Safety and Conflict Resolution Policy  

Aims and Objectives:

RFC recognises that conflict between players, parents, coaches and supporters is a major reason for players and coaches giving up the sport.  We also recognise that children should not be subjected to bullying when in our care.  The aim of this document is to provide measures for preventing conflict but also for resolving problems when they do occur.

RFC also recognises that coaches and managers are volunteers and will probably not have the skills or experience of managing groups of children that, for instance, a trained teacher would have.  It is therefore essential that we have structures in place for dealing with difficult situations when they arise.

Bullying: For the purposes of this document bullying Includes, physical violence, verbal violence, violence to property, criticism of another player’s abilities and excluding others from participation during practice or a match. Every child has the right to be treated with dignity and none of these events should be treated as ‘kids just being kids’.

Coaches should make it clear to the team that bullying is not allowed and should deal with any instance of it immediately. If coaches feel they require help the club will make it available. Persistent bullying will result in the parents becoming involved and in extreme cases the child being asked to leave the team.

Disruptive Team Member: If a child is misbehaving to the point where they disrupt practice it is important that the situation be dealt with immediately. They should be asked to sit out of practice for 5 or 10 minutes and then invited back in when they have cooled off. In the event this has no effect the child may be removed from the rest of practice.

Parents: If parents are unhappy with anything to do with their child we ask that they talk to the coach or manager of the team – as opposed to discussing it on the sideline.  If this fails to resolve the situation we then ask that they approach the committee to help with a prompt resolution. RFC wants to ensure that all of our players, coaches and parents are enjoying their sport as much as possible.

Mediation: In the event that either party is not happy with the committee’s attempt to resolve a situation or if members of the committee are involved RFC will employ mediation from outside the club. This will likely involve expense for the club so every effort should be made to solve problems at the committee level first.