BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION . . . . .
The introduction of the Rugby Football Union's `Seal of Approval'
initiative, linked to the Sport England "Clubmark" accreditation has been a
welcome reason for Preston Grasshoppers, like many other rugby union clubs, to
review its organisation and procedures.
We are very proud to be the first rugby union club in
the country to achieve the awards, a reflection of the exceptional efforts of
our volunteer coaches, administrators and officials over the last few
As we endeavour to provide quality rugby for all our
players, we also seek to adopt the very best practice in recruiting and
developing young players in a safe, effective and `child-friendly'
Indeed, as part of our Child
Protection measures, we have recently introduced `Observers' for each age group
to assist the Coaches with off-pitch supervision.
Our coaching methods, administration and
communications have all been examined and, together with our large volunteer
staff, we have rewritten and updated our Codes of Conduct, incorporating advice
issued by the RFU.
This section focuses on our own people, our
opponents, families, coaches, match officials, and spectators - indeed everyone
who visits Lightfoot Green either in person, with or without young people, or
simply enquires through this site.
`Fair Play' Codes
The Good Coaches'
The Good Players' Code
The Good Parent's Code
The Good Spectators' Code
The Good Match Official's Code
The Good Administrator's Code
HOPPERS' GOOD PLAYER'S CODE
Young players should recognise that many people in Rugby Union are
working to provide a safe and enjoyable game in which they can develop both as a
player and as an individual.
Thirty years of experience
lies behind the Mini Junior and Youth Section at Preston Grasshoppers, with some
individual Coaches and Administrators adding over ten years service to provide
the facilities and organisational structure that exist today.
IN RUGBY UNION YOUNG PLAYERS ARE ENCOURAGED
- Recognise and appreciate
the efforts made by coaches, parents, match officials and administrators in
providing them with the opportunity to play the game and enjoy the rugby
- Understand the values of
loyalty and commitment to adults and team-mates.
- Recognise that every
young 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 young players feel that they are not being treated in a
manner that is acceptable, then they have a right to tell an adult either at
the rugby club or outside of the game.
IN RUGBY UNION, AS A YOUNG PLAYER, YOU SHOULD:
- Play because you want
to, not to please coaches or parents.
- Remember skill
development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
- Be attentive at all
- Work equally hard for
yourself and your team; both will benefit.
- Check your kit to ensure
that you comply with the Laws.
- Recognise good play by
ALL players on your team and by your opponents.
- Be a sportsman - win or
- Play to the laws of the
game and accept, without question, all the referee*s
- Control your emotions.
- Treat all players, as
you would like to be treated.
- Do not interfere with, bully or take unfair
advantage of any player.
or physical abuse of team-mates, opponents, coaches, spectators or match
officials IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.
HOPPERS' GOOD PARENT'S CODE
In Rugby Union generally, and at Preston Grasshoppers in
particular, coaches and administrators both fully acknowledge that parents (and
carers) are an integral part of the rugby partnership
This ensures that our
young players enjoy their involvement in the sport and experience an environment
in which they can flourish.
IN RUGBY UNION PARENTS ARE
Be familiar with the coaching and training
programme in order that they can ensure that 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 sessions in which your child participates.
Be aware that the club has a duty of care and
therefore, where appropriate, assist coaches with the supervision of the young
players, particularly where numbers are large and there is a need to transport
youngsters to away games.
Be involved with club activities and share
your expertise. Share concerns, if you have them, with club
Be familiar with the "Good Coach's Code". In
particular,Coaches should recognise the importance of
fun and enjoyment when coaching young players.
Coaches should keep winning and losing in
perspective. encouraging young players to behave with dignity in all
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT
PARENTS SUPPORT ALL OUR COACHES IN INSTILLING THESE VIRTUES.
IN RUGBY UNION PARENTS
(AND CARERS) SHOULD:
Remember that young people play rugby for their own enjoyment not
that of their parents. Encourage young people to play - do not force
on the young players' efforts rather than winning or losing.
realistic about the young players* ability, do not push them towards a level
that they are not capable of achieving.
Provide positive verbal feedback both in training and during the
REMEMBER: PERSISTENT, NEGATIVE MESSAGES WILL
ADVERSELY AFFECT THE PLAYERS' AND REFEREE'S PERFORMANCE AND
support Preston Grasshoppers in our efforts to eradicate loud, coarse and
abusive behaviour from the game.
Remember young people learn much by example.
show appreciation of good play by ALL young players both from our own club and
Respect decisions made by the match officials and encourage the
young players to do likewise.
If you can coach, do it! If you can referee, do it! If you can help in any way, do it! We can always use some assistance!
HOPPERS' GOOD SPECTATORS CODE
players are impressionable and their behaviour will often reflect that of the
adults around them. In Rugby Union, and at Preston Grasshoppers, we welcome
spectators on our touchlines who embrace the ethos of the game:
FUN ENJOYMENT SKILL DEVELOPMENT
IN RUGBY UNION SPECTATORS ARE ENCOURAGED
- Act as
positive role models to all young players.
familiar with, and abide by, the RFU Child Protection Guidance in relation to
verbal and emotional abuse.
the rugby club policy with regard to spectator behaviour.
IN RUGBY UNION SPECTATORS
children play sport for their enjoyment not
good individual and team performance from ALL youngsters irrespective of which
team they play for.
match official*s' decisions.
officials are volunteers providing an opportunity for all the youngsters to play
ABUSE ANY YOUNG PLAYERS, THE MATCH OFFICIALS, FELLOW SPECTATORS OR
behaviour can create a negative environment for young players and their
behaviour will often reflect this.
effort and good performance rather than the "win at all costs"
encourage all youngsters in a positive way. If you do want to shout make sure
it is `for*', and not `at' the players.
bad language, rude behaviour and violence.
all youngsters irrespective of their ability - never ridicule any individual
player, regardless of the team they play
- "It's only a
HOPPERS' GOOD COACHES' CODE
Young people come into
Rugby Union and to Preston Grasshoppers for a variety of reasons. It is the duty of the coach to recognise
this and stimulate their continued participation.
Hoppers' coaches have a responsibility to ensure that all
youngsters are given the opportunity to fulfil their aspirations in a caring
environment where the emphasis is on:-
FUN ENJOYMENT SKILL DEVELOPMENT
UNION COACHES SHOULD:
- Recognise the importance
of fun and enjoyment when coaching young players. Most learning is achieved
- 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 young players to behave with dignity in all
- Respect all referees and
the decisions they make (remember it could be you refereeing next week) and
ensure that the players recognise
they must do the same.
- Provide positive verbal
feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner, to all young players both
during coaching sessions and games.
IN RUGBY UNION COACHES OF YOUNG PLAYERS
- Provide experiences that
are matched to the young players* age and ability, as well as their physical
and mental development.
- Ensure all youngsters
are coached in a safe environment - is there adequate first aid and drinking
water readily to hand?
- Avoid the overplaying of
the best players by using a squad system which gives everybody a satisfactory
amount of playing time.
- Never allow a player to
train or play if injured.
- Ensure good supervision
of young players, both on and off the field.
- Recognise that young
players should never be exposed to extremes of heat, cold, or unacceptable
risk of injury.
- Develop an awareness of
nutrition as part of an overall education in lifestyle management.
- Recognise that it is
illegal for young players under 18 to drink alcohol.
- Ensure that their
knowledge and coaching strategies are up to date and in tine with RFU
- Be aware of, and abide
by, the RFU recommended procedures for taking young people on residential
tours at home and abroad.
- Be aware of, and abide
by, the policies and procedures outlined in the RFU Child Protection Guidance
WORKING WITH YOUNG PLAYERS UP TO THE AGE OF 12 MUST FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES LAID
DOWN BY THE RFU CONTINUUM.
COACHES WORKING WITH PLAYERS AGE
13+ MUST BE AWARE OF THE UNDER 19 AND THE UNDER 15 LAW VARIATIONS, INCLUDING
THOSE APPLYING TO CROSS BORDER MATCHES.
ANY CONCUSSION INJURIES, THE AFFECTED PLAYER MUST NOT PLAY OR TRAIN FOR
AT LEAST 21
HOPPERS' GOOD ADMINISTRATOR' S GUIDE
It is acknowledged by the RFU that youth rugby will
not progress without good quality administrators. At Preston Grasshoppers we believe that we manage our affairs to comply
fully with this ethos and all other RFU Codes of Conduct.
The Administrators' contributions are essential to
the development of all youth sections and the individuals within them.
IN RUGBY UNION ADMINISTRATORS SHOULD:
Encourage an environment within the rugby club whereby the
opportunity to play rugby is offered to ALL
Encourage the concept of good sporting partnerships between young
people, their parents, club coaches and officials.
Involve young people in the decision making processes, where
Recognise that the rugby club has a `Duty of Care* towards all
young club members.
that the club provide responsible supervision for all young
Promote the concepts of fair play, respect and enjoyment.
Discourage the `win at all costs* ethic amongst the club community.
IN RUGBY UNION ADMINISTRATORS MUST:
Provide coaches with the
opportunity to achieve governing body qualifications.
Ensure that equipment and
facilities are available for and appropriate to the requirements of the coaches
and needs of the young players.
Ensure that young players are
registered under the RFU scheme.
Ensure that the club coaching /
playing programme reflects the RFU guidelines and does not expose the young
players to the possibility of overplaying.
Ensure matches are officiated by
suitable, and preferably qualified, referees.
Ensure that appropriate medical
and first aid provision is always available.
Promote our youth section as
being an integral part of the club.
Promote links with the local
community, particularly schools.
Ensure that the club community is
aware of, and abides by the policies and procedures in Hoppers' Child Protection
Policy and its Youth Rugby Handbook.
HOPPERS' GOOD MATCH OFFICIAL'S CODE
officials (referees and touch judges) are an integral part of the development of
young players. Preston Grasshoppers
values all visiting officials, and coaches who stand in their place in friendly
They have a responsibility
to ensure that games are managed in such a way as to ensure both the safety and
enjoyment of all players. Equally
match officials should gain respect from players, coaches and spectators through
the quality of their officiating.
IN RUGBY UNION MATCH
Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment
when officiating young players.
Provide positive verbal feedback in a
constructive and encouraging manner during games.
Emphasise the spirit of the game.
Appreciate the needs of the young players
before the needs of the sport.
Understand the physical, social and
psychological development of young players.
Be a positive role model. You set an example
and as such comments you receive should be positive and supportive.
self-improvement by taking one of the RFU Referee courses eg. Mini/Midi or National
IN RUGBY UNION MATCH
Recognise that the safety of young players is
Explain decisions - all young players are
Always penalise Foul Play.
Play advantage whenever possible in order to
let the game flow.
Show empathy for the age and ability of young
Be consistent and objective.
Ensure that verbal abuse from players. coaches
or spectators is not tolerated and is dealt with by club officials
Be aware of, and abide by, the RFU Child
Protection Guidance policies and procedures.
Officials working with young players up to the
age of 12 must officiate to the rules laid down in the RFU continuum and must
keep themselves updated on rules changes.
Officials working with young players aged 13+ must officiate
according to the Under 19 and Under 15 law variations and keep themselves
updated on relevant changes.