When training a team filled with underage players, a code of behavior is highly necessary. It must be signed and agreed upon by all parties, (the coach, the kids and the parents) so there won’t be any problems in the future.

code of behavior, underage players

Why a Code of Behavior is Needed

Just like in all other aspects of society, the sports realm should have a basic standard of conduct. Not only for coaches, but for children and parents too. These codes are needed to make sure that everyone adheres to their part of the agreement. If something were to happen to the players, the sports organization, and even the coach could be held liable for the incident. This is why having a signed agreement is so important.

A code of behavior should include three parts: the rights of underage players, the rules that parents and athletes are expected to follow and the principles a coach must practice during his tenure.

Underage Players Code of Behavior

 Entitlements:

  • Be and feel safe.
  • Experience a sense of joy and fulfillment.
  • Be treated with respect, dignity and sensitivity.
  • The right to comment and make suggestions in a constructive manner.
  • Participate in competitions and games at levels they feel comfortable.
  • Be protected from abuse.
  • Be listened to and respected.
  • The right to make their concerns known and have them dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Underage Players Should:

  • Play fairly, do their best and enjoy themselves.
  • Respect fellow team members regardless of ability, ethnic origin or cultural background.
  • Respect all coaches, mentors, officials and their opponents.
  • Ensure that their coach/mentor/manager is informed in advance if they are unavailable for training and games.
  • Tell somebody immediately if anyone is harmed in any way.
  • Always play by the rules – never cheat.
  • Never use bullying or unfair tactics to gain an advantage or exclude other players.
  • Never spread rumors.
  • Never tell lies to adults or anyone else.

Code of Behavior For Coaches

  • All coaches working with children agree to and submit a background check before the season begins.
  • Respect the rights, dignity and integrity of every person.
  • Treat each person equally regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnic origin, cultural background or religion.
  • Recognize the developmental needs and abilities of all young players by emphasizing participation for all and avoiding bias and favoritism.
  • Skills development, teamwork and personal growth should take priority over competition.
  • Do not develop a preoccupation with medals and trophies. The level of improvement made by young players is the best indicator of effective coaching.
  • Never use foul or provocative language/gestures to a player, opponent or match official.
  • Promote fair play.
  • Promote respect.
  • Encourage parents to become involved in the team and club activities.
  • Do not shout at or lecture players or ridicule them when they make a mistake. Children understand and learn better through trial and error, encouragement and positive instruction.
  • The use of any form of physical punishment is prohibited as is any form of physical response to misbehavior, unless it is by way of restraint.
  • Avoid incidents of horse play, role play or telling jokes that could be misinterpreted.
  • Should develop an appropriate working relationship with children based on mutual trust and respect.
  • Never condone bullying.

These are a few of the rules that should be included in a code of behavior, when working with underage players.