Silent Weekend – 23rd & 24th November 2019
The silent weekend will be mandatory to all SPL fixtures, from U7s up to U11s but other age groups are welcome to participate.
What is the Silent Weekend?
The Silent Weekend will help highlight the impact that spectator and coach communication can have on players and match officials during matchday. By asking for silence from the side lines we hope the focus across the county will become on letting players play and help remove the additional pressures sometimes put on our match officials.
We will be asking for all verbal communication to stop for the duration of all matches in selected leagues, requesting that encouragement is shown by applause for goals and excellent play instead.
We appreciate that many people watching football will already do so in a positive manner, providing the necessary encouragement to help players perform to their best and that this is a big change from normal fixtures.
That said, we believe this is a great opportunity to gain feedback from players and allow managers to experiment with new ways of coaching their players.
What happens if other people do not follow the guidelines to remain silent?
Whilst this would be disappointing and go against the ethos of the weekend, Surrey FA will not be able to monitor all games and cannot force individuals to remain completely quiet. We recognise that football can be a very tense, exciting and passionate game at times and that some level of noise will be audible whether intended or otherwise. We hope that persistent infringements of the guidelines will be addressed by the referee with a sensible conversation during an appropriate break in play to remind of the purpose of the weekend. There will also be representatives from Surrey FA and leagues attending matches to help answer queries and where required remind people of the purpose of the weekend should they need it. We do not want parents or managers challenging one another and causing unnecessary tensions however and would ask that they report any concerns to the respective league following the conclusion of your match.
How does a coach/manager communicate with their players to get across tactical information for example?
We encourage all coaches to make use of pre-game team talks, half-time breaks and periods after full-time whistle to communicate with players during which silence is by no means expected. Surrey FA has provided some more detailed coaches guidelines within this document and we would encourage all coaches/managers to read these.
How will the event be monitored to determine whether it was a success?
Members of staff from Surrey FA and a pool of volunteers will be attending games across the county to monitor and gather feedback from the players and match officials involved. We will also be contacting Club Welfare Officers to assist with the collection of feedback. Surrey FA will communicate its findings in the weeks following the weekend.
What about youth teams aged U12 and above?
Clearly Respect applies to all age groups and we plan to run an event to highlight these groups later in the season. We will communicate the nature of this event(s) in the new year.
Where can I find out more about the Respect campaign?
If you would like to find out more about how the national Respect campaign is impacting the grassroots game then please visit www.thefa.com/get-involved/respect where you can watch the latest promotional video, download resources for your club/league and even take short online courses to promote the creation of fun, safe and inclusive matchday environments.
A Guide for Managers/Coaches
The Silent Weekend represents a great opportunity for coaches to review the way they run matchdays with their players in the absence of in game coaching.
Many coaches will have concerns that their players will lack understanding without their guidance or make errors which may impact their confidence or even lead to goals being scored against them. It is important to recognise that players need some time without their coach or parents input and that this is part of their learning and development as a player.
Potential benefits of staying silent include:
- Players develop independent learning and decision making
- Coaches can observe their players more closely without the need to constantly coach from the side line
- Players can focus on the game and not worry about instructions from the touchline
- Players have greater opportunities to communicate for themselves and as a team, helping to develop important skills
To support coaches with what might be a new approach to matchday delivery, Surrey FA will be running a series of coach CPD (continuous professional development) events in the weeks before the Silent Weekend to help inspire coaches with resources, tools and discussions around the topic ‘Coaching on Matchday’.
Each CPD event will be led by experienced FA tutors, are FREE to attend and for any FA Level 1 or 2 coaches who are members of the FA Licensed Coaches Club, you will also be eligible for 3 CPD hours.
CPD event booking and information:(All sessions 19:00 – 21:30)
- Wednesday 13th November – Surrey FA HQ, Dorking, RH4 1DZ – Book here,
- Monday 18th November – Horsley FC, Leatherhead, KT24 6NE Book here,
- Thursday 21st November – Croygas Sports Club, Croydon, SM9 9BY Book here,
Each session will include practical demonstrations and a chance for coaches to get some hands-on experience of working with players.
Coaches are also advised to access the fantastic FA Bootroom resource which has a huge selection of videos, insights, interviews and session plans all free to access. Just visit www.thefa.com/learning to access. You may also find it useful to create an FA Hive Learning account where you can share ideas, download session content and read in more detail about how to create a positive matchday environment.
To sign up for free visit: www.thefa.hivelearning.com/thefa/
Codes of Conduct
You can download, print and share the following code of conducts with your coaches, players, match officials and spectators.
- FA Respect Code of Conduct – Spectators and Parents
- FA Respect Code of Conduct – Coaches, Team Managers and Club Officials
- FA Respect Code of Conduct – Young Players
- FA Respect Code of Conduct – Match Officials
Thank you for your cooperation.
League Management Committee