SHARLSTON ROVERS JUNIORS CODE OF CONDUCT
The purpose of the Rugby League Code of Conduct is to provide all participants with some simple rules
concerning the standard of behaviour that is expected at all matches, functions and events.
Participants in the game of Rugby League include:
Accredited persons (coaches, first aid officers, league safe officers, referees and touch judges);
Officials (club, league or association staff and volunteers, ground managers and duty officials);
Parents/carers of players, sponsor representatives and club supporters;
Members of the general public attending as spectators.Every participant should:
Discourage all instances of unsportsmanlike behaviour, foul or illegal play, or acts of violence, both on and off the field;
Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of their gender, ability/disability, sexual orientation, cultural background or religion;
Condemn the use of recreational and performance-enhancing drugs and doping practices; their use endangers the health of players and is contrary to the concept of fair play.
Code of Conduct – Player
• Be a good sport. Respect all good play whether from your team or the opposition and shake hands with and thank the opposition players and officials after the game – win, lose or draw.
• Participate for your own enjoyment and benefit.
• Always respect the referee’s decision.
• Never become involved in acts of foul play.
• Honour both the spirit and letter of the competition rules and live up to the highest ideals of ethics and sportsmanship; avoid gamesmanship and respect the traditions of the game.
•Never engage in disrespectful conduct of any sort including profanity, sledging, obscene gestures, offensive remarks, trash-talking, taunting or other actions that are demeaning to other players, officials or supporters.
• Care for and respect the facilities and equipment made available to you during training and competition.
• Safeguard your health; don’t use any illegal or unhealthy substances.
• Recognize that many officials, coaches and referees are volunteers who give up their time to provide their services. Treat them with the utmost respect.
• Do not bet or otherwise financially speculate, directly or indirectly, on the outcome or any other aspect of a Rugby League match or competition in which you are involved.
Code of Conduct – Coach
Actively discourage foul play and/or unsportsmanlike behaviour by players.
Seek to maximise the participation and enjoyment of all players regardless of ability; avoid the tendency to over-use a talented player; treat all players as equals, regardless of their talent.
Show concern and caution towards all sick and injured players. Follow the advice of a physician and/or sports trainer to the letter when determining when an injured player is ready to recommence training or playing.
Teach players that an honest effort and competing to the best of their ability is as important as victory.
Maintain appropriate, professional relationships with players at all times.
Maintain a thorough knowledge of the rules of the game and keep abreast of current coaching methods; maintain or improve your current accreditation level.
Always consider the health, safety and welfare of the players.
Teach young players to realise that there is a big gap between their play and the professional game; do not coach them as if they are professionals.
Ensure that your coaching reflects the level of the competition being played; do not be a “winner-at-all-cost” coach.
As a coach, conduct yourself at all times in a manner, and in all situations, that shows leadership, respect for the game of Rugby League and respect for all those that are involved in the game – the players, officials, the fans, the parents, the referees and the media.
Code of Conduct – Referee / Touch Judge / Official
• Be impartial! Also, be consistent, objective and courteous.
• Place the safety and welfare of the players above all else; be alert to minimise dangerous physical play, fair or foul, especially in junior matches.
• Accept responsibility for all actions taken.
• Avoid any form of verbal contact with coaches, team officials, parents and spectators during play.
• Avoid any situation which may lead to a conflict of interest, both on and off the field.
• Maintain an appropriate level of fitness for the standard of the game at which you are officiating.
• Condemn all and every instance of unsportsmanlike, foul or unfair play.
• Set a good example by the way you dress, speak and act towards players, coaches, officials, parents and spectators.
• Show concern and caution towards sick and injured players.
• Officiate to the age and/or experience of the players. Code of Conduct – Spectator / Parent
• Condemn all violent or illegal acts, whether they are by players, coaches, officials, parents or spectators.
• Respect the referee’s decisions – don’t complain or argue about decisions during or after a game.
• Behave! Unsportsmanlike language, harassment or aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated.
•Encourage players to play by the rules and to respect opposition players and officials.
•Never ridicule or scorn a player for making a mistake – respect their efforts.
•Understand that sport is part of a total life experience, and the benefits of involvement go far beyond the final score of a game.
• Participate in positive cheering that encourages the players in the team you are supporting; do not engage in any cheering that taunts or intimidates opponents, their fans or officials.
• Remember that children participate in Rugby League for their own enjoyment, not yours!
•At all times, follow the directions of the Ground Manager and/or other duty officials.
• Never arrive at a Junior League game under the influence of alcohol, never bring alcohol to a Junior League game and only drink alcohol, if it is available, in a responsible manner in the designated licensed area.
Code of Conduct – Summary of Offences
No person(s) attending a match, function or event shall:
(a) Use offensive or obscene language to any participant;
(b) Enter the Field of Play during the course of a match without the prior approval of the Ground Manager appointed by the home club and/or league;
(c) Excessively dispute the decision of a referee or touch judge either during or after a match;
(d) Assault or act with aggression to any person/s;
(e) Behave in a way contrary to the Code of Conduct and/or the spirit of the game;
(f) Behave in a way which disturbs the enjoyment of a match, function or event by any other person/s, or brings discredit to the home club and/or league;
(g) Act in such a way as to exhibit racial intolerance, by language or other conduct, to any person/s;
(h) Refuse to accept the reasonable direction of the Ground Manager, an official of the team/club which that person is supporting, or official of the home club and/or league. Clubs are responsible for the conduct of their players, parents/carers of players, coaches, officials and club supporters.
Breaches of the Rugby League Code of Conduct may result in penalties, including but not limited to:
Suspension of a match and/or
Termination of a match (including potential forfeiture of competition points) and/or
Monetary fines and/or
Suspension of a participant on a temporary or permanent basis and/or
Suspension of a club, league or association on a temporary or permanent basis.
These penalties are in addition to any penalty which may be imposed by the home league’s judiciary
CODE OF CONDUCT
Everyone in Rugby League has a responsibility to promote high standards of behaviour in the game.
Rugby League prides itself on being a family game, which prioritises creating a safe, inclusive and
respectful environment for all to enjoy and achieve their full potential.
Unacceptable behaviour we want to end includes:
• Abuse of match officials
• Sexism and homophobia
• Poor touchline behaviour of over competitive parents, spectators and coaches.
The positive behaviour we want to encourage, centres on the benefits the player gets
from the game:
• Fun and enjoyment
• Health and fitness.
A coach is an important role model and has the biggest single impact on a player’s experience of
the game. This Code of Conduct provides a framework and an opportunity for you to ensure all
players have a positive and enjoyable playing experience.
On and off the field I will:
• Show respect to others involved in the game including match officials, players,
coaches, managers, parents, RFL staff and spectators
• Adhere to the playing laws, operational rules and spirit of the game
• Promote and adhere to RESPECT and Tackle it!
• Demonstrate high standards of coaching and personal behaviour
• Always respect the match officials decision
• Never engage in public criticism of the match officials
• Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour
• Adhere to Safeguarding and Protecting Children and Vulnerable Groups guidelines.
When working with players I will:
• Place the physical and mental well-being, safety and enjoyment of each player above
everything, including winning ensuring every player has an equal opportunity to take part in
training and matches, within the rules of the playing competition
• Explain exactly what I expect of players and what they can expect from me
• Ensure all parents/carers of all players under the age of 18 understand
• Never engage in or tolerate any form of bullying
• Develop mutual trust and respect with every player to build their self-esteem
• Respect and value the diversity of players and endeavour to meet their
• Encourage each player to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance
• Ensure all activities and practices that I organise are appropriate for the players’ ability, age and
maturity to make the experience of players as enjoyable as possible
• Co-operate with others in Rugby League (e.g. officials, RFL staff, club staff,) to ensure the best
interests of the players are met.
I understand that if I do not follow the Code, any/all of the following actions may be
taken by my Club, League or the RFL:
• Required to apologise
• Required to meet with club, league or RFL staff
• Monitored by another coach
• Required to attend an RFL education course (s)
• Suspended by the club from attending matches/training sessions
• Suspended or fined by the League
• Required to leave the club
• Removal of coach licence to practise by the RFL including the removal of
• Any memberships or benefits may be withdrawn.
I have read, understood and agree to abide by the terms of the RFL Coach Code of Conduct and
that this forms part of the RFL Coach Licence scheme. I understand that failure to adhere to the
Code of Conduct may result in further action being taken against me and the removal of my Coach
The coach and performer must reach agreement about what is to be regarded as confidential
information, within the boundaries of the safeguarding policy.
Confidentiality does not preclude disclosure of information to persons who can be
judged to have a right to know. For example:
• Evaluation for selection purposes
• Recommendations for employment
• In matters of discipline within the sport
• In matters of disciplinary action by a sport organisation against one of its members
• Legal and medical requirements
• Recommendations to parents/family where the health and safety of performer might be at risk
• In pursuit of action to protect children and young persons from abuse
Rugby League Coaches within the coaching/playing environment must not attempt to exert undue
influences and pressures in order to obtain personal benefit or reward.
Coaches must display high personal standards that project a favourable image of
Rugby League including:
• Good personal appearance that projects an image of health, cleanliness and functional
• Coaches should never smoke when in the coaching environment
• Coaches should refrain from drinking alcohol prior to or whilst performing any session of Rugby
League or whilst in the presence of young participants (Coaches’ Code of Conduct).
All coaches must be appropriately qualified as per the requirements of the RFL. Coaches should
regularly seek ways of increasing their personal and professional development (CPD).
Coaches must be receptive to employing systems of evaluation that include self-evaluation and also
external evaluation in an effort to assess the effectiveness of their work.
Coaches must be able to recognise and accept when to refer or recommend performers to other
coaches or structures. It is the coach’s responsibility as far as possible to:
a. Verify the competence of the performer
b. Verify the competence and integrity of any other persons or structure to whom they refer the
Within the limits of their control coaches have a responsibility to:
• Establish a safe working environment
• Ensure as far as possible the safety of the players with whom they work
• Protect children from harm and abuse
• Fully prepare their players for the activities and make them aware of their personal responsibility
in terms of safety
• Ensure all activities undertaken are suitable for the experience and ability of the performers and
in keeping with the approved practices as determined by the RFL
• Communicate and co-ordinate with registered medical and ancillary practitioners in the
diagnosis, treatment and management of their performers’ medical and psychological problems.
Any individual or organisation wishing to make a complaint against a Rugby League
Coach, within the context of this code should follow the procedure below:
• Report the matter to the employer of the sports coach and to the RFL member of staff or Club and
Competition Manager responsible for that area of the game including the relevant junior playing
NB: (Employer in this instance refers to the organisation who commissioned the coach to do the
coaching whether this is paid or unpaid employment).
• Complaints which refer to the protection of children should be dealt with in accordance with the
procedures laid down in the Rugby League Safeguarding Policy.
• Children play for fun and enjoyment
• Be reasonable in your demands on children’s time, energy and enthusiasm - remember they too,
have other interests.
• Never ridicule or shout at a child for making mistakes at training or during games
• Avoid over playing the talented players. The average ones deserve equal time and attention.
Time should be afforded to all.
• Always group players according to age, height, skill and physical maturity
• Follow the advice of medical personnel when deciding if a player is fit to take part
• Teach your players the rules of the game
• Teach children to respect the judgment of officials
• The successful Coach invests more in the wellbeing and interests of players than in their own winloss
• Create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all children.
• Sportsmanship and fair play are not a set of rules - they are a code of living
• Condemn gamesmanship and emphasise respect for fair play
• Be consistent, objective and courteous when dealing with all decisions during a game
• Use common sense to ensure that the spirit of the game is not lost
• Compliment both teams on good play when such praise is deserved
• Strive for competent levels of planning and communication
• Make sure that venues and facilities meet the needs of the children
• Ensure all activities are supervised and appropriate for the players
Individuals are now able to complete and submit their DBS applications online.
Applicants can access the new system by going to the RFL website and searching for DBS.To begin
the process you will need to enter the reference for your club, a list of which can be found by on the
website along with the password rfl123.
Once you have submitted your application you will still need to visit an RFL approved verifier to have
your identity checked. A list of verifiers can also be found on the website. Once your application has
been verified it is automatically submitted to the RFL. It is then countersigned and sent to the DBS for
Your disclosure certificate will now only need to be sent to The RFL if it contains information which
requires us to carry out a risk assessment. We will be notified by the DBS of the disclosures we need
Please note this only applies to applications submitted online, if you have completed a paper
application your disclosure certificate still needs to be sent to The RFL regardless of whether it
contains ‘information’ or not.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (formally the CRB)
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks help The RFL assess who may be unsuitable to work
with children within Rugby League by looking at previous criminal convictions.
DBS checking plays a significant role in contributing to the safe and effective recruitment of
volunteers. However, it must be stated that DBS checking is only part of an effective recruitment and
selection process. It is important that clubs undertake references (forms available on the Downloads
section) prior to employment/deployment and utilise ongoing performance appraisals.
Self-Declaration forms also play an important role in Safeguarding children. These are completed by
the applicant themselves and gives them the opportunity to declare any convictions they may have
had. It is therefore essential that clubs store this information sensitively before sending on to the RFL.
Self-Declarations should be used in conjunction with DBS checks - they are not an alternative.
It must be noted that having a criminal record is not necessarily a bar on being able to work within
Rugby League. For further details please see the RFL’s Policy on the Recruitment of Ex-offenders, DBS
Positive Disclosure FAQ and the Risk Assessment Policy.
For guidance about which volunteers should be DBS checked, please see the RFL Policy on who
should be DBS checked. Voluntary positions at clubs receive DBS checks free of charge.
To obtain a DBS Application Form please visit www.rugby-league.com/the_rfl/child__player_
The RFL can provide any of the Safeguarding resources in audio format or Braille on request so
please let us know if you need resources in either of these formats.
Also, if you require any of the RFL Safeguarding resources in another language, please contact the
RFL Safeguarding team and we will endeavour to provide the resources in your chosen language.
WHAT TO DO IF
There will be occasions within Rugby League where concerns emerge relating to the behaviour of
individuals. Where a child or young person may be in immediate danger or needs medical attention,
999 should be called.
For serious concerns, issues can be reported to the Child Protection Units at the Local Police, or
Children’s Social Care Services (formerly Social Services) or the Local Safeguarding Children’s
The RFL recommend all Club Welfare Officers to have contact details for the above agencies.
The RFL encourage everyone in the game to report all concerns to the RFL (either directly or through
a Club or Regional Welfare Officer) no matter how minor they may appear.
To report a concern to the RFL, please complete an Incident Report Form or call the Safeguarding
team on 0844 477 7113 (option 6). The RFL’s Reporting Procedures can be viewed on the RFL
The RFL has taken every care to ensure that this content is current and correct and it has been
produced in good faith. However, The RFL cannot guarantee the correctness and completeness of the
content and no responsibility is taken for any omissions or errors.