Irish Grassroots Football

RESPECT: Cork Schoolboy League

The Cork Schoolboy League are getting serious on Sideline Behaviour. Over recent months Eddie Doyle Hon.Secretary of the League has been sending out notices to his members on the marked deterioration of the behaviour of adult mentors and spectators.

Taken from an email send out in November, Eddie wrote,

“Not a weekend goes by without reports of conflict between mentors and referees, mentors and opposing players, spectators and opposing players and, even between spectators and spectators.

The Management Committee of the Cork Schoolboys League will view all such incidents with the utmost seriousness  – particularly in cases of verbal/physical abuse of players.

The Management Committee wishes to remind all adults involved in our games that the players are children – and we all have a duty of care towards them.

Clubs in membership of the Cork Schoolboys League are fully responsible for the actions of their appointed officials and for the actions of their supporters.

You, as secretary, are requested to inform all adults involved in the running of your schoolboys teams that:

  1. Any team official found to have verbally abused match officials will serve a suspension from all football activities.
  2. Any team official found to have abused/threatened a schoolboy player will serve a lengthy suspension and incur a substantial fine for the relevant club.
  3. Any finding of aggressive/threatening behaviour by parents/supporters will result in a substantial fine and/or further sanctions (points deduction, team suspension or expulsion) for the relevant club.

It is the view of the Cork Schoolboys League that there can be no excuse for any instance of an adult official/spectator threatening or abusing an underage player. Please treat the above as an official warning from the Cork Schoolboys League”.

-end of Email

This week another email was sent out to members reiterating the message from the previous email:

“Following on from our email below on November 2 the CSL is initiating a respect programme which we would expect all clubs to note carefully. We will be using the FA Respect videos and the message is very clear in each video.

We will use the news section of the website and the CSL twitter @corksl to publish the respect videos. The first video has been uploaded on the website and twitter today.

Please advise all your players,coaches, parents and supporters of this initiative”.

-end of email.

As you know I welcome any initiative that is going to keep spectators on the sidelines of youth sports in check. I still feel that leagues in Dublin and around Ireland are still not doing enough and although many got involved with the Silent Sideline weekends, it’s important that we carry that message into each and every weekend.

Let’s not forget these are children and not adults. They play for fun. We are in the ‘development zone’ and not the entertainment zone!

End of Article

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Coerver Coaching Munster & Cork SL


Coerver Coaching Munster started a trial programme last year looking at the SSG structure. Together with clubs from Cork Schoolboys League we took 7v7 & 5v5 games and we introduced some basic rules and tried various interventions with the aim to give the kids the best possible experience whilst offering a structure to aid the players development.

How it worked: 

We take 8 squads of 10 players and they play a number of matches between each other for approx. 90 mins. The results and feedback has been very positive and as coaches we have at times had to go against our better judgement and take the feedback from the players.

Results so far, what the kids said’

In essence they want the game to be a similar to what they see on TV, so they wanted the larger 16 x 7 goals and 7v7. So we took away the smaller goals and 5v5 pitch’s and developed rules to encourage teams to play soccer.

  • Strictly no coaching, but encouragement for both teams is allowed
  • All parents, coaches & players are brought together at the start and told this and the reasons why.
  • The vast majority of the kids stated that they liked it when no one was shouting at them, and to be fair to the coaches once they understood the format they used the breaks very well to make clear concise communication rather than commentating for the whole game.
  • The ref (coerver’s own coaches) may at times offer advice during the game, this will tend to be initially at the breakdown when the goalkeeper is trying to play the ball out.

The rules and interventions provide structure as expected in a full size game but will ensure that the scoreline remains respectable and all players have full inclusion and a fun time. After this weekend over 60 teams will have played and we have not had one flash point and have seen an improvement in how the kids perform in the games.

To date with has been worked with Under 9 & Under 10 with Under 8’s this week, will be interested to see how they work with the structure…

Keep up the good work coaches & let the kids play !!


Cork Schoolboy League


I really positive and combined forward thinking initiative by Coaching Coaching Munster and Cork Schoolboy League. Fantastic work and great to see School Leagues working with other organisations and sharing ideas.

I always like to hear your opinions. Please comment below or email me If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend. Thanks for reading. I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary