Fair Play Code

FAIR PLAY CODE
The notion of Fair Play is a universally understood concept, which underpins all of sport. Without fairness, sport is devoid of any meaning or purpose. Worse still, it can be a detrimental experience for its participants.

Fair Play is also a philosophy – one of respect for others, and respect for the institution of sport. It leads to an agreement, between all those involved in sport, on the values and lessons that we want sport to teach our children, and ourselves.

Playing fair also has to do with making choices. As we interact with each other in sport, or as spectators, we must regularly consider and define what we think is right and what is not. Sport engages us in a collective effort to pursue human excellence. As our children interact with each other in sport, their ability to make good choices about fair play issues matures along with their ability to think and learn about what makes for a rewarding and fulfilling life in society.

Code for Players

  • I will participate because I want to, not just because my parents or coaches want me to.
  • I will play by the rules, and in the spirit of the game.
  • I will control my temper – fighting and “mouthing off” can spoil the activity for everybody.
  • I will respect my opponents.
  • I will do my best to be a true team player.
  • I will remember that winning isn’t everything – that having fun, improving skills, making friends and doing my best is also important.
  • I will acknowledge all good plays/performances – those of my team and of my opponents.
  • I will remember that coaches and officials are there to help me. I will accept their decisions and show them respect.
Code for Coaches
  • I will be reasonable when scheduling game and practices remembering that young players have other interests and obligations.
  • I will teach my players to play fairly and to respect the rules, officials and their opponents.
  • I will ensure that all players get equal instruction, support and playing time.
  • I will not ridicule or yell at my players for making mistakes or for performing poorly. I will remember that children play to have fun and must be encouraged to have confidence in themselves.
  • I will make sure that equipment and facilities are safe and match the players ages and abilities.
  • I will remember that children need a coach they can respect. I will be generous with praise and set a good example.
  • I will obtain proper training and continue to upgrade my coaching skills.
  • Code for Officials
  • I will modify rules and regulations to match the skill level of the players.
  • I will use common sense to ensure that overcalling the game does not lose the “spirit of the game” for the children.
  • Actions speak louder than words. I will ensure that both on and off the field behavior is consistent with the principles of good sportsmanship.
  • I will compliment both teams on their good plays whenever such praise is deserved.
  • I will be consistent, objective and courteous in calling all infractions.
  • I will act to promote fair play at all times.
  • I will create a positive and constructive environment to help the participation and enjoyment of the children.
  • I will make a personal commitment to keep myself informed on sound officiating principles and the principles of growth and development of children.
  • I will enjoy the game, be friendly and try to improve my skills every game.
Code for Parents
  • I will not force my child to participate in sports.
  • I will remember that my child plays sport for his or her enjoyment, not for mine.
  • I will encourage my child to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.
  • I will teach my child that doing one’s best is as important as winning, so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a game/event.
  • I will make my child feel like a winner every time by offering praise for competing fairly and trying hard.
  • I will never ridicule or yell at my child for making a mistake or losing a competition.
  • I will remember that children learn best by example. I will applaud good plays/performances by both my child’s team and their opponents.
  • I will never question the officials’ judgment or honesty in public.
  • I will support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from children’s sporting activities.
  • I will respect and show appreciation for the volunteer coaches who give their time to provide sport activities for my child.
(Taken from First Steps, First Kicks publication by the Canadian Soccer Association, with Fair Play definitions taken from the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport.)