Code of Conduct

Rugby Ontario Code of Conduct

1. Respect for Athletes

The principle of respect for athletes challenges coaches to act in a manner respectful of the dignity of those involved in sport. This principle is based on the basic assumption that each person has value and is worthy of respect. Acting with respect for participants means that coaches:

  • Do not make some participants feel more or less worthy as persons than others, on the basis of gender, race, place of origin, athletic potential, colour, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, socio-economic status, marital status, age, or any other conditions.
  • Have a responsibility to respect and promote the rights of all participants. This is accomplished by establishing and following procedures for confidentiality (right to privacy), informed participation and shared decision-making (right to self-determination – athletes’ rights), and fair and reasonable treatment (right to procedural fairness). Coaches have a special responsibility to respect and promote the rights of participants who are vulnerable or in dependent positions, and therefore less able to protect their own rights.
  • Interact with others in a manner that enables all participants in sport to maintain their dignity.
  • Build mutual support among fellow coaches, officials, athletes, and their family members.


2. Coaching Responsibly

The principle of coaching responsibly carries the expectation that the activities of coaches will benefit society in general, and athletes in particular, and will do no harm. Fundamental to the implementation of this principle is the notion of competence, which implies that coaches should be well-prepared and possess up-to-date knowledge of their discipline so that they will be able to maximize benefits and minimize risks to athletes.

In addition, coaching responsibly implies that coaches:

  • Act in the best interest of the participant/athlete’s development as a whole person.
  • Recognize the power inherent in the position of coach.
  • Are aware of their personal values and how these affect their behaviour.
  • Acknowledge the limitations of their knowledge and competence in their sport.
  • Accept the responsibility to work with other coaches and professionals in sport in the best interests of the athletes.


3. Integrity in Relationships

Behaving with integrity means that coaches are expected to be honest, sincere, and honourable in their relationships with others. Acting on these values is possible when coaches have a high degree of self-awareness and the ability to reflect critically on how their views and opinions influence how they interact with others.

In coaching, critical reflection questions existing assumptions about the values and practices that govern coaches’ actions.  The essential component of critical reflection is an attitude based on (i) open-mindedness, i.e. an active predisposition to hear more than one side of an issue; (ii) active inquiry, i.e. asking why things are done the way they are; and (iii) sincerity, i.e. coaches being genuine in their coaching relationships.


4. Honouring Sport

The principle of honouring sport challenges coaches to recognize and promote the value of sport for individuals and teams, and for society in general. Honouring sport implies that coaches:

  • Act on and promote clearly articulated values related to coaching and sport.
  • Encourage and model honourable intentions and actions as per the IRB Playing Charter


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