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Code of conduct

Code of conduct

The CODE

The captain takes responsibility

Often problems start at matches when individual players are abusive towards the referee, which escalates into several players confronting the referee at the same time – then it’s anarchy. One of the most effective measures is for the Referee to work with team captains to manage the behaviour of his/her team mates. Only the captain can challenge decisions made by the referee and the captain needs to manage his/ her team to ensure that this is always observed. However, this does not mean the referee will only speak to the captain. Referees remain free to talk to any player if this means they can manage the game better.

The advice to captains is:

  • Work with the referee, as the team captain, to manage the players and the game effectively.
  • Even if you are some way away from an incident when the referee feels he/she needs you involved in a discussion with a player, the referee will call you over. This will ensure that, as the team captain, you remain the point of contact for the referee.
  • As a captain, you have no special status or privileges under the Laws of the Game, but you do have a degree of responsibility for the behaviour of your team.
  • In some cases a referee will proceed directly to a caution if he deems an offence to be serious enough, and is not obliged to call a captain forward for every incident – only those that will assist him/her in the management of the game.
  • The type of behaviour which often gives rise to problems in matches, and where captains and referees need to work together, can be described as ‘harassment and challenging behaviour towards the referee’.
  • Referees will also make use of captains to deal with persistent offending from a team-mate where there is a real possibility of further offending resulting in a caution or a dismissal.
  • Captains will also be called forward where additional support is required to calm a player down who is likely to immediately reoffend.

Captains will be asked to:

  • Ensure they wear a captain’s armband.
  • Ensure all players understand what they can/cannot do in relation to the referee and what is meant by ‘unwanted behaviour’. No-one’s trying to curb enthusiasm – just instill more discipline. This can only benefit the specific match and football as a whole.
  • Ensure vice-captains (who should be appointed one if there isn’t one) is aware of these rules, in case captains are unavailable for a game, or have to leave the field.

PLAYER

We all have a responsibility to promote high standards of behaviour in the game. Respect your referee today and you may just get one for every match this season. Play your part and observe Code of Conduct for players at all times.

On and off the field, I will:

  • Adhere to the Laws of the Game • Display and promote high standards of behaviour
  • Always respect the match officials’ decisions
  • Never engage in public criticism of the match officials
  • Never engage in offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour
  • Never engage in bullying, intimidation or harassment
  • Speak to my team-mates, the opposition and my coach/manager with respect
  • Win or lose with dignity. Shake hands with the opposing team and the referee at the end of every game.

I understand that if I do not follow the Code, any/all of the following actions may be taken by the association:

  • Be required to apologize to team-mates, the other team, referee or team manager
  • Receive a written warning from the association
  • Be required to serve a suspension
  • Be fined
  • Be required to leave the association.

MANAGER/COACHES

We all have a responsibility to promote high standards of behaviour in the game. Play your part and observe the association’s Code of Conduct in everything you do.

On and off the field, I will:

  • Show respect to others involved in the game including match officials, opposition players, coaches, managers, officials and spectators
  • Adhere to the laws and spirit of the game
  • Promote Fair Play and high standards of behaviour
  • Always respect the match official’s decision
  • Never enter the field of play without the referee’s permission
  • Never engage in public criticism of the match officials
  • Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour.

When working with players, I will:

  • Place the well-being, safety and enjoyment of each player above everything, including winning
  • Explain exactly what I expect of players and what they can expect from me
  • Never engage in or tolerate any form of bullying
  • Develop mutual trust and respect with every player to build their selfesteem.

PARENTS/SPECTATORS

I understand that if I do not follow the Code, any/all of the following actions may be taken by my club.

I may:

  • Be required to apologise to, the other team, referee or team manager
  • Receive a formal warning from the coach or the club committee
  • Be required to leave the club.

In addition:

  • The club may make parents/spectators aware of any infringements of the Code of Conduct
  • The club can impose a fine and suspension.

We all have a responsibility to promote high standards of behaviour in the game This club is supporting the Code of Conduct to ensure football can be enjoyed in a safe, positive environment Remember children’s football is a time for them to develop their technical, physical, tactical and social skills. Winning isn’t everything. Play your part and observe the club’s Code of Conduct for spectators and parents at all times.

I will:

  • Remember that children play for FUN.
  • Applaud effort and good play as well as success
  • Always Respect the match officials’ decisions
  • Remain outside the field of play and within the Designated Spectators’ Area
  • Let the coach do their job and not confuse the players by telling them what to do
  • Encourage the players to Respect the opposition, referee and match officials
  • Avoid criticising a player for making a mistake – mistakes are part of learning
  • Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting, or abusive language or behaviour.

THE DONT’S AGAINST REFEREE’S

Here are some examples of unacceptable types of behavior

Harassment:

  • Running towards the referee in an aggressive manner.
  • Players surrounding the referee to protest a decision.
  • Repeatedly asking questions about decisions in an attempt to influence the referee or undermine his/her responsibilities.

Challenging:

  • Passing comment to other players about a referee’s decision-making.
  • Repeatedly moaning at the referee about decisions.
  • Gestures that obviously are made in a derogatory manner, such as a shaking of the head or waving of the hand.

REFEREE MANAGES THE GAME

The instructions given to referees are…‘you are expected to work with the team captains to manage the players and the game effectively. You must control the game by applying the Laws of the Game and deal firmly with any open show of dissent by players’. (e.g. not move away from the incident, but stay and deal with it). While recognizing that players may on occasions make an appeal for a decision (e.g. a throw-in, corner or goal-kick), it is important you distinguish these from an act of dissent which should be punished with a caution.

You should use a stepped approach, where appropriate, to managing players:

  1. Quiet word.
  2. Free-kick with quiet word.
  3. Yellow card.
  4. Red card.

The stepped approach does not contradict the fact that as the referee, you have the authority within the Laws of the Game to issue disciplinary sanctions without consulting the captain(s), including issuing a yellow or red card where the Laws require it.

If the captain is some distance from an incident, but you feel you need him/her involved in a discussion with a player, you should call the captain over. This will ensure the captain remains your point of contact during the game. These guidelines are an additional preventative/supportive tool for referees to manage games effectively. The key is for referees to use captains in a more visible way

REFEREE’S PLEDGE

I will:

  • Be honest and completely impartial at all times
  • Apply the Laws of the Game and competition rules fairly and consistently
  • Manage the game in a positive, calm and confident manner
  • Deal with all instances of violence, aggression, unsporting behaviour, foul play and other misconduct
  • Never tolerate offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour from players and officials
  • Support my match official colleagues at all times
  • Set a positive personal example by promoting good behaviour and showing Respect to everyone involved in the game
  • Communicate with the players and encourage fair play.

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