Code of Conduct

Spectator Code of Conduct

We would like to remind you that abusing anyone whether they be a coach, manager, match official, parent or player is NOT ACCEPTABLE under any circumstances.

Tips for mums and dads

  • Be a good role model – children watch and learn from you, so make sure you set a good example.
  • Avoid a ‘win at all costs’ attitude – although you may think winning is important, the focus for junior sport should be on fun.
  • Be aware that your abusive behaviour may be against the law – ask yourself, ‘Would my mother be upset or offended by what I am saying or doing?’ If the answer is yes then it’s best to sit down and be quiet.
  • Try not to be critical of coaches, referees or umpires – many are volunteers who give their time to make sport possible for all our children, and some are just learning. If you have some constructive advice for them, leave it until after the game or have a respectful chat with the head coach or referee.

What we ask you to do

  • Help create a positive atmosphere for players, officials and other spectators by showing respect for players, officials and other spectators.
  • Abide by our club’s Code of Conduct and refrain from using bad language, harassing or ridiculing others or behaving in a threatening or violent manner.
  • If you are aware of inappropriate spectator behaviour and you feel confident to do so, speak with the person and ask them to stop. If there is a ground official or committee member present, ask for their assistance.
  • Report any inappropriate spectator behaviour to the club president or someone in a position of authority.
  • Call the police or a club official if you are concerned about your safety or the safety of others.

If you are a coach or a manager

  • If the abuse is directed at you – try to stay calm, maintain your professionalism and explain that you will discuss the issue with them during a break or after the match.  Do not accept or ignore abusive, offensive or foul language.
  • If an official is the focus of the parent’s abuse –  you should try to defuse the situation.  Talk calmly to the parent, acknowledge their frustration and emphasise that the call has been made and that the decision must be respected.  You can refer to your club’s code of conduct and explain the penalties if the behaviour continues.  Make sure you report the incident to the relevant club administrator, preferably in writing.
  • If the abuse is directed at children or a child playing in your team or on the opposing team – don’t ignore a parent who verbally abuses their child on the grounds that ‘it’s none of my business’.  Speak to the over-enthusiastic parent privately before their behaviour gets out of hand — this will often prevent the situation escalating.  Highlight the positives and emphasise the need to identify children’s strengths, not their weaknesses.  Emphasise that children are there to have fun, develop skills and build their confidence. Remind the parent about the club’s code of conduct. Explain what may happen if the behaviour continues, based on your club’s membership rules and policies report the incident to the club’s administrator if the behaviour continues and you foresee a future problem.
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