WSSL is a 100% volunteer organization. Every family is required to have at least one ACTIVE volunteer -- more are welcome! That may be a team role (like a coach, assistant coach or team manager), a divisional role (like a referee, assistant referee, equipment manager or awards day manager) or a league-wide role (like commissioner, coach trainer, referee instructor, safety director or registrar).
In addition to many obvious roles in WSSL, there are many more opportunities to lend your skills to the league -- either on the field or from behind a desk. If you have not found a role that is right for you, please contact your division head or the commissioner directly.
WSSL provides fun and informative volunteer training. Most training takes place right before the season and other training is added on an as-needed basis during the season.
WSSL needs the volunteer commitment from all involved to continue the excellent tradition of soccer in NYC.
Here's the quick list of opportunities (more robust descriptions follow for some):
- Head Coach -- requires training and weekly commitment
- Assistant Coach -- requires training and weekly commitment
- Referee or Assistant Referee -- requires training and near to weekly commitment
- Team Manager -- weekly commitment to team logistics and spirit
- Team Sponsorship -- secure a sponsor for your team or other teams in your division
- Tournament Volunteer -- help to manage tournament activities in your division
- Registration -- help with in-person registration night
- Scholarships -- help review scholarship applications for league, camps, etc.
- Park Support -- hands on support for the parks where we play
- Equipment -- help the league manage equipment maintenance and acquisitions
- Safety -- league safety director; manage paperwork for any injuries
- Photo Day -- attend photo day to manage process (Fall only)
- Volunteer Coordinator -- help your division manage/assign/track volunteers
- Uniform Distribution -- help your division receive and give out uniforms
- Awards Distribution -- help your division receive and give out awards (U12 and younger)
- Training Coordinator -- work with the league to secure indoor space for volunteer training
- Coach Administration -- help your division manage coach attendance at training clinics
- Referee Scheduler -- help your division schedule game coverage by referees
- Referee Administration -- help your division manage referee attendance at training
- Division Administration -- help your division manage administration, particularly volunteer forms
- Website -- help the league manage the website (experience with Dreamweaver a plus)
- Field Development -- Work with the league to create new fields (experience with fundraising and project mgmt a plus)
- Events -- Help the league throw annual volunteer regconition events and/or attendance at Red Bull Games
- Photo Archive -- Collect and manage seasonal photos for the website and presentations
- Photographer -- Document WSSL on the field (ahem, not just your own team...)
The Coach is the focal point for teaching soccer and team skills with the purpose of playing safe and fun games. Coaches are responsible for their teams, both at games and at practices. Coaches of 8 year olds and older are expected to hold at least one non-game day practice each week during the playing season. Every Coach is required to attend a Safe-Haven clinic (3 hr) at least once in their career and to be certified at the age-appropriate Coaching Clinic.
Every team will have an Assistant Coach whose function is to help the Coach at games and practices and to substitute for the Coach in his/her absence. Assistant Coaches are also expected to attend Safe-Haven and Coaching Clinics.
The Referee is the ultimate authority during the game. The Refereeâ€™s primary responsibilities are to insure the safety of the players and to enforce the Laws of Soccer. To accomplish this in an authoritative manner, Referees must have knowledge of the applicable Laws for the age group with which they are involved. Every prospective Referee is required to attend a training session and become certified at the appropriate referee level for their division. For U6, U7 and U8 levels, a three and a half hour course is required. For U9 and older levels, an additional four hour course is required. Referees will be expected to commit to officiating at least five times each season for games in which their child is NOT playing. Every team is expected to have at least o ne or two parent volunteers to Referee.
Refereeing your own child’s game is not a recommended practice and is discouraged, especially as they get older, because of the likelihood of perception of bias. It can be a challenge to recruit Referees, and in some situations when there is a shortage of Referees, having a parent Referee her own child’s game may be the only option. However, it is best if this situation can be avoided.
Assistant Referees (ARs) are trained and utilized in divisions where goalkeepers are used and Offside infractions are called (ages 9 and older). ARs are uniformed officials who assist the Referee from the touch li ne by indicating offside infractions, fouls and penalties outside the Refereeâ€™s view, balls out of play, and other duties assigned by the Referee. Unlike Referees, ARs may officiate their own child's games. This position provides parents with an excellent opportunity to participate in their children's activity and enables them to experience the excitement and enjoyment of soccer officiating. ARâ€™s are required to be certified by taking the appropriate training sessions.
The Team Manager is responsible for all of the administrative work necessary for running a team including setting up a phone tree for communication between the Coach and the playersâ€™ families and distributing team rosters and other information from the Coach and the League. The Team Manager is also responsible for scheduling snack days, assisting at Photo Day, arranging team activities at Awards Day and any other duties assigned by the Coach. There is no special training required for this position and there is usually only one Team Manager per team.
If you have a teenager...
In addition to parents, aunts and uncles, West Side Soccer League has great opportunities for teenagers to volunteer. WSSL provides training and support for teens to become referees and to become buddies to children with disabilities in our VIP program. The schedule for volunteering is flexible as games take place on both Saturdays and Sundays at various times. Teens can earn valuable Community Service Credits for participating in training and for serving as referees or VIP buddies.
For more information on the Teen Referee Program, click here.
The VIP Program only runs in the Fall and more information is available here.
All Volunteers Must Register (It's easy!)
All WSSL volunteers - board members, division heads, chief referees, coaches, referees, team managers, and other administrators - must be registered as such with AYSO national.
Volunteer backrounds and references are checked by national staff to ensure the safety of our children. Your information will not be shared with any third party. Key personal information (e.g., social security numbers) will be encrypted. You will need to fill in specific information including details on personal references. Once you are ready, please click on the link below to register as a volunteer through AYSO national's eAYSO system. http://www.eayso.org/
Tips On Volunteer Registration
It's easy to do. Just follow the Log In instructions. Click on Volunteer on the top of the eayso site, sign up and go. (Make sure you hit Volunteer, not parent.) If you have registered as a volunteer before, it takes just a few minutes to update your record. If not, it is easy to sign up as a new volunteer and takes just an extra couple of minutes. Once you are done, print the form, sign it (this is essential for you to be covered by insurance) and give it to your Division Head. Your Division Head will then give the form to the League's Child and Volunteer Protection Advocate (CVPA) for processing.
If you forgot your password, you will need to call the lovely people at eAYSO, not the lovely people at WSSL. eAYSO folks can be reached Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm Pacific Standard Time at 866.588.2976. They can help you find your password or generally trouble shoot your volunteer registration.
If you are having other troubles with your volunteer registration, please contact our Child and Volunteer Protection Advocate at firstname.lastname@example.org.