Codes of Behaviour

Junior Sport Codes of Behaviour

Young people involved in sport have a right to participate in a safe and supportive environment. Australians are sport mad. We love our sport, however, this can at times create unpleasant situations. Over-zealous parents, boisterous spectators, opinionated players and quick-tempered coaches may need to be reminded of appropriate behaviour when involved in junior sport.

The Australian Sports Commission has developed The Essence of Australian Sport Code of Behaviour to remind and encourage all Australians involved in junior sport to support and nurture all our young participants.

The Essence of Australian Sport template code of behaviour is intended to be the minimum standard for anyone involved in sport. We hope they will be endorsed and adopted by all.

The Essence of Australian Sport Code of Behaviour is:

  • operate within the rules and spirit of your sport, promoting fair play over winning at any cost
  • encourage and support opportunities for people to learn appropriate behaviours and skills
  • support opportunities for participation in all aspects of the sport
  • treat each person as an individual
  • display control and courtesy to all involved with the sport
  • respect the rights and worth of every person regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion
  • respect the decisions of officials, coaches and administrators in the conduct of the sport
  • wherever practical, avoid unaccompanied and unobserved one-on-one activity (when in a supervisory capacity or where a power imbalance will exist) with people under the age of 18 years
  • adopt appropriate and responsible behaviour in all interactions
  • adopt responsible behaviour in relation to alcohol and other drugs
  • act with integrity and objectivity, and accept responsibility for your decisions and actions
  • ensure your decisions and actions contribute to a safe environment
  • ensure your decisions and actions contribute to a harassment free environment
  • do not tolerate harmful or abusive behaviours


  • give your best at all times
  • participate for your own enjoyment and benefit


  • place the safety and welfare of the athletes above all else
  • help each person (athlete, official etc) reach their potential – respect the talent, developmental stage and goals of each person and compliment and encourage with positive and supportive feedback
  • any physical contact with a person should be appropriate to the situation and necessary for the person’s skill development
  • be honest and do not allow your qualifications to be misrepresented


  • place the safety and welfare of the athletes above all else
  • be consistent and impartial when making decisions
  • address unsporting behaviour and promote respect for all people


  • act honestly, in good faith and in the best interests of the sport as a whole
  • ensure that any information acquired or advantage gained from the position is not used improperly
  • conduct your responsibilities with due care, competence and diligence
  • do not allow prejudice, conflict of interest or bias to affect your objectivity


  • encourage children to participate and have fun
  • focus on the child’s effort and performance rather than winning or losing
  • never ridicule or yell at a child for making a mistake or losing a competition


  • respect the performance and effort of all people
  • reject the use of violence in any form, whether it is by spectators, coaches, officials or athletes.

The Play By The Rules website is a fantastic resource for those people who wish to know more about keeping junior sport inclusive, safe and fair.

The Victorian Government has also developed a fantastic resource, Keeping Junior Sport Safe, which is fantastic for clubs to use to ensure that they keep the sport fun and enjoyable for all.


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