RUGBY'S CORE VALUES
Rugby union is the fastest growing major sport in the country, attracting more people than ever to enjoy a vibrant game as professional and amateur players, volunteers and supporters.
But the expansion of rugby brings new challenges to the game and a need to sustain the standards that are its strengths.
Two years ago the RFU put together a task group to run an extensive consultation exercise. The Core Values project – the first time a sport has set out to define its value system in formal terms – produced the first code of rugby and identified the following 5 principles that lie at the heart of the game in England:
Teamwork is essential to our sport. We welcome all new team members and include all because working as a team enriches our lives. We play selflessly: working for the team, not for ourselves alone, both on and off the field. We take pride in our team, rely on one another and understand that each player has a part to play. We speak out if our team or sport is threatened by inappropriate words or actions.
Mutual respect forms the basis of our sport. We hold in high esteem our sport, its values and traditions and earn the respect of others in the way we behave. We respect our match officials and accept our decisions. We respect opposition players and supporters. We value our coaches and those who run our clubs and treat clubhouses with consideration.
Enjoyment is the reason we play and support rugby union. We encourage players to enjoy training and playing. We use our sport to adopt a healthy lifestyle and build life skills. We safeguard our young players and help them have fun. We enjoy being part of a team and part of the rugby family.
Strong discipline underpins our sport. We ensure that our sport is one of controlled physical endeavour and that we are honest and fair. We obey the laws of the game which ensure an inclusive and exciting global game. We support our disciplinary system, which protects our sport and upholds its values. We observe the sport's laws and regulations and report serious breaches.
Sportsmanship is the foundation upon which rugby union is built. We uphold the rugby tradition of camaraderie with teammates and opposition. We observe fair play both on and off the pitch and are generous in victory and dignified in defeat. We play to win but not at all costs and recognise both endeavour and achievement. We ensure that the wellbeing and development of individual players is central to all rugby activity.
Teamwork - Respect - Enjoyment - Discipline - Sportsmanship
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
COACHES CODE OF CONDUCT
GOOD COACHES’ CODE
Coaches of players should:
(a) Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching players.
(b) Understand that most learning is achieved through doing.
(c) Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport.
(d) Be a positive role model – think what this implies.
(e) Keep winning and losing in perspective – encourage players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
(f) Respect all referees and the decisions they make, even if they appear to make a mistake, (remember it could be you refereeing next week) and ensure that the players recognise that they must do the same.
(g) Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner to all players, both during coaching sessions and matches.
(h) Provide rugby experiences which are matched to the players’ ages and abilities, as well as their physical and behavioural development.
(i) Ensure all players are coached in a safe environment, with adequate first aid readily to hand.
(j) Avoid the overplaying of the best players by using a squad system which gives everybody a satisfactory amount of playing time.
(k) Never allow a player to train or play when injured.
(l) Ensure good supervision of players, both on and off the field.
(m) Recognise that players should never be exposed to extremes of heat, cold or
unacceptable risk of injury.
(n) Develop an awareness of nutrition as part of an overall education in lifestyle
(o) Recognise that it is illegal for players under 18 to drink alcohol or for those under 18 to smoke. Coaches should actively discourage both.
(p) Ensure that their knowledge and coaching strategies are up to date and in line with RFU philosophy.
(q) Be aware of, and abide by, the RFU recommended procedures for taking young people on residential tours at home and abroad.
(r) Be aware of and abide by the policies and procedures outlined in the Policy and
Procedures for the Welfare of Young People in Rugby Union.
(s) Coach to the rules laid down in the Rugby Continuum and keep themselves updated on rule changes.
PLAYER CODE OF CONDUCT
THE GOOD PLAYER’S CODE
Players should be encouraged to:
(a) Recognise and appreciate the efforts made by coaches, parents, match officials and administration in providing the opportunity to play the game and enjoy the rugby environment.
(b) Understand the values of loyalty and commitment to adults and team mates.
(c) Recognise that every player has a right to expect their involvement in rugby to be safe and free from all types of abuse.
(d) Understand that if an individual or group of players feel they are not being treated in a manner that is acceptable, then they should tell an adult either at the Club or School or outside of the game.
(e) Play because they want to do so, not to please coaches or parents.
(f) Remember that skill development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
(g) Be attentive at all training and coaching sessions.
(h) Work equally hard for themselves and their team – both will then benefit.
(i) Recognise good play by all players on their team and by their opponents.
(j) Be a sportsman – win with dignity, lose with grace.
(k) Play to the iRB Laws of the Game and accept, without question, all referees’ decisions even if they appear to make a mistake.
(l) Control their emotions. Verbal or physical abuse of team mates, opponents, coaches, match officials or spectators is not acceptable.
(m) Treat all players, as they would like to be treated themselves. Do not interfere with, bully or take advantage of any player.
MATCH OFFICIALS CODE OF CONDUCT
THE GOOD MATCH OFFICIAL’S CODE
Match Officials should:
(a) Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when officiating players.
(b) Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner during games.
(c) Emphasise the spirit of the game.
(d) Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport.
(e) Understand the physical and behavioural development of players.
(f) Be a positive role model. Set an example, and as such, comments should be positive and supportive.
(g) Look to self-improvement e.g. participation in training courses.
(h) Recognise that the safety of players is paramount.
(i) Explain decisions – all players are still learning and parents will understand the game better.
(j) Always penalise foul play.
(k) Play advantage whenever possible in order to let the game flow.
(l) Show empathy for the age and ability of players.
(m) Be consistent and objective.
(n) Be familiar with the Good Spectator’s Code and ensure that verbal abuse from players, coaches or spectators is not tolerated and is dealt with by club officials immediately.
(o) Be aware of, and abide by, the RFU Child Protection Guidance policies and procedures.
(p) Officiate to the rules laid down in the Rugby Continuum and keep themselves updated on rule changes.
(q) Check that the home Club or School has provided a qualified first aider, ambulance access has not been obstructed and that appropriate equipment is available along with someone trained in its use before starting play.
(r) Before training sessions and matches check that studs and other clothing are in
accordance with the iRB Laws of the Game.
PARENTS CODE OF CONDUCT
THE GOOD PARENT’S CODE
Club and Schools should encourage parents and guardians to:
(a) Be familiar with the coaching and training programme in order that they can ensure their child is fully involved and the coaches are aware of their availability.
(b) Be familiar with the teaching and coaching methods used by observing the coaching and training sessions in which their child participates.
(c) Be aware that the Club or School has a duty of care to ensure the safety of players and therefore, where appropriate, assist coaches with the supervision of the players, particularly where numbers are large and there is a need to transport players to away games.
(d) Be involved with Club and School activities and share their expertise.
(e) Share concerns, if they have them, with Club or School officials.
(f) Be familiar with the Good Coaches’ Code contained in the RFU Continuum. In particular, be aware that:
• coaches should recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching players; and
• coaches should keep winning and losing in perspective – encourage players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
(g) Support coaches in installing these values.
(h) Remember that young people play rugby for their own enjoyment not that of their parents.
(i) Encourage young people to play – do not force them.
(j) Focus on the players’ efforts, rather than winning or losing.
(k) Be realistic about the players’ abilities; do not push them towards a level they are not capable of achieving.
(l) Provide positive verbal feedback both in training and during the game.
(m) Remember that persistent, negative messages will adversely affect the players’ and referee’s performance and attitude.
(n) Always support the Club and School in their efforts to eradicate loud, coarse and abusive behaviour from the game.
(o) Remember young people learn much by example.
(p) Always show appreciation of good play by all players both from their own Club or School and the opposition.
(q) Respect decisions made by the match officials, even if they appear to be a mistake, and encourage players to do likewise.
SPECTATORS CODE OF CONDUCT
THE GOOD SPECTATOR’S CODE
Club and Schools should encourage spectators to:
(a) Act as positive role models to all players.
(b) Be familiar with, and abide by, the RFU Child Protection Guidelines in relation to verbal and emotional abuse.
(c) Respect guidance from the Club or School with regard to spectator behaviour.
(d) Remember children play sport primarily for their own enjoyment, not for that of
(e) Acknowledge good individual and team performance from all players irrespective of the team in which they play.
(f) Respect match officials’ decisions, even if they appear to be a mistake – remember, they are volunteers proving an opportunity for players to play rugby.
(g) Never verbally abuse players, coaches, match officials or fellow spectators: such
behaviour can create a negative environment for players and their behaviour will often reflect this.
(h) Acknowledge effort and good performance rather than ‘to win at all costs’.
(i) Verbally encourage all players in a positive manner, shouting ‘for’ not ‘at’ the players.
(j) Encourage all players irrespective of their ability – never ridicule any individual player, regardless of the team in which they play.