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Handling of Absentees in DIFL

DIFL highly encourages players to attend ALL weekly practices and matches. Every absence has a disrupting impact on the overall functioning of the team. In addition, we encourage coaches and managers to help players realise the importance of attending and to let them know their team-mates are depending on them to be there—both for the matches and for practices.

That said, there are always cases where players have valid reasons for missing a practice or a game. In these cases, the parent must give reasonable advanced notice for absentees and must provide the reason to the manager. In case of illness, the parent must call as soon as possible to let the manager know the player will be absent.

As a general guideline, if a player has missed two practices and/or matches, the manager should send a note to the parents to remind them of the importance of attendance and to reiterate the fact that the team needs all players to perform optimally. Explain that the waiting list for DIFL is quite long. We need to ensure that the players on the teams respect the practice and match schedules or give another player a chance to play. It is very important for the parents to give advanced notice if a player will miss a practice or a match, as well, because the coaches need to plan out the player strategies and positions.

If the player continues to miss practices or matches and the manager or coach does not feel comfortable with the validity of the reasons, they may take up the issue with the division coordinators. Together, the coordinators, coaches and manager will decide if any action is to be taken. In ALL cases, the first action to be taken is to provide a written notice to the parents of the player to let them know that if the absenteeism continues, expulsion from the team will be considered. The final step after this written warning has been issued is to consider expulsion from the team, if the issue continues. This action can only be decided by the joint coaches/manager/coordinators/commissioner group and should not be taken lightly.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is not DIFL’s intention to punish players who are excited about football and who make the effort to play. Rather, it is DIFL’s objective to protect the integrity of the teams and to ensure that a player who is unable to commit to the team step aside and give an eager player from the waitlist a chance.

In all of this, please bear in mind that it is nearly always the player's parents who are responsible for tardiness or no shows, and it is not DIFL's intention to punish the children for their parents' behaviour! But kids can exert a lot of pressure on their parents when things are important to them, so send messages through them as well as directly to parents. Managers should send regular reminders over email or SMS prior to a game so parents know when and where the game is. They should also set an example by attending all the matches and practices as possible.

SEE ALSO: Injury Absenteeism Policy