Youth Leaders Guidelines
Guidelines for Managers / Coaches / Selectors / Club Officials
- Managers, coaches and youth leaders in children’s sport should strive to create a positive environment for the children in their care. They have an overall responsibility to take the steps necessary to ensure that positive and healthy experiences are provided.
- All coaches, managers, youth leaders and club officials should have as their first priority the children’s safety and enjoyment of the sport and should adhere to the guidelines and regulations set out in this Code of Ethics.
- All coaches, managers, youth leaders and club officials must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every child and must treat everyone equally, regardless of sex, ethnic origin, religion or ability.
- Once appointed, a coach / manager / youth leader / club official must act as a role model and promote the positive aspects of sport and of cricket and maintain the highest standards of personal conduct. Insist that players in your care respect the rules of the game. Insist on fair play and ensure players are aware you will not tolerate cheating or bullying behaviour.
- Be generous with praise and never ridicule or shout at players for making mistakes or for losing a game. Care must be taken not to expose a child to embarrassment or disparagement by use of sarcastic or flippant remarks about the child or his/her family. All young players are entitled to respect.
- Be careful to avoid favouritism. Each child deserves equal time and attention.
- Remember that young players play for fun and enjoyment and that skill development and personal satisfaction have priority over highly structured competition. Never make winning the only objective.
- It is important to realise that certain situations or friendly actions could be misinterpreted by the participant or by outsiders. Avoid working alone and ensure there is adequate supervision for all activities.
- Coaches, managers, youth leaders and club officials are responsible for setting and monitoring the boundaries between a working relationship and friendship with players. It is advisable for coaches not to involve young players in their personal life i.e. visits to coach’s home or overnight stays.
- When young players are invited into adult groups/squads, it is advisable to get agreement from a parent/guardian. Boundaries of behaviour in adult groups are normally different from the boundaries that apply to junior groups/squads.
- Managers / coaches should communicate and co-operate with medical and ancillary practitioners in the diagnosis, treatment and management of their players’ medical or related problems. Avoid giving advice of a personal or medical nature if you are not qualified to do so. Any information of a personal or medical nature must be kept strictly confidential unless the welfare of the child requires the passing on of this information
- The nature of the relationship between managers/ coaches and a participant can often mean that they may learn confidential information about a player or player’s family. This information must be regarded as confidential and except where abuse is suspected, must not be divulged to a third party without the express permission of the player/family
- Set realistic goals for the participants and do not push young players. Create a safe and enjoyable environment
- You are the role model for the children in your care
Code of Conduct for Managers / Coaches / Youth Leaders
Managers / Coaches /Youth Leaders should :
- Be positive during session, praise and encourage effort as well as results
- Plan and prepare appropriately
- Put welfare of young person first.
- Encourage fair play, treat participants equally
- Recognise developmental needs
- Be up-to-date with knowledge and skill of sport for young people
- Involve parents where possible and inform parents when problems arise
- Keep record of attendance at training
- Keep a brief record of injury(ies) and action taken
- Keep a brief record of problem/action/outcomes, if behavioural problems arise
Where possible Managers / Coaches / Youth Leaders should avoid:
- Spending excessive amounts of time with children away from others
- Taking sessions alone
- Taking children to your home
- Taking children on journeys alone in their car
Managers / Coaches / youth leaders must not:
- Use any form of punishment or physical force on a child
- Exert undue influence over a participant in order to obtain personal benefit or
- Engage in rough physical games, sexually provocative games or allow or
- engage in inappropriate touching of any kind, and /or make sexually
- suggestive comments about, or to a child
- Take measurements or engage in certain types of fitness testing without the
- presence of another adult
- Undertake any form of therapy (hypnosis etc.) in the training of children
Managers, coaches and youth leaders have a right to:
- Ongoing training and information with regard to child protection issues
- Support in the reporting of suspected abuse
- Access to professional support services
- Fair and equitable treatment by North Kildare CC
- Be protected from abuse by children / youths, other adult members and
- Not to be left vulnerable when working with children
Any misdemeanours or general misbehaviour will be dealt with immediately and reported verbally to the Designated Person. Persistent breaches (or a single serious breach) of the code may result in dismissal from North Kildare CC. Dismissals can be appealed with the final decision as per the NKCC Disciplinary procedure.
Travelling with children
There is extra responsibility taken on by leaders when they travel with children to events.
When travelling with young people you should:
- Ensure that there is adequate insurance cover
- Not carry more than the permitted number of passengers
- Ensure use of safety belts
- Avoid being alone with one participant, put passenger in the back seat, drop off at central locations or seek parental permission to transport an individual participant on a regular basis and clearly state times of pick- up and drop off
- Make sure there is an adequate adult: child ratio. Recommended ratio is 1:8 under 12 and 1:12 over 12. This will depend on the nature of the activity, the age of the participants and any special needs of the group.
- Where there are mixed groups there should be leaders of both genders
- Avoid being alone with one participant, if you need to talk separately do so in an open environment, in view of others
- Clearly state time for start and end of coaching sessions or competitions
- Leaders should remain in pairs until all participants have been collected
- Keep attendance records and record of any incidents / injuries that arise
Away trips / Overnight stays
- Written permission of parents / guardians to be obtained for all overnight away trips. This should include permission to travel, behaviour agreement, emergency contact numbers and medical or special needs (including permission to treat participant)
- All participants should sign a behaviour agreement
- Communicate with parents and participants with regard to travel times, competition details, other activities, gear requirements, and any other necessary details
- Rooming arrangements – adults should not share rooms with children, children share rooms with those of same age and gender and adults should knock before entering rooms
- All group socialisation should take place in communal areas (i.e. no boys in girls’ rooms and vice versa).
- There must be at least one adult of each gender with a mixed party
- Lights out times should be enforced
- Young players should be under reasonable supervision at all times and should never leave the venue or go unsupervised without prior permission
- Managers and coaches to pay particular attention to players’ behaviour while on public transport
- Coaches / managers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the players with whom they work
- Ensure activities are suitable for age and stage of development of participants
- Keep a record and be aware of any specific medical conditions of the participants liaise with the parent of any child who has a medical condition regarding special requirements
- Keep a record of emergency contact numbers for parents / guardians
- Ensure any necessary protective gear is used
- Ensure First Aid kit is close at hand with access to qualified first-aider
- Know the contact numbers of emergency services
- Keep first aid kit stocked up
- Ensure access to medical personnel if needed and have a emergency plan
- If an incident occurs, make a brief record of injury and action taken. Make a brief record of the problem/action/outcome. Contact the player’s parents and keep them informed of all details
- Officials (umpires) should ensure the conduct of the game
- Managers / Coaches should hold appropriate qualifications, where a youth leader does not hold qualifications, he/she will be assigned an experience mentor to support him/her
- Ensure parents / guardians are informed with regard to finishing time of sessions or events
- Implement safety requirements with regard to the wearing of helmets, bowling restrictions and fielding restrictions
- Avoid unnecessary physical contact
- Any necessary contact should be in response to the needs of the child and not the adult
- It should be in an open environment with the permission and understanding of the participant
- It should be determined by the age and developmental stage of the participant - Don’t do something that a child can do for themselves
- Never engage in inappropriate touching
The Use of Sanctions
- The use of sanctions is an important element in the maintenance of discipline.
- Sanctions should only be used within the context of the Code of Conduct.
- Rules are clearly stated and agreed
- A warning is given if a rule is broken
- If rules are broken on a second or subsequent occasion, sanctions may be imposed and parents may be contacted
- Sanctions should not be imposed for errors which occur while playing
- Physical activity (laps or push-ups) should not be used as a sanction
- Sanctions should be used sparingly
- Where relevant, sanctions may need to be recorded
Use of Video / Photography and Mobile Phones
North Kildare CC has adopted a policy in relation to the use of images of cricketers on its website and in other publications as there have been concerns about the risks posed directly and indirectly to children and young people through the use of photographs on sports websites and other publications. Where possible we will try to use models or illustrations when promoting an activity and avoid the use of the first name and surname of individuals in a photograph. This reduces the risk of inappropriate, unsolicited attention from people within and outside the sport.
Rules to guide the use of photography:
- If a cricketer is named, avoid using their photograph; if a photograph is used, avoid naming the cricketer.
- Ask for the cricketer’s permission to use their image. This ensures that they are aware of the way the image is to be used to represent the sport.
- Ask for parental permission to use their image. This ensures that they are aware of the way the image is to be used to represent the sport. (See parental consent form)
- Create recognised procedure for reporting the use of inappropriate images to reduce the risks to cricketers. Follow the child protection procedures, ensuring either the designated officer or the social service and/or police are informed.
- Amateur photographers/film/video operators wishing to record an event or practice session should seek accreditation with the children’s officer or leader of session.
- North Kildare CC will display the following information prior to the start of an event to inform spectators of the policy:
“In line with the recommendation in North Kildare CC’s Code of Conduct, the promoters of this event request that any person wishing to engage in any video, zoom or close range photography should register their details with the organisers. On no account should children be photographed or filmed without their permission and the permission of their parents”.
When commissioning professional photographers or inviting the press to an activity or event we will aim to ensure they are clear about our expectations of them in relation to child protection. Professional photographers/film/video operators wishing to record an event or practice session should seek accreditation with the children’s officer or event organiser by producing their professional identification for the details to be recorded. We will then:
- Provide a clear brief about what is considered appropriate in terms of content and behaviour
- Issue the photographer with identification which must be worn at all times
- Keep a record of accreditations
- Not allow unsupervised access to athletes or one to one photo sessions at events
- Not approve/allow photo sessions outside the events or at a player’s home
Videoing as a coaching aid: Video equipment can be used as a legitimate coaching aid. However, permission should first be obtained from the player and the player’s parent/guardian.
Anyone concerned about any photography taking place at events or training sessions can contact the Children’s Officer or Designated Person and ask them to deal with the matter.
Mobile phones are often given to young people for security, enabling parents to keep in touch and make sure they are safe. The use of mobile phones allows quick and easy contact, but it is important that mobile phones are not used to cross personal boundaries and cause harm for young people.
Managers / Coaches / Selectors
- Use group texts for communication and inform parents of this at the start of the season
- It is not appropriate to have constant communication with individual cricketers
- Do not use phone in locations such as changing rooms
- If you receive an offensive photo, email or message, do not reply to it. Save it, make a note of time and date and inform your parent / guardian /Children’s Officer
- Be careful about the people to whom you give your number
- Do not respond to unfamiliar numbers
- Do not use your phone in locations such as changing rooms