Code of Conduct
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR COACHES & OTHER OFFICIALS ADVICE
Please read this document carefully prior to signing the code of conduct.
- PRACTICAL ADVICE ABOUT THE CODE OF CONDUCT
1.1 – It is recommended that you never take chances with young people’s safety. Make sure that equipment and facilities are safe and that they match players’ ages and abilities. It is also recommended that you make yourself aware of any health and safety policies of your rink or facility that you are using which may have an effect on your training, club, team, officials and players.
1.2 – You must ensure that you have the knowledge and are aware of the policies, procedures and guidelines in relation to the taking of any performance enhancing drugs, and ensure that players are aware of banned substances. Policy and procedures for drugs and dope testing can be found on the EIHA website Link
1.3 – You must inform the parents if you believe that a player is taking any form of illegal drugs. Please seek advice at the earliest opportunity in these matters.
1.4 – You must not encourage injured players to return too early from injuries or to play while injured. It is important that you follow the advice of the player’s doctor, if given, in determining whether an injured player is ready to play again. Also it is important that you take as much interest in those players who are sick or injured as in those who are fit.
1.5 – You must protect your players from harm or abuse which includes bullying. Details of the process and advice relating to these matters can be obtained from the EIHA website Link
1.6 – It is important that you do not put players at risk by playing them just on their ability but should take into account both physical and emotional maturity as well as experience. There is plenty of advice available to you to ensure that if you have doubts in relation to this matter that you seek advice at the earliest opportunity, and, certainly before taking any action that may breach the code of conduct.
1.7 – You have a responsibility to your players and should avoid overplaying players.
1.8 – It is important to help reduce stress for young athletes by reminding parents that too much pressure on children can detract from the fun and personal growth that sport can bring.
1.9 – Be generous with praise, but avoid ridiculing or yelling at players for making mistakes or for losing. (Remember that children play to have fun and should be made to feel good about themselves.)
1.10 – Teach your players to be fair and RESPECT the rules of the game.
1.11 – You should consider sport to be an environment where every individual has the opportunity to participate. Adhere to equal opportunities policies and do not allow any form of discrimination to go unchallenged.
1.12 – It is important to emphasise the benefits of a balanced and healthy lifestyle and support players’ well-being outside as well as within the sport. Be honest with players and parents about the demands of the sport and what will be expected of them.
1.13 – It is important to set a good example as it has been proven in studies that a coach/official is the second most influential person in a player’s development, not just in the sport but in their life, after their parents. Remember that children need coaches and officials that they can respect.
1.14 – You should not take any action that might result in a loss of trust, or an action which is not in the best interests of the sport as laid down by the governing body in its documentation.
1.15 – You must not conduct yourself in an aggressive or derogatory manner towards other coaches, players, officials or spectators at any time. You need to understand that your behaviour reflects not only on you club but also on the association that you are part of. Respect is an important attribute, especially when dealing with national and international hockey authorities.
1.16 – It is also important that you demonstrate a respect for the opposing team and accept the judgments of officials and opposing coaches without argument. It is also one of your responsibilities to encourage your team to do the same.
1.17 – It is your responsibility to ensure that your players understand that any racial abuse towards any participant or spectator is unacceptable, and failure to comply with this requirement will result in disciplinary action against the offender and yourself.
1.18 – Do not make approaches to players from other clubs to encourage them to join your club. In particular, coaching staff that have access to regional or national players must not encourage those players to leave their current club and join the club that they are coaching at or are affiliated with.
1.19 – Make a personal commitment to keep informed on sound coaching principles and the principles of growth and development of children. Keep up to date with knowledge of the rules. Make efforts to learn from and share knowledge with others.
1.20 – This point is important as it may relate to conference and National progression for your players and you must ensure you follow the equity guidelines in these matters. If a player is working with other coaches, use reasonable efforts to cooperate with them for the player’s benefit. It is also essential that you cooperate with other specialists such as physiotherapists and doctors.
1.21 – Always aim to plan all training sessions in a progressive fashion, designed, as far as possible, to meet the needs of both the team and the individual players.
1.22 – Encourage and guide players to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance.
1.23 – For your own and everyone else’s benefit, try not to become over-stressed or over-tired. It is important to consider your own health in these matters. Be aware of the example you are setting to the players and parents you are dealing with and those who maybe coming into contact with you for the first time.
- PRACTICAL ADVICE ABOUT WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE
2.1 – Do not rely on your good name to protect you and do not, for one moment, believe ‘It could never happen to me’.
2.2 – Be aware that young people can and do fabricate stories that can place you in a bad light. Do not allow circumstances to develop where a young person’s story can be given additional credence.
2.3 – Never engage in inappropriate physical or verbal contact with young people and be careful in giving manual support. Coaches must at all times avoid situations that could be misinterpreted by the player or an outsider.
2.4 – Whilst respecting the need for privacy and confidentiality, try never to be totally alone with a young person. When one to one situations are unavoidable, ensure that other adults are close by and are aware of your presence.
2.5 – Coaches should always try to work in pairs and encourage an open environment. Avoid spending any unnecessary time in the changing rooms when players are changing etc.
2.6 – If it is suspected that a young person is developing a ‘crush’ on a coach, discuss it with them and other leaders and explore constructive ways of dealing with it in a proper manner.
2.7 – Similarly, if you notice one of your colleagues is risking accusations, draw this to his or her attention and suggest they adhere to the guidelines.
2.8 – Mixed gender groups (especially residential ones or when travelling away from home) should always have mixed gender leadership.
2.9 – Never share a room with a child, invite or allow children to stay with you at your home unsupervised. Think before you take children alone in car journeys.
2.10 – Be aware of body language. Gestures and facial expressions convey messages even when nothing is said.
Examples of relevant to some items mentioned in the code of conduct:
Bringing the game into disrepute
Disrepute – a loss or lack of credit or repute
Neglect of duty
Neglect of duty – (law) breach of a duty
Negligence, non-performance, carelessness, neglect – failure to act with the prudence that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances
Use threatening abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.
Gross misconduct & misconduct
“Misconduct” is where something is seen as unacceptable but is not a criminal offence e.g. deceptive manipulation.
“Gross misconduct” can lead to immediate dismissal because it is serious enough and possibly criminal, e.g. stealing or sexual harassment.
Misconduct refers to an action, rather than neglecting to take action, or inaction which could be referred to as poor performance.
“Violence noun assault, attack, brutality, clash, disorder, eruption, explosion, ferocity, force, furiousness, fury, inclemency, manus, onslaught, rage, rampage, ruthlessness, savagery, severity, unlawful force, vehemence, violentia, wildness”
“Conduct noun actions, acts, address, air, aspect, bearing, behaviour, behaviour pattern, breeding, carriage, code, compliance, comportment, conformance, correctness, course of behaviour, dealings, decorum, deeds, demeanor, deportment, established practice, ethics, etiquette, fashion, guise, management, manner, manners, method, mien, mode of action, mode of behaviour, morals, operation, performance, personal bearing, port, posture, practice, presence, procedure, propriety, public manners, role, seemliness, social behaviour, social graces, style, way, way of acting, ways, wise”