HAMPSTEAD RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB’S CODE OF CONDUCT POLICY
Hampstead RFC (HRFC) aims to ensure that all people irrespective of their age, gender, ability, race, religion, ethnic origin, creed, colour, nationality, social status or sexual orientation have a genuine and equal opportunity to participate in the game of Rugby Union at all levels and in all roles.
To ensure that this can happen in as favourable environment as possible the Club has developed the following Codes of Conduct which are intended as guidance as to how the Club expects its members and volunteers to behave towards each other in the various roles that they might have.
The Codes of Conduct cover the following roles within the Club:
- Parent; and
Failure to adhere to these Codes of Conduct may result in Disciplinary Action being taken by the Club against the individual concerned.
THE GOOD COACHES’ CODE
Coaches of players should:
- Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching players.
- Understand that most learning is achieved through doing.
- Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport.
- Be a positive role model – think what this implies.
- Keep winning and losing in perspective – encourage players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
- Respect all referees and the decisions they make, even if they appear to make a mistake, and ensure that the players recognise that they must do the same.
- Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner to all players, both during coaching sessions and matches.
- Provide rugby experiences which are matched to the players’ ages and abilities, as well as their physical and behavioural development.
- Ensure all players are coached in a safe environment, with adequate first aid readily to hand.
- Give everybody a satisfactory amount of playing time.
- Never allow a player to train or play when injured.
- Ensure good supervision of players, both on and off the field.
- Recognise that players should never be exposed to unacceptable risk of injury.
- Recognise that it is illegal for players under 18 to drink alcohol or for those under 16 to smoke. Coaches should actively discourage both.
- Ensure that their knowledge and coaching strategies are up to date and in line with RFU philosophy.
- Be aware of, and abide by, the RFU recommended procedures for taking young people to away games & on residential tours at home and abroad.
- Be aware of and abide by the policies and procedures outlined in the Policy and Procedures for the Welfare of Young People in Rugby Union.
- Coach to the rules laid down in the Rugby Continuum and keep themselves updated on rule changes.
THE GOOD PLAYER’S CODE
HRFC players are encouraged to:
- Recognise and appreciate the efforts made by coaches, parents, match officials and administrators in providing the opportunity to play the game and enjoy the rugby environment.
- Understand the values of loyalty and commitment to adults and team mates.
- Recognise that every player has a right to expect their involvement in rugby to be safe and free from all types of abuse.
- Understand that if an individual or group of players feel they are not being treated in a manner that is acceptable, then they should tell an adult either at the Club or outside of the game.
- Play because they want to do so, not to please coaches or parents.
- Remember that skill development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
- Be attentive at all training and coaching sessions.
- Work equally hard for themselves and their team – both will then benefit.
- Recognise good play by all players on their team and by their opponents.
- Be a sportsman – win with dignity, lose with grace.
- Play to the iRB Laws of the Game and accept, without question, all referees’ decision even if they appear to make a mistake.
- Control their emotions. Verbal or physical abuse of team mates, opponents, coaches, match officials or spectators is not acceptable & to be aware that HRFC have a policy of fining players who receive yellow or red card’s from officials
- Treat all players, as they would like to be treated themselves. Do not interfere with, bully or take advantage of any player.
THE GOOD PARENT’S CODE
HRFC encourages parents and guardians to:
- Be familiar with the coaching and training in order that they can ensure their child is fully involved and the coaches are aware of their availability.
- Be familiar with the teaching and coaching methods used by observing the coaching and training sessions in which their child participates.
- Be aware that the Club has a duty of care to ensure the safety of players and therefore, where appropriate, assist coaches with the supervision of the players, particularly where numbers are large and there is a need to transport players to away games.
- Be involved with Club activities and share their expertise.
- Share concerns, if they have them, with Club officials.
- Be familiar with the Good Coaches’ Code contained within this document, especially
- coaches should recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching players; and
- coaches should keep winning and losing in perspective – encourage players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
Support coaches in installing these values.
- Remember that young people play rugby for their own enjoyment not that of their parents.
- Encourage young people to play – do not force them.
- Focus on the players’ efforts, rather than winning or losing.
- Be realistic about the players’ abilities; do not push them towards a level they are not capable of achieving.
- Provide positive verbal feedback both in training and during the game.
- Remember that persistent, negative messages will adversely affect the players’ and referee’s performance and attitude.
- Always support the Club in its efforts to eradicate loud, coarse and abusive behaviour from the game.
- Remember young people learn much by example.
- Always show appreciation of good play by all players both from their own Club and the opposition.
- Respect decisions made by the match officials, club officials and coaches, and encourage players to do likewise and to observe the Club’s Good Spectator’s Code.
THE GOOD SPECTATOR’S CODE
HRFC encourages spectators to:
- Act in a positive, encouraging and non-abusive manner
- Be familiar with, and abide by, the RFU Child Protection Guidelines in relation to verbal and emotional abuse.
- Respect guidance from the Club with regard to spectator behaviour.
- Remember that all HRFC’s players, especially children, play sport primarily for their own enjoyment, not for that of spectators.
- Acknowledge good individual and team performance from all players irrespective of the team in which they play.
- Respect match officials’ decisions, even if they appear to be a mistake – remember, they are volunteers proving an opportunity for players to play rugby.
- Never verbally abuse players, coaches, match officials or fellow spectators: such behaviour can create a negative environment for players and their behaviour will often reflect this.
- Acknowledge effort and good performance rather than ‘to win at all costs’.
- Verbally encourage all players in a positive manner, shouting ‘for’ not ‘at’ the players.
- Encourage all players irrespective of their ability – never ridicule any individual player, regardless of the team in which they play.
Respect the opposition & treat them with the same conduct as outlined above.
Child Welfare Policy
This policy should be read in conjunction with The Welfare of Young People in Rugby Union Guidance (“the Guidance”) ‐ a copy of which can be viewed on the RFU website – www.rfu.com.
All Officers, Committee members and others involved in volunteering at Hampstead RFC must be aware of their responsibilities in this area to ensure that the Club responds appropriately to any indication of poor practice or abuse in line with RFU/W Policy (see the Guidance ‐ sections 4 and 5);
- Anyone under the age of 18 should be considered as a child or young person for the purposes of this document.
- The welfare of all children and young people is paramount.
- All children and young people, regardless of age, gender, ability, race, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, social status or sexual orientation should be able to enjoy the game in an environment safe from abuse of any kind.
- It is the responsibility of child protection professionals to determine whether abuse has taken place but it is everyone’s responsibility within the sport of rugby union to report concerns.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately as per RFU/RFUW Policy and Procedures.
- Working in partnership with parents/carers is essential for the protection of young people.
- The RFU/RFUW recognises the roles and responsibilities of statutory agencies in relation to safeguarding children/young people and promoting their welfare, and is fully committed to complying with the procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards.
- The RFU/RFUW Policy and Procedures for the Welfare of Young People is mandatory and Hampstead RFC must appoint a Welfare Officer to ensure that the appropriate procedures are followed.
POSITIONS OF TRUST
All adults who work with young people are in a position of trust which has been invested in them by the parents, the sport and the young person. This relationship can be described as one in which the adult is in a position of power and influence by virtue of their position. Sexual intercourse or touching by an adult with a child under the age of 16 years is unlawful, even where there is apparent consent from the child. A consensual sexual relationship between an adult in a position of trust
within the rugby setting and a child over 16 years of age is contrary to the Policy and Procedures for the Welfare of Young People in the Sport of Rugby Union.
Adults must not encourage a physical or emotionally dependent relationship to develop between the person in a position of trust and the young person in their care.
All those within the organisation have a duty to raise concerns about the behaviour of coaches, officials, volunteers, administrators and professional staff which may be harmful to the children, young people in their care, without prejudice to their own position.
Coaches, managers or volunteers including all professional staff must never:
a. Take young people to their own home or any other place where they will be alone with them;
b. Spend any amount of time alone with young people away from others;
c. Take young people alone on car journeys, however short;
d. If it should arise that such situations are unavoidable they should only take place with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the Club and / or a person with parental responsibility for the young person. In exceptional circumstances where a coach, manager or volunteer cannot obtain the consent of someone in charge in the Club and / or a person with parental responsibility for the young person then if it is in the welfare interest of the young person, paragraphs (a) and (c) do not have to be followed. If this occurs the adult must record the occurrence with the Club/governing body welfare officer.
e. Engage in rough, physical games, sexually provocative games or horseplay with children/young people;
f. Take part as a player in any dynamic contact games or training sessions with young people. If there is a need for an adult to facilitate learning within a coaching session through the use of coaching aids e.g. contact pads, this should be done with the utmost care and with due regard to the safety of the young players; eg. Share a room with a young person unless the individual is the parent / guardian of that young person;
h. Engage in any form of inappropriate sexual contact and/or behaviour;
i. Allow any form of inappropriate touching (see the Guidance Appendix 4);
j. Make sexually suggestive remarks to a young person even in fun;
k. Use inappropriate language or allow young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged;
l. Allow allegations by a young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon;
m. Do things of a personal nature for a young person that they can do for themselves unless you have been requested to do so by the parents / carer (please note that it is recognised that some young people will always need help with things such as lace tying, adjustment of Tag belts, fitting head guards and it is also recognised that this does not preclude anyone attending to an injured / ill young person or rendering first aid);
n. Depart the rugby Club or agreed rendezvous point until the safe dispersal of all young people is complete;
o. Cause an individual to lose self esteem by embarrassing, humiliating or undermining the individual;
p. Treat some young people more favourably than others; or
q. Agree to meet a young person on their own on a one to one basis.
All adults who have ‘regular supervisory contact with young people’ at Hampstead RFC must undertakeCRB disclosure within eight weeks of their appointment to a position which involves regular supervisory contact with young people.
These adults will include;
- All coaches / assistant coaches
- Heads of Mini / Midi Rugby sections
- Heads of YouthRugbySections
- Team Managers
- All Referees who regularly officiate mini/midi and youth games
- Welfare Officers
- Club administrators.
CRBdisclosures must be conducted through the RFU Child Protection Department who have jurisdiction to deal with any matter arising from any such disclosure.
It is the aim of Hampstead RFC as a Club that all young people enjoy the game in a safe enjoyable setting. The following sets out the Good Practice Procedures which all those involved in the delivery of the game of rugby union to young people at Hampstead RFC should adhere to.
Hampstead RFC has separately published its Codes of Conduct for Coaches, Players, Parents and Spectators. The following is supplementary guidance aimed at Hampstead RFC coaches and other club officials in order to ensure that all children and young people and the individuals who work with them will enjoy the game in a safe environment.
When working with young people coaches and officials must adopt the following guidance:
- They must always be publicly open when working with young people. They must avoid situations where the adult and an individual child are alone and / or unobserved, e.g. individual skill session after a team training session. They must work in pairs and never alone with a group or individual.
- Rugbyis a physical game. Situations will occur when, in order to teach or coach certain techniques, it is necessary to make contact with the player. However the following must apply (c – e) :
- Parents and young players must be made aware of situations in which this may happen when they join the club.
- Physical handling must only be used for safety reasons or where there is no other way of coaching the technique and always with the permission of the child / young person and their parent / carer.
- Any contact or touching which is inappropriate (not directly related to the coaching context) or is aggressive is poor practice and is unacceptable. (See Appendix 4 of the Guidance)
- If groups are to be supervised in changing rooms, always ensure that individuals work in pairs, and that gender is appropriate. Children / young people must not change at the same time or in the same place as adults.
- Where mixed teams compete away from home they must always be accompanied by at least one male and one female adult.
- Volunteers and professionals must respect the rights, dignity and worth of all and treat everyone with equality.
- Coaches must place the well‐being and safety of the player above the development of performance. This means that coaches must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Avoid overplaying of players (particularly talented players). All players need and deserve equal opportunity to play and to rest.
- Remember that children/young people play for fun and enjoyment and that winning is only a part of it.
- Motivate youngsters through positive feedback and constructive criticism.
- Ensure that contact skills are taught in a safe, secure manner paying due regard to the physical development of young players.
- Never allow young players to train/play when injured. If unsure, err on the side of caution.
- Ensure equipment and facilities are safe and appropriate to the age and ability of the players.
- At least one coach per age group must hold a current RFU coaching award or a recognised award. All other coaches should either hold a current RFU coaching award or be working towards one.
- Coaches must keep up‐to‐date with knowledge and technical skills and should be aware of their own limitations. Coaches must only work within the limitations of their knowledge and qualifications.
- Coaches must ensure that the activities which they direct or advocate are appropriate to the age, maturity and ability of the players.
CLUB WELFARE OFFICER
Hampstead RFC will appoint a Club Welfare Officer and the details of that appointment will be recorded on the RFU RugbyFirst website.
The Club will ensure that the Club Welfare Officer receives the training that is appropriate for this role within the Club.
The terms of reference of the Club Welfare Officer will include, inter alia, the following:
- Ensuring the club has a Child Protection Policy and self monitoring strategy.
- Ensuring Codes of Conduct are well publicised and adhered to.
- In consultation with the RFU Child Protection Officer ensuring all reported incidents are managed at the appropriate level in line with RFU / RFUW procedures.
- Ensuring all relevant club members are aware of training opportunities.
- Ensuring all parents, children and young people are aware of the club policy on Child Protection / Welfare and the correct procedures and channels for voicing concerns.
- Ensuring that all adults who have regular contact with young people undertake CRB disclosure.
- Being aware of local Social Services and Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
- Sitting on any relevant club committees
POOR PRACTICE AND THE CLUB DISCIPLINARY PANEL
Poor practice is defined as any behaviour which contravenes the Hampstead RFC or RFU / RFUW Codes of Conduct (Fair Play Codes) or RFU / RFUW Guidance for Good Practice (see Section 8 of the RFU Guidance).
1. Once an incident is reported to the Club Welfare Officer he/she should consult with the RFU Child Protection Officer in order to ascertain whether the allegation is to be investigated/dealt with as poor practice, bullying or abuse.
2. Once the incident has been identified by the RFU as poor practice and in consultation with senior club officials (Club Chairman /Youth Chairman / Honorary Secretary) a decision will be made whether or not to suspend, temporarily, the person accused. Each case will be considered on its merit.
3. A Club disciplinary hearing may be called. The panel will be made up of three committee members with regard to the following criteria:
- No person who has been involved in bringing the case to the disciplinary hearing should sit on the panel.
- Senior management of the club must be represented – normally by the Honorary Secretary or Chairman
- As the case relates to poor coaching practice, experience in this field must be represented.
- The CB Welfare Manager can be invited.
4. The accused will be advised of receipt of the report and provided with both copies of the reports and all witness statements.
5. The accused will be invited to attend any disciplinary hearing.
6. The accused must be given sufficient advance notice of the disciplinary hearing.
7. The accused must be given the opportunity to offer his/her side of the events and call witnesses.
8. Once the disciplinary panel reaches a decision it should be communicated to the accused and confirmed in writing and to the parents of a young person.
9. A copy of the finding must be sent to the CB Welfare Manager and RFU Child Protection Officer.
The possible outcomes of a Club Disciplinary Panel may include the following:
1. Temporary suspension.
2. Person may only coach whilst supervised.
3. Coach must undertake RFU/RFUW Safeguarding and Protecting Young People Course.
4. Coach must attend SCUK Good Practice and Child Protection Course.