17 in Navan, Co. Meath

Under Age Coaching Leagues – Code of Ethics

As part of the North Eastern Counties Schoolboy/girl League continued drive, in conjunction with the HSE Dublin North East Area, to promote the development of skills in a drug free environment amongst younger players the coaching ‘sevens’ leagues were introduced.

The emphasis is on enjoyment and participation. The NECSL aim is to create an environment conducive to developing the young players’ skills, which will enhance their future in the game.  

1) Players and mentors must respect the referee.

2) When a free kick is awarded, the defending team must observe the compulsory six yards rule.

3) Players must not attempt to steal ground when taking kick-ins, throw-ins or free kicks.

4) There should be no coaching from the touchline during play.

5) Mentors and adults in charge should give positive encouragement to players who make mistakes.

6) Players, managers and match officials should shake hands before and after each game.

7) Above all, everyone, children and adults, should do their best to produce an exciting and enjoyable game.

Adult Code of Ethics

The following guidelines are suggested:

1) Reflected Glory – All adults must show by example that they are more concerned with the well being of the child and the good of the game, than satisfying their need for reflected glory.

2) Brain over brawn – Players should be encouraged to display creative skill and discouraged from trying to win through violent means.

3) Fun first – Fun and skill are higher priorities than winning. Adults should remember that when dealing with young people, tomorrow is more important than today. Over emphasis on winning at all costs at an early age will reduce the numbers playing the game and will lower the ultimate standard of skill of most players.

4) Be fair – Managers should ensure that the whole squad of players partake in every game.



All Age Categories 

An essential aspect of the promotion, development and fostering of the game is the promotion and implementation of best practices and pursuits by all involved in the game at every level. These codes ensure that the rules of the game are upheld in spirit. Adherence to the codes ensures that those associated with the game do business in such a way as to project a positive advertisement for the game in the wider community. These codes of best practice are enshrined within the rules of the NECSL.


This code relates to administrators at both league and club levels.

An Administrator must appreciate that football is an important part of the community at large and accordingly must take account of community feelings when making decisions.

An Administrator must oppose discrimination of any form and promote whatever measures are necessary to prevent discrimination, either direct or indirect from infiltrating the game.

An Administrator must promote a positive view of the game.

An Administrator must firstly promote the interests of the game and not self or sectional interests.

An Administrator must ensure monies spent on the game are well spent.

An Administrator must ensure all monies spent on the game must be fully accounted for.

An Administrator must carry on the business of the game in a seemly and orderly fashion.

Meetings must be carried on in a cordial and businesslike manner through the chair.

An Administrator must abide by the standing orders regulating the conduct of meetings.

An Administrator must ensure that a complete and accurate set of minutes is available in respect of all meetings held in the name of the game.

An Administrator must recognise the sense of ownership felt by those who participate at all levels in the game     including players, mentors, club officials, club members and supporters and those who officiate at games.

An Administrator must not tolerate corruption or improper practices of any kind at any time.

An Administrator must seek to foster and uphold a relationship of trust and respect between all involved in the game.

An Administrator must abhor and reject the use of violence of any nature by anyone involved in the game.

An Administrator must show due respect and set a positive example for others particularly players, supporters and mentors.

An Administrator must safeguard confidentiality of information imparted to them in the course of duty.

An Administrator should promote adherence to the Code of Ethics/Practice by those within the game.



Managers/Coaches are key to the establishment of good practices in football. Their attitude to the game directly informs the attitude of the players under their supervision. Mentors must speak and act in a manner consistent with this reality.

A Mentor must respect the rights, dignity and worth of each person and treat each equally within the context of the sport.

A Mentor must not subscribe to the ethos of “win at all costs”.

A Mentor must place the health, well-being and safety of each player above all considerations.

A Mentor must abide by the rules of the game.

A Mentor must strive to develop an appropriate working relationship with each player based on mutual trust and respect.

A Mentor must have particular regard for the code when working with young players in the game.

A Mentor must not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward.

A Mentor must guide players to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance.

A Mentor must ensure that the activities and strategies are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of the players involved.

A Mentor must at the outset of each season, clarify with the players (and where players are under the age of 18, their parents) exactly what is expected of them and also what they are entitled to expect from the Mentor.

A Mentor must co-operate with specialists within the game e.g. coaches, officials, doctors, physiotherapists etc. in the best interest of players.

A Mentor must not act or speak (directly or indirectly) so as to induce a mentor, player or official from another club.

A Mentor must be conversant with the laws of the game and rules of any competition in which the team is involved.

A Mentor must exercise authority and control over the players whilst on the field of play and with regard to the decisions of match officials.

A Mentor must observe the highest standards of integrity and fair play.

A Mentor must always promote a positive approach to the game e.g. fair play, honest endeavour and genuine teamwork.

A Mentor must not encourage or condone violations of the laws of the game, behaviour contrary to the spirit of the game, or the use of questionable strategies or tactics.

A Mentor must not encourage or condone the use of prohibited substances.

A Mentor must consistently display high standards of behaviour and comment.

A Mentor must not use or tolerate the use of inappropriate language.

A Mentor must demonstrate due respect towards match officials.

A Mentor must accept the decisions of the match officials.



As players are regarded as the most important people in the game, there is an onus on them to speak and act in a manner, which promotes all that is good in the sport.

Players must strive to develop their sporting ability, to include fitness, skill, technique and tactical ability.

Players must strive to set a positive example for younger players and supporters.

Players should avoid violence and rough play and where possible help injured opponents.

Players must give maximum effort and aim for the possible performance in each game.

Players must avoid all forms of gamesmanship and time wasting.

Players must refrain from using inappropriate language particularly to referees, officials, mentors and other players during games.

Players should know and abide by the laws, rules of the game and of any given competition both in fact and in spirit.

Players should accept victory and defeat with equanimity.

Players must resist any temptation to consume or otherwise imbibe banned substances.

Players must treat opponents with respect at all times, irrespective of outcome of the game.

Players must demonstrate due respect towards match officials.

Players must accept decisions of match officials without dissent and protest.

Players must avoid words or actions that may mislead match officials.

Players must abide by the lawful instructions and directions of their mentors and team/club officials.

Players must treat opposing mentors and officials with respect.

Players must demonstrate due regard for the interest of supporters and must not act in such a way that may incite supporters to act in a manner that may endanger the safety of all those attending and playing in the game.



Parents have a powerful influence on the level of fun and enjoyment that children derive from the game and on the degree of enthusiasm with which they participate in it.Positive encouragement is the key to a child’s enjoyment of the game, their sense of personal achievement, the development of their skills and self-esteem.

Parents should avoid coaching the child during the game.

Parents should not scream or shout.

Parents should respect the decisions of the Mentors.

Parents should respect the decisions of match officials.

Parents should give attention to all children participating in the game.



Spectators convey to the wider community the values of the game.

Spectators should appreciate the opposition as well as their own team.

Spectators should be respectful towards all players regardless of disability, nationality, race, religion or other affiliations.

Spectators should abide by the rules as laid down by their club.