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Code 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 manor 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  Please try to follow them at all matches. Encourage children to follow them at all of their matches.

Thank you.