Code of Conduct
Schools’ Football:The Spirit of the Game
The principal objective of the Scottish Schools’ Football Association (SSFA) is to foster the mental, moral and physical development and improvement of pupils through the medium of Association Football and to that end the SSFA offers the following paragraphs for consideration by everyone involved in Schools’ football.
1. Code of Conduct for Players
(a) Learn and observe the laws of the game.
(b) Beat opponents by skill and not by unfair means.
(c) Never argue with the referee or linesmen.
(d) Retire quickly when a free-kick is given against you.
(e) Do not appeal for throw-ins, off-sides, free-kicks, etc.
(f) Give the ball promptly to opponents for throw-ins, free-kicks, etc.
(g) If an opponent gives you the ball for throw-ins etc, do not take advantage of him being out of position.
(h) Keep your self control at all times and do not retaliate.
(i) Do not overact when your team scores a goal.
(j) Accept victory modestly and defeat graciously remembering that your school will be judged by your behaviour.
2. Adult Attitudes
(a) Reflected Glory
All adults in attendance must show by example that they are more concerned with the wellbeing of the young people and the good of the game, than with satisfying their own need for reflected glory.
In the event of one team totally overwhelming the other it should be remembered
what a damaging effect such a situation can have on a young player. Winning by a
vast score is just as dangerous as losing heavily. Those who win easily are not
challenged in terms of skill and are liable to become lazy and arrogant. On the other hand, those who suffer a crushing defeat may become disheartened and can lose interest in the game. (‘of soccer’ deleted.)
(c) Brain over Brawn
Players should be encouraged to display creative skills and discouraged from trying to win through primitive and violent means.
(d) Fun First
Fun and skill should have higher priorities than winning. Adults should remember that when dealing with young people. All research shows that an over emphasis on winning at an early age will reduce the numbers playing the game and will lower the ultimate standard of skill in most players.
3. Competitive Sport
Competition is a necessary element of sport and is encouraged by the Scottish Schools’ Football Association. However, everyone involved should be aware of the consequences of too great an emphasis on a competitive approach.
Schools’ Football competitions give pupils the opportunity of broadening their horizons and an indication can be given by the following examples:
(a) are part of a team with its implications for support and co-operation.
(b) play against other schools and meet their opponents.
(c) must always strive to improve their own standards.
(d) experience both self and team discipline.
(e) learn to appreciate the efforts of others.
(f) improve their physical fitness.
(g) meet others and make new friends and possibly lasting friendships.
All those factors are in line with the objectives of the Scottish Schools’ Football Association.
Healthy and properly structured competition is excellent preparation for some of the pressures that life will bring to the young people as well as being a source of enjoyment.
4. Discipline in Schools’ Football
It is a fact of football that rules will be broken during football games. Causes of indiscipline are many and varied and can arise because of misdemeanours by players, teachers, spectators and referees. The following points should be kept in mind and when any fault is recognised then appropriate remedial action may be taken.
(a) Differing refereeing standards.
(b) Inexperience of some teachers taking teams.
(c) An unfortunate ‘win-at- all-costs’ attitude of the person in charge.
(d) Outside influences of parents and friends.
(e) Copying the less health aspects of the game as seen on TV.
(f) Current social trends.
The remedies for misdemeanours in Schools’ Football lies in the hands of all the parties involved. All should be aware of the responsible behaviour expected of them. It is the duty of teachers to encourage players to develop to the limit of their varying capabilities, and to create an atmosphere so that the game may be enjoyed by everyone concerned – players, spectators and teachers.
Redrafted October 2016