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First Annual "Sister City Saturday" This Saturday
Sister City Saturday is this Saturday: November 20
In August, 2010, a U13 Girls Cultural Exchange team of Santa Monica AYSO Region 20 soccer players participated in a tournament hosted by Santa Monica’s Sister City, Fujinomiya, Japan. Our cities have been sisters for 35 years, and this was the third time in 10 years we were invited to visit them and hope to reciprocate in the near future.
To honor that relationship, on Nov. 20, 2010, we will hold “Sister City Saturday”. All games will be played with the sportsmanship on display in Fujinomiya. In addition, we will observe the Japanese pre-game customs as follows:
- Both teams will come to the outside of the center circle to observe the coinf flip. (each team standing on opposite sides)
- The referee conduct the coin flip with the captains in the usual manner
- Both teams will then bow to each other.
- Both teams will then line up on either side of the referee, parallel to the touchline, facing the home team’s side (north or west of the field.) and bow to the spectators on that side.
- They will then bow to the spectators on the visitors’ side of the field.
- The referees will then step back as both teams file past each other similar to our shaking hands at the end of the game. As they file past they will wish their counterparts good luck by saying, “Gambatte Kudasai!”
Both teams will then begin play as normal and spectators & coaches will display excellent sideline behavior.
During the game, referees will acknowledge exemplary sportsmanship as follows:
If the referee sees an example of exemplary sportsmanship, such as helping a fallen opponent off the ground, retrieving a ball when it is an opponent’s restart, the referee will “card” the player by showing them a Green Card. That player will then be written up in the official lineup card of the match.
The Cultural Exchange team players are encouraged to roam the fields and provide guidance to any other players.
Thank you for helping us start this tradition of sportsmanship in honor of our Sister City, Fujinomiya.
For more information about this year's Cultural Exchange team, including letters by the players, go to the Cultural Exchange Team page under the INFO & FAQs tab.