Seven Ethical Responsibilities for Coaching and Sportsmanship


Coaches must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every human being and their ultimate right to self-determination. Specifically, coaches must treat everyone equitably and sensitively, within the context of their activity and ability, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, cultural background, sexual orientation, religion or political affiliation.


The good coach will be concerned primarily with the well-being, safety, protection and future of the individual performer. There must be a balance between the development of performance and the social, emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the individual.

A key element in a coaching relationship is the development of independence. Performers must be encouraged and guided to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance in training, in competition, and in their domestic, academic or business life.

Coaches are responsible for setting and monitoring the boundaries between a working relationship and friendship with their performers. This is particularly important when the performer is a young person. The coach must realize that certain situations or friendly words and actions could be misinterpreted, not only by the performer, but also by outsiders (or other members of a squad or group of performers) motivated by jealousy, dislike or mistrust, and could lead to allegations of misconduct or impropriety.

Where physical contact between coach and performer is a necessary part of the coaching process, coaches must ensure that no action on their part could be misconstrued and that any League guidelines on this matter are followed.

The relationship between coach and performer relies heavily on mutual trust and respect.


Coaches have a responsibility to declare to their performers any other current coaching commitments. They should also find out if any prospective client is receiving instruction from another teacher/coach. If so, the teacher/coach should be contacted to discuss the situation

Coaches should expect a similar level of reciprocal commitment from their performers. In particular, the performer (parent/guardian in the case of a minor) should inform the coach of any change in circumstances that might affect the coach/performer relationship.


Coaches must not encourage performers to violate the rules of their sport. They should actively seek to discourage and condemn such action and encourage performers to obey the spirit of the rules.

Coaches must not compromise their performers by advocating measures that could constitute unfair advantage. They must not adopt practices to accelerate performance improvement that might jeopardize the safety, total well-being and future participation of the performer. 

Coaches must never advocate or condone the use of prohibited drugs or other banned performance enhancing substances.

Coaches must ensure that the activities, training and competition programs they advocate and direct are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of the individual performer.

Coaches must treat opponents with due respect, both in victory and defeat, and should encourage their performers to act in a similar manner. A key role for a coach is to prepare performers to respond to success and failure in a dignified manner.

Coaches must accept responsibility for the conduct of their performers and discourage inappropriate behaviour in training, competition, and away from the sporting arena.

Abuse of Privilege

The sports coach is privileged to have regular contact with performers and occasionally to travel and reside with performers in the course of coaching and competitive practice. A coach must not attempt to exert undue influence over the performer in order to obtain personal benefit or reward.

Coaches must consistently display high personal standards and project a favourable image of their sport and of coaching to performers, their parents/families, other coaches, officials, spectators, the media and the public.

Personal appearance is a matter of individual taste but the sports coach has an obligation to project an image of health, cleanliness and functional efficiency.


Within the limits of their control, coaches have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the performers with whom they work to the best of their ability.

All reasonable steps should be taken to establish a safe environment.

The activity undertaken should be suitable for the age, physical and emotional maturity, experience and ability of the performers.

Coaches have a duty to protect children from harm and abuse.

The performers should have been systematically prepared for the activity and made aware of their personal responsibilities in terms of safety.


Coaches should regularly seek ways of increasing their personal and professional development.
Coaches have a responsibility to themselves and their performers to maintain their own effectiveness, resilience and abilities. They should recognize when their personal resources are so depleted that help is needed. This may necessitate the withdrawal from coaching temporarily or permanently.
AFYBL 2017
I will develop my players with a strong, clean, healthy body, mind and soul.

I will develop my players with a strong urge for sportsmanship conduct.

I will develop my players with understanding and respect for the RULES!

I will develop my players with courage in defeat, tolerance and modesty in victory.

I will develop my players with control over emotions and speech.

I will develop my players with a spirit of cooperation and team play.

I will develop my players into real, true CITIZENS!


Link for parents/spectators code of conduct

Coaches code of conduct

Please read over the coaches’ code of conduct before you start practices.  We expect you to follow these guidelines with no exceptions. 


Coaches shall remain unconditionally supportive of the league’s commitment to the ideals of good sportsmanship, team play, honesty, loyalty, courage and respect for authority. Likewise, coaches shall remain sensitive to the physical and emotional well being of the players on his/her team. In order to adhere to these doctrines the coaches agree as follows:
• Coaches will be positive role models.
• Coaches will display and instill in their players the principals of good sportsmanship and team play.
• Coaches will conduct themselves in a manner that best serves the interests of the players.
• Coaches will do their best to provide the players a positive experience.
• Coaches will ensure that winning and/or losing teams do so in a manner, which exhibits respect and good sportsmanship.
• Coaches will treat all players, parents, spectators and league officials with respect.
• Coaches will provide instruction in a manner that is constructive and supportive.
• Coaches will not ridicule or demean.
• Coaches will not tolerate behavior that endangers the health or well being of a child.
• Coaches will comply with the decisions of league officials and observe all rules, policy and procedure as established or endorsed by the AFYBL.
• Coaches will teach the game of baseball to the best of their ability.
• Coaches will be drug and alcohol free while at any AFYBL athletic event.
• Coaches will not use any tobacco products in the dugout or on the playing field.
• Coaches acknowledge the need to demonstrate fundamental proficiencies with respect to the game of baseball and first aid. Consequently, all coaches agree to attend, any skill sessions that may be required by the Board of Directors and moreover, any first aid courses that may be mandated by the Board.
• Coaches to be reasonable when scheduling games and practices, remembering that young athletes have other interests and obligations.
• Coaches will teach my athletes to play fairly and to respect the rules, officials and opponents.
• Coaches will ensure that all athletes get equal instruction, support and playing time.
• Coaches will not ridicule or yell at my athletes for making mistakes or for performing poorly.
• Coaches will remember that children play to have fun and must be encouraged to have confidence in themselves.
• Coaches will make sure that equipment and facilities are safe and match the athlete’s ages and abilities.
• Coaches will remember that children need a coach they can respect. Coaches will be generous with praise and set a good example.
• Coaches will obtain proper training and continue to upgrade coaching skills.
• Coaches will treat players with dignity and respect regardless of their athletic ability.
• Coaches will remind players to be respectful of their teammates and their opponents.
• Coaches will not challenge judgment calls by the umpire. It is acceptable to challenge the interpretation of a rule, but only in a courteous non-confrontational manner.
• Coaches will keep their egos out of coaching and try to make the experience interesting, enriching and fun.