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Codes of Conduct

Players’ Code of Conduct:

Players are encouraged to:

  • Recognise and appreciate the efforts made by teachers, parents, match officials and administrators in providing the opportunity for you to play the game and enjoy the sporting environment.
  • Understand the value of loyalty and commitment to teachers and team-mates.
  • Recognise that every young sportsperson has a right to expect their involvement in competition to be safe and free from all types of abuse.
  • Understand that if an individual or group of young players feel they are not being treated in a maneer that is acceptable, then you have the right to tell a member of the teaching staff from your own school or that of your opponents.

Players should:

  • Play because you want to do so, not to please teachers, coaches or parents.
  • As much as winning might be your goal, remember that skill development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
  • Be attentive at all training, coaching and match day sessions.
  • Work equally hard for yourself and your team - both will then benefit.
  • Recognise good play by all players on your team and by your opponents.
  • Be a fair and gracious sportsperson - win or lose.
  • Play by the Rules / Laws of the Game and accept, without question, all referees' / umpires' decisions.
  • Control your emotions. Verbal or physical abuse of team mates, opponents, or match officials is not acceptable.
  • Treat all players, as you would like to be treated. Do not interfere with, bully or take advantage of any player.

Teachers’ Code of Conduct:

  • Be a positive role model - think what this implies.
  • Keep winning and losing in perspective - encourage young players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
  • Respect all referees and the decisions they make (remember it could be you refereeing next week) and ensure that the players recognise that they must do the same.
  • Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner, to all young players, both before, during and after the games.
  • Provide experiences that are matched to the young players' ages and abilities, as well as their physical and mental development.
  • Never allow a player to play when injured.
  • Ensure good supervision of young players, both on and off the field of play.
  • Ensure that players have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the Rules / Laws of the Game so that no injury occurs as a consequence.
  • Ensure that young players take part in a safe environment with contingency for any emergency / first aid that is needed.
  • Communicate immediately but privately with the officials / opposition coaches if you consider the young players may be in danger within the match situation.
  • Ensure that all players respect their opponents before, during and after the games.

Match Officials Code of Conduct:

Match Officials should:

  • Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when officiating young players.
  • Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner during games.
  • Appreciate the needs of the young players before the needs of the sport.
  • Understand the physical, social and psychological development of the young players.
  • Be a positive role model. You set an example, and as such, comments that you receive should be positive and supportive.

Match Officials must:

  • Recognise that safety of young players is paramount.
  • Explain decisions - all young players are still learning.
  • Always penalise foul play.
  • Show empathy for the age and ability of the young players.
  • Be consistent and objective.
  • Ensure that verbal abuse from players, coaches, or spectators is not tolerated and is dealt with by the school staff immediately.
  • Be aware of, and abide by, the Child Protection Guidelines policies and procedures.

Parents / Guardians / Spectators Code of Conduct:

  • Focus on your child's performance, rather than whether games are won or lost - development is more important than winning.
  • Encourage your child to play by the rules.
  • Remember, the young people are involved in organised sport for their enjoyment, not yours.
  • Never ridicule or yell at your child for making a mistake or losing a game.
  • Emphasise fun and enjoyment as the main purpose of sport. Never publicly question the honesty or decisions of the officials.
  • Teach your child that effort and teamwork are as important as victory, so that the result of each game is accepted without undue disappointment.
  • Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from sporting activities.
  • Applaud good play by your own team and by the members of the opposite team.
  • Remember that school staff and match officials have given their time to provide your child with sporting opportunities. We need your help and co-operation to ensure that this experience is both positive and successful.

What makes you an informed spectator?

  • Follow a favourite player or a player who plays in your favourite position.
  • Watch what they do when they have the ball.
  • Also watch them take up position when they do not have the ball.
  • Watch how they help team mates by positional play, encouragement and by example.
  • Watch how they help team mates by positional play, encouragement and by example.
  • Try to see how both teams play and how they use their players’ strengths.
  • Look at the tactics used at set pieces such as free-kicks and corners.
  • Watch the referee and assistants and see how much work they have to do.
  • Try and see where they are when they make decisions.
  • Talent spot to find the outstanding players on both teams.
  • Be determined to use the knowledge gained if / when you play.

These codes of conduct are suggested by the ESFA and / or the SSFA. Please try to follow them at all matches. Encourage children to follow them at all of their matches.

Thank you.