Officiating development

Officials code of behaviour

Officiating is challenging. Officials need to be of strong character. Officials should be aware that their approach to officiating can influence the athlete’s experience and enjoyment of the sport.

Officials are increasingly facing ethical issues- harassment in sport, and match fixing. Officials can be subject to criticism, abuse and harassment. Officials can also have enormous influence over athletes, coaches and others in a game or event. Issues such as sportsmanship, injury, cheating, bullying, abuse of power and harassment have all become a part of sport.

All sports have a code of behaviour for coaches, players, spectators/parent and officials. It is important that officials are aware of their sport's code of behaviour and abide by it at all times.

Accepting a code of behaviour supports the sport's values of trust, honesty, responsibility, respect, safety, professionalism and equity.

For sport's that do not have their own Official code of behaviour, the following behaviours can be used to develop your own:

The Australian Sports Commission’s national code of behaviour for officials

  • 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 participants in all aspects of sports.
  • 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 decision of officials, coaches and administrators in the conduct of sport.
  • Whenever 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.
  • 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.

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Last updated: 17 August 2016

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