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«Last Revised Rugby Ontario 4/14/2011 RUGBY ONTARIO – CHILD PROTECTION POLICY PROCEDURES MANUAL Table of Contents Introduction Pg 3 Section #1 – ...»

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after discussion and consideration, the allegation is about poor practice, then it will be directed to a disciplinary hearing process.

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Guidelines for conduct have a number of important functions. They:

• sets out what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable;

• defines standards of practice expected from those to whom it applies;

• forms the basis for challenging and improving practices;

• helps to safeguard members and volunteers by encouraging them to adhere to agreed standards of practice;

• sets out for children and parents the standards of practice which they and the organization should expect from those who work/volunteer with children;

Rugby Ontario encourages its members to become aware and observe the following standards of practice, including verbal and non-verbal actions when involved in activities with children. Serious incidents of conduct and behaviour around children should be report to the Rugby Ontario, Protection Officer.

Good practice guidelines:

• Make rugby fun, enjoyable and promote fair play.

• Treat all children equally, with respect, dignity and fairness.

• Involve parents wherever possible.

• Build balanced relationships based on mutual trust that empower and include children in the decision-making process.

• Always work in an open environment. Avoid private or unobserved situations.

• Put the welfare of each child first before winning or achieving performance goals.

• Be an excellent role model including, dressing appropriately, not smoking, Drinking alcohol or using drugs in the company of children.

• Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.

• Recognize the developmental needs and capacity of children and avoid excessive training and competition, pushing them against their will and putting undue pressure on them.

–  –  –

Practices to be avoided:

In the context of your role and responsibilities within Rugby Ontario or member club,

the following practices should be avoided:

• Having ‘favorites’ – this could lead to resentment and jealousy by other children and could be misinterpreted by others.

• Spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others; do not take children alone on car trips, however short.

• Entering children’s bedrooms on trips away from home, unless in an emergency situation or in the interest of health and safety. If it is necessary to enter rooms, alert the occupants by knocking and announcing your intention to enter. The door should remain open, if appropriate.

• Where possible, doing things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.

Practices that are NEVER condoned In the context of your role and responsibility within Rugby Ontario or member club, the

following practices are not sanctioned under any circumstances:

• Engaging in sexually provocative games, including horseplay.

• Engaging in rough or physical contact except as permitted within the rules of the game or competition.

• Forming intimate emotional, physical or sexual relationships with children.

• Allowing or engaging in touching a child in a sexually suggestive manner.

• Allowing children to swear or use sexualized language unchallenged.

• Making sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.

• Reducing a child to tears as a form of control.

• Allowing allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.

• Inviting or allowing children to stay with you at your home.

• Coaches and other leaders sharing a room alone with a child for sleeping accommodation.

Some accommodation facilities offer dormitory sleeping arrangements where leaders may be required to share with children. In such circumstances organizers must ensure that at least two adults who have been recruited and selected using the recommended procedure are present, preferably one male and one female, and that such arrangements have been discussed and agreed with children and parents in advance.

–  –  –

In some circumstances older children may be required to share rooms with senior teammates (i.e. over 18s). If this is necessary, it should be discussed and agreed in advance with the young person and the parents (where appropriate and practicable).

The young people involved should also be aware of whom they should speak to if they have any worries or concerns during this time.


These guidelines have been included to provide practical guidance for those coaching and/or volunteering directly with children on practices to keep the child safe and to promote a safe training and playing environment for the club member or volunteer. All constituent members of Rugby Ontario are strongly recommended to be aware of an employ these guidelines.

All rugby organizations have a duty and standard of care towards all children involved in its activities.

Children under the age of 16 years should not be placed in positions of responsibility in relation to other children. Common sense should be applied when considering the circumstances of older children, and all children should have the opportunity to express their views on matters which affect them, should they wish to do so.

As children’s rugby takes place in many different locations, environments and formats, it is impossible to provide specific guidance on many of the issues covered. The following guidelines are therefore based on generally recognized good practice and common sense. Ultimately, most practical situations will require a judgment to be made about what is practicable and reasonable in the circumstances.

Recommended Adult-To-Child Ratios in Children’s Rugby

In general practice, the average ratio of adult-to-child is:

–  –  –

All activities should be planned to involve at least two adults, (preferably one male and one female). As a general guide, the following factors will also be taken in to

consideration in deciding how many adults are required to safely supervise children:

• The number of children involved in the activity.

• The age, maturity and experience of the children.

–  –  –

There may also be other considerations which are specific to the sport of rugby in Ontario which may take place.

Physical Contact with Players All forms of physical contact should respect and be sensitive to the needs and wishes of the child and should take place in a manner of dignity and respect for all children.

Parents and children should be made aware of the situations in which contact of a physical nature [especially in coaching] may happen when they join the club. Children should be encouraged to express their views on physical contact.

Coaching instruction should be clearly explained with a description of how it is proposed to handle or have contact with the child before doing so. This should be accompanied by checking if the child is comfortable. Manual support should be provided openly and must always be proportionate to the circumstances.

If it is necessary to help a child with personal tasks e.g. toileting or changing, the child and parents should be encouraged to express a preference regarding the support and should be encouraged to speak out about methods of support with which they are uncomfortable. Club members and volunteers should work with parents and children to develop practiced routines regarding their personal care so that parents and children know what to expect.

Do not take on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.

First Aid & the treatment of injuries

All coaches/managers/administrators and volunteers must ensure:

• There is an accessible and well-stocked first aid kit at the venue at all times.

• There should also be a cell phone or telephone.

• Be aware of any pre-existing medical conditions, medicines being taken by participants or existing injuries and treatment required.

–  –  –

Managing challenging behaviour Coaches/Managers/Administrators/Officials and Volunteers who deliver activities to children may, from time to time, require to deal with a child’s challenging behaviour.

These guidelines aim to promote good practice and to encourage a proactive response to supporting children to manage their own behaviour. They suggest some strategies and deterrents which can be used, and also identify unacceptable sanctions or interventions which must never be used by club members or volunteers.

These guidelines are based on the following principles:

• The welfare and safety of the child is the paramount consideration;

• A risk assessment should be completed for all activities which take in to consideration the needs of the all children involved in the activity;

• Children must never be subject to any form of treatment that is harmful, abusive, humiliating or degrading and should always be able to maintain their respect and dignity;

• No coaches, managers, administrators, referees, or volunteers should attempt to respond to challenging behaviour by using techniques for which they have not been trained.

Planning Activities

Good coaching practice requires planning sessions around the group as a whole but also involves taking into consideration the needs of each individual athlete within that group.

As part of a risk assessment, coaches should consider whether any members of the group have presented in the past, or are likely to present, any difficulties in relation to either, the tasks involved, the other participants or the rugby environment.

Where coaches/managers/administrators/officials or volunteers identify any potential risks, strategies to manage those risks should be agreed in advance of the session, event or activity. The risk assessment should also identify the appropriate number of adults

–  –  –

All those delivering activities to children should receive training on these guidelines and should be supported to address issues of challenging behaviour through regular supervision.

Agreeing on acceptable and unacceptable behaviours Coaches, managers, administrators, officials, volunteers, children and parents should be involved in developing an agreed statement of what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and the range of sanctions which may be applied in response to unacceptable behaviour.

Issues of behaviour and control should regularly be discussed with staff, volunteers, parents and children in the context of rights and responsibilities. When children are specifically asked, as a group, to draw up a ‘List of Acceptable and Unacceptable Behaviours and Sanctions for Unacceptable Behaviour’ that will govern their participation in the group or on the team, they tend to arrive at a very sensible and working set of ‘rules’. If and when such a list is compiled, every member of the group can be asked to sign it, as can new members as they join.

Managing challenging behaviour In dealing with children who display risk-taking or challenging behaviours,

coaches/managers/administrators, and volunteers might consider the following options:

• Time out- from the activity, group or individual work

• Reparation - the act or process of making amends

• Restitution - the act of giving something back

• Behavioural reinforcement - rewards for good behaviour, consequences for negative behaviour

• De-escalation of the situation - talking through with the child

• Increased supervision by staff / volunteers

• Use of individual ‘contracts’ or agreements for their future or continued participation

• Sanctions or consequences e.g. missing an outing.

–  –  –

Adults and children shall never be permitted to use the any of the following as a means

of managing a child’s behaviour:

• Physical punishment or the threat of such.

• The withdrawal of communication with the child.

• Being deprived of food, water or access to changing facilities or toilets.

• Verbal intimidation, ridicule or humiliation.

Staff and volunteers should review the needs of any child for whom deterrents are frequently necessary. This review should involve the child and parents to ensure an informed decision is made about the child’s future or continued participation in the group or activity. Whilst it would always be against the wishes of everyone involved in rugby, ultimately, if a child continues to present a high level of risk or danger to him or herself, or others, he or she may have to be barred from activity in rugby.

Physical interventions

The use of physical interventions should always be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary in order to prevent a child injuring themselves, injuring others or causing serious damage to property. All forms of physical intervention shall form part of a broader approach to the management of challenging behaviour.

Physical contact to prevent something happening should always be the result of conscious decision-making and not a reaction. Before physically intervening, the member of club member or volunteer should ask themselves, ‘Is this the only option in order to manage the situation and ensure safety?’

The following must always be considered:

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