Coaches should develop in their players respect for the judgement of all officials

Players are expected to be modest in success and generous in defeat

Good play by either team should be recognised by applause

Be consistent, objective and courteous when making decisions

The ISA seeks to uphold high standards of personal conduct consistent with the ideals of competitive sport and within the best tradition of collegiality amongst independent schools.

The pursuit of excellence in games and the enhancement of positive educational experiences for all students are of paramount importance to the ISA approach to sport. ISA schools are expected to place the highest priority on players’ safety and to ensure that coaches, officials and administrators are fully aware of the ISA Code of Conduct as well as the particular rules and safety requirements in their sport.

ISA schools are also expected to provide competent First Aid and support for injured players. The ISA Code of Conduct outlines the spirit of the Association and states clear expectations for all who participate in games conducted under the aegis of the ISA.

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Full ISA Code Of Conduct

ISA Diversity Statement

The Heads of member schools of the Independent Sporting Association are committed to the inclusiveness of the diversity of our schools and to all who participate in competition as players, officials or spectators. The Association embraces the right of every individual to be respected absolutely.

The Independent Sporting Association recognises and affirms the right of each individual to respect within our competition and we embrace the ethnic and religious diversity of our students, their teachers and their schools.

The Association does not tolerate discrimination explicit or covert towards anyone involved in competition; neither does it countenance vilification of players, officials, parents or spectators and will act decisively in any instance where such unacceptable behaviour occurs. Further, the Association reserves the right to impose sanctions on any school, their players, spectators or officials where a proven incident of discrimination or vilification is not addressed adequately.

1 Guidelines for Coaches

1.1 Students must perceive that the sporting programme of the School is consistent with the educational aims of the School. The role that coaches play in this is crucial. Coaches should be aware of their responsibility as
role models in insisting on proper attitudes both on and off the field and by making games attractive, safe and enjoyable for students. All participants are deserving of equal attention and opportunities. 

1.2 It is imperative for coaches to be clear on the standards associated with amateur sporting ideals. Coaches must always be ready to combat those views widely expressed in the media that run counter to the spirit of the amateur ethic.

1.3 Coaches should recognize that games are for enjoyment, and satisfaction comes from doing one’s best for the team. 

1.4 Coaches should develop in their players respect for the judgment of all officials (umpires, referees, touch judges, etc) and be particularly careful to reflect this in all public expressions of opinion

1.5 The home coach should welcome the visiting coach, and encourage the Captain of the team to seek out the visiting Captain.

1.6 Coaches should be reasonable in their expectations of the players and in their demands on the players’ time and energy. They should be sensitive to the age, skill and physical maturity of their players.

1.7 It is an educational responsibility of coaches to acquaint their players thoroughly with the rules or laws of the game as these provide structure and order. For this reason, coaches should continually update their knowledge of the game, and schools should ensure this occurs.

1.8 The role of the coach is to support and encourage the players. Criticism should be focused on the mistake and no personal derogatory remarks should be made. There should be no recriminations in defeat.

1.9 Where it is permitted under the rules of the game, all coaching from the sidelines must be restrained, tactful, and infrequent and substantially out of earshot of spectators. In all cases however, the role of the Coach should be understated rather than overstated.

1.10 Coaches should warn those players who are losing their composure and becoming too physical, and if necessary remove them from the playing arena should such warnings not be heeded.

1.11 Coaches should not encroach on the court or field of play     

1.12 Coaches are to accept player safety as an essential priority and correct techniques are to be insisted upon. Under no circumstances are matches to start or to continue under conditions which a coach considers contentious, e.g. the absence of an appropriate umpire or referee; or an unsafe playing surface.

1.13 Coaches must notify their Sports Convenor if any student from a team is sent off. The student(s) must be supervised by a school official after being dismissed from the field, and disciplined subsequently according to the custom and practice of the member school. It is the general rule that students will be suspended for at least one game or similar penalty as outlined by the rules for individual sports.

2 Guidelines for Players

2.1 Players are expected to be modest in success and generous in defeat, not showing in either case undue emotion. Players are also expected to acknowledge, willingly and openly, good play by either school.

2.2 Players should be wholehearted in their approach to games, and should adhere strictly to the letter and the spirit of the rules or the laws. The referee or umpire’s decision is, of course, final and the Captain of the team is the only one who may ask for clarification of a decision.

2.3 Players shall never resort to unseemly or abusive language.

2.4 Players should be punctual and well turned out. The home team – and in particular the Captain – should welcome the visiting team and its Captain. At the conclusion of the game, referees, umpires and other officials (scorers, touch judges etc.) should be thanked.

2.5 Players should not applaud the opposition’s mistakes.

3 Guidelines for Spectators

3.1 Control of spectators is the responsibility of the school official with whom the spectators are associated. Spectators are not to approach or address game officials or any of the opposing players, spectators or officials. Genuine concerns should be addressed to their own school official who will determine any action to be taken. 

3.2 Barracking should be enthusiastic and positive, but not designed to heckle, denigrate or unsettle opponents. For example, barracking during a free throw or a kick at goal and so forth is always bad sportsmanship. Similarly, sledging is totally unacceptable. Barracking should be for the School only. Negative comments are totally unacceptable. Positive comments are motivational. 

3.3 Good play by either team should be recognized by applause.

3.4 It is never right to express disapproval of a referee or umpire’s decision, irrespective of his/her age. 

3.5 Vocal support for any team should never encourage violence or rough or illegal play. 

3.6 Coaching by spectators from the sideline is to be actively discouraged by the school official with whom the spectators are associated. Spectators shall not interfere with the progress and/or conduct of a game, including encroaching on the field. 

3.7 Adults must remember that games at school level are organized for the benefit of the students concerned and not for adults.

3.8 Visitors to the grounds should co-operate fully with any regulations or requests made by the home school, such as car parking, seating, dressing rooms and the placing of spectators. At all times visitors should leave the area tidy and free of rubbish when they leave.

3.9 Adults, parents, students and others are expected to set an example by their self-control and deportment at matches. 

3.10 Normally alcohol should not be consumed at ISA fixtures.

4 Guideline for Officials

4.1 Officials will seek to compliment and encourage all participants.

4.2 Every effort must be made to be consistent, objective and courteous when making decisions. 

4.3 Officials are expected to condemn unsporting behaviour and promote respect for all opponents. 

4.4 In the management of the game, it is important to emphasise the spirit of the game rather than the errors. 

4.5 As appropriate, officials will encourage and promote rule changes that will make participation more enjoyable. 

4.6 All officials will model the highest standard of sportspersonship. Behaviour and comments should be exemplary.

4.7 Officials are expected to keep up to date with the latest trends in officiating and the principles of growth and development of young people, consistent with the educational purpose of ISA sport. 

4.8 The safety and welfare of the participants is the primary concern for officials. 

4.9 Consistent with the precepts and practice of the ISA, officials will seek to give all young people a \’fair go\’ regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion and encourage others to do the same.

5 Guideline for Administrators

5.1 Consistent with the educational purpose of ISA Sport, administrators will endeavour to involve students in planning, leadership, evaluation and decision-making related to the activity. 

5.2 All students should have equal opportunities to participate. 

5.3 Students shall be encouraged to explore pathways for participation and involvement players but also as coaches, referees, administrators etc. 

5.4 Remember that students participate for their enjoyment and benefit. Do not overemphasise awards. 

5.5 Coaches and officials are expected to highlight appropriate behaviour and skill development; administrators will create opportunities to improve the standard of coaching and officiating. 

5.6 Administrators will seek to ensure that everyone involved in ISA school sport emphasises fair play and the quality of games, not winning at all costs. 

5.7 This code of behaviour shall be promulgated to spectators, officials, parents, coaches, players and the media, along with the expectation that it be adhered to. 

5.9 Administrators, above all, must embody the values, behaviours and practices they expect from others, as expressed in this Code.

Download the Full Code of Conduct (PDF)

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