A Message from Our Chairman

Let me begin by saying Happy 50th Anniversary CYSA, or as we know it today, Cal North.

As Chairman, I am honored and enthusiastic to lead one of the top state associations in the country with a rich history of volunteerism, service, and commitment to youth soccer. With our new Executive Director Ben Jay in place, CYSA is poised for the future as we grow youth soccer culminating with the 2026 World Cup coming to North America. CYSA exists for youth of all abilities in California to get out, play and enjoy the beautiful game of soccer in our own communities. Your involvement from grassroots to competitive elite play provides us a precious opportunity to nurture the seeds our children receive from the seven (7) valuable life lessons learned from sport – discipline, respect, friendship, leadership, resilience, teamwork and overcoming adversity.

Recently, we began our 51st year of service to our youth soccer members at our CYSA Annual General Meeting in South Lake Tahoe. I want to thank those who were able to attend, meeting with our valued vendors, recognizing our state award winners, and taking part in our workshops.

Kenyatta Scott, Chairman – CYSA Board of Directors

I hope you found our workshops’ information valuable and relevant for your needs, especially the presentation about SafeSport, the Olympic community’s initiative to recognize, reduce and respond to misconduct in sport. This initiative provides resources and direction which complies with the Federal law: ” Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017”, enacted after several national cases of athlete abuse in recent years. The Federal law applies to all youth sports that have a National Governing Body (NGB). Furthermore, it mandates the protection of youth athletes from abuse through training, reporting, education and policy development. SafeSport is a culture change for youth soccer by making administrators, coaches and parents better aware and accountable for the protection and welfare of all of our kids.

Equally important, though, was the Presidents’ Roundtable Session I facilitated answering the Presidents’ questions that provided us with candid important feedback about some of the perceptions of CYSA. Suffice to say, we heard you. Our CYSA leadership needs to do a better, more consistent and deeper job with communications. With the help of CYSA staff, I will develop a Presidents’ Forum to enhance two-way communication of information, the sharing of ideas, and important news from the CYSA leadership group. Look for the announcement about the format and frequency of the new Presidents’ Forum very soon.

If you have questions or comments, or ideas and suggestions on how we can improve our service to you, please contact our Executive Director Ben Jay at <bjay@calnorth.org> or call him at (925) 426-5437 extension 17. We welcome your input as we lead Cal North into the next 50 years.

I want to thank you for the priceless gift of your time. It is with you that CYSA will grow successfully in our communities. Open communication and progressive action are vital. We are here to listen, serve and work together with you.


Mr. Kenyatta Scott
Chairman, CYSA Board of Directors

Learning from FIFA’s #1

Belgium coached their National Team to FIFA’s #1 ranking in the world by simply applying Belgium Director of Coaching Education Kris Van Der Haegen’s: Common Sense Principles!

I passionately believe that these principles, if properly applied, can dramatically improve the playing environment in District-7 and beyond! I also ‘thanked’ Coach Van Der Haegen, for allowing me to publish his “Principles” and answering many of my questions.

Koach Karl Dewazien, D-7 Recreation Admin.

Click here to Read the Principles

2018/2019 Season Winds Down

To All District 7 Coaches, Players, Administrators, Parents and Volunteers’

A Big ‘Thank You’ to all: It is the ‘behind-the-scenes’ team that need a special thank you on behalf of the 18,000 plus players in District 7; League Presidents, League Boards, District 7 Staff, District 7 Office Administrative Assistant and Playing League Scheduler, you all did a fantastic job for the players.

Looking forward to 2019/2020, it is time to make plans: lets us get a record number of Coaches and Assistant Coaches signed up.  District 7 offers and recommends many options in Coach Training and Courses.

We always need more referees, so let us pack the referee courses with a record number of new candidates.

Let us set a challenge to increase the number of children playing soccer in this are.  US Soccer has created a small side game environment like we have had for 30 years in CYSA.  Let us embrace ‘Grass Roots Soccer’, reach out and invite more children to play.

Our next challenge: enable players to watch and learn the game.  Take players to College, University and Professional games.

Again, thank you all for being part of the CYSA and District 7 family.

Field Players

I think it might be a good idea if you actually asked your players what they plan on doing this summer to prepare for next season. Hand them a sheet of paper and a pen and ask them to write down all they know about the 1 vs. 1 game. Then…

At your next practice teach them how to place objects (shoe, hat, cone, etc.) on the ground to represent goals. Teach them, when they have possession of the ball (Attack) and score by dribbling through the opponents goal. Teach them, when they don’t have possession of the ball (Defend) and protect their goal. Then…

Have them play 1 minute 1 vs. 1 games against every player on the team and write down the score of each game.  After they have played against everyone on the team total-up and tell them their scores.  Let them know who the starting players for the next game would be as a result of these scores.  Then…

Hand them another sheet of paper and ask them to write down what they experienced/learned when playing these 1 vs. 1 game. Then…

Hold a discussion how the summer time could be the greatest time to play 1 vs. 1 pick-up games, practice new skills, and enjoy learning to control the ball in a fun-creative way. Like this…

Make sure your players understand that all it takes is a ball, a goal (objects) and two players to play a game of soccer with priceless benefits!

Finally, ask them to keep score of each game that they play and have them send their weekly results to you All Summer Long!


If you’re a coach/parent to a goalkeeper then you probably already know the rough hand that keepers sometimes get dealt. Unfortunately it’s just part and parcel of being the keeper on a team.

It’s not always easy to know how best to help your keeper out when they are feeling at their lowest so here is the 1st-tip that I’ve learned in the past.


It’s natural for your first thought to be to rush in and try to reassure your keeper and start making suggestions about how they can improve and the like. However, sometimes the best thing you can do is start by just listening to them.

They want to feel like they’ve been heard, same as any of us when we suffer a disappointment. I’m not saying that you have to agree with what they are saying, in fact you can disagree. But there is a point where you have to let them work it out for themselves.  That the bad things they are feeling about themselves aren’t necessarily true – i.e. “I’m a terrible keeper” or “I shouldn’t be on the team”

This is what will help your keeper become a stronger person, able to deal with the inevitable disappointments that will happen throughout their life, whether it has anything to do with being a goalkeeper or not.

Control your own emotions

When you’re watching your keeper, play a game in which they end up feeling bad about themselves or disappointed in their performance – it’s normal to feel a building up of your own emotions. You have a natural instinct to protect your keeper and maybe a need to lash out, but you need to learn to control your emotions; especially when you’re in earshot of them.

Avoid venting in public.  Complaining or blaming the other players on the pitch does not serve any purpose. Not only do you look like a sore loser, but you may also embarrass your keeper, which may only serve to make them feel worse.

Learn from the Pros

After observing 100’s of games and suffering from personal experience, both as a player and a coach. VAR will definitely help change attitudes which are only good for the game.  You name the foul & be counting nearly every form of assault known to man. If perpetrated in a public place it would rightly earn the culprit several years in prison. So where can anarchy reign in our daily lives?

Just try a soccer penalty area just prior to a corner kick. Every weekend a pile of games on TV highlight foul after foul every time a corner kick is about to be taken. They range from pushing, holding, scratching, grabbing, punching, to near rape. If the police were in charge rather than a referee nearly 50% of all professional players would be watching these games from their prison cell, probably in a padded one!

Pro’s will take the laws to their limit in their competitive zeal to win but somewhere between FIFA, the players and the referee the game has gone off track and something needs to be done rather than watch this weekly farce get worse & worse. Do we have to wait ’til someone gets killed or an illegal goal causes a riot? Why can’t FIFA & other governing bodies be proactive with positive changes?

Like the infamous “Hand of God” that somehow legalized the issue of handling the ball in the box to millions watching, especially youngsters. “If Maradona can get away with it why can’t I” and the cancer spreads.

Today it’s even worse because of so many games televised worldwide. To this day I have never worked out what is “professional” about a “professional foul.” To cheat to win only devalues the game and sadly too many professionals don’t realize their influence they have across the sport to the next generation of players.

I feel for the officials on some distant parks pitch dealing with this junk & have no support, trying to deal with this rubbish. Then you wonder why so many referees walk away from the game.

It’s time to deal with this mess and come up with some options & possible changes to the Laws. A good place to start is by looking at other sports that have gone through similar problems. Field hockey might be a good place to start where they separate attackers from defenders at corner kicks. Even the biggest thug can’t abuse the player they usually “mark” as the defenders have to start on the goal-line with the attackers on the edge of the circle or in soccer’s geography, the edge of the box.


Don’t Pass on Safety Enforcement

 The IFAB Laws of The Game, specifically Law 4, states “A player may not use equipment or wear anything this is dangerous”.  It is a duty of the referee to inspect the players and substitutes prior to allowing them to take part in a match.

Players wearing equipment that is unauthorized or dangerous to themselves or others are not allowed to play until the item is removed.  All items of jewelry are forbidden and MUST be removed (not covered with tape or other material).

Players unwilling or unable to comply are not allowed to participate or continue to participate in a match (if the item is discovered after the match has begun).

Officials need to enforce the safety rules.  Identifying a safety rule and not enforcing it could lead to the official being held liable for a player’s injury.

Officials who should reasonably have been expected to notice a safety violation and do nothing about it are putting themselves in a potentially bad legal situation.  If an injury occurs, one may wonder if the official was aware of the potentially dangerous situation and why he or she didn’t do anything about it.

Overlooking the Laws will put a heavy burden on the official who will need to explain why he/she should not be held responsible for the injury.

Leagues administrators, coaches, players and parents must all be made aware that safety rules must be enforced.  The Laws place the duty on officials to police illegal and unsafe equipment.  Even if a league modifies or removes some Laws that should in no way convince an official to overlook an obvious safety risk.

It is not acceptable, undermines the official’s authority and strips him/her of their duties when moms, dads and coaches do not support the official’s decisions as listed in Laws 4 and 5.

Some officials, especially at the lower levels of competition, may decide to take the risk of overlooking violations in order to increase their chances of being assigned more games or to minimize the conflicts they will encounter with administrators, coaches and parents if they enforce the Laws.

Officials have the responsibility to enforce the Laws of the Game and to make sure the players are as safe as possible during the activity.

If officials do what the Law book says and do it every time, they will greatly reduce their legal exposure.

Boys’ Referee of the Year Part 3

What “words of wisdom/ advice” would you like to share/ give to:


Regardless of the score, do not show disappointment to your team.  Yes, a loss may feel terrible; however, it does not mean that your team is not good enough to improve through hard work at practice.  I have witnessed coaches yelling at their team just because they were not winning.  This only causes a team to ‘shutdown’; players become negative in their play and in their attitude.  Being positive is a key factor in developing a player despite the score or performance of the team.  Use ‘constructive criticism’ instead of negativity when talking with a player or the team; you will reap the rewards in the long run.


If you do not want the game to end for you, then become a ‘referee’.  As a player, the knowledge you have will carry over to being a referee.   You understand the types of play on the field by two competitive teams.  This is also a ‘life’ lesson: learning what it is like going from a player to the person in charge who needs to perform quality work.  Consider yourself a player on the field with great authority to ensure the game is played fair through your observations as to what goes on during a game.


Encourage your son or daughter into thinking about becoming a referee.  It will mold them into a leader without a doubt.  When wearing the ‘uniform’ and they see themselves in the mirror, it will be a feeling of great pride to be a part of a community who care for the sport just as much as they did as a player.  Developing from a player to a referee will be one of many highlights in their life.  Others will see them grow into a professional, mature and responsible person, not only on the field but in school and work as well.

Know Your Role!

Players Play.
Coaches coach.
Officials officiate.
There should be very little, if any, overlap between them.
“The outcome of our children is infinitely more important
Than the outcome of any game they will ever play!”

– Koach Karl Dewazien –