NYSWYSA youth soccer players have rights, but they also have obligations to play within the rules of NYSWYSA and US Youth Soccer. National and New York West officials have done their best to make such rules as fair as possible to players, coaches and administrators. It is the responsibility of ALL persons involved in youth soccer to KNOW both their rights and obligations. This goes for parents and guardians as well. NYSWYSA administrators urge every NYSWYSA participant to become familiar with these rights and obligations.
The New York State West Youth Soccer Association (NYSWYSA) considers that any player who registers and is rostered to a travel team each seasonal year (September 1 - August 31) has reached a mutual agreement with the Team Official(s) to play on that team until the end of the current Seasonal Year. Registration and Rostering to a team must be renewed each seasonal year. The player may choose to be released from the team at any time and for any reason, e.g., to play another sport, to play on another US Youth Soccer (USYSA) affiliated team (rules permitting), not to play anymore, etc. Upon leaving a team, the player must honor the agreement reached with the Team Official(s) regarding payment of fees, return of uniforms and/or other equipment, etc. Failure to do so may prevent the player from joining another team; therefore, it is essential that players and their parents or guardians get a clear understanding of the policies regarding FEES (amount, when due, refunds) and EQUIPMENT (who owns what) BEFORE joining the team.
Team Officials cannot refuse to release a player. Upon receiving a request, Team Officials must act promptly in completing the release process in accordance with NYSWYSA policies and procedures. To effect the release, a NYSWYSA Player/Team Status form (available from the state website forms page, the NYSWYSA State Registrar, the District Commissioners, and the NYSWYSA State Office) must be completed and signed by the player, the player’s parent or guardian, and a Team Official. The parent or guardian must also complete the portion explaining the reason for the requested release. The player and parent/guardian signatures on this form are NYSWYSA’s verification that the player is leaving the team voluntarily. NYSWYSA will not process a release unless all signatures are present on the form and the reason stated.
According to US Youth Soccer rules, a player may be released involuntarily only for the following reasons:
- The player has violated rules of US Soccer, US Youth Soccer or NYSWYSA
- The player has moved beyond a reasonable distance (as defined by NYSWYSA)
- The player is injured in such a manner that he or she will not be able to participate for the remainder of the season.
- In the case where team rights are in question, NYSWYSA permits the involuntary removal of a player from a team if the player, player’s parents/guardians, or anyone associated with the player are disruptive influences. A Team Official for approval must submit requests for this type of involuntary release in writing to the NYSWYSA Board of Directors (with a copy to the player’s parents/guardians).
While the player may leave a team at any time, there may be restrictions on joining another team; generally, these restrictions are defined in League rules. Violation of agreements with the former team on payment of fees or return of uniforms and equipment may prevent the player from joining another team. In addition, NYSWYSA and National rules may restrict the number of players that can transfer onto a team within a given Seasonal Year. It is the player’s responsibility to notify the officials of both teams that he or she desires to move, and to verify if any restrictions apply that would preclude such a change or limit the player’s participation on the new team before action is taken on being released from the present team.
Under US Youth Soccer and NYSWYSA rules, a player has the right to be concurrently rostered to more than one team. The player can be a Secondary (multiple-rostered) player on one team and can be a Primary player on one team. Only Primary players can participate in State Cup competitions. (Teams containing multiple-rostered players are eligible to compete in State Cup, but the secondary rostered players cannot participate. See Cup rules for specifics.)
Most leagues have further restrictions that preclude playing for more than one team within the league. There may also be restrictions on participation in tournaments, which should be investigated at the time of application. Players must indicate in the appropriate sections of the affiliated club membership and Player Registration and Player/Team Status forms any affiliation with other teams. The player must also inform all appropriate Team Officials of his/her affiliation with other teams.
Players have the right to participate with another team as a guest player in tournaments if the tournament rules so allow. Team Officials must make the US Youth Soccer Member Pass available on request to allow this participation; the Passes must be returned as soon as possible after completion of the tournament. In considering participation as a guest for another team, the player should first consider obligations to the present team, and whether the player’s absence would be a detriment to the team in any scheduled games or activities which conflict with the tournament. Players passes are owned by NYSW, NYSW retains the right to rescind a pass at any time.