» Fairplay Codes
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.
But 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 of those involved in sport, on the values and lessons that we want sport to teach our children, and ourselves.
The following Fair Play codes for athletes, coaches, parents, officials, league organizers, spectators and media are taken from various resource manuals developed by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). You may download the individual forms by clicking on the title of the form you wish to use. These can be implemented within your sport environment by downloading and signing.
Fair Play Code for Athletes
- 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 try to be a true team player.
- I will remember that winning isn't everything - that having fun, improving my skills, making friends and doing my best are 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.
Fair Play Code for Coaches
- I will be reasonable when scheduling games and practices, remembering that young athletes have other interests and obligations.
- I will teach my athletes to play fairly and to respect the rules, officials and opponents.
- I will ensure that all athletes get equal instruction, support and playing time.
- I will not ridicule or yell at my athletes 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 athlete's 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.
Fair Play 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 official's judgment or honesty in public.
- I will support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from children's sporting events.
- I will respect and show appreciation for the volunteer coaches who give their time to provide sport activities for my child.
Fair Play Code for Officials
- I will make sure that every athlete has a reasonable opportunity to perform to the best of his or her ability, within the limits of the rules.
- I will avoid or put an end to any situation that threatens the safety of the athletes.
- I will maintain a healthy atmosphere and environment for competition.
- I will not permit the intimidation of any athlete either by word or by action. I will not tolerate unacceptable conduct toward officials, athletes, spectators or myself.
- I will be consistent and objective in calling all infractions, regardless of my personal feelings toward a team or individual athlete.
- I will handle all conflicts firmly but with dignity.
- I accept my role as a teacher and role model for fair play, especially with young participants.
- I will be open to discussion and contact with the athletes before and after the game.
- I will remain open to constructive criticism and show respect and consideration for different points of view.
- I will obtain proper training and continue to upgrade my officiating skills.
Fair Play Code for League Organizers
- I will do my best to see that all children are given the same chance to participate, regardless of gender, ability, ethnic background.
- I will absolutely discourage any sport program from becoming primarily an entertainment for the spectators.
- I will make sure that all equipment and facilities are safe and march the athletes' ages and abilities.
- I will make sure that the age and maturity levels of the children are considered in program development, rule enforcement and scheduling.
- I will remember that play is done for its own sake and make sure that winning is kept in proper perspective.
- I will distribute the fair play codes to spectators, coaches, athletes, officials, parents and media.
- I will make sure that coaches and officials are capable of promoting fair play as well as the development of good technical skills, and I will encourage them to become certified.
Fair Play Code for Spectators
- I will remember that children play sport for THEIR enjoyment. They are not playing to entertain me.
- I will not have unrealistic expectations. I will remember that child athletes are not miniature professionals and cannot be judged by professional standards.
- I will respect the official's decisions and I will encourage participants to do the same.
- I will never ridicule an athlete for making a mistake during a competition. I will give positive comments that motivate and encourage continued effort.
- I will condemn the use of violence in any form and will express my disapproval in an appropriate manner to coaches and league officials.
- I will show respect for my team's opponents, because without them there would be no game.
- I will not use bad language, not will I harass athletes, coaches, officials of other spectators.
Fair Play Code for Media
When I cover games:
- I will not judge or depict children as miniature professionals. I will respect sport programs for adults differently from those for children.
- I will feature children who have demonstrated outstanding examples of fair play.
- I recognize that these children are deserving of coverage and are of as much interest to my readers as those who score points.
- I will keep isolated incidents of unfair play in their proper perspective - neither ignoring nor glorifying them for shock or entertainment value.
- I will give equal coverage to girls and boys and will endeavour to help the public understand the importance of this equal coverage.
- I will remember that children in organized sports often face a lot of pressure to meet unrealistic expectations. I will promote discussion of this and other fair play issues in order to raise awareness and protect children's rights.