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AYSO Region 58

Silent Saturday



What is Silent Saturday?

Jill Ellis, the only coach to have won back to back World Cups, said, “We have, at the youth level, far too much over-coaching from the sidelines when players should be learning to make their own decisions, and far too much referee abuse, which among other things distracts players from focusing on their own responsibilities.”

Landon Donovan, the most successful soccer player in US history, said, “We have an epidemic when I go to youth soccer fields of coaches and parents yelling at kids, telling kids what to do with every pass and every decision. What that has created is a dearth of excited, passionate soccer players and a dearth of decision-makers on the ball.”

"Silent Saturday" has been instituted in AYSO Regions throughout the country finding a great deal of success. Its main purpose is to let the kids play and have fun without having to worry about how their performance is affecting the
adults on the sidelines. "Silent Saturday" is a throwback to the old schoolyard days when kids would get together after school and on weekends just to play the sport all day without regard to who was winning and repercussions for poor play and decision-making.

The objectives of holding a "Silent Saturday" are:

• To reemphasize that the game is about letting the kids play and have fun.

• To give the players a chance to play totally on their own and teach them they can make their own decisions on the field.

• To eliminate the verbal questioning of the referees' decisions.

• To see how players do when they are just having fun without parent and coach direction.

While the vast majority of adult verbal participation is intended to be positive and constructive, the fact of the matter is that games can (and have in the past) become so loud that the players often have difficulty hearing each other on the field. Taking one week off from any verbal interference may help adults’ gain perspective on just how loud they've been in the past.

If you want to learn more about it, watch this video featuring Scott Gimple from the AYSO National office talking about Silent Saturday.




You may not make any verbal comments on the game or direct any comments to the players, referees, or coaches - on or off the field. No yelling and no cheering. Clapping IS allowed! Be creative in how you choose to cheer your child's team - make signs to hold up, bring a rally towel in the team's color and wave it wildly, there are lots of ways to cheer other than verbally.


You may not provide any direction - verbal or non-verbal - to players who are on the field. You make speak quietly to any players that are on the bench, but DO NOT give those players instructions to yell out to their teammates! Coaches may address the players at a normal tone before and after the game, during water breaks, and during halftime. 6U, 7U, and 8U coaches will still referee their games and can instruct players on proper restarts or game play issues, but we ask that you do so quietly and avoid coaching players on the field on game play issues.


You are encouraged to speak to each other on the field. You are free to support each other and provide direction to each other. Players on the bench may cheer freely in a positive manner, but may not provide instruction to those on the field.


Referees have been instructed that if spectators and coaches are not following the rules, the referees are to stop the game and issue a warning. The referee will then have the option to give a second warning if the behavior continues, to remove coaches or spectators who are not cooperating, or to terminate the game.

Let's always encourage and support our players while they are learning and playing the game, but for this one Saturday, "Mums the Word!"


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AYSO Region 58

PO Box 56526 
Sherman Oaks, California 91423

Email Us: [email protected]
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