Players’ Guide Introduction
The objective of the player guide is to help all players understand Boston Bolts Club culture and key policies. All players and staff are asked to embrace this culture by adhering to the points raised in this document. These guidelines are a fundamental part of the development of a young football player and ensures the continued success of the Boston Bolts.
Day to Day Principles
1.1 Players should always set out to BE THE BEST. Boston Bolts Club players should strive for
sporting excellence, give their best and be committed to excellence, on and off the field.
1.2 All Boston Bolts players should strive for the best in their own development as a player, the
improvement of their team and their own personal growth and development as an individual.
1.3 Players must adhere to the weekly schedule drawn up by the Team Coach in relation to training sessions, games, and team meetings.
1.4 Players must carry out assigned duties as designated by the Team Coach.
1.5 Respect is a key element of the way we conduct ourselves. This includes the respect to:
- Parents and spectators
- Match Officials
1.6 Players should extend this courtesy at all times throughout training and games. Demonstrating such respect and sportsmanship is mandatory.
1.7 Maintaining good sportsmanship and conducting one’s self with class, integrity and respect for others throughout games and practices is required of both players and parents.
2.1 The Boston Bolts are a highly reputable and professional organization that provides players with soccer development and personal growth opportunities to achieve excellence both on and off the field. Playing with the Bolts is a privilege and an honor and players are expected to conduct themselves in a manner befitting that honor. At all times players are representing the Boston Bolts and are expected to uphold the excellence in conduct expected of a Bolts player.
2.2 Player misconduct toward each other or toward others (i.e. foul language, cursing, verbal or physical bullying, use of racial slurs, exhibiting threatening or abusive language or actions, etc.) in training sessions or on match days will not be tolerated. Additionally Bolts players exhibiting misconduct outside of a Bolts activity or event including any of the above infractions, may result in suspension or dismissal from the Club and is at the complete discretion of the Bolts Executive Team.
2.3 At all times older players must understand that they are an example to younger players and are responsible for their behavior. Foul language will not be tolerated in their presence.
2.4 At all times players are expected to demonstrate a positive attitude and high energy levels as requested by the Coaches.
2.5 Players who do not conduct themselves responsibly or positively, should expect consequences including but not limited to:
– at games, less playing time
– at practices, being asked to sit out
2.6 Players should be respectful of all facilities used by the Club. The rules of the club and the facility must be followed.
2.7 Poor behavior will be addressed by the Club and may include suspension from training and/or games.
2.8 Players should look to always be supportive of teammates and not negative.
2.9 It is forbidden for any Boston Bolts players to possess or consume alcohol or non-prescribed drugs of any kind while representing and/or participating in club activities, including tournaments, games, practices, team social or group activities, travel, etc.
Similarly, behavior of parents, family and friends should follow these principles, without exception.
Attendance and Commitment
3.1 Strict punctuality for both training and games will apply at all times. Players should arrive 15 minutes prior to practices dressed and ready to train. Players should arrive at minimum 1 hour prior to a game, unless otherwise advised by the Coach.
3.2 If it is not possible for a player to attend through illness or otherwise, they must inform their Coach as early as possible. The player should always contact the Coach via call or text for any changes in expected attendance within 48 hours of the event. Messages via another player or parent are not acceptable.
3.3 If a player is running late for training, he or she must inform the Team Coach with as much notice as possible. On late arrival, players should respectfully go to the coach and inform coach of their arrival.
3.4 Game time is a reward for hard work, positive attitude and responsible behavior at training and games. It is the Coach’s discretion regarding playing time and positions.
3.5 Players who are late for games without a very good reason should not expect to start, and should not expect equal playing time.
3.6 The Club reserves the right to release any players who show a lack of commitment to the team. This may include poor attendance, non-attendance at key games and tournaments, and/or disruptive negative behavior.
Appearance and Dress Code
4.1 On arrival at the fields, all players must be dressed in clean Boston Bolts kit (no substitutes).
4.2 Kits include:
- Training – Boston Bolts practice shirt/ black shorts/black socks
- Games – Home Colors – White Kit – Secondary Colors – Black Kit
- Bolts Player hoodies may be worn to training.
4.3 Base layer/Compression wear should be either white or black to match uniform being worn.
4.4 Shin guards must be worn for ALL training and games. The Club will NOT be responsible for any injuries incurred if a player does not wear proper equipment.
4.5 Players are encouraged to wear proper footwear to avoid injuries: studded cleats for grass and artificial turf shoes for turf fields.
4.6 Hats (including baseball caps) and ear rings are not to be worn at the training grounds, or on match days.
4.7 On the match days, players must wear Boston Bolts warm up attire, trainers and back pack. Only recent issued gear MUST be worn.
5.1 Players are rostered with the Club and hence available to play for multiple teams. While players may be initially selected to compete primarily with a team, the Club reserves the right to move players to other teams based upon the Club needs, team needs and player development. Players need to be prepared to train and compete with different age groups as required.
5.2 Participation in games is a reward for hard work, commitment and capabilities. It is the coach’s discretion to manage game tactics, formations and player rotations.
5.3 Players may speak with the coaches regarding their playing time, position, etc. Parents are discouraged from having these discussions especially at ages U14 and above.
5.4 Substitutions – to improve the flow of games and assist in player development, a policy on the frequency of substitutions and a maximum number of substitutions has been instituted.
5.5 Training attendance – attendance at training is critical. Players may not replace team training for other events, clinics, etc. unless specifically approved by the Club. Parents are encouraged to drop off players at training and return at the end of training to pick them up.
5.6 Playing Time – In league games, the Boston Bolts will follow the substitution policy. All players will be provided ample opportunity to play. However, commitment, availability, training attendance and performance, and prior game performance are all factors that impact a player’s playing time. Players who are not in game condition will play according to their physical limits, as determined by the coach. All of the above applies to ages U12-U14. Playing time U11 and below typically have equal or almost equal playing time across a season.
At the age U15 and above, teams compete to qualify for play offs at the end of the season. Playing time can vary based on the competitiveness of the game and opposition. For games further away, rosters may be reduced from 18 to 16 players.
5.7 Ultimately, the Boston Bolts will field the team that the coach believes will be competitive and succeed.
6.1 Players have an absolute duty to maintain a lifestyle that protects their capacity to play to the best of their ability. This requires that they follow a healthy diet, avoid alcohol and drugs and ensure that they have enough sleep.
6.2 Players ensure they get adequate rest and sleep prior to games. Players must adhere to the coach’s guidelines and preparation requests.
6.3 Players who have their driver’s license must consider their safety and that of others at all times. All players must adhere to the 10 m.p.h. speed restriction at the training grounds.
6.4 Other than nutrition and sleep, players should ensure that they mentally prepare for training and matches. Players should come to all events ‘ready to go’.
7.1 Players should prepare for training and games in an appropriate manner.
7.2 Players will be required to do training at home, follow individual programs, and off-season training. It is the responsibility of each player to undertake the training they require to meet the team and Club standards.
7.3 Players should also take the time to review any homework assigned by the coach.
7.4 Players are responsible for preparing all their own uniforms, equipment and water for training and games. It is the responsibility of players to inform parents where assistance is required.
8.1 Players should monitor their involvement in other activities with caution. This is especially important prior to games.
8.2 While younger players might participate in other sports, the Boston Bolts expect that players make Boston Bolts training and games a priority. To achieve a level of excellence, the Boston bolts encourages that soccer become the sole sport for those who want to play competitively at the collegiate level.
8.3 Players who attend games after another physical activity MUST inform the coach, and similarly should not expect to play as much as other players who are fresh.
Approved Participation in Other Soccer Programs
9.1 Players are permitted and approved to attend training with USSF Training Centers
under the direction of the Club’s DOC.
9.2 Boston Bolts player participation with soccer programs, trainings, competitions,
identification centers, tryouts, etc., other than the Boston Bolts:
9.21Players may not participate, train and/or compete for another Club or Program while a member of the Bolts
9.22 Players may not roster with a second club; DA players may not double roster and may not play high school soccer while a member of the Bolts DA without receiving in writing a formal waiver from Bolts and USSDA.
9.23 Players are not allowed to participate in any other identification sessions/programs, other than the USSF Training Centers which are by invitation only and communicated through the Club.
9.24 Players are required to participate in post-season play-offs, showcase events, and or tournaments as scheduled by the Club.
9.25 As per USSF Development Academy rules, players may not tryout or attend ID centers for another Development Academy until after their current team’s season is completed.
9.26 Bolts DA players may not participate in futsal programs or teams outside of the Bolts Futsal League. DA players identified as doing so may be suspended and or dismissed from the Club.
10.1 Players are permitted to use social media sites. However, they must be mindful that journalists and the general public closely follow Twitter/Facebook/Instagram accounts of certain individuals and their posts on other social media sites.
10.2 Tweets or posts (including pictures) may be reported on and reproduced on any media platform. Consequently, players must not post or tweet on subjects that could harm the reputation of the club, coaches, other players, administrators, match officials or governing bodies.
10.3 Do not post photographs of a sensitive nature (i.e. anything you would not wish to see reproduced in a newspaper).
10.4 Social media and online accounts may be monitored for inappropriate content, and it is mandated that all players refrain from inappropriate conduct (including without limitation the use of ethnic slurs, personal insults, abusive or threatening language or actions, or obscenity (either written or image based).
11.1 Player misconduct will be handled by the Coach and Club according to following guidelines.
- Tardiness – less playing time.
- Discipline issues – less playing time and or practice or game suspension at discretion of Head Coach
- Red card – to be reviewed by Club and up to 3 game suspension.
- Unsporting/disrespectful behavior at training and at games – immediate withdrawal from activity, with potential for additional consequences as situation dictates.
- Training or competing with another club or team without express written Boston Bolts consent – immediate dismissal from Club.
11.2 Disciplinary Action
The Club has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for more serious issues such as bullying, racial abuse, or use of racial slurs, theft of property, illegal drug use, and significantly disrespectful or disruptive behavior, etc. regardless if this behavior occurs during Bolts events or outside of Bolts events. The Head Coach may define team or individual disciplinary actions (e.g., practice or game suspension, request for written or spoken apology, report to parents, etc.), and is at his or her discretion. More serious player misconduct issues will be reviewed by the Director of Coaching and CEO, to determine disciplinary action. Decisions on disciplinary actions (including suspension and or dismissal from the club) relating to any of the aforementioned player conduct guidelines, are final and at the sole discretion of the Bolts Executive Team.