RFU Code of Rugby
Code of Rugby
Everyone involved in rugby in England, whether as a player, coach, referee, administrator, parent or spectator is expected to uphold the Core Values of our sport.
Play to win – but not at all cost
Win with dignity, lose with grace
Observe the Laws and regulations of the game.
Respect opponents, referees and all participants
Reject cheating, racism, violence and drugs.
Value volunteers and paid officials alike.
Enjoy the game.
RFU Code of Rugby
Rugby is a game of long traditions, which have been developed over time into a number of values that guide the
way the game is played and how players, coaches, officials and supporters conduct themselves.
At its core, rugby is a physical game and a fundamental value is one of respect – for opponents, team-mates and
officials. Rugby for the vast majority remains a sport played for enjoyment. Because of this, the other core values
that Bridgwater & Albion Youth Section aspire to are both firm and inclusive of all rugby activities. You will find
those values embedded in the codes of conduct below.
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, AS A PLAYER, YOU MUST:
- Play because you want to do so, not to please coaches or parents
- Remember skill development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
- Be attentive at all training/coaching sessions.
- Work equally hard for yourself and your team and both will then benefit.
- Recognise good play by ALL players on your team and by your opponents
- Be a sportsman – win or lose
- Play to the laws of the game and accept, without question, all the referee’s decisions.
- Control your emotions. Verbal or physical abuse of team-mates, opponents, or match officials IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.
- Treat all players, as you would like to be treated. Do not interfere with, bully or take unfair advantage of any player.
IN RUGBY UNION, YOUNG PLAYERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO:
- Recognise and appreciate the efforts made by coaches, parents, 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 young player has a right to expect their involvements in rugby to be safe and free from all types of abuse.
- Understand that if an individual or group of young players feel that they are not being treated in an acceptable
manner, then they have a right to tell an adult at the rugby club or outside of the game.
IN RUGBY UNION, AS A COACH, YOU MUST:
- Never overload young players with demands, technical information and tactics – remember they are children
and they are playing rugby for fun
- Be organised – establish a structure for the season, prepare a coaching plan for each session, have the
appropriate kit. Above all, communicate to players, parents and fellow coaches to set expectations
- Make sure players develop an understanding of the rules and laws of the game, that they respect opponents,
team-mates, coaches and officials
- Never over play the better players – include everyone
- Ensure players and parents behaviour is appropriate and in keeping with the spirit of the game and the
expectations of the Club
- Never abuse, yell, criticise or ridicule children for making mistakes or losing a game
- Ensure the club’s Child Protection Policy is upheld at all times
- Never question an official’s judgement or honesty.
IN RUGBY UNION, AS A COACH, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS REMEMBER:
- Players develop at different times and in different ways – make allowances for their physical, emotional and
mental maturity and development
- Winning isn’t everything – teach your players to enjoy taking part and performing to the best of their ability.
- Encourage each player to reach his or her potential
In Rugby Union, coaches and administrators both fully acknowledge that parents are an integral part of the
partnership, which ensures that young players enjoy their involvement in the sport and experience an
environment in which they can flourish.
IN RUGBY UNION AS A PARENT/CARER YOU MUST:
- Remember that young people play rugby for their own enjoyment not that of their parents’.
- Encourage your child to understand and play within the rules
- Encourage young people to play – do not force an unwilling child to participate – its supposed to be for them,
and you may put them off rugby forever
- Focus your child on practicing their skills, effort, sportsmanship and being part of a team. Winning isn’t
everything and not everyone can score the winning try.
- Teach your child that taking part and trying your best are more important than winning
- Be realistic about the young players’ ability; do not push them towards a level that they are not capable of
- Provide positive verbal feedback both in training and during the game. Support and encourage your child –
never criticize them for making mistakes. Console them for losing, but encourage them to try harder next time.
- Remember that persistent, negative messages will adversely affect the players’ and referee’s performance
- Always support the rugby club in their efforts to eradicate loud, coarse and abusive behaviour from the game.
- Support your coaches – they are giving up their time to train your child. If you have any issues with the way a
coach is performing, talk to them first. Refer any issues to an Officer of the Club.
- Remember young people learn much by example.
- Always show appreciation of good play by ALL young players both from your own club and the opposition.
- Respect decisions made by the match officials and encourage the young players to do likewise
- For children aged under 12, that a named responsible adult remains with their child at all times
IN RUGBY UNION AS A PARENT/CARER, YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO:
- Be familiar with the coaching and training programme in order that they can ensure that their child is fully
involved and the coaches are aware of their availability.
- Be familiar with the teaching and coaching methods used by observing the session in which your child
- Be aware that the club has a duty of care and therefore, where appropriate, assist coaches with the
supervision of the young players, particularly where numbers are large and there is a need to transport
youngsters to away games.
- Be involved with club activities and share your expertise.
- Share concerns, if you have them, with club officials.
- Be familiar with the ‘’Good Coach’s Code’’. In particular that :
Coaches should recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching young players.
Coaches should keep winning and losing in perspective, encouraging young players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
Young rugby players [in particular] are impressionable and their behaviour will often reflect that of the adults around them.
In Rugby Union we welcome spectators on our touchline who embrace the ethos of the game as one of fun,
enjoyment and skill development.
IN RUGBY UNION AS A SPECTATOR YOU MUST:
- Remember children play for sport for their enjoyment not yours.
- Acknowledge good individual skill and team performance from ALL youngsters irrespective of which team
they play for.
- Respect match official’s decisions. REMEMBER, they are volunteers providing an opportunity for players to play Rugby.
- Never verbally abuse young players, match officials, fellow spectators or coaches. Such behaviour can create
a negative environment for young players and their behaviour will often reflect this.
- Acknowledge effort and good performance rather than ‘’win at all cost ‘’ ethic
- Verbally encourage all youngsters in a positive way. If you do want to shout make sure it is ‘for’ not ‘at’ the players.
- Condemn bad language, rude behaviour and violence
- Encourage all youngsters irrespective of their ability – never ridicule any individual player, regardless of the team they play for.
IN RUGBY UNION AS A SPECTATOR YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO:
- Act as positive role models to all young players.
- Be familiar with, and abide by, our Child Protection Guidance in relation to verbal and emotional abuse.
- Respect the rugby club policy with regard to spectator behaviour.
- REMEMBER – It’s Only A Game
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