HRFC Safeguarding Policy & Procedures

Hereford Rugby Football Club Safeguarding Policy


1. Introduction

1.1 This policy has been produced to clearly define the RFU Safeguarding Policy (Regulation 21) and Procedures for all Hereford Rugby Football Club (HRFC) appointed volunteers, coaches and match officials working with children or vulnerable adults.

2.  Roles and Responsibilities

2.1 HRFC acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare and protection of all children involved in HRFC activities.

2.2 HRFC confirms that it adheres to the Rugby Football Union’s Safeguarding Policy and the procedures, practices and guidelines and endorse and adopt the Policy Statement contained in that document and any successor policy.

2.3 A child is anyone under the age of 18 engaged in any rugby union activity. However, where a 17-year-old male player is playing in the adult game it is essential that every reasonable precaution is taken to ensure his safety and wellbeing are protected.

  • The Key Principles of the RFU Safeguarding Policy are that:
  • The welfare of the child is, and must always be, paramount to any other considerations.
  • All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, culture, size, shape, language, or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse or harm.
  • All allegations or suspicions of abuse, neglect, harm, and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly, and appropriately.
  • Working in partnership with other organisations, statutory agencies, parents, carers, children, and young people is essential for the welfare of children.
  • Children have a right to expect support, and personal and social development delivered by an appropriately recruited, vetted, and managed in relation to their participation in rugby union, whether they are playing, volunteering, or officiating in the community or professional areas of the sport.

2.5 HRFC recognises that all children have the right to participate in sport in a safe, positive, and enjoyable environment whilst at the same time being protected from abuse, neglect, harm, and poor practice. HRFC recognises that this is the responsibility of everyone involved, in whatever capacity, at the club.

2.6 HRFC will implement and comply with the RFU Code of Conduct and the codes of conduct for coaches, spectators, parents, players, and officials as appropriate. These can be found at Annex D.

2.7 The Club Safeguarding Officer (CSO) is Nigel Hinton, who can be contacted either by email or dedicated phoneline 07930 140690. If you witness or are aware of an incident where the welfare of a child has been put at risk you must, in the first instance, inform the CSO. They will then inform the Constituent Body (CB) Safeguarding Manager and the RFU Safeguarding Team. If an incident involves the CSO you should inform the Club President (Spencer Goodall) and either the CB Safeguarding Manager or the RFU Safeguarding Team.

2.8 All members of HRFC who work with children in Regulated Activity must undertake an RFU Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check in accordance with RFU Regulation 21.

2.9 HRFC will ensure that all its members, whether they are coaches, parents, players or officials will comply with the Best Practice Guidance as issued by the RFU. In summary, the following are NOT acceptable and will be treated seriously by the club and may result in disciplinary action being taken by the club, the CB or the RFU:

  • Working alone with a child.
  • Consuming alcohol whilst responsible for children.
  • Providing alcohol to children or allowing its supply.
  • Smoking in the presence of children.
  • Humiliating children.
  • Inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact with a child.
  • Participating in, or allowing, contact or physical games with children.
  • Having an intimate or sexual relationship with any child developed because of being in a ‘position of trust.’
  • Making sexually explicit comments or sharing sexually explicit material.

2.10 HRFC manages the changing facilities and arranges for them to be supervised by two DBS checked adults of the appropriate gender for the players using the facilities. HRFC ensures that all its coaches, parents, officials, and spectators are aware that adults must not change at the same time, using the same facilities as children. The following changing rooms protocols must be adhered to:

  • Adults and children must never use the same changing or washroom facilities at a venue to shower or change at the same time. Where 17-year-old children are playing in the adult game they should be offered separate changing and shower facilities. Adults must only enter children’s changing rooms by themselves when necessary due to poor behaviour, injury, or illness, or in an emergency and when waiting for another adult could result in harm to a child.
  • If children need supervising in changing rooms, or coaches or managers need to carry out a range of tasks in that environment this must involve two individuals cleared to work in Regulated Activity of the same gender as the children. For mixed gender
  • Same changing and washroom facilities must be used by adults and children on the same day a clear timetable should be established. No pressure should be placed on children who feel uncomfortable changing or showering with others; if this is the case, they should be allowed to shower and change at home.
  • Where a disability requires significant support from a parent or carer, the child concerned, and their parents/ carers should decide how they should be assisted to change or shower. Before any assistance is offered by another person, appropriate consent should be given by a parent/carer and the child themselves if they are of sufficient maturity to consent.

2.11 HRFC will ensure that its coaches [and team managers] will receive the support and training considered appropriate to their position and role. The RFU ‘Managing Challenging Behaviour’.

2.12. Any events held on HRFC premises must comply with this Policy and if appropriate a Safeguarding Plan should be discussed and circulated to those affected.

2.13 Any tours, overseas or domestic, undertaken by HRFC must comply with the relevant RFU Regulations and Guidance relating to tours. If a tour is being considered tour organisers should contact the CSO in the first instance.

2.14 HRFC follows the RFU guidance for websites, online and mobile communications safeguarding as set out by the RFU. The RFU Guidelines are attached in Annex A.

2.15 HRFC will adhere to the RFU Photographic Policy recommendations and best practice guidelines. These can be found in Annex B.

2.16 HRFC will adhere to the RFU Anti Bullying Policy. The Hereford RFC Anti Bullying Policy is found in Annex C.

2.17 Hereford RFC will always adhered to, support and enforce the RFU Codes of Conduct. These can be found at Annex D



Nigel Hinton

Hereford RFC Safeguarding Officer


Mobile: 07930140690


Annex A to

Hereford RFC Safeguarding Policy

Dated 18 March 2023


Hereford RFC Communication with Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy

1.Website and Message Board

1.1 The Club Website is a key part of the daily operation of the Club. However, in the same way that HRFC has responsibility for the physical safety of Junior members when on the club’s premises, HRFC will also ensure that there is nothing on its’ website which could harm a child, directly or indirectly. HRFC is responsible for the content of its website. All content, which can be posted by our members, will be moderated by website moderators to ensure inappropriate content is removed. Given our Club Website is open to the public, there are two key risks to guard against when posting information:

  • Disclosing personal information about a child to people accessing the website. This could be the child’s name, address, or any information about a child’s life, interests or activities which would help a stranger target a child or engage that child in conversation.
  • Abusive or inappropriate content (photos, video, or text), on the site itself. This includes material which criticises or humiliates a child. It could also be information which places undue pressure on the child to participate in some aspect of a clubs’ activities.

2. Online Photos and Video

2.1 Photos and video clips can make any child featured vulnerable to grooming if information about the child (name, address, activities, or interests) is also disclosed. Furthermore, posting an image on a website carries a risk that the image could be taken and adapted for an inappropriate use

2.2 RFU Recommendations:

  • Use group images, rather than individual images.
  • For images of individual children (such as in action shots) where possible use models or illustrations.
  • Only use images of children in suitable dress, to minimise the risk of inappropriate adaptation of the image.
  • If a child is named on the site, do not include an image (individual or group). If a child features in an image on the site, do not use the child’s first name or last name, either in text on the site or in the image file name.

2.3 HRFC will abide by all RFU recommendations regarding photo and video images and will obtain consent from the appropriate responsible person(s) before using any images of children or vulnerable adults on its website. Consent request clauses are included in the registration form which is completed each season and are also held by the club age group administrators.

3. Webcams and Live Streams

3.1 HRFC will not use webcams to stream live images of children or vulnerable adults and if use of a webcam to broadcast images of children or vulnerable adults is requested, the CSO at HRFC will contact the RFU for further guidance before permission is granted.

4. Mobile and Online Communications with Children

4.1 Technology is moving very fast in this area. There are now many different ways for people to communicate. In addition to landlines, there are mobile phones for voice and text, and most new phones incorporate cameras that take still shots and video. Two-way video calling is commonplace.

4.2 On-line communication can be by email, instant messaging, and/or social networking sites. The risks posed by such methods of communication arise from:

  • The privacy. It is often one-to-one.
  • The wide range of content that can be transmitted, including content of a violent, sexual or hateful nature.
  • The ease with which images can be forwarded onto others.
  • The difficulty in knowing truly who you are communicating with. Where grooming happens, it often involves this type of communication.

4.3 In sport, there are additional risks:

  • Inappropriate pressure can be exerted by adults, particularly coaches, on children (such as to play when injured).
  • There can be inappropriate criticism of a young player’s performance.
  • An official position or role within a club, such as Coach, can carry with it a level of authority and engender a level of trust that facilitates the control of a child.
  • Against this background, Hereford RFC will abide by all RFU guidance with regard to mobile and online communication with children and vulnerable adults and will cascade any information for them to the parents (or carer) of that child or vulnerable adult. Hereford RFC will not directly contact a child or vulnerable adult directly by mobile phone or social media chatrooms unless it is an emergency or risk of harm. Some relaxation to this policy has been agreed in that, with exception of the Head Coach of the Colts Team who can contact a team player only to discuss selection matters by calling the players parents phone who will be present during the call.

4.4 Club Guidelines.

4.4.1 No Club Member may initiate a social media outlet that is directly linked and intended to be used by HRFC members without the express permission of the Club Board of Directors.

Administrators of social media outlets must ensure the content complies with the Website and Message Board Policy above.

4.4.2 Further:

  • Twitter can be used for broadcasting information but must not be used for 1-1.
  • (Direct) Messaging between Adults and Young People. Content must conform to the Website and Message Board policy above.
  • Communication via Facebook is permitted only via public club Facebook pages where the content is public and conforms to the Website and Message Board Policy above. Private, closed groups and 1-1 messaging between Coaches and Young People is not permitted.
  • Other online and social media services whether public or private are not permitted.
  • Requests to add other services to the approved list should be directed to the CSO.
  • SMS Messaging (Texting): Club Officials and coaches should only communicate directly with individual children by text, if the parent or carer is also included/copied on such communication or there is an immediate risk to the welfare of that child which can be lessened by such contact.
  • Telephone: When communicating by phone is needed, Club Officials and coaches can only call individual young people on their phones after making the necessary arrangement with the child’s parents, or by calling the players parents phone who will be present during the call. Directly calling any player under the age of 18 without his/her parents knowledge and participation is not to happen.



Annex B to

Hereford RFC Safeguarding Policy

Dated 18 March 2023

Hereford RFC Photographic Policy

1. Overarching Principles

1.1 HRFCs Photography Policy derives from RFU’s own Photography Policy. The basic principles are:

  • Permission: Every parent or carer has the option to decline permission for the taking and publication of images/videos of a young person in their care.
  • Appropriate Circumstances & Attire: Photography/video must be undertaken in appropriate circumstances. All young people must be appropriately attired at all times.
  • Publication and Identification: Publication should not be done in such a way that young people are identifiable; images should be published without accompanying sensitive personal details such as a young person’s address.
  • Focus of the Photography: The imagery should focus on the activity rather than any particular individual.
  • Equity Policy: Wherever possible, imagery should reflect the diversity of the young people making up The Clubs Membership.
  • Third Party Photography: Whenever professional photographers or outside media are invited or commissioned, Hereford RFC will require identification and safeguarding measures to ensure only the proper use and dissemination of all imagery.

2. Circumstances of Photography or Video

2.1 Photographs/videos of junior players are usually taken in the following contexts. This list is not exhaustive.

  • Coaching – video may be filmed and used thereafter for coaching purposes.
  • Action photographs – general photographs of players during a game.
  • Team photographs – posed group photos of teams.
  • Awards and ceremonies.
  • Press coverage – local, national and specialist rugby media photographs/video.
  • Tours and festivals – at other clubs and grounds which will be subject to the host clubs policy permission.

2.2 All parents/guardians are asked to indicate on Registration Forms if they do/do not consent to the taking and use of photographs/videos featuring their children throughout the season. If consent is not withheld, the parent or carer permission continues throughout the season, terminating at its conclusion, unless the parent or carer notifies the Team Manager and CSO, in writing, of a change of mind.

2.3 The result of withholding or withdrawing permission is that HRFC reserves the right to require the parent or carer to be present throughout an event where photo/video is expected to be taken and to undertake to supervise and monitor the event for the purpose of safeguarding their child.

3. Focus and Content of the Imagery

3.1 Images taken by parents, carers, supporters and coaches at HRFCs grounds, and at away games, tours and festivals where the host club applies no stricter policy, should comply with the following restrictions:

  • HRFC adopts the RFU guidelines on appropriate dress for young players. These recommend that all young people featuring in photographs/videos be appropriately dressed in outer clothing/ garments covering their torso between the bottom of the neck and the thighs i.e. a minimum of a vest/shirt and shorts. For formal photographs players should be properly dressed in Club/Team Kit.
  • Wherever possible HRFC also undertakes to reflect the RFU Equity Policy. Accordingly, photographs/videos should represent the diversity of young people participating in rugby at the Club.
  • Photographs/video should focus on the activity rather than any young person. Where possible photography of young people should concentrate on small groups of players.

4. Sensitive Information

4.1 Photographs/videos should not include nor be accompanied by sensitive information which might enable a stranger to identify the players. Such information might include, but is not limited to, an image of the players parent or guardian, the players full name, age, address, email address, telephone number or such personal details of the parent/guardian or the parents/guardians’ personal details.

5. Publication of Hereford RFC Imagery

5.1 HRFC must have general parent or carer permission to use an image of a young person (see above). When such permission has been given, HRFC may publish photographs/videos in its own materials or via third party media organisations such as the local press. Such publication of photographs/videos will not include any sensitive information described or identified above of the young people or of their parents or carers.

5.2 Where the reason for publication is an individual achievement (i.e. a players selection for a representative side, triumph over adversity), particular attention will be paid to ensuring specific permission is also secured from the young person to use their image.

6. Publication by Others of Imagery

6.1 HRFC must have general parent or carer permission to use an image of a young person (see above).

7. Photography/Video by the Media or Third Party

7.1 HRFC reserves the right to invite photographers from the local media or rugby specialist press to record the Clubs events. If it does so it undertakes that it will:

  • Require any such photographers to register upon arrival at a Club event; to carry with them, at all times, bona fide and appropriate identification which must be produced on request and to abide by the overarching principles set out above.
  • Inform parents and participants that one or more media photographers will be present and,
  • Not approve/allow unsupervised access to the players, one-to-one photography sessions with players, nor photo sessions outside the event or at any players home.

8. Use of Photographic/Video Equipment by Parents/Guardians and Adult Supporters

8.1 Parents and carers are advised that if they have concerns about inappropriate or intrusive photography/filming these should be reported to the Team Manager, to an event organiser or to an official so that these may recorded and dealt with in the same manner as any other child protection concern.

8.2 If parents or carers or adult supporters wish to take images of a game, session, or event at a Club ground, they must ascertain whether any member of the squad has had permission withheld for photography; at any other ground they must also be prepared to comply with the policy of the host club.

8.3 In addition, wherever the Club’s young players are playing photographers may be required to identify themselves and state their purpose for photography/videoing an event. They must, if advised that any visiting or host clubs young player withholds permission for photography, cease doing so immediately unless able to come to an arrangement with that players parent or guardian. HRFC reserves the right to contact authorities in the event that any individual refuses to stop taking photographs/video or refuses to identify themselves upon challenge by the Club.


Annex C to

Hereford RFC Safeguarding Policy

Dated 18 March 2023

Hereford RFC Anti-Bullying Policy

1. Principles

1.1 Bullying of any kind is not permitted within HRFC, we are committed to providing playing opportunities for all children and young people.

1.2 The RFU is a ‘telling’ culture and anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to inform the CSO without delay.

1.3 Bullying will be taken seriously, responded to promptly, and procedures followed to deal with the situation immediately.

1.4 It is the responsibility of every adult working in rugby union whether professional or volunteer, to ensure that all young people can enjoy the sport in a safe enjoyable environment.

2. What is Bullying?

2.1 Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.

2.2 Bullying Categories:

  • Emotional – excluding (emotionally and physically), tormenting (e.g., hiding rugby kit, threatening gestures including sending threatening text messages).
  • Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence.
  • Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures.
  • Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments.
  • Homophobic – because of or focusing on the issue of sexuality.
  • Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing.

3. Policy Objectives

3.1 All HRFC members, coaches, volunteers and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.

3.2 All HRFC members, coaches and volunteers should know what the RFU/Constituent Body (CB)/Club Policy is on bullying and follow it when bullying is reported.

3.3 All players and parents should know what the RFU/CB/Club policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.

3.4 Players and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.


4. Signs and Symptoms

4.1 A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Children and Young People have described bullying as:

  • Being called names.
  • Being teased.
  • Being hit, pushed, pulled, pinched, or kicked.
  • Having their bag, mobile or other possessions taken.
  • Receiving abusive text messages.
  • Being forced to hand over money.
  • Being forced to do things they do not want to do.
  • Being ignored or left out.
  • Being attacked because of religion, gender, sexuality, disability, appearance or ethnic or racial origin.

4.2 Other signs and Symptoms of a child who:

  • Doesn’t want to attend training or club activities.
  • Changes their usual routine.
  • Begins being disruptive during sessions.
  • Becomes withdrawn anxious or lacking in confidence.
  • Has possessions going missing.
  • Becomes aggressive, disruptive, or unreasonable.
  • Starts stammering.
  • Has unexplained cuts or bruises.
  • Is bullying others.
  • Stops eating.
  • Is frightened to say what’s wrong.

4.3 These signs and behaviours may not constitute bullying and may be symptoms of other problems. Club/CB members, coaches and volunteers need to be aware of these possible signs and report any concerns to the CSO.

5. Procedures and Management of Bullying

5.1 Report all bullying incidents or concerns immediately to the CSO.

  • Record (using the RFU Incident Record Form). If the incident is an adult bullying a young person, the CSO will report the incident to the RFU Child Protection Officer.
  • If the incident is a young person bullying a young person, the club will manage this, and can access advice and support from the CSO or RFU Child Protection Officer at any stage of the process.

5.2 Parents may be informed and asked to come into a meeting to discuss the problem.

5.3 If necessary and appropriate, Police and other local authorities will be consulted.

5.4 If mediation fails and the bullying is seen to continue the Club/CB/RFU will initiate disciplinary action under the relevant constitution.

6. Implementing Anti-Bullying Procedures

5.1 Immediately raise awareness with all members and players within the club:

  • Ensure all young players know they can talk to someone if they are worried.
  • Ensure that parents have a copy of the policy.
  • Adopt the policy within the club constitution.
  • Ensure that the Code of Conduct clearly states that behaviour which constitutes bullying will not be accepted.
  • Ensure all coaches, staff and volunteers understand the policy.
  • Ensure the policy is given to members and players.
  • Identify any training needs within the club and contact the RFU to find out about workshops and opportunities for support.

Annex D to

Hereford RFC Safeguarding Policy

Dated 18 March 2023

RFU Code of Conduct

1. The Good Coaches Code

1.1 In Rugby Union, coaches of young people should:

  • Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching young players.
  • Most learning is achieved through doing. Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport.
  • Be a positive role model – think what this implies.
  • Keep winning and losing in perspective – encourage young players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
  • Respect all referees and the decisions they make (remember it could be you refereeing next week) and ensure that the players recognise that they must do the same.
  • Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner, to all young players, both during coaching sessions and games.

1.2 In Rugby Union, coaches of young people MUST:

  • Provide experiences, which are matched to the young players’ ages and abilities, as well as their physical and mental development.
  • Ensure all youngsters are coached in a safe environment, with adequate first aid readily to hand.
  • Avoid the overplaying of the best players, by using a squad system, which gives everybody a satisfactory amount of playing time.
  • Never allow a player to train or play when injured.
  • Ensure good supervision of young players, both on and off the field.
  • Recognise that young players should never be exposed to extremes of heat, cold, or unacceptable risk of injury.
  • Develop an awareness of nutrition as part of an overall education in lifestyle management.
  • Recognise that it is illegal for young players under 18 to drink alcohol.
  • Ensure that their knowledge and coaching strategies are up to date and in line with RFU philosophy.
  • Be aware of, and abide by, the RFU recommended procedures for taking young people on residential tours at home and abroad
  • Be aware of, and abide by, the policies and procedures outlined in the RFU Child Protection Guidance Booklet.

1.3 Remember, coaches working with young people below the age of 18 MUST follow the guidelines laid down by the RFU Age Grade Regulations (Regulation 15).

2. The Good Parents Code

2.1 Parents are encouraged to:

  • Be familiar with the coaching and training programme in order that you can ensure that your child is fully involved, and the coaches are aware of their availability.
  • Be familiar with the teaching and coaching methods used by observing the sessions in which your child participates.
  • Be aware that the club has a duty of care and therefore, where appropriate, assist coaches with the supervision of the young players, particularly where numbers are large and there is a need to transport youngsters to away games.
  • Be involved with club activities and share your expertise.
  • Share concerns, if you have them, with club officials.
  • Be familiar with the Good Coaches Code. In particular: Coaches should recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching young players. Coaches should keep winning and losing in perspective, encouraging young players to behave with dignity in all circumstances. It is important that parents support coaches in instilling these virtues.

2.2 Parents should:

  • Remember that young people play rugby for their own enjoyment not that of their parents.
  • Encourage young people to play – do not force them.
  • Focus on the young players’ efforts, rather than winning or losing.
  • Be realistic about the young players’ abilities; do not push them towards a level that they are not capable of achieving.
  • Provide positive verbal feedback both in training and during the game.
  • Remember that persistent, negative messages will adversely affect the players’ and referee’s performance and attitude.
  • Always support the rugby club in their efforts to eradicate loud, coarse, and abusive behaviour from the game.
  • Remember young people learn much by example.
  • Always show appreciation of good play by all young players both from your own club and the opposition.
  • Respect decisions made by the match officials and encouraged the young players to do likewise.

3. The Good Players Code

3.1 Players are encouraged to:

  • Recognise and appreciate the efforts made by coaches, parents, match officials and administrators in providing the opportunity for you to play the game and enjoy the rugby environment.
  • Understand the values of loyalty and commitment to adults and teammates.
  • Recognise that every young player has a right to expect their involvement in rugby to be safe and free from all types of abuse.
  • Understand that if an individual or group of young players feel they are not being treated in a manner that is acceptable, then you have a right to tell an adult either at the rugby club or outside of the game.

3.2 Players should:

  • Play because you want to do so, not to please coaches or parents.
  • Remember that skill development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
  • Be attentive at all training and coaching sessions.
  • Work equally hard for yourself and your team – both will then benefit.
  • Recognise good play by all players on your team and by your opponents.
  • Be a sportsman – win or lose.
  • Play to the Laws of the Game and accept, without question, all referees’ decisions.
  • Control your emotions. Verbal or physical abuse of teammates, opponents, or match officials is not acceptable.
  • Treat all players, as you would like to be treated. Do not interfere with, bully or take advantage of any player.

4. The Good Spectators Code

4.1 Spectators are encouraged to:

  • Act as positive role models to all young players.
  • Be familiar with, and abide by, the RFU Child Protection Guidance in relation to verbal and emotional abuse.
  • Respect the rugby club with regard to spectator behaviour.

4.2 Spectators should:

  • Remember children play sport for their enjoyment not yours.
  • Acknowledge good individual and team performance from all youngsters irrespective of the team for whom they play.
  • Respect match officials’ decisions. Remember – they are volunteers providing an opportunity for youngsters to play rugby.
  • Never verbally abuse young players, match officials, fellow spectators, or coaches. Such behaviour can create a negative environment for young players and their behaviour will often reflect this. Acknowledge effort and good performance rather than ‘win at all costs’ ethic.
  • Verbally encourage all youngsters in a positive way. If you do want to shout, make sure it is ‘for’, not ‘at’ the players.
  • Encourage all youngsters irrespective of their ability – never ridicule any individual player, regardless of the team for whom they play.

5. The Good Match Officials Code

5.1 Match Officials should:

  • Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when officiating young players.
  • Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner during games.
  • Emphasise the spirit of the game.
  • Appreciate the needs of the young players before the needs of the sport.
  • Understand the physical, social, and psychological development of young players.
  • Be a positive role model. You set an example, and as such, comments you receive should be positive and supportive.
  • Look to self-improvement e.g. participation in Mini/Midi or National 15-a-side courses.

5.2 Match Officials MUST:

  • Recognise that the safety of young players is paramount.
  • Explain decisions – all young players are still learning.
  • Always penalise foul play.
  • Play advantage whenever possible in order to let the game flow.
  • Show empathy for the age and ability of young players.
  • Be consistent and objective.
  • Ensure that verbal abuse from players, coaches or spectators is not tolerated and is dealt with by club officials immediately.
  • Be aware of, and abide by, the RFU Child Protection Guidance policies and procedures.



Sunday, 26 March 2023