YOUNG PLAYERS SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO:
YOUNG PLAYERS SHOULD ALWAYS:
YOUNG PLAYERS SHOULD ENGAGE IN GOOD PRACTICE:
COACHES, MENTORS AND TRAINERS
All Coaches, Mentors and Trainers (referred to hereafter as Coaches) should ensure that young people and children
benefit significantly from our games by promoting a positive, healthy and participatory approach in our work with
underage players. In developing the skills levels of every player, Coaches should always encourage enjoyment and
fun while ensuring meaningful participation in our games and activities. Coaches should always remember that they
are role models for the players in their care.
COACHES SHOULD MAINTAIN A CHILD CENTRED APPROACH
COACHES SHOULD LEAD BY EXAMPLE
CONDUCT OF COACHES WHEN WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE
Parents/Guardians have an influential role to play in assisting and encouraging their children to fully participate in
Gaelic Games, whether by playing our games or attending training or coaching sessions. Our Associations constantly
seek the active participation of all parents and guardians, particularly at club level, where the ethos of volunteerism
forms the basis of our community-led Clubs.
In common with Coaches and Club personnel, the Parents/Guardians of underage players should act as role models
for their children as they participate in Gaelic Games.
PARENTS/GUARDIANS SHOULD ENCOURAGE THEIR CHILD TO:
• Always play by the rules.
• Improve their skills levels.
• Appreciate everybody on their team, regardless of ability.
• Maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle with regard to exercise, food, rest and play. Advice may be sought
if necessary from Club officials on this issue.
PARENTS/GUARDIANS SHOULD LEAD BY EXAMPLE:
• Adopt a positive attitude to their children’s participation in our games.
• Respect officials’ decisions and encourage children to do likewise.
• Do not exert undue pressure on your child.
• Never admonish your own child or any other child for their standard of play.
• Be realistic in their expectations.
• Show approval for effort, not just results.
• Avoid asking a child or young person, ‘How much did you score today’ or ‘What did you win by’ or ‘What did
you lose by.’ Ask them ‘Did they enjoy themselves.’
• Never embarrass a child or use sarcastic remarks towards a player.
• Applaud good play from all teams.
• Do not criticize playing performances. Identify how improvements may be made.
• Do not seek to unfairly affect a game or player.
• Do not enter the field of play unless specifically invited to do so by an official in charge.
Parents & Sports
• Complete and return the annual registration/permission and medical consent forms for their child’s
participation in the Club.
• Inform the Coaches, and any other relevant Club personnel, of any changes in their child’s medical or
dietary requirements prior to coaching sessions, games or other activities.
• Ensure that their child punctually attends coaching sessions/games or other activities.
• Provide their child with adequate clothing and equipment as may be required for the playing of our games
including for example helmets, shin guards, gum shields etc.
• Ensure that the nutrition/hydration and hygiene needs of their child are met.
• Never encourage your child(ren) to consume non-prescribed drugs or take performance-enhancing
• Listen to what their child may have to say.
• Show approval whether the team wins, loses or draws a game.
• Never attempt to meet their own needs and aspirations for success and achievement through their children’s participation in games.
• If a parent has any issues to raise regarding their child’s participation or performance in a team they may
raise this with the team coach(es) but should do so in a constructive and non-confrontational manner and
not in the company or vicinity of young players or other parents.
• Complaints about the conduct or practice of a coach should be brought to the attention of the relevant Club or County Children’s Officer.
• Support your Club by becoming an active member and by participating in Club activities.
PARENTS/GUARDIANS SHOULD ASSIST THEIR CLUB BY:
• Showing appreciation to volunteers, coaches and Club officials.
• Attending training and games on a regular basis.
• Assisting in the organising of Club activities and events as requested.
• Respecting the rights, dignity and worth of every person and by treating each one equally regardless of
age, gender, ability, ethnic origin, cultural background or religion.
• Not entering team dressing rooms unless deemed necessary by the team coach(es) so as to protect the
privacy of other underage players.
PARENTS/GUARDIANS HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
• Know their child is safe and to make a complaint if they believe that their child’s safety is in any way
• Be informed of problems/concerns relating to their child.
• Be informed if their child gets injured or becomes unwell.
• Complain to the relevant persons if they have concerns about the standard of coaching.
• Have, as a member, a say in relation to decisions being made within the Club.
Young players are eager to enjoy and benefit from the support they receive from supporters parents, guardians,
friends and other members of the Club who attend our games. Active, loyal and well-behaved supporters are always
Welcome to attend and support our games but should be aware that their conduct will reflect upon the team, players
and Clubs that they support and represent. Fellow supporters have a responsibility to ensure that all spectators conduct themselves in an acceptable and well-behaved manner at all times when attending our games and competitions. Unacceptable conduct by supporters
should be reported to stewards or officials in charge (if appropriate) or at Club level to the Children’s Officer.
Supporters should realise and consider that Young Players are encouraged to participate in Gaelic Games so that
they may enjoy themselves while also improving their skills levels.
SUPPORTERS ADD TO THE ENJOYMENT OF OUR GAMES BY:
• Applauding good performance and efforts from your Club’s players and from your opponents, regardless
of the result.
• Condemning the use of violence in any form, be it by fellow spectators, coaches, officials or players.
• Demonstrating appropriate behaviour by not using foul language or harassing players, opposition
supporters, coaches or officials.
• Not entering the field of play, before, during or after a game.
• Respecting the decisions of all officials.
• Never ridiculing or scolding a player for making a mistake during games or competitions.
• Showing respect to your Club’s opponents. Without them, there would be no games or competitions.
• Upholding the principles of FAIR PLAY and RESPECT for all.
Throughout this Code of Behaviour emphasis has been placed on the need to co-operate with and facilitate those
that organize and deliver our games and activities. Referees are key people in the delivery of our games and should
be respected and assisted in their roles.
Referees are conscious of the fact that they are instrumental in ensuring our games are played in a sporting manner
in accordance with the rules of the game.
Players, Coaches, Mentors, Parents/Guardians, and other Club personnel have a key role to play in the delivery of this
aspect of our Gaelic Games particularly when working with underage players. The manner in which we accept the
role, authority and decisions of a Referee will naturally be scrutinized very closely by our underage players.
IN THEIR CAPACITY AS REFEREES OF UNDERAGE GAMES WE EXPECT OUR REFEREES TO:
• Apply the playing rules on an impartial and consistent basis.
• Act with integrity and objectivity in all games.
• Communicate decisions to players and team officials in an effective and constructive manner in
consideration of the age groups playing our games.
• Deal with dissent firmly and fairly.
• Work as a team with other match officials.
• Maintain composure regardless of the circumstances.
• Avail of assessments and supports to improve performance.
• Uphold and implement the Give Respect – Get Respect initiative at all levels.
• Report any misconduct of players, team officials or supporters conscious of the fact that such matters may
be followed up by Club or County Children’s Officers.
• Undertake agreed on vetting and background Police checks within the jurisdiction in which they work and
attend relevant child safeguarding training.
Players, Coaches, Supporters, Parents/Guardians, and other Club personnel should recognize the pivotal role that
Referees play in our underage games and should support them at all times when fulfilling their roles.
GIVE RESPECT – GET RESPECT
Give Respect – Get Respect is an awareness campaign that seeks to ensure that Gaelic Games are promoted and
played in a positive, fair and enjoyable manner and where Players, Coaches, Spectators, and Referees
Give Respect– Get Respect from each other.
The RESPECT campaign applies at all levels and amongst all players regardless of age, competition or ability. The
key participants in the Give Respect – Get Respect campaign are not just the Players themselves but Coaches, Clubs,
Parents, Referees, and Supporters.
The Give Respect – Get Respect initiative is supported by the GAA, Ladies Gaelic Football Association, the Camogie
Association, GAA Handball Ireland and the Rounders Council of Ireland.
THE RESPECT CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS THE FOLLOWING GOOD PRACTICES:
• All players and coaches shake hands with their opponents and the referee before and after each game.
• Mark out a designated spectators’ area around the playing area.
• At relevant underage categories, teams should strive to achieve the maximum participation of all players in accordance with agreed playing models.
• The host Club should welcome referees and opposing teams to all games.
• A merit award, based on sporting endeavor and fair play, shall be awarded to players and teams who have
upheld the RESPECT principles.
• Adopt and implement the Code of Behaviour when working with underage players as the minimum level of
agreement between the Club and Players, Coaches, Parents, Guardians and Supporters at underage level.
• Organize half time exhibition games during Club and inter County League and Championship Games that
promote the principles of the RESPECT campaign in association with schools, other Clubs and Cumann namBunscol.
• Clubs should ensure that the coaches of underage teams are aware of and also implement the Give Respect– Get Respect initiative.