Code of Conduct

Basketball is intended to be a recreational activity for enjoyment and health. This code of conduct has been developed by Basketball Victoria to give participants some guide to the expectations it has on those participants. It is intended to assist everyone to obtain the maximum benefit and enjoyment from their involvement in basketball. As a result, the quality of participation will be improved so people are more likely to start and continue their involvement in basketball. Enjoy!!

 

Coaches

1. Remember that basketball is for enjoyment. Remember that basketballers play for fun and enjoyment and that winning is only part of their motivation. Always make sure that participants are made to feel welcome whenever they attend for training or a match. Ensure that activities are carefully planned, well structured and varied to provide opportunities for individual and team development. Be willing to depart from the plan to take advantage of an unexpectedly high interest in a particular activity. Never ridicule players for making mistakes or losing a competition. See errors or losses as an opportunity to learn in a constructive way. Comment in a way that is positive and designed to create interest, involvement and development.

2. Be reasonable in your demands In scheduling training and playing times and days, be reasonable in your demands on players’ time, energy and enthusiasm, taking into account their age, level of play and other commitments such as school and employment. Young children are likely to have more time but short attention spans. They may have plenty of energy but are likely to need more guidance on how best to look after their bodies. The differences in physical and mental maturity can be quite marked in younger children of the same age group. All these factors need to be considered in coaching young children. Older children have greater demands from their studies and many of them need to work to assist their schooling. They also have many social demands. Try to assist them in achieving a good balance between the various demands on them. Adults should in most cases be capable of making their own decisions on priority between basketball and other demands such as work, family and social engagements. Respect those decisions.

3. Teach understanding and respect for the rules. Teach your players that understanding and playing by the rules is their own responsibility and that the rules exist for the safety, proper order and enjoyment of all people involved in basketball. The lessons to be learned in this respect in basketball are lessons that can and should be carried over into all aspects of their lives. Do not encourage players to ignore or deliberately break any rules.

4. Give all players a reasonable amount of court time. All players need and deserve reasonable court time. Avoid over-playing the talented players. It is unfair to both them and those who are not so talented. Players cannot improve without the opportunity of a reasonable amount of match practice. Talented players can burn out. Having no or little time in court can cause players to suffer from morale problems and they can lose interest in the sport altogether.

5. Develop team respect for the ability of opponents including their coaches. Part of participation in sport is respect for all participants in the game. Encourage your players to accept that their opponents are entitled to proper courtesy. This means introducing themselves to their opponents on court, congratulating them whether they win or lose and accepting loss gracefully. Teach them that the opposition coach is there trying to do the best for their team and is also entitled to respect.

6. Instill in your players respect for officials and an acceptance of their judgement. Players should be taught to understand that officials have a very difficult task to perform and that without them games could not be played. They are there to enforce the rules of play but they cannot always be right. Teach your players to accept bad calls graciously. Abuse of referees is unacceptable behaviour that should not be tolerated. Players who consistently dispute decisions or do not accept bad decisions should be singled out for counselling and guidance.

7. Guide your players in their interaction with the media, parents and spectators. It is sometimes very difficult for players to concentrate on the game when there is the distraction of the presence of friends and relatives as spectators. Coaches have a difficult role to play in teaching players respect for their parents and other spectators but also teaching them to maintain concentration on the team plan if spectators become over-enthusiastic. Parents sometimes make demands on their children’s time which interferes in their basketball activities. Respect this and try to structure your coaching and their training and playing times and obligations to take those demands into account. There are many other factors which need to be balanced, including venue availability and requirements of administrators. The coach’s task is not easy. The presence of media at a basketball game can lead to a temptation by some players to “show off” or otherwise act differently from how they would act normally. Encourage your players to not be awed by the presence of the media. Also teach them that if they are approached for an interview after a game they are representing the whole sport and should behave accordingly.

8. Group players according to age, height, skills and physical maturity, whenever possible. Uneven competition can lead to a loss of enthusiasm. Coaches should always try and group players of reasonably equal ability. In coaching children it is important to remember the different maturity rates for children of the same age. A player in their early teenage years may be the tallest in their team and yet because they have matured early, be one of the shorter players in only a brief time. Coaches must be ever vigilant to ensure that changes in height and other physical characteristics are noticed and acted upon.

9. Ensure that equipment and facilities meet safety standards and are appropriate to the age and ability of the players. In our increasingly litigious and accountable society, all those involved in sport have a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well being of participants. Coaches are in a unique position to control many of the factors which can have an effect on this welfare. Coaches should be aware of the dangers factors such as heat and dehydration, wet floors and other potentially hazardous environmental situations can cause. A coach has a responsibility to avoid putting players into dangerous conditions.

10. Be prepared to lose sometimes. Everyone wins and loses at some time. Be a fair winner and a good loser. Disappointment at losing is natural, but it should not be obvious to the point of being unpleasant for others. Just as unpleasant can be the boastful winner. Recognise that even in defeat, the loser has achieved something, just by playing. Not everything in life can be a winning situation. Losing can be an important learning experience for your wider life goals. Guide your players to accept a loss in this spirit.

11. Act responsibly when players are ill or injured. Show concern and take responsibility for players who are sick or injured whilst under your care. Follow the advice of a physician when determining when an injured or ill player is ready to recommence play. If a player is injured on court, make sure that there is no danger of further aggravation of the injury by prompt removal of the player if this is appropriate. Qualify yourself to administer first aid so that you can recognise the seriousness of an injury or illness and act accordingly.

12. As well as imparting knowledge and skills, promote desirable personal and social behaviours. Be aware of the role of the coach as an educator. Particularly with young people, the way they perform in their lives is influenced by many factors. An important influence is the person they see as a role model. Coaches often take on the part of role model for many young people. It is therefore important to ensure that the influence from coaches is seen in a positive light rather adversely. What you say and how you act can be most important in modelling the behaviour of players.

13. Keep your knowledge current. Seek to keep abreast of changes in sport. Ensure that the information used is up to date, appropriate to the needs of players and takes into account the principles of growth and development of children. Players cannot learn from you if your skills and knowledge are inadequate.

14. Ensure that any physical contact with a player is appropriate. Physical contact between a coach and a player except that which would be considered usual social contact such as the shaking of a hand or a “high five” should be rare. Gestures which can be well meaning, or even considered by some to be acceptable, may be unacceptable to others. Sometimes physical contact can be misinterpreted as sexual harassment or even molestation. Particular care needs to be taken in coaching children. Ensure that if there is physical contact with a player that it is appropriate to the situation and necessary for the player’s skill development.

15. Avoid personal relationships with players. Personal relationships with players can often be misinterpreted as something sinister. Friendship with players is essential to building trust between a coach and players. However, the power imbalance in a coaching situation can make it unwise for a relationship to develop beyond friendship. Particular care must be taken when coaching children.

16. Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person. Regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background, religion or other factor irrelevant to the game, all persons connected with basketball are entitled to equal treatment and respect. Avoid any remarks that could be construed as offensive or discriminatory. Sometimes even a joke may give offence. Even if a person refers to themselves with a particular label, it should not be taken as an invitation for you to do so. Using discretion is imperative and it is better to err on the side of caution.

17. Always respect the use of facilities and equipment provided. Facilities and equipment cost money and will only function properly if kept in good order. Ensure that you and your players do not abuse anything provided for use. Discourage players from hanging off hoops or “slam dunking”. Quite properly, these practices are banned in most venues. Not only can equipment be damaged but serious injury can occur.

Players

1. Understand and play by the rules. Understanding and playing by the rules is your responsibility. The rules exist for the safety, proper order and enjoyment of all people involved in basketball. The lessons to be learned in this respect in basketball are lessons that can and should be carried over into all aspects of your lives. Do not ignore or deliberately break any rules. Even if you think that a deliberate foul may give your team an advantage, you should not commit the deliberate foul in the interests of fair play. If you do consistently commit deliberate fouls or break the rules you must accept that there will be consequences for you and your team. Do not let yourself or your team down.

2. Respect referees and other officials. Referees and officials have a difficult task to perform and you could not play the game without them. They are there to enforce the rules of play but they cannot always be right. Accept bad calls graciously. Abuse of referees is unacceptable behaviour. Players who consistently dispute decisions or do not accept bad decisions are bad sports. If you disagree with a decision, have your coach, captain or manager approach the referee during a break or after the game, in an appropriate manner.

3. Control your temper. Verbal abuse of officials is a serious offence against the rules of basketball. Verbally abusing other players or deliberately distracting or provoking an opponent is also not acceptable or permitted in basketball. Loss of temper is not only unpleasant for other participants in the game; it can also distract you and have an adverse effect on your concentration and effectiveness on the court.

4. Work equally hard for yourself and for your team. You owe it to yourself and others involved in your team to train and play to the best of your abilities. Your team’s performance will benefit – so will you. If you are half-hearted about your involvement in the sport you will become dissatisfied and lose out on the much of the enjoyment and satisfaction you can derive from giving it your best.

5. Be a good sport. Acknowledge all good plays whether they be by your team or the other team. Good manners and respect can be infectious. Everyone likes to be praised when they do something well. If you acknowledge the achievements of your opponents it is likely they will follow suit. Part of participation in sport is respect for all participants in the game. Your opponents are entitled to proper courtesy. Always introduce yourself to your opponents on court, congratulate them whether you win or lose and accept a loss gracefully. Remember that the opposition coach is there trying to do the best for their team and is also entitled to respect.

6. Treat all players as you would like to be treated. Do not interfere with, bully or take unfair advantage of another player. Just because one of your team cannot perform as well as you do does not mean that they are not trying. Everyone makes mistakes. Do not abuse or ridicule another player when a mistake is made. Constructive guidance and encouragement when a player does well will assist a player to improve their game.

7. Play for the “enjoyment of it” and not just to please parents and coaches. Playing sport, including basketball, should be fun. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take it seriously, just that at the same time you should enjoy it. If you enjoy an activity you will perform much better and derive far more benefit from it than if it is an unpleasant experience. You may experience pressure from your coach and parents and others to perform outside of your capability or desires. Whilst this can be a positive and their way of showing you support in your activities, you should resist it where it no longer is enjoyable.

8. Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person. Regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background, religion or other factor irrelevant to the game, all persons connected with basketball are entitled to equal treatment and respect. Avoid any remarks that could be construed as offensive or discriminatory. Sometimes even a joke may give offence. Even if a person refers to themselves with a particular label, it should not be taken as an invitation for you to do so. Using discretion is imperative and it is better to err on the side of caution.

9. Be prepared to lose sometimes. Everyone wins and loses at some time. Be a fair winner and a good loser. Disappointment at losing is natural, but it should not be obvious to the point of being unpleasant for others. Just as unpleasant can be the boastful winner. Recognise that even in defeat, the loser has achieved something, just by playing. Not everything in life can be a winning situation. Losing can be an important learning experience for your wider life goals.

10. Listen to the advice of your coach and try to apply it at practice and in games. Your coach has been appointed to coach your team because they have certain abilities and experience. They have also undergone training to ensure that you get the best coach that you can commensurate with your skill levels. Apart from skills training, your coach can provide you with helpful advice on all aspects of playing basketball. Make the most of the opportunity provided to you to work with your coach to have a happy and successful experience in basketball.

11. Always respect the use of facilities and equipment provided. Facilities and equipment cost money and will only function properly if kept in good order. Ensure that you do not abuse anything provided for use. Do not engage in dangerous practices such as hanging off hoops or “slam dunking”. Quite properly, these practices are banned in most venues. Not only can equipment be damaged but serious injury can occur.

Parents

1. Encourage your children to participate for their own interest and enjoyment, not yours. Support your children in their participation in basketball but do not force them to play if they don’t want to. Sport is played by children for enjoyment and fitness. It is good for their bodies but should also be good for their minds. If they feel too much pressure from you it may make them rebellious or even depressed. It is very tempting for parents who are involved in a sport, or who have children with abilities they wish they had themselves to try and force the children to participate or to participate at a level to which they do not aspire. Resist the temptation.

2. Encourage children to always play by the rules. Just as responsible parents teach their children to obey the law of the land, so should those same parents encourage their children to play sport by the rules. If your children show no respect for the rules of the game of basketball, they can also come to believe that breaking the law is acceptable too. If you see your children constantly breaching rules you should be prepared to speak to them at an appropriate time.

3. Teach children that an honest effort is always as important as a victory. Your children will suffer many disappointments in their lives. You should teach them from an early age that whilst a win in basketball will bring them much pleasure, it is not the most important thing. Participating to the best of their abilities is far more important than winning. You can help them learn this, so that the result of each game is accepted without undue disappointment.

4. Focus on developing skills and playing the game. Reduce the emphasis on winning. If children see that effort is rewarded by an increase in skills, they will derive considerable pleasure and see the importance of striving to improve over the necessity to win every game. Primary responsibility for skills training rests with the children and their coaches but you can assist with their enthusiasm by attending games, encouraging them to practice away from formal training and games and even joining in with this practice.

5. A child learns best by example. Applaud good play by all teams. Acknowledge all good plays whether they be by your children’s team or the other team. Good manners and respect can be infectious. If you acknowledge the achievements of your children’s opponents it is likely your children will follow suit. This can assist to create a positive and supportive climate for all children involved in the game.

6. Do not criticise your or others’ children in front of others. Reserve constructive criticism of your own children for more private moments. Children can be very sensitive and feel strong humiliation if they are criticised in front of their peers. When you do feel the necessity to speak to your child about something that displeases you, make the effort to explain what the problem is and why you are concerned about it. If you can see some way of avoiding the problem in the future, also explain this to the children. Give your children an opportunity to offer you an explanation. You are not communicating with your children effectively if all the communication is one way.

7. Accept decisions of all referees as being fair and called to the best of their ability. Referees and officials have a difficult task to perform and your children could not play the game without them. They are there to enforce the rules of play but they cannot always be right. Accept bad calls graciously. Abuse of referees in unacceptable behaviour. Players who consistently dispute decisions or do not accept bad decisions are bad sports. If you disagree with a decision, discuss it with your children in a constructive manner.

8. Set a good example by your own conduct, behaviour and appearance. Children often learn by example. You are the prime role models for them. Make your parenting rewarding and beyond criticism by leading by example. Do not criticise opposing team members or supporters by word or gesture. Accept loss graciously and applaud the efforts of all playing the game. Do not be one of the “ugly” parents occasionally seen at sporting events.

9. Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from sporting activities. Parents have considerable influence in how sports are conducted. Often they are called on to perform volunteer work to help organise their and others’ children’s’ activities. Use this rewarding experience, not just to assist in getting the necessary work performed, but also to influence the atmosphere in which your children play the sport. Children not as fortunate as yours whose parents are not willing or able to be involved may need some guidance on what is or isn’t acceptable behaviour.

10. Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person. Regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background, religion or other factor irrelevant to the game, all persons connected with basketball are entitled to equal treatment and respect. Avoid any remarks that could be construed as offensive or discriminatory. Sometimes even a joke may give offence. Even if a person refers to themselves with a particular label, it should not be taken as an invitation for you to do so. Using discretion is imperative and it is better to err on the side of caution. Your children will most likely follow your lead in matters of discrimination and vilification.

11. Show appreciation for volunteer coaches, officials and administrators. Volunteers are necessary for the functioning of sporting activities. Without them, your child could not participate. Whilst many are parents of people involved in the sport, many are also people dedicated to the sport and its development. Show them the respect and appreciation that they deserve.

12. Keep children in your care under control. Basketball encourages you to bring your children to games. However, there can be dangers to them in a basketball stadium. They can also constitute a danger to players. You should ensure that children with you at a basketball game are well behaved and do not wander onto or too near to courts. They can easily be knocked down by a player or a player can trip over a child when concentrating on the play and not expecting a small child to be in the way.

13. Always respect the use of facilities and equipment provided. Facilities and equipment cost money and will only function properly if kept in good order. Ensure that you do not abuse anything provided for use. Discourage your children from engaging in dangerous practices such as hanging off hoops or “slam dunking”. Quite properly, these practices are banned in most venues. Not only can equipment be damaged but serious injury can occur.

Spectators

1. Remember that most people play sport for enjoyment. People are not playing basketball for the entertainment of spectators nor are many of them professionals. You should be watching basketball for your own enjoyment and to show support for those playing. Help the players to enjoy their game. Applaud good performances from each team. Congratulate all players regardless of the outcome.

2. Accept decisions of all referees as being fair and called to the best of their ability. Referees and officials have a difficult task to perform. You would not have a game to enjoy without them. They are there to enforce the rules of play but they cannot always be right. Accept bad calls graciously. Abuse of referees is unacceptable behaviour. Spectators who consistently dispute decisions or do not accept bad decisions are bad sports. If you disagree with a decision, accept it graciously – you cannot change it.

3. Always be positive in your support for players. Never ridicule or shout at a player, particularly a young player for making a mistake during competition. Positive support for players will offer encouragement to them and most likely spur them to better things on the court.

4. Condemn the use of violence in any form. Never encourage players to engage in violence or engage in it yourself. Violence has no place in basketball and strong action should be taken to discourage it.

5. Respect your team’s opponents, officials and spectators. Without your team’s opponents, there would be no game. Their supporters are there to enjoy the game as much as you are. Light-hearted banter with an opposing spectator can add a further element of fun to a game. Conversely, nasty or inappropriate behaviour or remarks will seriously detract from it.

6. Encourage players to obey the rules and to accept decisions of officials. Often players can get carried away when spectators become enthusiastic or heated over an issue. This can be a positive but it can also be negative when it involves such behaviour as disputing decisions. Always encourage players to obey the rules and do not dispute referees’ decisions.

7. Demonstrate appropriate social behaviour by not using foul language or harassing players, coaches or officials. Anti social behaviour such as foul or abusive language has no place in basketball. If others engage in it, just ignore them – they will soon tire of it if they get no reaction. Alternatively, ask them politely to desist. If it continues and it is serious, bring it to the attention of an official.

8. Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person. Regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background, religion or other factor irrelevant to the game, all persons connected with basketball are entitled to equal treatment and respect. Avoid any remarks that could be construed as offensive or discriminatory. Sometimes even a joke may give offence. Even if a person refers to themselves with a particular label, it should not be taken as an invitation for you to do so. Using discretion is imperative and it is better to err on the side of caution.

9. Keep children in your care under control. Basketball encourages you to bring your children to games. However, there can be dangers to them in a basketball stadium. They can also constitute a danger to players. You should ensure that children with you at a basketball game are well behaved and do not wander onto or too near to courts. They can easily be knocked down by a player or a player can trip over a child when concentrating on the play and not expecting a small child to be in the way.

10. Always respect the use of facilities and equipment provided. Facilities and equipment cost money and will only function properly if kept in good order. Ensure that you do not abuse anything provided for use. Do not encourage players to engage in dangerous practices such as hanging off hoops or “slam dunking”. Quite properly, these practices are banned in most venues. Not only can equipment be damaged but also serious injury can occur.

Officials

1. Interpret rules and regulations fairly and to match the skill level and the needs of the participants. Whilst many requirements of rules are for the safety of those involved in basketball and should never be compromised, others allow flexibility. The age and skills level of the players involved should be taken into account when interpreting rules. As long as you are consistent in interpreting rules and communicate before a game how you intend to interpret the rule, players and the game should benefit. Use common sense to ensure that the “spirit of the game” is not lost by overcalling technical violations

2. Compliment both teams on their efforts. You should make an effort to congratulate both sides at the end of a game, not just the winning side. If there has been a problem during the game, by all means raise it, but do so in a constructive manner so that players may learn from your experience and guidance.

3. Be consistent, objective and courteous in calling all infractions. Objectivity is the single most important characteristic of a good official. It can sometimes be tempting to be easier –or harder, so that you appear to be objective – on a team that you have a connection with. It is also easy to be harder on their opponents or on a team which you believe is not playing the game in the proper spirit or with which you may have had a bad experience in the past. You must resist this temptation. Even when you call an infraction, you must do so in a courteous manner.

4. Promote fair play and appropriate sporting behaviour. Use every opportunity you have to communicate the message that basketball is about fair play, not to be marred by poor behaviour. Condemn the deliberate foul as being unsportsmanlike. If you see an act of good sportsmanship, applaud it.

5. Publicly encourage rule changes. Officials are in a unique position to judge how rules work and their effect on the game. You should use that position to promote change where you can see a positive benefit to participants’ enjoyment of the game from a change.

6. Ensure that both on and off the court your behaviour is consistent with the principles of good sportsmanship. Just as you are entitled to the respect of players, they are entitled to expect that you will act honestly and with integrity. Lead by example – actions speak louder than words. If your standards are down, players and others involved in the sport will see that as a signal that it is acceptable for them to lower their standards.

7. Keep your knowledge current. Make a personal commitment to keep yourself informed of sound officiating principles and the principles of growth and development of children. Always attend training programs when they are available, to ensure that your knowledge is current and that your skills are always improving. Read all information that is available to make sure that you don’t miss innovations such as rule changes.

8. Help the education process in the game. Help players learn to play the game. Make sure that players understand rule infractions. Sometimes players dispute decisions because they do not understand the rules correctly. If you perceive that a player hasn’t understood a ruling, take the time when it is convenient to explain it to them. If there is a team problem of understanding, approach the coach and outline what the problem is and why it is a problem. Don’t feel defensive about explaining your decisions. You are the expert on the court and players are entitled to your constructive guidance.

9. Always present yourself in a way which encourages others to respect you and your role. In both your demeanour and appearance you should lead by example. Always wear the appropriate uniform and make sure that it is neat and clean. Just as players are expected to be properly attired, so should you be. If you present yourself in a sloppy manner it sends a signal that you may be sloppy in your tasks as an official.

10. Always respect the use of facilities and equipment provided. Facilities and equipment cost money and will only function properly if kept in good order. Ensure that you do not abuse anything provided for use. Discourage players from engaging in dangerous practices such as hanging off hoops or “slam dunking”. Quite properly, these practices are banned in most venues. Not only can equipment be damaged but also serious injury can occur.