Code of Conduct


Old Boys’ AFC is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of all its members. The club believes that it is important that members, coaches, officials, administrators’, parents and spectators associated with the club should, at all times, show respect and understanding for the safety and welfare of others. Therefore, all those associated will Old Boys’ AFC should comply by these Codes of Conduct.

Coach’s/Manager’s Code of Conduct

  • Be reasonable in your demands on young players’ time, energy and enthusiasm.
  • Teach your players that the rules of the game are mutual agreements, which no one should evade or break.
  • Whenever possible, group players according to age, height, skills and physical maturity.
  • The scheduling and length of practice times and competition should take into consideration the maturity level of players.
  • Avoid over-playing the talented players. The “just-average” players need, and deserve, equal time
  • Remember that children play for fun and enjoyment and that winning is only part of their motivation. Never ridicule children for making mistakes or losing a game.
  • Ensure that equipment and facilities meet safety standards and are appropriate to the age and ability of the players.
  • Develop team respect for the ability of opponents as well as for the judgement of officials and opposing coaches.
  • Actively discourage the use of performance enhancing drugs, and the use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal substances.
  • Be aware of the role of the coach as an educator. As well as imparting knowledge and skills, promote desirable personal and social behaviours.
  • Seek to keep abreast of changes in the sport; ensure that the information used is up to date, appropriate to the needs of players and takes account of the principles of growth and development of children. Do not tolerate acts of aggression.
  • Provide feedback to players and other participants in a manner sensitive to their needs. Avoid overly negative feedback.
  • Recognise players’ rights to consult with other coaches and advisers. Cooperate fully with other specialists (for example, sports scientists, doctors and physiotherapists) and follow the advice of a physician when determining when an injured player is ready to recommence play.
  • Treat all players fairly within the context of their sporting activities, regardless of gender, race, place of origin, athletic potential, colour, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, socio-economic status and other conditions.
  • Encourage and facilitate players’ independence and responsibility for their own behaviour, performance, decisions and actions.
  • Involve the players in decisions that affect them.
  • Ensure any physical contact with players is appropriate to the situation and necessary for the player’s skill development.
  • Avoid situations with your players that could be construed as compromising.
  • Do not exploit any coaching relationship to further personal, political or business interests at the expense of the best interest of your players
  • Be acutely aware of the power that you as a coach develop with your players in the coaching relationship and avoid any sexual intimacy with players that could develop as a result

Participant’s Code of Conduct

  • Play for the “fun of it” and not just to please parents and coaches.
  • Co-operate with your coach, team mates and opponents. Without them there would be no competition.
  • Play by the rules.
  • Be a good sport. Acknowledge all good plays whether they are from your team, the other team or another player.
  • Treat all players as you would like to be treated. Do not interfere with, bully or take unfair advantage of another player.
  • Never argue with an official. If you disagree, have your coach or manager approach the referee during a break or after the game in an appropriate manner.
  • Control your temper. Verbal abuse of officials or other players, deliberately distracting or provoking an opponent is not acceptable or permitted in Football.
  • Work equally hard for yourself and for your team. Your team’s performance will benefit, so will you.
  • Treat all players as you would like to be treated. Do not interfere with, bully or take unfair advantage of another player.
  • All members must respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants regardless of gender, ability, cultural background or religion.
  • Be prepared to lose sometimes. Everyone wins and loses at some time. Be a fair winner and good loser.

Parent’s Code of Conduct

  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of others.
  • Encourage children to participate if they are interested. If they are not, don’t force them. Remember children are involved in sport for their enjoyment, not yours.
  • Focus on playing the game, reducing the emphasis on winning.
  • Help your child to recognise good performance, not just results. Applaud good play by all teams.
  • Demonstrate a high degree of individual responsibility especially when dealing with or in the vicinity of persons Under 18 years of age, as your words and actions are an example.
  • Encourage your child to learn the rules and play within them.
  • Never ridicule or yell at your child and other children for making a mistake or losing a competition.
  • Accept decisions of all officials as being fair and called to the best of their ability. Do not raise issues of disagreement publicly.
  • Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from sporting activities and avoid use of derogatory language based on gender, race or impairment.
  • Encourage and guide performers to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour.
  • Understand the repercussions if you breach, or are aware of any breaches of, this code of behaviour

Spectator’s Code of Conduct

  • Remember children play sport for fun. They are not playing for the entertainment of spectators. They are not miniature professionals.
  • Applaud good performances from each team. Congratulate all players regardless of the outcome.
  • Respect the referee’s decision. If there is disagreement, follow the appropriate procedure in order to query the decision.
  • Never ridicule or scold a child for making a mistake during competition. Be positive.
  • Condemn the use of violence in any form, be it by spectators, coaches or players.
  • Show respect for your team’s opponents, without them, there would be no game.
  • Encourage players to obey the rules and decisions of officials.
  • Demonstrate appropriate social behaviour by not using foul language, harassing players, coaches or officials.
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion.

Official’s Code of Conduct

  • Interpret rules and regulations to match the skill level and the needs of participants.
  • Compliment both teams on their efforts. Encourage participants to value their performances and not just results.
  • Be consistent, objective and courteous in calling all infractions.
  • Consider the wellbeing and safety of participants before the development of performance.
  • Condemn the deliberate foul as being unsportsmanlike, and promote fair play and appropriate sporting behaviour.
  • Use common sense to ensure that the “spirit of the game” for children is not lost by overcalling violations.
  • Actions speak louder than words. Ensure that both on and off the court your behaviour is consistent with the principles of good sportsmanship.
  • Make a personal commitment to keep yourself informed of sound officiating principles and the principles of growth and development of children.
  • Help the education process in the game. Referees can help players learn to play the game well by ensuring rule infractions are understood, and by encouraging fair play.
  • Never exert undue influence over performers to obtain personal benefit or reward.
  • Never condone rule violations, rough play or the use of prohibited substances.

Encourage and guide participants to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour


Players Code of Conduct

In order to be enjoyed universally, football has to be played to a standard code of conduct. To avoid bringing the game into disrepute players are expected to observe the following code of conduct. Failure to abide by these rules may result in suspension, exclusion from a team or dismissal from the club.


Accept match official’s decision without question. Referees/ Umpires decision is always final.


Be punctual to all practices and games. Treat your coach, officials and opponents with the respect you would wish them give to you. If you are not able to make a practice or a game, let your coach/manager know- give as much notice as possible.


Avoid appealing to the referee/ umpire for decisions to be given in your favour e.g. throw ins, corner kicks, apparent infringements by opponents


Keep your temper under control in all circumstances. Physical violence will not be tolerated.

Fair Play

Display good sportsmanship. Play fairly without danger to opponents or your own team mates.


Do not indulge in practices of cheating under the guise of ‘gamesmanship’.


Foul language, belittling or bullying behaviour, hand signals or gestures, will not be tolerated.

Equipment & Clothing

Take pride in your appearance. Wear the correct club uniform unless otherwise stated. Jewellery must not be worn- earrings, watches, rings etc.

Shirts should be tucked in and socks up at all times. Boots and shin-pads are compulsory. Shin-pads must be entirely covered by socks at all times.

Players will be allowed one warning. If a player breaches again they will be stood down for the period of time recommended by Southland Football. If a player is red carded then the stand down period will be two weeks. Any player who receives a yellow or red card will be required to pay the subsequent fine issued by Southland Football.

Coaches/Officials Code of Conduct

  • Be a positive role model for all players. It is the responsibility of all coaches & officials to ensure that all matches are conducted within the spirit and the laws of the sport.
  • Where there is a conflict between advantage for his/her own team and the good of the game, coaches shall place the good of the game above all else.
  • Ensure players time spent with you is positive. They are deserving of equal attention and opportunities. Respect the rights, dignity and worth of everybody regardless of age, sex, race, religion or sexual orientation. Respect the talent, developmental stage & goals of each individual player. Help each player reach their full potential.
  • Team officials wishing to question, as distinct from disputing an umpires/referees decision shall do so privately and well after the end of the game. Under no circumstances shall team officials remonstrate with umpires/referees on or adjacent to the field of play.
  • Be professional in and accept responsibility for your actions. Be punctual to games & practices. Ensure that children under the age of 18 years are not left unsupervised at any time.
  • Language, manner, preparation and presentation should reflect high standards.
  • Display control, respect, dignity and professionalism to all involved with the sport – this includes opponents, coaches, officials, administrators, parents & spectators.
  • Avoid any situation where you might be accused of inappropriate behaviour. Avoid unaccompanied and unobserved activities with persons under the age of 18 years wherever possible.
  • Show concern and caution towards sick and injured players. Seek medical advice when required.
  • Team officials shall ensure that all players and spectators are aware of the Players Code of Conduct and all Laws,
  • Regulations, and Playing Conditions pertaining to the conduct of players, including Codes of Conduct for affiliated bodies.
  • In the first instance of a serious breach of conduct, the coach will be spoken to by the Club Captain. If the behaviour continues, they will be stood down and the matter brought to a committee meeting.

Spectators Code of Conduct

Good sport is about positive attitude. Together we can set the right tone and help make the game a success.

  • Respect that people are involved in sport for fun and enjoyment
  • Support good play and applaud good performance from all competitors
  • Attempt to understand the rules of the game
  • Learn the difference between supportive and abusive comments
  • Accept the decisions of officials and coaches
  • Display self-control on the sideline. Always be positive. Never shout at or ridicule players.
  • Show your appreciation of the people who volunteer their time to make sport happen
  • Remember that we are all capable of making mistakes.
  • Spectators should stand 1m from sideline and give way to linesman who needs clear view of the entire line.
  • At no time should spectators stand beside or behind the goal
  • Premier games require spectators to be on the opposite side of the pitch to coaches (technical boxes are marked) allowing
  • players to hear directions of coach from one side of pitch only.

In the first instance of a serious breach of conduct, the spectator will be contacted by the Club Captain. If the misconduct is of a serious nature, then the Police may need to get involved.