Youth Sports – Parents’ Code of Conduct


Tantrums, a lack of good sportsmanship, and violent confrontations have become commonplace in youth sports’ programs…and these by the parents (see the article “Violence alters face of sports - Unruly adults can mar kids' games” on our web site). It should be no surprise that many children feel uncomfortable in participating? What can we do? The National Alliance for Youth Sports has developed a Parents Code of Ethics that is listed on their web site. It is reproduced below because it encourages the same values we wish our programs to develop. Perhaps it should be considered in your organization.

I hereby pledge to provide positive support, care, and encouragement for my child and other children participating in youth sports by following this Parents’ Code of Ethics:

  • I will encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, and officials at every game, practice or other youth sports event.
  • I will place the emotional and physical well being of my child ahead of my personal desire to win.
  • I will insist that my child play in a safe and healthy environment.
  • I will require that my child’s coach be trained in the responsibilities of being a youth sports coach and that the coach upholds the Coaches’ Code of Ethics.
  • I will support coaches and officials working with my child, in order to encourage a positive and enjoyable experience for all.
  • I will demand a sports environment for my child that is free from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol and will refrain from their use at all youth sports events.
  • I will remember that the game is for youth - not adults.
  • I will do my very best to make youth sports fun for my child.
  • I will ask my child to treat other players, coaches, fans, and officials with respect regardless of race, sex, creed, or ability.
  • I will help my child enjoy the youth sports experience by doing whatever I can, such as being a respectful fan, assisting with coaching, or providing transportation.
  • I will read the National Standards for Youth Sports and do what I can to help all youth sports organizations implement and enforce them.

Organization-wide implementation of the above code, or one similar to it, is one step towards eliminating adult misbehavior and consequent child misbehavior in our youth sports programs. Using A Coach - Parent - Participant Code of Conduct (or something like it) that addresses coaches’ behavior, parental conduct, and participants’ sportsmanship is another. That brochure is available on our web site.

Please call us at 800-463-8546 to discuss this or any other risk management safety tip, or visit our web site at to learn more about YMCA risk management issues.


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