The Hills Cricket Club Code of Conduct and Good Practice
Principles and Core Values
The work of The Hills CC is based on the following principles that will guide the development of cricket for young people. Young people’s experience of sport should be guided by what is best for the young person. The stages of development and the ability of the young person should guide the types of activity provided within cricket. Adults will need to have a basic understanding of the needs of young people, including physical, emotional and personal.
Importance of Childhood
The importance of childhood should be understood and valued by everyone involved in sport.
Needs of the Child
All children’s experiences should be guided by what is best for children.
Integrity in Relationships
Adults interacting with children in sport are in a position of trust and influence. They should always ensure that children are treated with integrity and respect, and the self-esteem of young people is enhanced.
All children’s sport should be conducted in an atmosphere of fair play.
Quality Atmosphere and Ethos
Standards of behavior for leaders and children in cricket are as important as standards set for sports performance. Standards of excellence extend to personal conduct.
Competition is an essential element of sport and should be encouraged in an age-appropriate manner. A child-centred ethos will help to ensure that competition and specialisation are kept in their appropriate places.
All children should be treated in an equitable and fair manner regardless of ability, age, gender, religion, social or ethnic background or political persuasion. Children, irrespective of ability or disability, should be involved in cricketing activities in an integrated and inclusive way, wherever possible.
The following statement is written into the Constitution of The Hills CC:
“The Hills CC is fully committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of its members. Every individual involved in organised cricket should, at all times, show respect and understanding for their rights of safety and welfare, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the Club and the guidelines contained in the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in Ireland”.
Guidelines for Parents
The Hills CC believes that parents / guardians / carers should:
- Be role models for their child and maintain the highest standards of conduct when interacting with children, other parents, with officials and organisers
- Always behave responsibly and not seek to affect unfairly the game / player
- Never intentionally expose any young participant to embarrassment or disparagement by the use of flippant or sarcastic remarks
- Always recognise the value and importance of the volunteers who provide sporting/recreational opportunities for your child. Do not question publicly the judgement or honesty of umpires, managers, selectors or coaches. Respect umpires, coaches, organisers and other players
- Encourage your child to play by the rules. Teach your child that honest endeavour is as important as winning and do all you can to encourage good sportsmanship.
- Set a good example by applauding good play on both sides. Encourage mutual respect for team mates and opponents.
- Support all efforts to remove abusive behaviour and bullying behaviour in all its forms.
- Read policy guidelines on bullying and comply with its contents.
- Complete and return the Consent Form pertaining to their child’s participation with The Hills CC
- Detail any health concerns pertaining to their child on the consent form. Any changes in child’s state of health should be reported to a member of management team before coaching sessions
- Ensure that their child is punctual for coaching sessions and games
- Collect their child on time
- Ensure that their child is properly attired for the weather conditions of the time
Parents or Guardians have the right to:
- Be informed of problems or concerns relating to their child
- Be informed if their child is injured
- Have their consent sought on issues relating to away matches or tours
Any misdemeanours and breach of this code of conduct will be dealt with immediately by a Hills CC official. Persistent concerns or breaches will result in the parent / guardian being asked not to attend cricket games / coaching if their attendance is deemed to be detrimental to their child’s welfare. The ultimate sanction should a parent / guardian continue to be in breach of the code of behaviour may mean The Hills CC refusing permission for the child to continue their involvement in the club.
Guidelines for Young Players
For the purposes of this document, young players are defined as those who are under 18 years of age.
Young players are entitled to:
- Be safe and to feel safe
- Be listened to
- Be believed
- Be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect
- Participate on an equal basis
- Have fun and enjoy sport
- Experience competition at a level at which they feel comfortable
- Comment and make suggestions
- Make complaints and have them dealt with in relation to abuse of any kind
- Appropriate confidentiality
- Approach the Designated Person or Children’s Officer with any questions or concerns which they may have
Children should not:
- Bully or use bullying tactics to isolate another player
- Harm team-mates, opponents or their property
- Tell lies about adults or other children
- Spread rumours
Expectations of Young Players
After reading the Code of Conduct, the player and his parent / guardian should sign the Acceptance Form. Selection will not be ratified until the Acceptance Form has been signed by the player and his parent (s) / guardian (s) and returned to the Manager of the team for which he /(she) has been selected.
The Code of Conduct
A player will, without exception, and at all times, for the duration of coaching sessions, matches, tours and tournaments:
- Respect and comply with all lawful decisions and directives of The Hills CC Management Team
- Respect and comply with the principles of the “Spirit of Cricket” as outlined in the Preamble to the Laws of Cricket.
- Conduct themselves in a fitting manner
- Players under 18 years of age are prohibited from drinking alcohol.
- Respect and comply with the terms of the directive which bans, without reservation, the use of un-prescribed drugs and other controlled substances
- Respect the property and belongings of others and maintain their accommodation, dressing room and practice facilities in a clean and tidy state.
- Respect and comply with the terms of the Dress Code
- Respect and comply with the terms of The Hills CC’s Disciplinary Code. If there are breaches of this Code, disciplinary proceedings will be initiated by The Hills CC Disciplinary Committee.
Use of Video / Photography and Mobile Phones
The Hills 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 the session. The Hills 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 The Hills 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.
Guidelines for 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
Guidelines for young people
- 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
The Hills CC has adopted a range of child protection policies and procedures to ensure the provision of a safe, positive and nurturing environment where children can develop and enhance their cricketing and social skills.
- The use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco is discouraged as being incompatible with a healthy approach to sporting activity
- Adults should act as role models for appropriate behaviour with regard to the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco
- Use of any substance that is perceived to offer a short-cut to improved performances is discouraged completely
- Coaches have a role to play in educating those in their care as to the short and long-term effects of proscribed drugs or of substances taken to enhance performance
Psychological Stress, Burnout and Dropout
Burnout may be defined as a process resulting from an activity that was once a source of fun and satisfaction, but later becomes associated with physical and psychological distress.
Among the measures which The Hills CC promotes to reduce the incidence of stress and burnout are:
- Listening and respecting the children’s views about participation
- Encouraging the development of individual skills and effort
- Ensuring that children enjoy the activities in which they are involved
- Maximising the involvement of children by the use of full panel while at tournaments
- Attaining an appropriate match between the individual child’s ability and the activity in which involved
What is Bullying?
Bullying can be defined as repeated aggression be it verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against others. It is behaviour that is intentionally aggravating and intimidating and occurs mainly in social environments such as schools, clubs and other organisations working with children and young people.
The anti-bullying policy of The Hills CC includes the following measures:
- Ensures that all members follow the code of conduct, which promotes the rights and dignity of each member.
- Raises awareness of bullying as an unacceptable form of behaviour
- Complaints procedure used if bullying occurs
- Provides comprehensive supervision at all games and during the course of tours
- Provides a supportive environment for victims of bullying
- Obtains co-operation of parents / guardians to combat bullying
Child Abuse and Protection Procedures
The Hills CC accepts that organisations, which include young people among its members, are vulnerable to the occurrence of child abuse. Below are the procedures for dealing with any welfare or protection issue that may arise. Child welfare and the protection of young people are the concern of all adults at all times, irrespective of their role within the organisation. Personnel appointed by The Hills CC to oversee child protection procedures are listed at the end of this document.
If there are grounds for concern about the safety or welfare of a young person you should react to the concern. Persons unsure about whether or not certain behaviours are abusive and therefore reportable, should contact the duty social worker in the local health board or social services department where they will receive advice. Grounds for concern include a specific indication from a child, a statement from a person who witnessed abuse or an illness, injury or behaviour consistent with abuse.
A report may be made by any player / official /member of The Hills CC but should be passed on to the Designated Person or to the Children’s Officer who may in turn have to pass the concern to the local Statutory Authorities. It is not the responsibility of anyone working within The Hills CC, in a paid or voluntary capacity, or those working in affiliated organisations, to take responsibility or decide whether or not child abuse is taking place. That is the job of the local statutory authorities. However, there is a responsibility to protect children by assisting the appropriate agencies so that they can then make enquiries and take any necessary action to protect the young person.
Anonymous complaints can be difficult to deal with but should not be ignored. In all cases the safety and welfare of the child/children is paramount. Any such complaints relating to inappropriate behaviour should be brought to the attention of the Children’s Officer or the Designated Person. The information should be checked out and handled in a confidential manner.
Rumours should not be allowed to hang in the air. Any rumours relating to inappropriate behaviour should be brought to the attention of the Designated Person or the Children’s Officer and checked out without delay.
Contact Details for The Hills CC Designated Person / Children’s Officer(s)
Designated Person: James Bennett (086)603 8908
Children’s Officer (Boys): John Corcoran (087)692 0248
Children’s Officer (Girls): Maria Keegan (086)370 3134