Code of Conduct


Code for Players

– Play for enjoyment and become part of the rugby family.

– Respect the “Game of Rugby” and play within the laws of the Game.

– Accept the referee’s decision and let your captain or coach ask any relevant questions.

– Play with control. Do not lose your temper.

– Always do your best and be committed to the game, your team and your club.

– Be a “good sport”. Applaud all good play whether by your team or the opposition.

– Respect your opponent. Treat all players as you would like to be treated. Do not “bully” or take advantage of any player.

– Rugby is a team sport and make sure you co-operate with your coach; team mates and members of your club.

– Remember that the goals of the game are to have fun, improve your skills and feel good.

– At the end of the match thank your opponents and the referee for the match.

– Always remember that you owe a duty of care to your opponents. Tackle hard but fairly, do not intend to hurt your opponent.

– Winning and losing is part of sport: Win with humility – lose with dignity.

– As part of the team it is important that you attend training regularly and listen to your coach and help your team.

– As a team sport it is important to understand that all members are important to the team!

– Remember you are representing your team, club, family and the Game of Rugby.

Code for Parents

– Remember, young people play rugby for their enjoyment, not only yours.

– Encourage your child always to play by the Laws of the Game.

– Teach young children that honest endeavour is as important as winning, so that the result of each game is accepted without disappointment.

– Help young people to work towards skill improvement and good sportsmanship.

– Set a good example by applauding good play on both sides.

– Never ridicule, humiliate or shout at young players for making a mistake or losing a match.

– Do not place emphasis on winning at all costs.

– Do not force an unwilling child to participate in the playing of rugby. If the child is to play, he/she will do so in good time through your encouragement.

– Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from rugby.

– As a spectator do not use profane language or harass referees, coaches or players.

– Do not publicly question the referees’ judgement and never their honesty.

– Recognise the value and importance of volunteer referees and coaches.

– Identify and acknowledge the good qualities of the Game of Rugby and uphold these values.

– Remember you and your child’s contribution to the Game of Rugby is very important to the IRFU and be proud of your contribution.

– Understand the value of team sport and the importance there of.

Code for Coaches

– Remember that as a coach of an “age grade team” you are to act in “loco parentis” and to that extent your duty of care is more onerous than that of a coach to an adult team.

– Lead by example – young people need a coach whom they respect.

– Be generous with your praise when it is deserved. Never ridicule or shout at players for making mistakes or losing a match.

– Teach your players that the Laws of the Game are mutual agreements which no one should evade or break.

– Prepare young players for inter-class and inter-school activities.

– Be reasonable in your demands on the players’ time, energy and enthusiasm.

– Ensure that all players participate in matches. The “average” players require and deserve equal time.

– Remember that young players play for fun and enjoyment and that skill learning and playing for fun have priority over highly structured competition. Winning is not the only objective.

-Develop player and team respect for the ability of opponents, as well as for the judgement of referees and opposing coaches.

– Insist on fair play and disciplined play. Do not tolerate foul play, fighting or foul language. Be prepared to take off an offending player.

– Encourage young players to develop basic skills and sportsmanship. Avoid over specialisation in positional play during their formative years.

– Set realistic goals for the team and individual players and do not push young players into adult-like competitions.

– Create a safe and enjoyable environment in which to train and play.

– Do not over burden younger players with too much information.

– Make a personal commitment to keep yourself informed on sound coaching principles and methods, and on the principles of growth and development of young people.

– Be aware of the effect you have on growing children.

– Never criticise the referee and touch judges during or after a match in front of players or spectators.

– Always thank the match officials and if they have made decisions which require clarification, discuss the problems after everyone has changed.

– Seek and follow the advice of a doctor in determining when an injured player is ready to play again.

– Ensure that proper equipment and facilities are available at all times.

– Be responsible and ensure you uphold the ethos of the game and the IRFU.

– Attend coaching courses.

– Support the Code of Ethics and all policies regarding Children in Sport.

– Ensure you and your players are proud of your team, club and efforts during the season.

Code for Spectators

– Remember that although young people play organised rugby they are not “miniature internationals”.

– Be on your best behaviour and lead by example. Do not use profane language or harass referees, players or coaches.

– Applaud good play by the visiting team as well as your own.

– Show respect for your team’s opponents. Without them there would not be a match.

– Condemn the use of violence in all forms at every opportunity.

– Verbal abuse of players or referees cannot be accepted in any shape of form.

– Players or referees are not fair targets for ignorant behaviour.

– Encourage young players to play by the Laws of the Game.

– Spectators can contribute to the enjoyment of the event and all involved.

– Be proud of your club and the Game of Rugby.