Outside Assistance is a very important topic for coaches. We know that coaches want to do their job, do it well, and never place a team in jeopardy due to their own misinterpretation of what Outside Assistance is or isn’t. It is important to know just what does and does not qualify as Outside Assistance.
What is Outside Assistance?
First let’s review the basics: Coaches need to organize the team, maintain order and discipline, and sometimes motivate the kids. They may serve as a “recording secretary” to a team (no matter what division) as long as they write only what the team members say. Only Division I coaches may fill out official forms for the team. Division II and III team members must fill out the forms themselves.
Coaches are allowed to ask the team members questions to encourage them to think about their solutions and how to improve them. However, these questions must not lead the students. For example, a coach could not ask, “Don’t you think it would be better to narrate your play, rather than act it out?” The correct way to state the question would be, “How many different ways are plays presented?” This will encourage the team to think creatively and not indicate that the coach thinks the way the play is presented should be changed. By asking broad questions, the coach stimulates the team members to think. This is the heart of the OotM program. (From the program guide.)