Youth football teams in Hertfordshire will be holding a 'silent support weekend' across the county next month.

The idea is to cut down on what a Hertfordshire FA spokesperson described as "unnecessary distractions from the sidelines", such as interventions from parents, family and friends.

Instead, youth leagues in Herts will be asking parents and supporters to avoid speaking or shouting to players, limiting their noise to applause only. Coaches will still be able to provide instructions and give support to players.

The concept of a silent support weekend was trialled last season, and will be returning on December 2 and December 3.


During the trial, feedback from youngsters suggested that they enjoyed the opportunity to improve their communication with teammates, and being able to play without parents shouting at them.

Herts FA hope that the return of the initiative will support the development of young footballers by giving them more independence in their decision-making.

Karl Lingham, CEO of Herts FA, said: “Feedback from previous Silent Support Weekends showed clear benefits for young players, who told us they enjoyed matches with less outside interference and a calmer atmosphere on the sidelines, allowing them to focus on playing the game.

"We are grateful to Hertfordshire Girls Football Partnership League, Herts Youth League, Mid Herts League, Royston Crow Youth Football League, Watford Friendly League, and West Herts Youth League for working together to deliver this initiative, which highlights their commitment to creating a positive environment for young players to develop.”