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FM United Soccer Club. Serving the Fargo-Moorhead Community!

FM United SC Handbook

FM United Club Handbook

Revised July 4th 2016

FM United SC Handbook 2016.07.04 pdf

Statements of Our Organization

Our Vision: To build a meaningful soccer community for the families and youth of the Fargo-Moorhead area

Our Mission: To serve the Fargo-Moorhead soccer community by providing holistic player development focused on technical advancement, character building, and community involvement

Our Values:

  • Players: Developing youth in our community with a passion for soccer is our primary focus. We strive to prepare youth who understand the value of treating others with respect, giving your best effort, and always looking for ways to improve. We seek to challenge the players to become stronger players on the field and engaged community members off the field.
  • Parents and Families: We provide a family oriented atmosphere and encourage parents to be very involved and engaged with the soccer experience. We are open with our communication to families and strive to be transparent in all areas of club activity.
  • Coaches and Game Officials: Coaches and Game Officials are vital resources to our club's success. We partner with and train coaches and officials that share our commitment to providing a memorable soccer experience, that can elevate youth soccer skills, and that can support development of leadership skills on and off the field. We seek to partner with individuals who share our passion for a positive experience in a competitive and educational environment.
  • Community: We support the community by being an inclusive club with a strong emphasis on servant leadership and volunteerism. We use the soccer experience and resources to improve the communities in which we live. Our players, families, coaches and officials are asked to practice good citizenship and actively support their local communities.




FM United to Serve

More importantly than developing great athletes, we feel we have the obligation to develop quality people. One of the ways FM United stands behind this core value is through our internal FMU to Serve program. This program encourages our members to give back to their community through team community service projects. Each year, our athletes will have at least 4 opportunities to drop their athletic routine and be reminded of the importance of community and the power of the human spirit. We love our community and we’re confident we can make a difference. Some of the ways you’ll see our athletes giving back is through the cleanup of parks they use, serving other sport organizations and their associations, serving the under-privileged and specialized community projects.




2016-2017 Competitive Program



At launch, we are offering programs for competitive (travel) soccer. Competitive soccer demands a high level of commitment from players and their families, including practices 2/3 times a week, plus travel for games.


Although we do not ask players to have soccer as their only sport, the high level of commitment needed for our program means soccer should be the #1 priority sport of each athlete during our season. When placed on the roster, each player commits to being at training sessions, games and tournaments unless they are ill, injured, have a significant family event etc.


The base model of our program is built on players taking part in both of our outdoor soccer seasons: fall and spring/summer. The club also offers an optional winter season (January & February) for indoor soccer.



Age Groups

In our inaugural season, we will be holding try-outs for teams in the following age groups:

  • Boys born in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 (2009 may try-out for 2008 pool)
  • Girls born in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 (2009 may try-out for 2008 pool)


Try Outs

There is no fee for try-outs, but registration is required. See website for specific details about dates, times, and locations of try outs. Registering for try-outs is not a commitment to play, nor is it a commitment from the club to offer a place on a team. Players should register for & attend try-outs to be eligible to play in any of the seasons (fall, winter, spring/summer).


Players who played with FMUSC in spring/summer 2016 must register for try-outs, and are encouraged to attend, though attendance is not mandatory.


All players new to the club must register for try-outs, and need to make every effort to attend try-outs. If your child cannot attend (for example out of town) please email us at club@fmunitedsc.org after you have completed registration. We intend to hold limited make-up sessions (date & time to be confirmed).


The majority of our players wish to play soccer in both outdoor seasons, and this is the basis on which our programs are run. To ensure we are able to field teams in both seasons, team placement priority is given to players who register & pay for both outdoor seasons. The only way to guarantee a place on the program for spring/summer is to also play the fall season.


Players who wish to play a single season (fall, winter, or spring/summer) will be offered a place in the program for that season only if numbers registering allow it – i.e. there is room on the rosters of an existing pool, or there are enough registrants to expand the pool sufficiently to create field additional teams within it.


See website for additional information on season fees, calendars, dates, tryout registration information, and selection information.


Individual / Full season registration policy

The full soccer registration year runs August 1st to July 31st. FM United SC breaks this full year into three seasons:

  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring/summer

FM United SC provides the opportunity for participants to register and pay for the full season (all 3 seasons) at a discounted rate to paying for each individually.

  • Refunds will not be granted for the winter /spring seasons for any participant who pays the discounted full-season rate.
  • Participants who only pay for the fall season, and subsequently decide to play winter / spring seasons, will be required to pay full registration fees for those seasons and will not be able to access the discounted full-season rate.


Player placement policy

Families should ensure they are familiar with program policies, fees, requirements etc. prior to their child attending try-outs, and should contact the club with any questions. Each family will be notified via email of her/his child’s team placement within one week of the last tryout. Families should be ready to respond within 48 hours to an invitation to accept a place in the program, and to pay the minimum fee due at that time. Player evaluation will be based on technical, tactical, physical and psychological ability. Existing club players will be evaluated on an ongoing basis, and also at try-outs for the upcoming season. New players to the club will be evaluated at try-outs for the upcoming season.


Failure to place policy

Registration of your child, at any time of the registration process, does not guarantee a place in the Program. There may be instances where your child will not be offered a place in the program. Such instances include, but are not limited to, the inability to offer a suitable program due to lack of players, late registrations, unsuccessful payments, missing payment deadlines, the club feeling that our competitive program is not the right environment for the child (see player placement policy).


Player Pool System

FM United Soccer Club operates a Player Pool system, which works in this way:

  • All players in each age group typically practice at the same day, time, location
  • Early in a season there will be focus on integrating new players, assessing performance levels (technical, tactical, physical & psychological) and training as a combined group.
  • As a season progresses, practices will be designed to develop players according to their needs. This may mean a greater emphasis on skill development for some, while others focus more on tactical or physical development. Players are likely to be grouped in those sessions according to their performance / ability levels.
  • Teams for games and tournaments will be planned and announced ahead of time, with the aim of placing each player in an environment that is right for them. Often – but not always – this will mean an ‘A’ team playing against higher bracket opponents, and a ‘B’ team playing against lower bracket opponents.
  • The teams will not be named ‘A’ & ‘B’, and will not be set in stone; there will be movement between them.
  • Our goal is to establish pools where the number of players is divisible into teams for games. For example at the 9 v. 9 age groups a minimum 9 players are needed for a team and maximum roster size is 14; ideally a pool would have 12>14 or 24>28 players. To accomplish this, some age groups may be combined (some players playing ‘up’ a year).
  • If it does not work out to have a pool where the number of players divides into teams, not every player would go to each tournament / play each game. In an example of 19 players in a pool, the club may send 12/13 players to each of 3 tournaments, such that every player attends two of the tournaments.


Why does FM United Soccer Club operate a Pool system?

  • Develop strong team spirit for all players in an age group
  • Give greater flexibility to develop players at their own pace
  • Encourage competition as players strive to play at a high level
  • Allows mixing of teams to provide more game opportunities



Financial Policies


No pay, no play policy

Players will only be allowed to participate in FM United SC programs if one of the requirements below has been met:

  • Participation fees due have been paid.
  • A scholarship request has been received by FM United SC, and communication has been made with the scholarship applicant about payment terms.

FM United SC will make efforts to collect past due fees as appropriate with potential for removal of current and future playing privileges. Please remember that FM United SC is a nonprofit organization that relies on registration fees.


Refund Policy

  • If your child is not placed on a team, a full refund will be issued (see failure to place policy).
  • No refunds will be granted for previous seasons for any reasons.
  • Refunds requested via email (club@fmunitedsc.org) before the start of the season, as defined by the first scheduled practice session, will be considered by the Board of Directors.
  • No discounts will be given for players who are not able to attend all events.
  • Requests for prorated refunds (or credits to future seasons) due to serious injury should be requested via email club@fmunitedsc.org for consideration by the Board of Directors.
  • Any refunds, if granted, may be subject to a processing fee, and may be minus any expenses already incurred.



FM United Soccer Club is committed to providing opportunities to our area youth and we ask that you carefully consider your inability to pay registration fees as the monies allocated for these hardship requests are limited and will be awarded to those families with the greatest needs. FM United offers a limited number of scholarship grants to players each season whose families do not have the financial means to pay for their child’s Registration Fees only.


Eligibility requirements:
1. Family has the ability to provide the required equipment for the players’ participation.
a. Including- uniforms, shoes and shin guards.
2. Family commits to participating in at least 80% of scheduled practices and games.
3. Scholarship request is received at least two weeks prior to the registration closing date. (Unless otherwise approved by the Board)

  • The FM United Scholarship program covers only the Registration Fee for the player.  Therefore, it is very important that a player and family review the potential additional expenses prior to committing to play competitive soccer.
  • Scholarships will not be granted for registration fees that have already been paid.
  • Late or incomplete application submissions may result in participants not being placed on a team.
  • Eligibility for our scholarship program does not guarantee that you will receive assistance.  Funds are limited and will be awarded per the approval of the FM United Soccer Club Board of Directors.
  • All submitted requests will be discussed with the FM United Board of Directors at a scheduled meeting and all inquiries will be kept strictly confidential.






Uniform orders & payment will be submitted with payment & registration for the season. Uniforms will be used / renewed in two year cycles – so uniforms used beginning August 2016 will be used through to July 2018.




Code of Conduct Policies


Player Code of Conduct:

Developing youth in our community with a passion for soccer is our primary focus. We strive to prepare youth who understand the value of treating others with respect, giving your best effort, and always looking for ways to improve. We seek to challenge the players to become stronger players on the field and engaged community members off the field.


All players commit to:

  • Treat all others with respect
  • Give their best effort at all times
  • Fully engage in the FM United to serve program
  • Maintain good attendance at practices, games and events
  • Offer praise and encouragement to team mates
  • Not act as a ‘bully’ in any way
  • Report any bullying to the coach or their parent


Parent Code of Conduct:

As a parent/guardian of a FM United SC player, I agree that:

  • I will respect the rights, dignity and worth of every player, regardless of their abilities, gender, religion or cultural background
  • I will not treat any player in an unfair, unjust, or discriminatory manner
  • I will respect the decision of coaches, officials and club administrators and teach my player to do likewise
  • I will remember that my player participates in the sport for their own enjoyment, not mine
  • I will raise any issues or concerns with my player’s coach or club staff, whichever is appropriate
  • I will report any inappropriate actions by my player’s coach, trainer or other adult to the club’s leadership
  • I will not question the official’s judgement in public. I will not approach a referee before, during, or after a game.
  • I will not criticize or yell at my child for performance or losing a competition
  • I will remember that children learn best by modeling- I will recognize and reward good players’ performances by both my child’s team and the opponent
  • I will teach my child that doing one’s best is as important as winning so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a game or event.
  • I will support my child by offering praise for competing fairly and for honest effort.
  • I will encourage my child to play in the spirit of the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility.
  • I will support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from youth activities.
  • I will respect and show appreciation for the coaches who give their time to provide sport activities for my child, understanding that I have a responsibility to be a part of my child’s development.
  • I will respect and show appreciation for the other parents who share these standards of behavior.
  • I will refrain from criticizing calls and performance of referees, coaches, players.
  • I will attend and participate as a spectator, not as a coach. I will not shout instructions from the sideline.


Coach code of conduct policy (see full policy on the website for more information)

Coaches and assistant coaches are expected to maintain a high level of sportsmanship, professionalism, and integrity both off and on the field. A coach’s primary responsibility is for his/her players to have fun, to develop soccer players, and to instill a passion for the game. The performance of coaches is not measured in wins and losses, but rather in what is taught to players in terms of technique, sportsmanship, and fair play. Coaches must maintain respect for the game. Coaches are charged with the responsibility of controlling their players and parents at all times during a match. Coaches lead and teach by example; players will be a reflection upon each individual coach.


Right to refuse policy

The FM United Soccer Club believes in making every effort to work through issues, however, in effort to protect the players, families, and organization; the Club reserves the right to refuse any participants (including, but not limited to: players, coaches, referees, family members, spectators) for any reason.



Other Policies


Concussion Safety

FM United Soccer Club is proud to operate a concussion safety program which utilizes the King-Devick Test, a remove-from-play sideline concussion screening test. The King-Devick Test is an objective remove-from-play sideline concussion screening test that can be administered by parents and coaches in minutes. The King-Devick Test is an accurate and reliable method for identifying athletes with head trauma and has particular relevance to: Football, Hockey, Soccer, Basketball, Lacrosse, Rugby, Baseball, Softball and All Other Contact and Collision Activities. Full details of the FDT can be found on their website kingdevicktest.com


FM United SC Soccer encourages coaches, players, and families to:

  • Learn about concussions -The player, family, and coach should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of a concussion
  • Identify the signs and symptoms of a concussion – we must recognize the signs of a concussion and check to see if the player is experiencing symptoms of a concussion.
  • ‘When in doubt, take the player out.’ – It is best practice to remove the player from competition if there are signs and/or symptoms a concussion has occurred.
  • Do not let the player return – The player should not return to competition until he or she is evaluated by a medical physician and cleared to play.
  • Monitor recovery – Players who have experienced a concussion should be allowed to return to participate on a gradual basis. Player’s should continue to be monitored with the goal that the player will eventually return to full participation at an individual pace. Not all concussions are the same.


Weather, Lightning, Game & Practice Cancellation Policy

Games will generally only be cancelled by FM United SC due to unsafe playing conditions, including lightning or heavy rain before or during a game. Practices can be cancelled, rescheduled, or postponed by the coach or the club for reasons pertinent to their specific team, including but not limited to: adverse weather; unsafe playing conditions; conflicting events / game schedules. Once a game has started, the referee has the deciding say to cancel the game due to bad weather. If referees are not available, coaches should confer to cancel games. Once a practice has started, it is the coaches’ decision to cancel due to weather. Games and practices are allowed to continue immediately following any postponement for bad weather unless lightning was present, then you must wait 30 minutes from the last visible lightning strike.


Lightning- If lightning is seen, games and practices should be postponed 30 minutes from the last seen lightning strike, and / or cancelled. If games are past halftime when it is cancelled, it is considered a full game. If games are cancelled before halftime, the game may be made up in its entirety. The head referee does not need concurrence from both coaches to postpone or delay the match.


Cancellations will be communicated via the club website & messaging tools within it.


Alcohol, tobacco & drugs policy

FM United Soccer Club is a drug free organization. Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and other drugs are not permitted at any FM United Soccer Club events, including practices and games. No coach or volunteer shall participate in any FM United Soccer Club activity while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Smoking or use of tobacco products is not permitted in or around youth sports practices or games



Guest Player Policy

A request for a FMUSC player to guest play for another club:

  • Needs to be communicated to the players’ coach, team manager, and the executive director.
  • Approval should come from the executive director (with input from the coach). Team Manager will assist with required administration.
  • If the host club player under a different sanctioning body (e.g. US Club Soccer), the player may need to apply for a player card with the host club.

A request for a non-FMUSC player to play with a FMUSC team:

  • Needs to be communicated to the players’ coach, team manager, and the executive director.
  • Approval should come from the executive director (with input from the coach). Team Manager will assist with required administration.
  • For a sanctioned tournament:
    • If the player already has a USYS player card with their ‘parent’ club, the guest player needs to get that player card to the FMUSC team manager.
      • A USYS Medical Release waiver is also needed
    • If the player does not have a USYS player card, the guest player will need to get to the FMUSC team manager:
      • Proof of date of birth
      • Photo
      • USYS Medical release
    • If the guest player is guesting at the request of FMUSC (i.e. FMUSC is short on players and asking for guest player help), there will be no fee to the guest player
    • If the guest player is guesting at the request of the player (e.g. visiting from out of town; looking for additional playing opportunity) they will need to pay fees to cover:
      • Tournament fee (pro-rated)
      • Player card fee (if applicable)
      • Other fee if applicable (to be communicated by executive director)
    • The number of practices (if any) the guest player will attend prior to the event should be agreed prior to attending any practices. Typically this will be restricted to the week leading up to the game / event.


Jersey Numbers Policy

To avoid number clashes if / when players play ‘up’ an age group, FMUSC will allocate odd numbers to players born in odd calendar years, and even numbers to players born in even calendar years.

Players are not able to ‘request’ specific jersey numbers.


Team Names Policy

FMUSC doesn’t assign team names, except as required at tournaments. All of our players, teams, and pools share the Wolfpack identity (…for the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack!)