Code of Conduct

This policy covers Code of Conduct for Governing Body, players, coaches, club officials, sponsors and promoters and Child Protection and should be adhered to by all those involved in Scottish Handball.
A PDF Version can be accessed here

A PDF Version can be accessed here


Section A – Club Code of Conduct

A Code of Conduct has a number of important functions. It:

  • Sets out what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable;
  • Defines standards of practice expected from those to whom it applies;
  • Forms the basis for challenging and improving practice;
  • Helps to safeguard staff/volunteers by encouraging them to adhere to agreed standards of practice;
  • Sets out for children and parents/carers the standards of practice which they and the organisation should expect from those who work/volunteer with children.

The Scottish Handball Association will:

  • Promote and encourage fair play through its members;
  • Ensure that its rules are fair, clearly understood by players, coaches, officials and administrators, and properly enforced;
  • Make every effort to ensure that its rules are applied consistently and with absolute impartiality;
  • Treat all members equally, irrespective of gender, race, physical characteristics or physical/mental disabilities;
  • Impress upon players, coaches, officials and administrators the need to maintain the highest standards of sportsmanship in running and playing their sport.

Players must:

  • Abide by the rules and the spirit of the competition;
  • Accept the decisions of referees, table officials and delegates without question or complaint;
  • Never consider cheating and, in particular, must not attempt to improve their individual performance by the use of drugs;
  • Exercise reasonable self-control at all times;
  • Learn to accept success and failure, victory and defeat, with good grace and magnanimity, without excessive emotional display;
  • Treat their opponents and team-mates with respect, both in and out of the playing arena.

Coaches must:

  • Insist that players understand and abide by the principles of fair play;
  • Accept the decisions of referees, table officials and delegates without question or complaint;
  • Never countenance the use of drugs by performers;
  • Never employ methods or practices that could involve risks, however slight, to the long-term health or physical development of their players;
  • Not attempt to manipulate the rules in order to take advantage of their players or their opponents.

Club Officials must:

  • Respect the regulations and authority of their governing body and its member organisations, and not attempt to avoid or circumvent these regulations;
  • Recognise the special role that they have to play in the establishment of standards by setting a good example of sportsmanship at all times;
  • Respect the rights of other clubs and not deliberately act in a manner intended to be to the detriment of any other club;
  • Respect the rights of players, coaches and officials, and not exploit or deliberately act in a manner intended to be detrimental to them;
  • Not endeavour to influence the result of a competition by any action not strictly within the rules and regulations, or within the fundamental precepts of fair play.

Sponsors and promoters must:

  • Not seek to influence unduly or improperly the outcome of competitions by financial or other inducements;
  • Recognise that the administration and organisation of all Handball competitions and events is the exclusive responsibility of the appropriate Handball authorities.


The essential elements of character-building and ethics in sports are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship and six core principles: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. The highest potential of sports is achieved when competition reflects these "six pillars of character."

As a parent or spectator:
  •  I will not force my child to participate in sports.
  • I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults.
  •  I will inform the coach of any physical disability or ailment that may affect the safety of my child or the safety of others.
  •  I will learn the rules of the game and the policies of the competition.
  •  I will understand the selection procedures for any representative team that my child is selected for.
  •  I (and my guests) will be a positive role model for my child and encourage sportsmanship by showing respect and courtesy, and by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, officials and spectators at every game, practice or other sporting event.
  • I (and my guests) will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player, or parent such as booing and taunting; refusing to shake hands; or using profane language or gestures.
  • I will not encourage any behaviours or practices that would endanger the health and well-being of the athletes.
  • I will teach my child to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.
  • I will require my child to treat other players, coaches, officials and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, colour, sex, gender or ability, or other protected characteristics. 
  •  I will teach my child that doing one's best is more important than winning, so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a game or his/her performance.
  •  I will praise my child for competing fairly and trying hard, and make my child feel like a winner every time.
  •  I will never ridicule or yell at my child or other participant for making a mistake or losing a competition.
  •  I will emphasise skill development and practices and how they benefit my child over winning. I will also de-emphasise games and competition in the lower age groups.
  • I will promote the emotional and physical well-being of the athletes ahead of any personal desire I may have for my child to win.
  • I will respect the officials and their authority during games or training and will never question, discuss, or confront coaches at the game field, and will take time to speak with coaches at an agreed upon time and place.
  •  I will demand a sports environment for my child that is free from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol and I will refrain from their use at all sports events.
  • I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during games and practices, unless I am one of the official coaches of the team.


Section B – Child Protection Code of Conduct

Scottish Handball Association supports and requires all members to observe the following standards of practice, including verbal and non-verbal actions when involved in activities with children. Please ensure you have read and agreed to the SHA Safe in Care Guidelines 

All concerns about breach of this Code of Conduct will be taken seriously and responded to in line with Scottish Handball Association Complaints Process, Disciplinary Procedures or Procedures within SHA Child Protection Policy.

Good Practice

  • Make sport fun, enjoyable and promote fair play.
  • Treat all children equally, with respect, dignity and fairness.
  • Involve parents/carers wherever possible.
  • Build balanced relationships based on mutual trust.
  • Include children in the decision-making process wherever possible.
  • Always work in an open environment, wherever possible. Avoid private or unobserved situations.
  • Put the welfare of each child first before winning or achieving performance goals.
  • Be an excellent role model including not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of children.
  • Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
  • Recognise the developmental needs and capacity of children.

Practice to be Avoided

In the context of your role within Scottish Handball Association, the following should be avoided:

  • Excessive training and competition, pushing children against their will and putting undue pressure on them.
  • Having ‘favourites’ – this could lead to resentment and jealousy by other children and could be misinterpreted by others.
  • Spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.
  • Entering children’s bedrooms on trips away from home, unless in an emergency situation or in the interest of health and safety. If it is necessary to enter rooms, knock and say that you are coming in. The door should remain open, if appropriate.
  • Where possible, doing things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.

Unacceptable Practice

In the context of your role within Scottish Handball Association clearly inappropriate practices will be deemed unacceptable, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Engaging in sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
  • Forming intimate emotional, physical or sexual relationships with children.
  • Allowing or engaging in touching a child in a sexually suggestive manner.
  • Making sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.
  • Engaging in rough or physical contact unless it is permitted within the rules of the game or competition.
  • Inviting or allowing children to stay with you at your home.
  • A Coach and/or other leader sharing a room alone with a child.
  • Allowing children to swear or use sexualised language unchallenged.
  • Allowing allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
  • Reducing a child to tears as a form of control.

Section C - Staff & Volunteers Code of Conduct 

The purpose of this document is to provide a code of conduct for staff and volunteers of the Scottish Handball Association (SHA). The Code of Conduct is a summary of the policies which sets out the standards of behaviour that SHA expects from you and identifies your rights and responsibilities.


If you cannot work you must directly inform the Scottish Handball Association. Failure to contact us may place additional pressure on staff.

Confidential Information

You have an obligation to protect confidential or personal information. If you have access to confidential information (including addresses or telephone numbers of colleagues/clients), you should never discuss or disclose such information to anyone other than the person/s authorised to receive it, both during and after your involvement with the organisation/event.


All staff members have a responsibility to behave professionally at all times. You will be highly visible as a representative of the organisation therefore ensure that you present a professional appearance at all times.


You will be required to adhere to security procedures whilst on and off duty. The security measures will be notified to you via training or induction.

First Aid

If a medical emergency should arise, unless you are a trained first-aider, your first priority should be to get assistance from someone who is trained.  Even if you are a trained first-aider, ensure that professional medical help is obtained as a matter of urgency.

If there is any immediate danger, get yourself and those near you away from the area as quickly as possible. Your attempts to assist someone should be minimal but you might be able to do some of the following until help arrives.

  • Clear the space around the ill or injured individual and keep other spectators away
  • Help make the individual comfortable;
  • If possible, place them in the recovery position and call the 999 as soon as possible

Be extremely careful with blood. You can put a cloth over a wound to help stop bleeding but do not touch the wound or allow blood to come into contact with your skin.

Health and Safety 

Scottish Handball Association is committed to providing you with a safe working environment. You are required to exercise reasonable care in the course of your role to ensure the Health and Safety of yourself and others. Please be aware of, and follow all safety information.

The following safety responsibilities apply to all:

  • Pay close attention and familiarise yourself with the facilities and note the names of the different exits and access points;
  • Co-operate fully with staff at all times;
  • Understand the emergency plans for the venue (e.g. fire evacuations);
  • Do not use any equipment or machinery which you have not been trained to use;
  • Take care when lifting and carrying (e.g. don’t lift very heavy boxes);
  • Report any potential hazards;
  • In the event of fire/hazard or any other risk, remove yourself and warn others of imminent danger;
  • If you feel an activity is unsafe or you feel unwell report this to your supervisor;
  • Contribute to a safe and healthy workplace - don’t leave things lying around, keep work areas and gangways clear and tidy.

Rights of Staff Members

Clear role description

You should receive a clear role description detailing the tasks expected of you. This should also include details of your position within the organisation and who you should report to.

Training and development

To develop your skills the SHA will endeavour to provide training for your role. Alert your Supervisor if you would like to undertake additional training.

A healthy and safe environment

The Scottish Handball Association will endeavour to ensure your working environment is suitable for your needs. You are required to exercise reasonable care in the course of your role to ensure the Health and Safety of yourself and others. Any additional requirements to guarantee your safety in the workplace should be brought to the attention of your Supervisor.