Policies & Code of Conduct

  • ARFC Players Code of Conduct
    1. The club expects fair play at all times. Shake hands with match officials and opponents after the game (whatever the result).
    2. Do not become involved in disputes with officials, opponents or spectators. Do not use foul, abusive or racist language towards officials, opponents or spectators. Do not applaud the sending-off or the errors of opponents.
    3. Let the referee handle incidents in the game. Do not retaliate against opponents.
    4. Treat the changing rooms and facilities of all Clubs you visit with respect.
    5. Teamwork, effort and enjoyment are as important as winning. Learn to win and lose with dignity.
    6. Remember you are representing your Club. Be sensible and enjoy yourself.

    For further information contact the club’s Safeguarding Officer or Assistant Safeguarding Officer.

  • ARFC Selection Policy

    Ashford RFC is a community Rugby club which strives to be inclusive and provide Rugby for all local people who wish to play.

    This principal underpins the selection policy of the club which is designed to promote commitment to all aspects of the club and in particular playing and training.

    1.0 Selection Committee

    The selection committee consists of the following persons:

    • Chairman of selectors (The role of the chairman of selectors within selection is to ensure fairness and consistency in selection, taking into account the principles of being a legitimate club member and being committed to training and playing);
    • Coaching Team;
    • Team managers;
    • Team Captains.

    1.1 Objective

    The aim of the selection policy is to provide and manage a selection process that enables the club to establish:

    • A successful sustainable 1st XV on which the club’s ultimate league status is dependant
    • A thriving and successful team structure that promotes healthy competition for places in all senior sides, and provides all players with a fair and equal opportunity to both progress and enjoy their rugby at Ashford to the full.
    • To fulfil all our fixtures to the best of our ability. Where necessary, no higher team match will be cancelled by Ashford when there are sufficient players for a lower side’s match to be played.

    1.1 Rules

    While the club will always endeavour to manage selection to the following rules there may be times when it is not possible due to an exceptional circumstance.

    • The PLAYER must be a paid up playing club member or new player intending to become a member? (form filled in signed and payment method sorted)

    Players in default of membership or subs cannot play until the default is either paid or

    resolved by agreement. NO PAY NO PLAY

    • The onus is on players to inform their respective Captain of their availability forthe following weeks on the Saturday or at the latest by the followingMonday. Otherwise,  that player will be deemed as unavailable.
    • Players who miss a game should notify their previous Captain oftheir future availability.
    • Players who fail to play when selected without notifying a memberof the selection committee will not be considered for selection untila reasonable explanation has been received.
    • Each week the merits of individual players will be considered whenteam selection is made.
    • Preference will be given to those players that attend club trainingsessions.Training record must be seen to be relevant to a players selection whenever possible? (Not a no train no play policy, but recognising the difference between can’t train and won’t train)
    • It is EXPECTED that all members of the 1st XV squad attend clubtraining.
    • No player will be dropped more than one team at a time, converselyit will not be usual to promote any player more than one team at atime. A Player who is dropped from or benched for a higher team the week before, must start in the lower team the following week.
    • Any player who is selected for a lower side the following week willbe given an explanation by the coach or captain of his previousteam.
    • Under normal circumstances a player will not be selected on thebench for more than one week at a time. If this is desired, then the player must be consulted and given the choice of playing down the sides.
    • Players returning from injury should be passed fit by the club’s physio and selected at a level appropriate to the injury and time the player has been out the game.
    • All players are expected to provide a means of contact for communicating with them. In normal circumstances this will be via email or mobile phone. If neither of these is possible, the player should come to an agreement with their team captain. The club will respect individuals’ privacy, with these details only being available to senior team captains who may need to contact individuals at short notice.

    1.3 Redress

    Any player who believes that they have not been given either fair treatment or consideration should raise their concerns with the Chairman of selectors or Captain immediately. It is accepted that on occasions this POLICY may lead to a player not being selected who coaches and captains may view as a stronger player.

    The club firmly believes however that in the longer term this policy will cement the principles that underpin membership of the club and provide a fair, open and transparent process that favours those most committed to all aspects of playing membership.

  • ARFC Coaches Code of Conduct

    All rugby coaches must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every young person with whom they work with and treat them equally within the context of rugby union. Do not behave in a way that discriminates against gender, race or disability.

    All rugby coaches must place the physical and emotional well being of all
    young players above all other considerations, including the development of
    performance. Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when officiating or coaching young players. Provide verbal feedback in a positive way during game. Explain decisions – most young players are still learning. The relationship that a rugby coach develops with the players with whom they work must be based on mutual trust and respect. Do not overtly criticise young players or use language which may cause the player to lose confidence or self esteem.

    All rugby coaches must recognise that it is illegal for young players under 18 to drink alcohol. Do not drink alcohol before you work, or while you are working with the young players. Do not smoke when you are working with the young players. Do not engage in any inappropriate contact with young players.

    All rugby coaches must encourage young players to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance. Do not tolerate verbal abuse or bad language from players or supporters. Be a positive role model. Never at any time, under any circumstances should force be used to check a young player’s aggressive behaviour towards you or his/her fellow players.

    All rugby coaches must recognise that safety is paramount. Ensure that all
    equipment and facilities are safe and age appropriate. As rugby is a physical game, do not join in, you are too big! However in order to reach or coach certain situations, a degree of physical contact is sometimes necessary. When this arises tell the player before hand in order to gain their consent. All rugby coaches must ensure that all activities undertaken are appropriate to the age, maturity, experience and ability of the young players. Do not allow a young player to continue playing if you have doubts about their fitness.

    Do not shower with young players – agree a timetable with the other coaches. Do not be alone with young players at any time – if a young player comes into the dressing room ensure another adult is present. Do not change in the same area as young players. Do not make sexually explicit remarks to young players even in fun. Do not give a lift to a player unless there are other young people or adults in the car and the parents are aware. Do not take a young player to your home. Where mixed teams compete away from home they should always be accompanied by at least one male and one female adult.

    Do not administer first aid unless qualified to do so. Any player injured during a match or training session should be handled with extreme care by someone qualified to do so. It is important in the case of neck and back injuries that the player is not moved in any way and if in doubt, an ambulance called immediately. Under NO circumstances should a player complaining of neck or back injuries be moved by those unqualified to do so and the use of stretcher should NEVER be considered.

    Children must not be left unattended after training/matches and it is the
    coach’s responsibility to contact parents should such a situation arise.

    Coaches must:

    Familiarise yourself with Ashford RFC’s Safeguarding Policy, and know
    what to do should a situation arise. Report, in writing, to the Club or
    Safeguarding Officer, behaviour by adults which you feel contravenes RFU
    Child Safeguarding Policy.

    For example:

    • Verbal bullying by coaches/parents/spectators
    • Physical Abuse by coaches/parents/spectators
    • Inappropriate or aggressive contact by an adult to a young person
    • Verbal abuse directed at you by young people or adults

    If you accidentally hurt a player, or cause distress in any manner, or the player appears to respond in a sexual manner to your actions, or misunderstands, or misinterprets something you have done, you must report the incident to the Club’s Safeguarding Officer as soon as possible. This must also be supported by a brief written statement. Parents will also be informed of the occurrence by the Club’s Safeguarding Officer. This code of conduct should be read in conjunction with the guidance set by the Rugby Football Union “The Welfare of Young People in Rugby Union Guidance”. Copies of which are available from RFU web-site (www.rfu.com) or from Jo Amner, ARFC, Safeguarding Officer.

    When refereeing young players, it is recommended that match officials:

    • Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when officiating young player.
    • Provide verbal feedback in a positive way during games.
    • Appreciate the needs of the players.
    • Be a positive role model.
    • Recognise that safety is paramount.
    • Explain decisions – most young players are still learning.
    • Do not tolerate verbal abuse.
    • Do not shower or change in the same area as young players.
    • Do not be alone with young players at any time.
    • Do not check studs without the coach being present.
    • Do not administer first aid.
    • Do not allow a young player to continue playing if you have doubts about their fitness.
    • Do not engage in any inappropriate contact with young players.
    • Do not make sexually explicit remarks to young players even in fun.

    ALL coaches and volunteers have a responsibility to protect the children from child abuse and themselves from wrongful accusations.
    There are four main types of abuse:

    1. NEGLECT: In a rugby situation, neglect may occur when:
      • Young players are left alone without proper supervision.
      • A young player is exposed to unnecessary heat or cold without fluids or
      • A young player is exposed to an unacceptable risk of injury.
      • Unexplained weight loss.
      • The child is dirty and unkempt.
    2. EMOTIONAL: In rugby situation, emotional abuse may occur when coaches:
      • Provide repeated negative feedback.
      • Repeatedly ignore a young player’s efforts to progress.
      • Repeatedly demand performance levels above those of which the young
        player is capable.
    3. SEXUAL: In a rugby situation, the close proximity of coaches and others, to young people provides opportunities for potential abusers to exploit their
      position of trust to sexually abuse.
    4. PHYSICAL: In a rugby situation, physical abuse may occur when:
      • Coaches expose young players to exercise/training which disregards the
        player’s capabilities.
      • Coaches expose young players to injury due to overplaying, over-training or fatigue.
      • Coaches expose young players to alcohol, or give them the opportunity to
        drink alcohol below the legal age.
      • Coaches expose young players to performance enhancing drugs and
        recommend that they take them.

    All adults who work with young people are in a position of trust, which has
    been invested in them by the parents, the sport and by the young people.
    In this position of trust it must be recognised that there are certain boundaries in the coach player relationship that must not be crossed.

    This mutual trusting relationship could mean that a child discloses highly sensitive and personal information to you. It is important that this is always handled in the correct manner in order to protect both the child and yourself. If a child tells you that someone either in or out of the rugby club environment is abusing her or him you should;

    • Listen, do not prompt or add words.
    • Reassure the child that he/she was right to tell you.
    • Be Honest and explain that you will need to tell someone else in order to help and protect him/her.
    • Share concerns with the Club’s Safeguarding Officer, Club safeguarding
      procedures will then be followed.
    • Accurately record on an incident form what the child has said to you and
      what action you have taken. The Club’s Safeguarding Officer can help you with this.

    Confidentiality in matters relating to child protection is vital and information
    must only be shared with the Club’s Safeguarding Officer and nominated

    For further information contact the Club Safeguarding Officer or Assistant Safeguarding Officer.

  • ARFC Parents, Spectators and Guardians Code of Conduct
    1. Acknowledge the value and importance of volunteer referees. They give time freely. Do not abuse match officials, however much you disagree with their decision, emphasise respect for the referee by not questioning his decision.
    2. Remember your actions influence the mood of the players and the game. Do not applaud foul play, and do not incite your players to foul. Do not use foul, abusive or racist language to players or other spectators. Do not ridicule opponents for their mistakes.
    3. Recognise that children play for fun. They are not miniature professionals or internationals. Encourage all players and applaud their efforts.
    4. Teach the children that taking part and trying their best is more important than the result of the match.
    5. Stand away from the touchline. You must not enter the field of play during a game unless asked to do so by the referee.
    6. Remember, when you are supporting your team, you are representing the
    7. You are subject to the laws of the game. You can be cautioned, reported,
      sent away from the ground, and suspended from attending any matches.
      In the event that any player/spectator/parent/guardian contravenes any of the items listed above, disciplinary actions could be carried out. Be sensible and enjoy yourself.

    For further information contact the Club Safeguarding Officer or Assistant Safeguarding Officer.

  • ARFC Photographic Policy
  • ARFC Child Protection Policy
  • ARFC Volunteer Policy

    Recruitment and Selection of Coaches & Volunteers

    • Ashford RFC will ensure that any new coach or volunteer who is working with young people will undergo a CRB disclosure.
    • Ashford RFC will ensure that all new coaches and volunteers are given an induction which will include details about the appropriate Code of Conduct and Code of Good Practice, details relating to their roles and responsibilities and details about Child Protection issues.
    • Ashford RFC will assist with the appropriate training of all new coaches and volunteers.
    • Ashford RFC will where possible take up references if the new Coach or Volunteer has worked with young people before.
    • Ashford RFC monitors all its coaches and volunteers to identify new training
      requirements and if necessary to highlight concerns regarding behaviour that does not fit with ‘Best Practice’.
  • RFU Photographic Policy

RFU Initial Issue Concern Reporting Form