Promoting a supportive environment for all.

Overview

Lourdes Celtic aims to provide a positive and supportive environment for all those involved in the game at our club. None of this is possible without a collective commitment to fair play, discipline, and respect – but also an acknowledgement that we are all, parents included, ambassadors for the club.

Our Code of Conduct defines a standard of behaviour that every club member and parent or guardian must adhere to. It applies when interacting with each other, and when representing Lourdes Celtic Football Club with others. It also outlines how any breach of this policy may be dealt with, and that there is a standardised and transparent approach.

In addition, Lourdes Celtic has a legal responsibility under the Children’s First Act 2015, to make sure that we provide a safe space for all who attend our footballing services.

All club members, supporters, parents and guardians are expected to be aware of, understand, and abide by our Code of Conduct.

Updated April 2022

Code of Conduct

Players

Lourdes Celtic Football Club players are expected to: 

  1. Act within the rules and spirit of the game. 


  2. Be respectful of coaches, other club members, match officials, and club property. 


  3. Respect the decision of match officials without question. 


  4. Be supportive to their teammates at all times. 


  5. Never be verbally abusive to teammates, opposition teams, coaches, match officials, or spectators. Examples of verbal abuse include, but are not limited to, using foul language, threats, and derogatory and or offensive terms. 


  6. Never be physically abusive to teammates, opposition teams, coaches, match officials, or spectators. Examples of physical abuse are, but not limited to, aggressive posturing, unwanted physical contact, or foul gestures. Violent conduct is, but not limited to, deliberately seeking to injure another player during play, spitting, seeking to physically strike another player or striking another player.


  7. Pay any league disciplinary fines for violent conduct charges.


  8. Never involve the club’s name or their team in negative or unsportsmanlike communications on social media.


  9. Always conduct themselves, and represent the club, in a positive, and fair manner. 


Members, Managers, and Coaches

Managers, coaches, and adult members of the club are seen as role models and authority figures by children, so it's vital to set a positive individual example. It's also important to know that creating a safe learning environment for children is a shared responsibility – managers and coaches should always seek the support and advice of the Director of Coaching or Childrens' Officer if they have questions, or concerns.

Lourdes Celtic Football Club members, managers, and coaches are expected to:

  1. Create a safe, inclusive, and positive training/match-day environment.


  2. Treat all players, parents, club members, and match officials with respect.


  3. Ensure their players, and players’ parents, are respectful of opposing players, match officials, supporters. 


  4. Always conduct themselves in a professional manner on the sideline – aware they represent the club.


  5. Be aware of how they address players – always using an age-appropriate tone.


  6. Never make negative comments or address grievances directly with an opposition player. Instead bring any concerns to the attention of the referee or opposition coach at an appropriate time.


  7. Be open to questions or concerns of parents, agreeing on an appropriate time to discuss such matters if needed. Always respond in a positive professional manner, directing parents to the Director of Coaching if appropriate.


  8. Respect the facilities and property of our club and other teams – including ensuring post-match litter is correctly disposed of.


  9. Never use verbally abusive language towards players, managers, coaches, match officials or spectators. Examples of verbal abuse include using foul language, threats, derogatory and/or offensive terms.


  10. Never be physically abusive towards players, managers, coaches, match officials, or spectators. Examples of physical abuse are, but not limited to, aggressive posturing, unwanted physical contact, or foul gestures. Violent conduct is, but not limited to, seeking to physically strike another individual or striking another individual.


  11. Always bring any concerning behavioural issues or incidents to the attention of the Director of Coaching immediately or as soon as reasonably possible.


  12. Adhere to any direction given to them from the Director of Football or Executive Committee.


  13. Be fair, transparent, and consistent with matters of discipline within their team – taking responsibility to ensure individual players abide by the players' Code of Conduct.


  14. Be aware of team dynamics and ensure all players feel included and supported.


  15. Recognise the emotional impact of their words on young players and seek to always instruct and coach in a positive, supportive manner.


  16. Never involve the club’s name or their team in negative, unsportsmanlike, or offensive communications on social media.


  17. Be respectful to other members in club messaging groups and refrain from posting content likely to upset or cause offence.


  18. Never share confidential club, coaching, and or meeting discussions or information with non-members.


  19. Fully understand their Child Protection and Child Welfare responsibilities in order to protect children, themselves, and the club.


  20. Report any concerns regarding child welfare to our Child Welfare Officer immediately.

Parents and Guardians

The primary role of parents and guardians within the game is to provide positive support, role model respect for coaches and match officials, and ensure their child understands the conduct that is expected of them as players.

More specifically, Lourdes Celtic Football Club parents and guardians are expected to:

  1. Ensure their child arrives at training and matches on time, and ready to participate.


  2. Inform the team coach of any absences as soon as reasonably possible to avoid disruption to training plans or match days.


  3. Conduct themselves in a supportive and civil manner at games, training, or club events – always aware they too represent the club.


  4. Follow all instructions from club and match officials, whether home or away.


  5. Recognise that it is solely the manager/coach’s role to give advice and make decisions with regard to their teams.


  6. Never give players direction during training and or matches – support only with words of encouragement and praise.


  7. Never enter the field of play. If a child is injured, allow the manager/coach to tend to the child and they will ask for your assistance if needed.


  8. Respect the facilities of the club and other clubs, ensuring sideline litter is correctly disposed of.


  9. Never be verbally or physically abusive to coaches, players, match officials, opposition teams, or other supporters.


  10. Always speak directly with a coach or manager if they have a question or issue – first agreeing on an appropriate time to do so. Then only bringing it to the attention of the Director of Coaching if it was not satisfactorily resolved.


  11. Never speak negatively about the club, its members, or match officials on the sideline. Wait until an appropriate, private setting can be found to discuss concerns or issues directly with a coach or senior member of the club.


  12. Pay any club membership or other agreed fees in a timely manner.


  13. Report any concerns regarding child welfare to our Child Welfare Officer immediately.

  14. Recognise that managers/coaches voluntarily give up their free time to coach their children. Without these volunteers, there would be no Lourdes Celtic. Disrespectful behaviour can cause unnecessary tension for parents and players alike.



Breaches of our Code

We believe in everyone's ability to represent the club in a positive manner and we understand that most issues are unintentional often the result of an over-abundance of passion for the game. These can normally be resolved by simply highlighting the behaviour to the individual.

Unfortunately, in some cases more formal action may be required to protect players, coaches, parents, and the good name of the club.

In these matters the club operates a Graduated Response Plan from Instruction to Warnings, and a ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy for certain types of behaviour. Disciplinary action can take the form of temporary bans, fines, and in the most serious cases, managers, coaches, players, or parents being asked to leave the club.

Graduated Response Plan

Graduated Response is designed to help an individual recognise the seriousness of their conduct, give them the opportunity to correct their behaviour, and for the club to escalate our response to continued concerning conduct.

It is divided into four stages: Instruction, Verbal Warning, Written Warning, and Misconduct Charge. But any individual incident may warrant any level of warning and disciplinary action. Our Zero Tolerance Policy means verbal, written, and misconduct charges come with automatic disciplinary action.

Graduated Response Table

Instruction

Typically used to address issues such as concerning behaviour, attitude, or inappropriate tone/use of language etc.

Instruction is given by the Director of Coaching or Senior Club Member and involves both parties acknowledging the concerning conduct, resolving to correct it, and the issue being followed up upon. Any Instruction may be recorded but is not reported to the Executive Committee unless it later forms part of a Verbal or Written Warning. No disciplinary action is taken on Instruction.

Verbal Warnings

Typically issued for inappropriately aggressive temperament, indiscipline, continued use of inappropriate language, or continued concerning conduct etc.

Verbal Warnings are issued by the Director of Coaching, or a member of the Executive Committee and will be reported to and recorded by the Committee. More than one Verbal Warning may result in a Written Warning. For parents or players, a verbal warning also results in an automatic 1 or 2 week ban – depending on the nature of the incident. Verbal warnings issued to managers or coaches may be accompanied by appropriate disciplinary action if deemed necessary.

Written Warnings

Typically issued for aggressive behaviour or language directed at another individual, or continued concerning conduct and/or indiscipline etc.

Written warnings are recorded and issued by the Committee. More than one Written Warning may result in a Misconduct Charge. For parents or players, a written warning also results in an automatic 2 or 3 week ban – depending on the nature of the incident. Written warnings issued to managers or coaches may be accompanied by appropriate disciplinary action if deemed necessary.

Misconduct Charge

Typically issued for verbal or physical abuse, violent conduct, serious misconduct, or continued indiscipline or concerning conduct etc.

Issued by the Executive Committee, and or month(s) long suspensions, and/or immediate revocation of membership meaning expulsion from the club.

Taking Action

The Executive Committee will inform affected members or parents, of the nature, duration, and commencement date of any disciplinary action.

Any disciplinary action, including suspensions or fines, levied on members by the club may be in addition to any potential disciplinary action taken by a league authority. This is at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

In the case of disciplinary action involving a parent, it is the responsibility of the parent to ensure their child can continue their involvement with the club. A player is not directly affected by any disciplinary action involving their parent or guardian – unless otherwise notified by the Committee.

Zero Tolerance

The club has a Zero Tolerance policy for verbal abuse, physical abuse, violent conduct, and racial or homophobic abuse of players, coaches, match officials, or supporters. Zero Tolerance means immediate bans and/or expulsion from the club depending on the severity of the incident and/or previous warnings.

The Graduated Response Plan is in addition to, and does not replace, the Executive Committee’s disciplinary powers as defined by the Club Constitution.

Questions?

Get in touch with us at ask@lourdesceltic.ie

Lourdes Celtic Football Club Code of Conduct Version History
November 2021: First PublishedFebruary 2022: Updated and added 'Taking Action Section'. Clarified club disciplinary action may be in addition to any League action. Introduction shortened. 'Breaches of our Code' section reworded for clarity.March 2022: Shortened introduction.April 2022: Clarified result of disciplinary action involving parent and its effect on the membership of a child.