Coaching Environment


The coach and performer must reach agreement about what is to be regarded as confidential information, within the boundaries of the safeguarding policy.

Confidentiality does not preclude disclosure of information to persons who can be judged to have a right to know. For example:

  • Evaluation for selection purposes
  • Recommendations for employment
  • In matters of disciplinary within the sport
  • In matters of disciplinary action by a sport organisation against one of its members
  • Legal and medical requirements
  • Recommendations to parents/family where the health and safety of performer might be at risk
  • In pursuit of action to protect children and young persons from abuse

Personal Standards

Rugby League Coaches within the coaching/playing environment must not attempt to exert undue influences and pressures in order to obtain personal benefit or reward.

Coaches must display high personal standards that project a favourable image of Rugby League including:

  • Good personal appearance that projects an image of health, cleanliness and functional efficiency
  • Coaches should never smoke when in the coaching environment
  • Coaches should refrain from drinking alcohol prior to or whilst performing any session of Rugby League or whilst in the presence of young participants (Coaches Code of Conduct)


All coaches must be appropriately qualified as per the requirements of the RFL.

Coaches should regularly seek ways of increasing their personal and professional development (CPD).

Coaches must be receptive to employing systems of evaluation that include self-evaluation and also external evaluation in an effort to assess the effectiveness of their work.

Coaches must be able to recognise and accept when to refer or recommend performers to other coaches or structures.

It is the coach’s responsibility as far as possible to:

  • Verify the competence of the performer
  • Verify the competence and integrity of any other persons or structure to whom they refer the performer.


Within the limits of their control coaches have a responsibility to:

  • Establish a safe working environment
  • Ensure as far as possible the safety of the players with whom they work
  • Protect children from harm and abuse
  • Fully prepare their players for the activities and make them aware of their personal responsibility in terms of safety
  • Ensure all activities undertaken are suitable for the experience and ability of the performers and in keeping with the approved practices as determined by the RFL
  • Communicate and co-ordinate with registered medical and ancillary practitioners in the diagnosis, treatment and management of their performers’ medical and psychological problems

Complaints Procedure

Any individual or organisation wishing to make a complaint against a Rugby League Coach, within the context of this code should follow the procedure below:

  • Report the matter to the employer of the sports coach and to the RFL member of staff or Club and Competition Manager responsible for that area of the game including the relevant junior playing league

    NB: (Employer in this instance refers to the organisation who commissioned the coach to do the coaching whether this is paid or unpaid employment)
  • Complaints which refer to the protection of children should be dealt with in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Rugby League Safeguarding Policy


  • Children play for fun and enjoyment
  • Be reasonable in your demands on children's time, energy and enthusiasm - remeber they too, have other interests
  • Never ridicule or shout at a child for making mistakes at training or during games
  • Avoid over playing the talented players. The average ones deserve equal time and attention; time should be afforded to all
  • Always group players according to age, height, skill and physical maturity whenever possible
  • Follow the advice of medical personnel when deciding if a players is fit to take part
  • Teach your players the rules of the game
  • Teach children to respect the judgement of officials
  • The successful Coach invests more in the wellbeing and interests of players than in their own win-loss record
  • Create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all children


  • Sportsmanship and fair play are not a set of rules - they are a code of living
  • Condemn gamesmanship and emphasise respect for fair play
  • Be consistent, objective and courteous when dealing with all decisions during a game
  • Use common sense to ensure that the spirit of the game is not lost
  • Compliment both teams on good play when such praise is deserved


  • Strive for competent levels of planning and communication
  • Make sure that venues and facilities meet the needs of the children
  • Ensure all activities are supervised and appropriate for the players