Arrowhead Fastpitch League Coach’s Code of Conduct
Coaching youth sports can be stressful, time consuming, thankless at times and overwhelming. It can also be one of the most rewarding things one can do to give back to the community, the sport and most importantly to the kids.
The fact that we need to have a code of conduct for Coaches is a product of society today, but it has no reflection on those of you who have volunteered to help these athletes develop their skills and find their love for this game. This is a guideline for how we expect Coaches to conduct themselves while competing in the Arrowhead Fastpitch League.
- Sportsmanship- Coaches are expected to always demonstrate good sportsmanship. This includes interactions with umpires, other coaches, players and fans. You are the role model for your players.
- Rules- Once rules are decided upon, including rostering of players, run rules, rescheduling of games, etc. Living within these rules is a must. Learn the rules, ask umpires if needed, inquire to the Board if need be, but then abide by the rules as explained.
- Umpires- Whether it be our League Umpires or one from your community doing your game, they are to be treated with respect. Their decisions are final and there is no reason to be disrespectful to them. They have no vested interest in the outcome of games no matter how anyone sees the play in question, they make the call as they see it. If you need to appeal a call, make sure it is the Head Coach that takes a time out (calmly), ask for clarification or an appeal respectfully, and you will get an answer in the same manner. You may not like or agree with the answer, but this is that “Role Model” part again where you get to teach your players how to properly deal with a situation.
- Parents- As unfair as this may seem, you as a Coach are responsible for your fans also. If a parent is obnoxious or unruly, the umpire may ask you to talk to the parent, if it persists the umpire may ask you to remove the parent from the area. The umpire will then (with the timer running) wait until they are removed to resume the game. If you build a culture correctly within your team, these problems can be avoided. If a Coach always handles themselves in a professional manner, the parents tend to fall in line. Communicating your expectations of parental behavior to your group is a great way to let them know what the parameters of their involvement in the game is.
- Safety- The safety of all involved is first and foremost priority for a Coach. Teach your kids how to play hard, but within the rules. “Dirty” play will not be tolerated. Make sure your players know the right way to slide, avoid collisions, and never intentionally hurt or injure another player. Lightning rule is one that absolutely cannot be ignored. Plain and simple, as soon as anyone sees lightning, the game is suspended for 30 min. The game can resume 30 min AFTER the LAST spotted lightning. Kids should be under cover of a dugout, or a building, not on the field during the delay. “That is a long way away from here, nothing to worry about” is NOT acceptable, this is an international rule and must be followed.
In order to make your season an experience in that you and your players can enjoy, learn, and compete, always go back to rule #1 in youth sports-“it’s about the kids”.
When you Coach to mentor, teach and enhance the player’s experience, it will always be a successful season for all involved.