Nine rules to live by for rec councils

Commissioners back code of conduct

Carroll County

April 03, 2002|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

The Carroll commissioners endorsed a code of conduct yesterday for the county's 18 recreation councils - nine rules that coaches and spectators must abide by "to help make youth sports fun and help teach our players good sportsmanship," according to the one-page document.

The county's nine-member Recreation and Parks Advisory Board helped write the code, modeling it on one in Montgomery County.

The "Youth Sports Standards for Coaches & Spectators" will be mailed to each of Carroll County's recreation council presidents for comment and most likely will be adopted by the county Bureau of Recreation next month, said Jeff R. Degitz, chief of the bureau.

"I think this is good. People need to remember it's a game - it's not high competition, World Series stuff," said Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier.

In the past, each of the recreation councils has dealt with inappropriate behavior independently, on a case-by-case basis, Degitz said. He did not know of particular incidents, but noted problems with inappropriate behavior by coaches and spectators toward officials and each other.

"We never have problems with the kids," he said. "It's the adults. Unfortunately, it's become more and more of a concern for our recreation councils and volunteers. I know a lot of the coaches, officials and volunteers will be glad to have a policy in place."

All participants and their parents will be asked to sign the code of conduct when they register for fall sports - football and soccer. About 36,000 people, most of them youths, are active participants in recreation council activities, Degitz said. The programs are run by more than 12,000 volunteers, including coaches and a small number of game officials.

Code provisions

The code states that all coaches and spectators:

Comply with the policies and procedures of Carroll County Recreation and Parks and Carroll County public schools.

Respect participants, coaches, staff, officials and volunteers at practices and youth sports events and encourage children to do the same.

Refrain from abusive or inappropriate language or gestures toward officials, volunteers, coaches, staff and participants. Never make inappropriate physical contact with participants, coaches, staff, officials or volunteers.

Accept the decisions of officials as being fair and performed to the best of their ability. Spectators shall never go onto the court or playing field, or approach the official scorekeeper while the game is in progress.

Refrain from giving children instructions during the game - only the coach should guide them.

Help ensure the safety of the playing area by reporting hazards, removing trash, leaving food and beverages outside the playing area when requested, refraining from tobacco use within 50 yards of the playing field or program site, and refraining from alcohol or drug use at or immediately before all youth sports events.

Encourage and compliment players when they show improvement or play with extra effort.

Abide by a doctor's decision in matters of health, injuries and ability to play.

Remember that the game is for youths - not adults.

Sanctions

Anyone who violates the code of conduct may be ejected from a game. Once ejected, the offender will be banned from attending the next two games.

If the same person commits a second offense, he or she will be banned from all council sports activities for at least a year from the date of the second incident.

A head coach also may be suspended for at least one game if a spectator acts inappropriately and the coach is warned about such behavior by officials.

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