IGR UK League Code of Conduct

IGR is committed to ensuring that equality is incorporated across all aspects of the game in doing so, each club participating in the IGR UK League Championships are to acknowledge and adopt the following Sport England definition of sports equity:

• Sports equity is about fairness in sport, equality of access, recognising inequalities and taking steps to address them. It is about changing the culture and structure of sport to ensure it becomes equally accessible to everyone in society.
• The clubs and members are to respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person and will treat everyone equally within the context of their sport, regardless of age, ability, gender, race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexuality or social/economic status.
• The clubs and members are committed to everyone having the right to enjoy their sport in an environment free from threat of intimidation, harassment and abuse.
• All club members have a responsibility to oppose discriminatory behaviour and promote equality of opportunity.
• The club will deal with any incidence of discriminatory behaviour seriously, according to club disciplinary procedures.

Fair Play Codes which help remind all of us why we enjoy being part of this great game:

A. The Good Coach’s code
B. The Good Player’s code
C. The Good Spectator’s code
D. The Good Match Official’s code

With rugby at senior level becoming so competitive and too often bringing with it a pervading culture of winning at all costs, it is vital that we do not forget the reasons why players participate in and enjoy the game of Rugby Union. The idea of “fair play” should be a constant reference point for all those people involved in the mini and youth game. To lose sight of this would be detrimental to everyone.

Clubs participating in the IGR UK League Championships agree to support the spirit behind these guidelines and the ethos that they engender within the game.

A. The Good Coach’s code

People come into Rugby Union for a variety of reasons; it is the duty of the coach to recognise this and stimulate continued participation. Coaches have a responsibility to ensure that all players are given the opportunity to fulfil their aspirations in a caring environment where the emphasis is on Fun, Enjoyment & Skill development.
In Rugby Union coaches should:
• Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching players. Most learning is achieved through “doing.
• 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 players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
• Respect all referees and the decisions they make (remember it could be you refereeing next week) and ensure that the players recognise that they must do the same.
• Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner, to all players both during coaching sessions and games.

B. The Good Player’s code

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.
In Rugby Union players are encouraged to:
• Recognise and appreciate the efforts made by coaches, match officials and administrators in providing them with the opportunity to play the game and enjoy the rugby environment.
• Understand the values of loyalty and commitment to adults and team-mates.
• Recognise that every player has a right to expect their involvement in rugby to be safe and free from all types of abuse.
• Control their emotions. Verbal or physical abuse of team-mates, opponents, coaches, match officials or spectators is not acceptable.
• Remember that skill development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
• Play to the IRB Laws of the game and accept, without question, all referees’ decision even if they appear to make a mistake.

C. The Good Spectator’s code

Rugby players are impressionable and their behaviour will often reflect around them. In Rugby Union we welcome spectators on our touchlines who embrace the ethos of the game as one of fun, enjoyment and skill development.
In Rugby Union spectators are encouraged to:
• Act as positive role models to all players.
• Never engage with any verbal or emotional abuse to any player, match official, fellow spectator or coaches.
• Respect the rugby club policy with regard to spectator behaviour.
• Acknowledge good individual and team performance from all developing players irrespective of which team they play for.
• Respect match official’s decisions. Remember, they are volunteers providing an opportunity for people to play rugby.
• Acknowledge effort and good performance rather than the “win at all costs” ethic.
• Condemn bad language, rude behaviour and violence.
• Encourage all players irrespective of their ability – never ridicule any individual player, regardless of the team they play for.
• Remember – It’s only a game!

D. The Good Match Official’s code

Match officials are an integral part of the development of new players to rugby. 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 officials should:
• Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when officiating development players.
• Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner during games
• Emphasise the spirit of the game.
• Appreciate the needs of the developing players before the needs of the sport.
• Understand the physical, social and psychological development of developing players.
• Be a positive role model. You set an example and, as such, comments you receive should be positive and supportive.
• Recognise that the safety of developing players is paramount.
• Explain decisions – all developing players are still learning.
• Always penalise foul play.
• Play advantage whenever possible in order to let the game flow.
• Show empathy for the ability of newer players
• Be consistent and objective.
• Ensure that verbal abuse from players, coaches or spectators is not tolerated and is dealt with by club officials immediately.