FAI code of conduct for                          players, coaches                                  and parents.

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Code of Ethics and Good Practice

For Sport for Young People in


Ballybofey United FC


The guidelines in this document are based on the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport.

 FAI Code of Ethics and Good Practice


                         Policy Statement


Ballybofey United Football Club is fully committed to safeguarding the well being of its members.


Every individual in Ballybofey United Football Club should at all times show respect and understanding for members rights, safety and welfare and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the organisation and the guidelines contained in the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport.


In Ballybofey United Football Club our first priority is the welfare of the young people and we are committed to providing an environment, which will allow participants to perform to the best of their ability, free from bullying and intimidation.



Ballybofey United FC Underage Teams General Rules


All players are expected to behave in a well-mannered and orderly fashion at all club coaching sessions and matches. They are expected to become aware of the club’s Code of Conduct for Young People. Players are expected to respect their coaches and abide by their decisions and requests at games and coaching sessions.


The use of physical force is absolutely forbidden and players who indulge in violent actions at coaching sessions or on the field of play during games shall face disciplinary action that could include suspension/expulsion. Spitting, name calling, foul and abusive language, rough or dangerous play will not be tolerated and players who indulge in such behaviour WILL be subject to disciplinary action.

Bullying in any and all forms will NOT be tolerated by the club and will lead to expulsion from Ballybofey United FC.


Players are expected to show respect for all club property and equipment and also the property and equipment of opposing clubs, or at training venues. Wilful destruction or vandalism will be regarded as a serious offence by the club. Club members shall respect the vehicles used to transport teams to and from sporting venues and will ensure that they do not in any way damage any of the vehicles or leave rubbish or other items on the vehicles. Players shall not throw any item or make any gestures at buses/vehicles carrying opposing teams to matches.


Players are forbidden to attend coaching sessions outside their age group unless specifically requested to do so by a Ballybofey Unitrd club coach or agreed with by the coach. Players deemed by the club to be eligible to attend sessions outside their age group will be notified and the club will accept responsibility only for those players due to attend specific sessions. Others who attend will be asked to leave. Players should arrive on time for sessions but parents should only leave players at a session if there is adequate adult supervision there for the session to take place. The club’s responsibility lies only from the start to the end of the session therefore players must be picked up promptly at the end of each session. Players should not bring valuable items to matches or coaching sessions and the club accepts no responsibility for the loss of any item during a club session or match.


No registered Ballybofey United FC player can play for ANY other club in the season UNLESS they place an official transfer request directly to the club secretary and then only when the transer has been confirmed. Ballybofey United hold no responsibility for any play who breaks this rule.


All players are expected to pay whatever fees are due at sessions or matches. Continuous failure to pay such fees will result in a player being asked to leave.

No club member shall enter the pitches at Dreenan unless at an official club match or other event officially authorised by Ballybofey United FC. Any player found guilty of such an offence will be liable to expulsion from the club.


No player, parent, coach or official of Ballybofey United is to post any adverse comments on social media regarding  team officails, match officials or players. This will be dealt with in the most sever manor by the league, Garda and will be removed from the club.


The club will operate a waiting list on which new players wishing to register with the club will be placed until such time as an opening arises in their age group.

Players and the club will be further governed as necessary by any appropriate rules laid down by the East Donegal Underage League, Donegal Schoolboys League and the SFAI. The club reserves the right to amend the list of general rules at committee level.



Code of Conduct for Young People


Ballybofey United Football Club wishes to provide the best possible environment for all young people involved in sport. Young people deserve to be given enjoyable, safe sporting opportunities, free of abuse of any kind. These participants have rights, which must be respected and responsibilities they must accept. Young people should be encouraged to realise that they have responsibilities to treat other participants and sports leaders with fairness and respect.


Children in Soccer are entitled to:

Be safe

Be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect

Participate in soccer on an equal basis, appropriate to their ability and stage of


Be happy, have fun and enjoy soccer

Make a complaint in an appropriate way and have it dealt with through a proper  

 and effective complaints procedure

Be afforded appropriate confidentiality

Be listened to and to be believed

Have a voice in the running of the club

 Young people should also be encouraged to realise that they also have responsibilities

 to treat other young people, fellow players, coaches and volunteers with the same

 degree of fairness and respect.


In this regard young people should undertake at all times to:

Treat club coaches and supervisors with respect

Play fairly, do their best and have fun

Make high standards of Fair Play the standard others want to follow

Respect opponents, they are not the enemy, they are partners in a sporting event

Shake hands before and after the match, whoever wins

Give opponents a hand if they are injured, put the ball out of play so they can get


Accept apologies from opponents when they are offered

Respect fellow team members and support them both when they do well and when  

 things go wrong.

Treat players from minority groups with the same respect you show other people

Be modest in victory and be gracious in defeat- “Be A Sport”

Approach the club Children’s Officer with any questions or concerns they

 might have. Coaches and parents should encourage children to speak out   

 and support them in doing so


At all time our young people should not:


Use abusive language, or argue with, the referee, officials, team mates or   


Use violence

Bully or spit

Tell lies about adults or other children or spread rumours

Take banned substances to improve performance

Keep secrets about any person who may have caused them harm



Promoting Good Practice

Coaches, Parents and Administrators all have an important role to play in promoting good practice in children’s sport. They should have as their first priority the children’s safety and enjoyment of the sport remembering that –


“Sport for young people is about Fun and Participation,

Best Effort and Fair Play in a Safe Environment”


Ballybofey United  F.C. wants all young people in soccer to have fun and develop skills in a safe and Fair Play environment. Recent research would suggest that up to seventy per cent of children leave sport between the ages of eight and thirteen. One of the most common reasons given was that sport was no longer fun. Therefore we all have to make every effort to ensure that we keep the fun in soccer.





Making Sport Fun.


In promoting “Sport for Fun” we:

Encourage participation and fun

Promote the development of skills as opposed to winning at all costs

Emphasise and praise effort

Act as a good role model

Insist on Fair Play (take off offending players)

Be realistic with expectations

Be aware of children’s feelings

Teach players to respect different cultures

Coaches and volunteers should also enjoy a sense of achievement and pleasure  

  through their work with young people and should not be evaluated by performance

  or  results of competition.

They should enjoy the respect of, and be supported in their work by the club and

  by parents/guardians.


Guidelines for Parents/Guardians

Ballybofey United F.C. and the SFAI want football to be safe, and we want football to be fun. We want to ensure that no matter what level of the game young people are involved in, that it takes place in the spirit of ‘FAIR PLAY.’


Focusing on individual participants’ needs encourages young people to achieve and demonstrate enjoyment, equality and fair play. Through this they will come to realise that standards of behaviour are equally as important as sports performance.


Parents / guardians play an important role in promoting children’s happiness and success in football and sport in general. Parental expectations and behaviour have a significant bearing on children’s attitude and behaviour while participating in football.


While winning is important, it must be remembered that winning at all costs does NOT meet the needs of players. Results are not necessarily a good indicator of coaching effectiveness or ability, the improvement level of players and their level of enjoyment is. It is important for parents / guardians to find out what their children want from football, and help them to set realistic targets to achieve this.

This may involve controlling their own aspirations and avoiding the desire to force their own dreams or unfulfilled ambitions on them.


It is important to:

• Encourage but not force young people to be active.

• Know when he / she is ready to play.

• Encourage healthy lifestyle habits.

• Attend training and games where possible.

• Promote and teach FAIR PLAY.

• Teach your child to treat referees, other players, coaches, officials and spectators  

   with respect regardless of race, creed, colour, sex or ability.

• Help children to set realistic targets.

• Help children with decision making.



Parents/Guardians should not:

• Ignore or dismiss complaints or concerns expressed by a young person which relate to

   his/her involvement in soccer.

• Ridicule or shout at a child for losing a game or making a mistake.

• Treat Ballybofey United and its coaches as a child minding service.

• Take safety for granted.

• Put undue pressure on any child to please or perform well.

  Most importantly parents / guardians should: “LEAD BY EXAMPLE”


Parent / Coach Co-Operation

Parents / guardians should:


• Give the coach help when asked and show appreciation for a job well done.

• Support the coach’s and referee decisions. These individuals are only doing the

  best they can and  they need support not anger.

• Refrain from contacting the coach unless it is necessary, respect they have a

  private life.

• Inform the coach about any illness, injury, holidays, etc.

• Make an effort to attend training and games.

• Communicate any concerns you may have to the coach, but respect the coach’s

  decisions regarding  team matters.

• Make sure the child has appropriate equipment/clothing/refreshments.

• Encourage FAIR PLAY at home and do not instil a “win at all costs” attitude in


• Be positive or be quiet, negative comments are counterproductive.

• Conduct themselves in such a way which promotes the definition of FAIR PLAY.

• Be prepared to be asked to leave by officials or club personnel if behaviour is

   contrary to the definition of FAIR PLAY.


Parents / Guardians should never:

• Insult players or any club personnel.

• Argue with, or shout abuse at officials and they should actively discourage children

  or young player from doing likewise.

• Suggest or encourage cheating, aggressive or "dirty" play.

• Placing undue or inappropriate criticism on a player, causing the player

   unnecessary or unhealthy levels of stress.

• Behave with physical or verbal aggression towards another person

  (actually uses force or threaten the use of force).

• Engage in any "harassment" type of behaviour.


Ballybofey United FC believes that parents/guardians should:


Be a role model for your child and maintain the highest standards of conduct when interacting with children, other parents, with officials and organisers.

Always behave responsibly and do not seek unfairly to affect the game

Never intentionally expose any young participant to embarrassment or disparagement by the use of flippant or sarcastic remarks.

Always recognise the value and importance of volunteers who provide sporting opportunities for your child.

Do not publicly question the judgement or honesty of referees, coaches or organisers.

Encourage your child to play by the rules

Teach your child that honest endeavour is as important as winning and do all you can to encourage good sportsmanship.

Set a good example by applauding good play on both sides. Encourage mutual respect for team mates and opponents.

Parents should support all efforts to remove abusive behaviour and bullying behaviour in all its forms.



Parents Code of Conduct

I will respect the rules and procedures set down in Ballybofey United Football Club’s Code of Ethics for Children in Sport and will ensure my children are aware of the club ‘s rules and code of conduct.

I will respect my child’s/children’s team mates, coaches, referees, team-mates’ parents as well as players, parents and coaches from opposing teams.

I will encourage my child to treat other players, coaches and referees with respect.

I will give my child encouragement and applaud only positive accomplishments whether from my child, his/her team mates, their opponents and officials.

I will respect my child’s coach/coaches, support their efforts and accept the decisions they make regarding team selections as decisions made by them with the best interests of the players and the club in mind.

I will respect the coaches and club officials and their authority during coaching sessions and matches.

I will never treat the club as a ‘baby sitting service’ and will ensure that my child is dropped off at sessions only when there is adequate adult supervision and is collected promptly at the end of sessions.

I will never demonstrate threatening/ abusive behaviour or use foul language to any other parent, child, coach, committee member or to any official at a fixture. I fully understand that if I do I can be banned from any and all club/league training and fixtures.



Name:_______________________________ Date:_____________



Name of Children:_____________________________________________________________

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