Codes of Conduct and Best Practice



  • Introduction
  • Underage Mentors Code of Conduct and Best Practice
  • Underage Players Code of Conduct and Best Practice
  • Adult Mentors Code of Conduct and Best Practice
  • Adult Players Code of Conduct and Best Practice
  • Parents Code of Conduct and Best Practice
  • Supporters/Spectators Code of Conduct and Best Practice
  • Club Disciplinary Regulations for Members
  • Procedure for dealing with breach of code for underage members
  • Social Media



It falls on all club members within Castleconnor GAA club (Caisleáin Uí Conchubhair) to preserve and follow the ethos of our club and its traditions. Whilst aspirating to high standards the club code of contact must at all times be respected. Within Castleconnor GAA Club, this duty falls, of course, on all Club Members. The guardians of the Castleconnor Code of conduct in any given year, are the Club’s Executive Committee. 

Castleconnor GAA codes of conduct and best practice are drawn up and published for adherence by all Club Members, in order that the Club can go forward in a spirit of co-operation and harmony.

The policies of the club including social media are taken from the "Our Games, Our Code" GAA policy available at

Below is listed are the codes which Castleconnor GAA club have passed and follow:


  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person.
  • Treat each person equally regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnic origin, cultural background or religion.
  • Be positive during coaching sessions, games and other activities so that underage players always leave with a sense of achievement and an increased level of self-esteem.
  • Recognise the development needs and capacity of all underage players, regardless of their ability, by emphasising participation for all while avoiding excessive training and competition. 
  • Skills development and personal satisfaction should have priority over competition when working with underage players.
  • Develop an understanding of relevant coaching methods and ensure that they have the appropriate level of coaching accreditation. 
  • Do not equate losing with failure and do not develop a preoccupation with medals and trophies.
  • The level of improvement made by underage players is the best indicator of effective coaching.
    • Never use foul language or provocative language/gestures to a player, opponent or match official.
    • Only enter the field of play with the Referee’s permission.
    • Do not question a Referee’s decisions or integrity.
    • Encourage players to respect and accept the judgement of match officials.
    • Promote Fair Play.
    • Promote the RESPECT campaign.
    • Do not smoke while working with underage players.
    • Do not consume alcohol or non prescribed drugs immediately prior to or while underage players are in your care.
    • Encourage parents to become involved in your team and Club activities wherever possible.
    • Develop an appropriate working relationship with children based on mutual trust and respect.
    • Challenge Bullying in any form whether physical or emotional. Bullying is not acceptable behaviour be it from a young person, coach, parent/guardian, spectator or match official.
    • Don’t shout at or lecture players or reprimand/ridicule them when they make a mistake. Childrenlearn best through trial and error. Children and young people should not be afraid to risk error so as to learn.
    • The use of any form of physical punishment is prohibited as is any form of physical response  to misbehaviour, unless it is by way of restraint.
    • Avoid incidents of horse play or role play or telling jokes etc. that could be misinterpreted.
    • Never undertake any form of therapy or hypnosis, in the training of children.
Some activities may require coaches to come into physical contact with underage players in the course of their duties. However, coaches should;
      • Avoid taking coaching sessions on your own.
      • Only deliver one to one coaching, if deemed necessary, in a group setting.
      • Avoid unnecessary physical contact with an underage player and never engage in inappropriate touching of a player
      • Be aware that any necessary contact should be determined by the age and development of the player and should only take place with the permission and understanding of the player and in an open environment in the context of developing a player’s skills and abilities.
    • As a coach always be punctual and properly attired.
    • Ensure that all of your players are suitably and safely attired to play their chosen sport. e.g. helmets, goggles (Handball), shin guards, mouthguards.
    • Keep a record of attendance at training and at games by both players and coaches.
    • Ensure that all dressing rooms and the general areas that are occupied by your players and other Club personnel, prior to, during or immediately following the completion of any match are kept clean and are not damaged in any way. 
    • Be accompanied by at least one other adult in underage team dressing rooms.
    • Set realistic – stretching but achievable – performance goals for your players and team.
    • Rotate the team captaincy and the method used for selecting teams so that the same children are not always selected to the exclusion of others. 
    • Keep a record of any injuries and action subsequently taken. Ensure that another official referee/ team mentor is present when a player is being attended to and can corroborate the relevant details. 
    • Make adequate provision for First Aid services.
    • Do not encourage or permit players to play while injured. 
    • Be aware of any special medical or dietary requirements of players as indicated on the medical 
    • Use mobile phones, if deemed appropriate, only via a group text or email system for communicating with the parents/guardians of players. Any exception to this form of group texting can only be proceeded with following permission from parents/guardians.
    • Do not communicate individually by text/email with underage players.
    • Do not engage in communications with underage players via social network sites.
    • Encourage parents/guardians to play an active role in organising and assisting various activities for your teams and your Club.
    • If it is necessary to transport a child/young person in your car, ensure that they are seated in a rear seat with seat belts securely fastened.
    • With the exception of their own child a coach should not transport a child alone, except in emergency or exceptional circumstances



    • Be safe and feel safe.
    • Have fun and experience a sense of enjoyment and fulfilment.
    • Be treated with respect, dignity and sensitivity.
    • Comment and make suggestions in a constructive manner.
    • Be afforded appropriate confidentiality.
    • Participate in games and competitions at levels with which they feel comfortable.
    • Make their concerns known and have them dealt with in an appropriate manner.
    • Be protected from abuse.
    • Be listened to.
    • Play fairly, do their best and enjoy themselves.
    • Respect fellow team members regardless of ability, cultural or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation or religion beliefs.
    • Support fellow team members regardless of whether they do well or not.
    • Represent their team, their Club and their family with pride and dignity.
    • Respect all coaches, officials and their opponents.
    • Be gracious in defeat and modest in victory.
    • Shake hands before and after a game as part of the Give Respect Get Respect initiative,irrespective of the result.
    • Inform their Coach/Mentor/Manager in advance if they are unavailable for training and games.
    • Take due care of Club equipment.
    • Know that it is acceptable to talk to the Club Children’s Officer with any concerns or questions they may have.
    • Adhere to acceptable standards of behaviour and their Club’s Code of Discipline.
    • Tell somebody else if they or others have been harmed in any way
    • Cheat – always play by the rules.
    • Shout at or argue with a game’s official, with their Coach, their team mates or opponents and should never use violence.
    • Use unfair or Bullying tactics to gain advantage or isolate other players.
    • Spread rumours.
    • Tell lies about adults or other young people.
    • Play or train if they feel unwell or are injured.
    • Use unacceptable language or racial and/or sectarian references.


  • Only Full Members of the Club are allowed to be selected for any game.
  • Encourage players to play within the rules of the game.
  • Highlight the difference between legitimate aggression and dirty play, while encouraging the former and discouraging the latter.
  • Promote an environment among players whereby courageous and controlled play, allied to self-discipline, is admired and valued by teams, while simultaneously playing within the rules.
  • Be fair and honest with all players. Treat them with respect and help them reach their potential. Refrain from any form of personal abuse of players.
  • Ensure that players are at all times attired in full official Club Colours.
  • Display high standards in the use of language, manner, punctuality, preparation and presentation.
  • Display dignity and professionalism to opponents, referees, spectators and club administrators. Encourage players to display the same qualities.
  • Mentors must not encroach on the field of play unless a player is injured.
  • Provide a training programme that is planned and progressive.
  • Ensure that adequate first aid equipment is available at all games and training sessions.
  • Maintain interest and support towards sick and injured players.
  • Trophies won in any competition will not be filled with alcoholic beverages during post match celebrations.


  • Represent Castleconnor GAA Club with pride and dignity
  • Players must show due respect to their team mentors, team-mates, all match officials, and opponents on the field of play. This respect must also be reflected in their behaviour and language during games and training sessions.
  • At all times, players must act in a manner that reflects well on themselves and on the Club. Due respect must be shown for Club property and playing gear.
  • All players must play within the rules of the game. Dangerous or dirty play is to be avoided.
  • Players are expected to attend all games, training sessions and team meetings at the appointed times unless specifically excused by prior arrangement. Punctuality is required of all, mentors and players alike. Habitual lateness will not be tolerated.
  • Each player must notify his Team Manager at the earliest possible time if he/she cannot attend any of the above events for whatever reason. The Team Manager, at his/her discretion, will decide if the reason given for non-attendance is acceptable, or not. Should the stated reason not be acceptable to the Team Management either the Team Management or the Club Executive may consider suitable sanction.
  • All reasonable measures will be undertaken to inform players of the date, time, and location of training and games. However, players must be proactive in finding out such information, most especially if they were absent for whatever reason from a previous training session or game.
  • Only Full Members will be selected to play for the Club in any game.
  • Players selected for any game, competitive or challenge, will only wear full club colours.
  • It is expected that all players will attend for games in a proper physical condition to allow him/her to perform to the best of their ability. Avoidance of the after effects of alcohol in preparation for games is not an unreasonable expectation of the Club.


  • Parents of all players are encouraged to attend games and training session to give support to their children.
  • Leave game related issues and coaching to the Team Management.
  • Never ridicule or shout at a child for making a mistake or for losing a game.
  • Do not abuse match officials.
  • Maintain your good grace and dignity and avoid confrontations, even if provoked.
  • Show other parents, team management, and players, from opposing teams the kind of respect you would wish for your own child.
  • Refrain from using bad language as a spectator,
  • Encourage your child to participate with the rules of the game.
  • Remember that team mentors are volunteers. They give up their time for the benefit of your child and deserve to be appreciated for the efforts.
  • Do not use the Club as a child minding service. If you are interested in getting involved with any part of the Club’s activities let any Club Officer know of your interest.
  • Ensure that your child is familiar with the Code of Conduct and Best Practice for players. 
  • Encourage him/her to show respect for their mentors, fellow and opposing players, Club facilities, and especially match officials.


  • Be on your best behaviour and lead by example. Do not use foul language or harass match officials, players, team mentors or visiting supporters.
  • Applaud good play by the opposing team and well as our own.
  • Show respect for opposing teams. It should be remembered that without them there would not be any game in the first place.
  • At every opportunity condemn the use of violence, in any form.
  • Verbal abuse of players and match officials, cannot, and will not be tolerated.
  • Show respect for the referee and match officials. Remember that whilst he/she might not always get all decisions right, they are an essential and necessary part of the enjoyment and playing of the game. Abuse of them will not be tolerated.
  • Always encourage players to play within the rules of the game. Never encourage violent or unacceptable conduct by any player.
  • The proper support and behaviour of supporters/spectators are an essential part of the enjoyment of the games. Their presence improves the atmosphere for players and supporters/spectators alike.
  • Be proud of your own Club and the game of Gaelic Football.



  • This Code of Behaviour outlines the minimum levels of behaviour that we require of those that are involved in underage games and activities. The Code applies equally to underage players, coaches, to parents and guardians and to our supporters, referees and Club officials. While the promotion of the Code at Club level may be seen as the responsibility of the Club’s Children’s Officer ultimately it is everybody’s responsibility to ensure that the Code is fully implemented.
  • Breaches of our Code will unfortunately occur from time to time. This may happen as a result of
  • carelessness, poor practice, lack of understanding or there may in some instances be deliberate or indeed calculated breaches of the Code. 
  • When a minor breach of the Code is witnessed, it may be opportune and appropriate to deal with such breaches as they occur. It may, depending on the incident(s), be appropriate for a Coach, Mentor or other official to deal with such instances as they happen, however repeated or non-trivial breaches of the Code would require levels of intervention as outlined in Steps 1- 10. All such breaches of the Code of Behaviour must be reported to the Club Children’s Officer.
  • Many breaches of our Code of Behaviour are in fact instances of poor or bad practice and may, with the co-operation of all concerned, be rectified and may not occur again. Immediate and proportionate interventions may often be the most appropriate form of action in that it highlights the need to comply with the Code and equally ensures that breaches are not left unchallenged, thus avoiding the possibility of repeated indiscretions. Certain breaches, due to their nature, may best be dealt as breaches of Rules or in more extreme circumstances may actually fall within a category of abuse and should be dealt with accordingly.
  • Therefore when the Code is breached or when people may refuse to adhere to its contents, certain actions may be deemed necessary so as to protect the integrity of our work with children and young people and ensure that they receive the best possible care and attention while participating in our Games. 
  • The Executive committee is comprised of Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Bord na nOg Chairman, Assistant Secretary and Childrens officer
  • This Committee will investigate breaches of behaviour as required, either by referral to it, or on its own initiative.
  • After an investigation, and if deemed appropriate, suitable action may be sanctioned.
  • All Club Members on whom the Executive Committee has imposed a sanction will have the right to appeal that decision to the Disciplinary Committee. This appeal must be lodged with the Club Executive, in writing, within seven days of the sanction being communicated to the offending party by the Club Executive.
  • The Disciplinary Committee is comprised of a maximum of 5 committee members who are not members of the Club Executive Committee,
  • The Executive Committee has the right to prevent a player participating for the Club in accordance with Club Constitution if it feels that his/her conduct is a danger to others, and likely to damage the reputation or cohesion of the Club and any of its teams.
  • The Club may discipline mentors and players who are involved in any breach of the Club’s Code of Conduct and Best Practice.

  1. ALLEGED BREACH OF THE CODE IS REPORTED OR OBSERVED - to be reported to the Club’s Children’s Officer.
  2. CONFIDENTIALITY -At all times the Children’s Officer must maintain the highest degree of confidentiality in their work on behalf of the Club and should only discuss the details of any alleged breach of the Code on a need to know basis with those that are required to be informed or consulted. The Club’s Children’s Officer shall record and retain a record of all discussions and actions taken.
  3. INITIAL ASSESSMENTS BY THE CLUB CHILDREN’S OFFICER - If possible, following assessment of the matter as reported or witnessed, the Club Children’s Officer should identify if the alleged breach would constitute an example of poor practice or a more serious breach of the Code or indeed a breach of rule.
  4. COLLATE THE INFORMATION - Carefully take account of what has been reported or alleged and retain a record of all actions taken on behalf of the Club. Such records may be required as part of any subsequent investigation or in the event of an appeal at a later stage. Check what has been reported for accuracy.Corroborate the facts if necessary with others who may have witnessed the alleged incident
  5. INFORM THE PERSON ACCUSED OF THE ALLEGED BREACH OF THE CODE - Inform the person against whom the alleged breach has been made as to the nature of the breach and how it may have contravened the Code. Seek a response from the person against whom the allegation has been made within a stated time limit. Inform the person if any further action is deemed necessary or shall be recommended.
  6.  IF A BREACH OF THE CODE IS ACKNOWLEDGED - If a breach of the Code is acknowledged and is not deemed to be of an extreme nature (e.g. poor practice as opposed to a deliberate breach), the Children’s Officer should inform the person against whom the breach has been alleged how they may have breached the Code and that they must in future adhere to all aspects of the Code. If the breach is deemed to be of a more serious or a re-occurring nature it may then be subject to reporting within the Club. Such matters, depending on the nature of each case,shall be dealt with in accordance with the principles of natural justice and by the Club Executive and Childrens Officer or in extreme circumstances may be categorised as a breach of Rule or as a form of abuse and would be dealt with accordingly. The Club Children’s Officer may not make a decision to remove a person from their role(s) due to a breach of the Code of Behaviour. Such actions may only be taken by the relevant Club Executive. Should any action be taken against a person deemed to have breached the Code the action taken will undoubtedly be proportionate to the level of breach that occurred. However, such actions could include a verbal warning, a removal from their role for a specific period of time, a permanent removal from their role, a directive that they undertake a specified training programme, a request that the matter be dealt with as a disciplinary issue or a referral of the alleged breach to the Designated Person dealing with allegations of abuse. All such action shall be taken by the relevant Club Committee having considered any recommendations that may be made to them.
  7. IF A BREACH OF THE CODE IS DENIED - If a breach of the Code is denied, the Children’s Officer must make a determination the Children’s Officer must make a determination as to how to proceed and may seek the assistance of other Club officials as appropriate to the Club’s structures. If the facts point to a breach of the Code due process must allow for a response from the person against whom the alleged breach has been made. If, following this procedure, it is deemed that a breach of the Code has occurred; the Children’s Officer may recommend a course of subsequent action. This recommendation must be reported to the Executive Committee and also to the person against whom the allegation has been made. The Executive Committee shall consider the recommendation and reach a conclusion on the matter. If the breach is deemed to be of a more serious or a re-occurring nature it may then be subject to reporting within the Club. Such matters, depending on the nature of each case, shall be dealt with in accordance with the principles of natural justice and Club internal disciplinary structures or in extreme circumstances may be categorised as abuse and would be dealt with accordingly. The Club Children’s Officer may not make a decision to remove a person from their role(s) due to a breach of the Code of Behaviour. Such actions may only be taken by the relevant Club Committee but may be recommended by Code of Behaviour Advisory Committee following an appraisal of the alleged breach. Should any action be taken against a person deemed to have breached the Code the action taken will undoubtedly be proportionate to the level of breach that occurred. However, such action could include a verbal warning, a removal from their role for a specific period of time, a permanent removal from their role, a directive that they undertake a specified training programme, a request that the matter be dealt with as a disciplinary issue or a referral of the breach to the Designated Person dealing with allegations of abuse.
  8. STEP 8 APPEAL AGAINST DECISION - If the person against whom an allegation has been made is unhappy with the outcome or decision(s) made, a right of appeal should be afforded to them in accordance with Club and Governing Body structures. Should the person against whom the decision has been made wishes to appeal that decision the Club must afford them the opportunity to do so, at Club level.
  9. INFORMING THE AGGRIEVED PARTY AS TO ANY DECISION REACHED - FOLLOWING A BREACH OF THE CODE any person, who due to the actions of another, may have experienced or have been the recipient of actions deemed to be in breach of the Code, is entitled to know what outcomes and decisions have been reached following investigations into such matters. Such persons should be informed in a confidential manner as to what has been agreed, but may not be part of the decision making process when determining an outcome.
  10. REVIEW USE OF THE CODE IN YOUR CLUB - On an on-going basis the Club’s Children’s Officer should review the implementation of the Code of Behaviour within the Club and where necessary appraise the Club’s Executive Committee on how the Code may be promoted at all times.
_______________________________________________________________________________________  SOCIAL MEDIA
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