee made the call.

Many of our referees are young.  They are some of the best kids around and have played soccer and respect adults.  Do not take advantage of that respect by "bullying" them after they have made a call.  It teaches your players bad sportsmanship and may get you removed from the game and/or coaching.

Many of our referees are also coaches.  This means they have been subjected to "bad calls" from other referees.  Understand that the referee cannot see everything and what they do see, they may see differently than you.  This is a part of the game and you must teach your players to adapt and overcome any obstacles to perceive are out there.

What league will my team play in?

After teams are formed, they are usually placed into a playing league.  The playing league is governed by the officials that run that specific league.  The rules of play and administrative requirements may vary, as will the locations the games are played.  Cleburne Soccer ASsociation teams participate in the following playing leagues:

CSA U4-U8 Recreational League
This league consist of Cleburne and Glen Rose U4-U8 teams.  Games will be played in Cleburne and Glen Rose.  Typically, U4 and U6 age levels only play Cleburne Teams, while the U8 teams will face some Glen Rose teams. 

Metroplex Soccer Alliance Recreational League 
This league consist of U9 and above teams. This is the default league that teams are assigned to. The Metroplex Soccer Alliance is made up of recreational soccer teams from Brownwood, Burleson, Cleburne, Crowley, Glen Rose, Granbury, Mineral Wells, Stephenville, and Weatherford.  Teams will play half their games at home and half of their games at an opponent's location. For more info, visit http://www.metroplexsoccer.org

Arlington Soccer Unlimited Recreational League
This league consist of U11 and above teams. Any U11 and above team may opt to play in this league instead of the Metroplex Soccer Alliance League as listed above.  The games are played in Cleburne as well as many areas in and surrounding Arlington. Teams will play half their games at home and half of their games at an opponent's location. For more info, visit http://arlingtonsoccer.org/asa/leagues/recreational/.  Coaches must notify the Registrar that they wish to play in this league before teams are made. 

Arlington Premier Invitational League (Competitive)
This league consist of U11 and above competitive teams. Any U11 and above team may opt to play in this league instead of the recreational leagues as listed above. The games are played in Arlington. There are several requirements to be met for a team to play competitive soccer, so it is imperative that coaches get with the Registrar in June or sooner to discuss the requirements and get the paperwork in order.  This is a full year committment starting in July of each year.

CSA Adult Recreational League 
This league consist of Coed Adult Players ages 18 and up.   Games will be played in Cleburne at the old sports complex on weekends.  There are two divisons; A Division is for faster paced play, and B Division is for slower paced play.

What happens to rained out games?

The ONLY OFFICIAL source of information concerning the soccer field status at the Cleburne Sports Complex is www.cleburnesoccer.com

We try to post to Facebook / Twitter and send out text messages to those of you subscribed to rainedout.com but that may not always happen. We will hardly ever send out emails to everyone unless it is some weird circumstance such as flooding shuts down the complex for two weeks.

The City of Cleburne and CSA work together to try to determine if the fields are playable. Ultimately, the City has the final say. If fields could be damaged or players hurt, we will close the complex. No amount of moaning, complaining, or wishing will change that. We have to protect our fields and players.

Decisions to close the fields are made as soon as possible. If we get 3-4 inches of rain on Friday, we may be able to call it a day early. If we are waiting to see what happens, we will wait until around 7:00 am Saturday to walk the fields and see if they are playable. In any case, no one is "waiting" to share the field status with you. The website is updated before we even leave the complex.

Some cities and associations have fields that can take a lot more water and/or abuse than the nice grass we have at CSC. This means that some associations may be open while others are not. Check www.metroplexsoccer.org to see other associations' field status.

In addition, Texas is a pretty big state. It may be raining hard in Mineral Wells but dry as a bone in Cleburne. Don't drive all the way to Mineral Wells to find out their fields are closed - look at the website first.

Games that have been rained out are automatically rescheduled over the a 72 hour period. It takes a lot of time and people to reschedule hundreds of games in multiple cities, so be patient but check the website several times. The closer we get to the end of the season, reschedules may be very quick or not at all.

We have heard in the past from individuals that teams did not get their full 10 games (as promised) and they want their money back. We (or our leagues) do not promise any amount of games. Depending on the division size, we try to give between 8 and 10 games each season. If that can't happen, there isn't much anyone can do about it. The seasons have set dates that they have to played in.

Check the website before you leave for your game. Not just this weekend, but every time you have a game.

What size ball should my child be using?

Soccer balls used in youth leagues come in sizes 3, 4, and 5.

  • 3-7 Years Old (U4-U8): Size 3
  • 8-12 Years Old (U9-U12): Size 4
  • 13 on up (U13-U18): Size 5

A Size 5 ball is the same used by adults. There are also Size 1 balls, which are often called 'skills balls' that players can use to practice foot skills.

What uniform items do I need to buy?

Cleburne Soccer Association provides a  Uniform to ages U10 and below. The uniform consists of a Jersey, Shorts, and Socks for recreational youth players to use during their games each Fall and for new players in the Spring.  Players will not get new uniforms in the Spring unless their team fails to return and players have to be assigned to new teams. Th

Additional items that parents must purchase are shin guards, soccer cleats, and an appropriate size ball. Also, extra soccer socks, shorts, and practice shirts to be used during practices will be necessary.  Players should be wearing athlethic apparel to practices and not bluejeans, polo shirts, jewelry, etc.  

CSA sells practice t-shirts at the concession stand and at registration.  Parents are also encouraged to purchse these for themselves to wear to games and show support for your team and Cleburne Soccer.

Soccer balls used in youth leagues come in sizes 3, 4, and 5.

  • 3-7 Years Old (U4-U8): Size 3
  • 8-12 Years Old (U9-U12): Size 4
  • 13 on up (U13-U18): Size 5

A Size 5 ball is the same used by adults. There are also Size 1 balls, which are often called 'skills balls' that players can use to practice foot skills.

Shin guards have sizing charts on the package. Please pay special attention to this and get a pair of shin guards that fit the player.  Too small or too big can hamper the protection the shin guard is supposed to offer.  

Soccer cleats are very specific.  The most noticeable difference is that soccer cleats do not have a toe cleat at the front of the shoe.  A player cannot play if they have the wrong cleats on.  Regular athletic shoes are allowed, but may cause the player to slip and cause injury during a game.

Why can't my daughter wear her earrings?

Jewelry of any kind, including earrings (even if covered with a band-aid or tape), are not permitted while playing soccer.  Jewelry can cause injury to the player and/or other players during the match.  Referees will not tell you that you have to take the earrings out, they will just tell you that the player cannot play with them in.  The parent is responsible for deciding what they would like to do at that point.

My child has a cast on his/her arm and the doctor says they can play soccer. Is this permitted?

A child with any type of cast may only practice or participate in games if it is covered with foam padding.  Bubble wrap is not acceptable. The player may be eligible for a refund for the season – check our website for more information.  How the cast is covered and whether or not it is acceptable for play is still up to the referee of the match.  It is best to check with the referee before the match to allow for any modifications that must be made.

When and where are practices or games?

The coach chooses the practice night(s) that best fits his/her schedule.  Cleburne Soccer Association does not dictate when or where a coach practices his/her team.  Because of the number of teams we have, CSA also does not have a master schedule of practices or locations teams practice at.

Coaches set the practices times, but generally begin between 5:30-6:30 pm depending on the time of the year. They tend to last around 1-2 hours depending on the age group (practices are shorter for younger age groups, longer for older age groups).

Each coach sets the practice schedule with a suggestion of two nights per week for children U8 and above and one night per week for U5 and U6. The first week available for practice is mid to late March for the Spring season, and early to mid August for the Fall season for youth recreational teams.  Academy and Select teams may practice year round.

Game times depend on the age group. Regular season Saturday games start around 9:00 am and are slotted all day long. Each game last roughly 45 - 90 minutes (younger ages play shorter games). Weeknight evening games start after 6:00 pm.

During tournaments, games may start as early as 8:00 am and last until after dark depending on light availablity at the field being playerd on. Sunday tournament games may occur in the morning in order to get all the game completed.

When does the season start and end?

For the FALL SEASON, practices will begin in August and games will start around the first week of September and end mid-November.

For the SPRING SEASON, practices will begin in February and games will start around the first week of March and end early-May

Do we play on holidays?

We are mindful of the holidays and try to respect everyone's ability to celebrate, however we must get the required number of games in during the season.

  • Easter Weekend: No games (but there are games in the proceeding week).
  • Mother's Day: Yes, games may be scheduled on this day, but not ususally for the younger teams.  Your team might also choose to participate in tournaments, so confirm with your coach.
  • Memorial Day: The recreational season is typically over at this time. Your team might also choose to participate in tournaments, so confirm with your coach.
  • Father's Day: The recreational season is typically over at this time. Your team might also choose to participate in tournaments, so confirm with your coach.
  • Labor Day: No regular season game are scheduled during this weekend. However, your team might choose to participate in tournaments, so confirm with your coach.
  • Halloween: Yes, although late afternoon games might be rescheduled.
  • Thanksgiving: There are many tournaments that happen the weekend after Thanskgiving if your team chooses to participate.  Invite the family to come out and watch.
  • Christmas & New Years: There are many tournaments that happen around this time if your team chooses to participate. Invite the family to come out and watch.

I don't like a situation that I saw on the playing/practice field. What should I do?

As a parent, the most important thing for you to do is have good communication with your child's coach. Talk to the coach about the situation. We want to encourage good sportsmanship, fun, and safe play.

We rely on volunteer coaches for all of our recrational teams. If you have a young child, please just allow them to have fun on the field. If you have an older child whom you feel is more competitive than the recreational team they are on or whom you would like to be come competitive, you might consider a select club. There are many select leagues in the DFW Metroplex and a few in Cleburne.

Please remember that a recreational team is comprised of many different playing abilities, coaching levels, parent expectations, and referee skill levels.

I liked my child's coach from last year, but I don't want him/her to play with the same kids. What can I do?

You cannot request the same coach but with different players. You do have the option to request your child not play on the same team and be placed back in the Player Pool for random assignment.

I do not want my child to have the same coach as last year. What can I do?

On the registration form, just indicate that you do not want to be on the same team and your child will be removed as a core player from that team. Your child will be placed in the Player Pool for random assignment to a new team. NTSSA rules require that children be assigned to teams in a fair manner. As long as there are more than two teams/coaches in a division, you may request that your child NOT play for a particular coach by designating this in the appropriate area on the registration form.

You may have to purchase new uniforms if you are wanting to move your player to a new team in the Spring and they have already been issued a uniform from the Fall.

I would like my son/daughter to play on a friend's team or for a specific coach.

We try to honor such requests and urge you to register by the deadline, although we cannot guarantee requested placements.

If your child is a returning player, every effort will be made to place your child on the same team as last season, as long as the coach and team are returning and you've not requested that your child be assigned to a new team. Please keep in mind that it's CSA policy to place additional players on teams with the shortest roster and without going over state-regulated roster size.

You may have to purchase new uniforms if you are wanting to move your player to a new team in the Spring and they have already been issued a uniform from the Fall.

Coaches may NOT request that you play for their team.  This is a serious violation of the recruiting rules.

I want my son/daughter to play in a higher age bracket. Is this possible?

The decision to have your child "play-up" is something that requires careful consideration. Such a request is generally made when a player demonstrates a skill level above his/her age of play and when there is a team available. Such a request should be made to the appropriate age group commisioner and requires board approval if the player is requesting to play up more than 1 year.

Two things to note: you need to register your child in their correct age-group, using the Special Request Form to request that they "play-up."  CSA has final approval of any player requesting to "play-up."

Where are games played?

For U4 and U6 age divisions, all games are played in Cleburne at the Cleburne Sports Complex.  

For U8 teams, you may have to travel to Glen Rose for a game or two, since their U8 teams participate in our playing league.

For U9-U12 teams, you will participate in the Metroplex Soccer Alliance and will play half (or more) your games in Cleburne and other games in other cities that participate.  

For U13 teams and up, you may participate in either the Metroplex Soccer Alliance or the Arlington Soccer Association league.  Coaches must notify the registrar if they wish to play in Arlington, otherwise they will be placed in Metroplex if that age division is available.

How can I make sure my child is on the same team as last season?

If the coach is returning and enough players from the team return (50% + 1), then the team is formed for the season.  In order to guarantee your spot on that team, you must sign up during our regular registration period (typically before and during our walkup registration dates).  

After the last walk-up registration date, teams are formed.  We are still registering players afterward during extended and late registration periods, however there is no guarantee that your child can return to the same team as last season.

In addition, if your child did not play on the team in the immediate past season, they will go into the player pool.  You can request a team your child has played for previously, but we cannot guarantee a spot on that team.

How often do I need to update my availability?

Every time it changes! Please remember to update your availability when you become unavailable at any given time.

How do I enter my availability?

Log into your www.gameofficials.net account

  1. Click My Availability in the left hand navigation bar.
  2. Select a date.
  3. Choose Available or Unavailable.
  4. Choose which group you are available for.
  5. Enter a note if you wish to add a comment to your availability (e.g., "coaching a game immediately prior").
  6. Click Save (Add Entry).
  7. Your new entry will appear as text below, and graphically in the upper left corner of the availability page

Where can I print off my schedule?

You can print off your assigned games, as well as other reports in the Reports section of GameOfficials, accessed via the left-hand navigation of the site. Make sure you read through the settings in order to print in the correct format.

Can I accept games via email?

If you receive a "New Game" email notice for a game, you can accept or decline the game by replying to the email message. This will allow you to accept or decline games when you do not have time or are not able to log into GameOfficials.net.

To accept or decline by email, reply to the message and type "accept" or "decline" at the top of the body of the email (above the text of the original email). "Accept" or "Decline" is not case-sensitive so you can enter any combination of upper and lower case letters.

In order to process correctly, the original body of the email message must be included in the message. If your email client adds characters in front of each line when replying (such as ">" or "-"), it is not necessary to remove them as they will not cause any problems.

If your email client does not include the text of original emails when replying, you will need to copy and paste the body of this email into your reply and make sure you type "accept" or "decline" at the top of the body of the email (above the text of the original email).

After you reply to the message, you should receive a confirmation if your request is processed correctly (usually within 15 minutes).

If you reply and do not receive confirmation within 15-30 minutes, contact your assignor for more information.

Do not change any of the text of the original message & do not enter messages or notes in the reply. Only type "accept" or "decline" at the top of the email

How do I get notified I have new game assignments?

First, make sure your contact information is correct in GameOfficials.net. For referees under 18 years old, the default settings for Contact info is Private. The assignors will be able to see your info always, but if you want your email or cell # public, (or maybe your parents') so a fellow official can contact you before a game to let them know they're running late, etc. Be sure to get permission from you parents if you are younger than 18 years old. You don't have to make any contact info public no matter how old you are.

When the assignor publishes assignments, the system sends notifications out to all officials with assignments (games). You can either set the system up to send you an email per batch of assignments or one per game. If you set it up to receive an email per game assigned.

The referee assignor will also send out reminders before the event if you have not accepted your games.  If you have accepted your games, you will get a reminder from the system that you have a game assigned to you.

How do I enter in conflicts I have as a referee?

You can block working for certain teams if you have a conflict or possible conflict of interest (brother, sister, child or you play on the team!).

  • Click add new game conflict
  • Select the appropriate league and team (use ctrl+f to find your team)
  • If you want to be listed as unavailable for this game (because you want to play in it watch it or you have to coach it) select the block availability box. This will automatically set you to unavailable any time the team is listed to play. 

You can also select to block all of a certain age or level. Use this feature to block you from availability from a certain age group you don't want to officiate.

How do I register to officiate games in Cleburne?

This is for referees that have never officiated games in Cleburne before.

Log into your gameofficials.net account then click "my assignor" and then select "Join New Group". From there enter the group number "1316" and access code "CSAR" in the boxes provided. When you are done, click the "Join Group" button and you will be instantly added to the new group (Cleburne Soccer Association). 

A new Group should be displayed on the My Assignors page (and under the Change Identity menu item). To switch to the new group, simply click the "Switch" link next to the group you want to switch to. You can switch back and forth between groups at any time.

If you do not know your gameofficials.net login information, contact Nathan Harris at assignor@cleburnesoccer.com.  Be sure to include your full name, email, phone, and level of certification (Grade 8, Grade 9, etc..)