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Code of Ethics

I. Preamble

As a Christian athletic association, the B.C.C.S.S.A.A. believes that all athletes, coaches, spectators, parents and officials represent Christ.  Because they are constantly in the spotlight, these participants in the association must recognize and accept their responsibility of adhering to a higher standard for behaviors that is in line with our Christ-centered philosophy.  Each must maintain a high standard of excellence in character demonstrated through the ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct, fair play, courtesy, integrity, respect, and Christ- centered values.  In order to promote these ideals in all association sanctioned events, the following code has been developed.



II. A Code of Ethics for Athletes


A. Strive for personal achievement and excellence through full honest effort

  1. Play with intensity but maintain perspective.  Do not let any situation deter you from your responsibility to model Christian ideals.

  2. Play to reach your God-given potential regardless of discouragement or complacency.  True athletes do not give up.


B. Strive to win only by legitimate means

  1. Learn, understand, and adhere to the written rules of the sport.

  2. Do not manipulate the rules to gain an unfair advantage over the other team.

  3. Recognize violence and physical or mental intimidation as harmful to sport, unfair, and unacceptable. Refrain from such practice.

C. Win with humility, lose with dignity

  1. Give the other team full credit if they win.  Refrain from excuse and accusation.  Be determined to learn and grow from the experience.

  2. Accept both victory and losses with pride and compassion, being neither boastful not bitter.  Establish goals beyond only winning so you can leave with some degree of success.


D. Regulate your Attitude

  1. Exercise self-control at all times in your reactions towards the other team, spectators, officials, and yourself.  Self-control must be demonstrated verbally as well as non-verbally.  Refrain from profanity.

  2. Recognize your gifts and abilities as God-given and channel the glory received from these back to God’s glory.  Accept awards humbly, display a humble manner, and be thankful for your opportunities.

  3. Practice good health habits by refraining from tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or use of other harmful substances.  Follow sound nutritional guidelines.


E. Honor the other team members, officials and spectators

  1. Treat visiting teams, spectators, and officials as integral to sport and as honored guests. Conduct yourself with honor and dignity.

  2. Believe in the honesty and integrity of the other team and in the honesty, integrity, and interpretation of game officials.

  3. Accept peacefully and without improper questioning, the decision of the official.

  4. Build a cooperative attitude with other competitors.  Interact with them and view them as partners sharing a mutual endeavor to improve and realize potential, not as enemies you wish to defeat.

  5. Seek to build-up other participants so that all involved can improve and experience success and fulfillment in the competition.

  6. Recognize and applaud, honestly and wholeheartedly, the efforts of your team regardless of circumstances.



III. A Code of Ethics for Coaches


A. Ambassador

Recognize that you are representing Christ, your school, and the association and that the example you provide will have a tremendous bearing on everyone involved in the athletic contest.  Recognize that the purpose of athletics is to educate and promote growth in each area of the participant’s life.


B. Competence

Achieve a thorough understanding and acceptance of the rules of the game and of the association.  Seek to wholeheartedly adhere to these values of fair play.  Estimate all possibilities which tend to destroy the values of the game by instilling these in your players so they understand the proper ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct, sound judgment, and fair play.


C. Towards the Athlete

Treat your players with respect.  Help to develop in them a healthy attitude towards sports competition, a positive self-image, a loving relationship with Christ and each other, a sense of dignity in all circumstances, and a strong stand against incidents of profanity or intimidation or other unsportsmanlike behaviors.  Inspire a love for the game.


D. Towards the Other Team and Their Supporters

Treat the other teams’ coaches, players, and fans with respect while being cordial, trusting, and pleasant.  Play hard when winning or losing but in no way intimidate or embarrass the opposition.  Develop a positive relationship with and a mutual respect for the ability of the other team.


E. Towards Officials

Accept the letter and the spirit of the rules and accept the role of the officials in providing judgment to ensure that the competitions are conducted fairly and according to the established rules.  Accept their decisions without outward appearance of vexation or loss of self-control.



IV. A Code of Ethics for Parents


A. Encourage your child to develop basic skills in a variety of sports, and avoid overspecialization in positional play during your son/daughter’s formative years.


B. Maintain self-control at all times during the contest.  Recognize and applaud good play by all athletes in the contest. Encourage positive behavior, not negative actions.  Respect officials and their decisions.  Do not “”boo” or publicly criticize their judgments.


C. Create and recognize opportunities to teach sportsmanship, just as you would in teaching manners.


D. Ensure that efforts for both skill improvement and good sportsmanship are rewarded with praise.


E. Remember that your child is also a student, therefore be reasonable in organizing the time demands for academics and athletics.


F. Ensure that the learning of fundamental skills and free play activities have priority over highly structured competitions for very young children, to facilitate the development of the whole person.


G. Be familiar with the sound principles of growth and development in children.


H. Help children understand the responsibilities and implications of the freedom to choose between fair play and unfair play.


I. Make children aware of the physical fitness values of sports and his/her life-long recreational value.



V. A Code of Ethics for Officials


A. The contest expects the official to:

  1. Maintain a professional relationship toward the event, the players, the coaches, and spectators.

  2. Be thorough in your preparation.

  3. Be on time for duty and appear in appropriate uniform.

  4. Be rested and alert.


B. The rules expect the official to:

  1. Adhere to correct decisions despite disapproval of spectators, coaches, and players.

  2. Control your temper at all times in dealing with players, coaches, and crowds.

  3. Respect and aid companion officials in making decisions.

  4. Make interpretations and announcements clear to both teams.


C. Sportsmanship demands that officials:

  1. Maintain a pleasant, impartial attitude toward all players and coaches.

  2. Know and enforce rules and regulations.

  3. Carry out your duties so as not to distract from the players or the game.

  4. Discourage any acts of poor sportsmanship.



VI. Coaching Sport Specific Ethics


A. Basketball


1. Language – When things don’t go as planned, getting upset may be your right, but demonstrating lack of control is not.  Using vulgar language, verbal abuse of other players or of the officials, is not acceptable.

2. We should be in the game to help our young people develop as human beings and athletes, not for coaches’ own gain.

3. Respect the other team.  Do not humiliate the other team.  When a team is obviously out matched, the following should be considered.

a) There is no need to press full or half court.  The defense should back up to the key area.

b) There is no need to pressure very weak players.  To continually steal the ball from a very weak opponent is both humiliating and unnecessary.

c) Close games usually require teams to keep their best players on the court for the majority of the game.  When an opponent is weak, this provides a great opportunity for the second and third string players to be inserted for the majority of the game.  Games of this nature can provide opportunities to try new things or encourage players to work the ball to one or two players who seldom score. Decide on a specific number of passes before a shot is attempted.


4. If we do these things, we can help other coaches build their programs rather than destroy the interests of present players, upcoming players and coaches who also give of their time.


B. Volleyball


1. Volleyball is largely a psychological sport.  It is often decided by an individual or team’s performance not necessarily by the opposition.  If a team can improve their own play and their mental aspects, they should enjoy success and fulfillment no matter how the opposition plays.  Strive hard tactically but keep the psychological aspects of the game on your own side of the net and refrain from any intimidation tactics which can often come in the form of:

a) willfully spiking at the opposition during warm-ups
b) glaring, screaming, or making intimidating gestures at the opposition
c) ignoring proper etiquette practices associated with the game (ex. rolling the ball under the net, shaking hands afterwards, acknowledging good plays on both sides …
d) disguising spirit with excessive yelling and obnoxious behavior
e) using profanity
f) choosing to ignore other aspects of volleyball etiquette


2. Individuals should honor the opposition by playing each rally with maximum effort, never patronizing or mocking their opponent’s play by word or gesture.


3. Coaches should be sensitive in trying to bring out the best in their opposition and from their own team by playing subs or starters whenever necessary to facilitate good competitive games.


4. Refrain from actions which may appear to be attempts to intimidate the officials.  Use proper channels to question an official’s call or matter of procedure and if possible, keep the matter private between the parties concerned and maintain composure and control.


5. Learn, abide by, and respect the rules of the game.

C. Track and Field


1. Learn and abide by, and respect the rules of the sport and the particular track and field meet you are attending.  Do not bend or violate the rules to gain an unfair advantage over the other teams or competitors.

For example:
a) know the eligibility rules for each division and ensure each athlete is in the proper division
b) ensure that proper equipment standards are used and that no illegal substances are in use
c) use the proper procedures to change entries or events
d) report all violations, including your own, to the proper authorities after consulting with the perpetrator


2. Do not purposefully intimidate another athlete in any way.  Rather, seek to nurture and ensure his/her best performance and fulfillment.  Practice every form of sportsmanship while recognizing one’s competition as achieving one potential rather than defeating someone else.


3. Respect and build-up meet officials and coaches and follow proper procedures in cases of protest.  Handle all-officiating duties responsibly and professionally.


4. Win or lose with dignity.  Do not blame others, use profanity, rude gestures, or other defensive mechanisms to avoid accepting disappointment; rather celebrate and congratulate others who have succeeded.



VII. A Code of Ethics for Spectators


In order to promote sportsmanship among spectators, the following announcements should be made before the competition.


A. The focus on sportsmanship,  activity, and athletic programs at BCCSSAA Member Schools are for the student participants.  We provide a positive, healthy experience for students to test their skills and knowledge against other young people in athletic contest.  When sharing the experiences of our children, please encourage them; do not demean our student athletes, our guests, the officials, or the coaches.  Please, remember that contests you watch are the games played by our children.  Allow them to enjoy the game and have a positive experience of healthy play.  They are not professionals hired to entertain spectators.  These are our children learning and growing in many different ways.


B. Special Note for Athletic Directors and Administrators: In an effort to promote sportsmanship while ensuring adequate control, each school should designate sufficient staff members to supervise the contest.  The host school should also admit, free of charge, staff members from visiting schools as they are responsible to help maintain a positive atmosphere among their students at the visiting school, thus helping crowd control and promoting sportsmanship.

  1. Remember that children play organized sports for their own fun.  They are not there to entertain you and they are NOT miniature pro athletes.

  2. Be on your best behavior.  Do not use profane language or harass players, coaches or officials.

  3. Applaud good plays made by your teams and visiting team.

  4. Show respect for the other teams and visiting teams.

  5. Never ridicule or scold a child for making a mistake during competition.

  6. Condemn the use of violence in all forms.

  7. Respect the officials’ decisions.

  8. Always encourage players to play according to the rules.

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