Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Standards High for Conduct and Safety released by EPRU

Recieved this via the EPRU today - the "code of conduct" pieces especially interesting, as this is the first time I've seen match officials, coaches, players, and supporters all address in one documents.

There are some very interesting line items in this doc ... the tread into areas I haven't before seen a union policy paper tread. Since this is a blog about COACHING, I'll pull out the coach-specific stuff here.

Coaches of players should:

A. Recognize the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching players.
B. Understand that most learning is achieved through doing.
C. Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport. Specifically
coaches MUST be aware of any size mismatches and move players to
D. Be a positive role model, and think what this implies.
E. Keep winning and losing in perspective, and encourage players to behave with
dignity in all circumstances.
F. Respect all referees and the decisions they make, even if they appear to make a
mistake (remember it could be you refereeing next week), and ensure that the
players recognize that they must do the same. Refrain from shouting out
decisions from the touchline. It simply confuses players and can cause them to
lose potential advantages being played
G. Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner to all
players, both during coaching sessions and matches.
H. Provide rugby training matched to the players’ ages and abilities, as well as their
physical and behavioral development.
I. Provide a safe environment, with adequate first aid readily on hand.
J. Avoid the overplaying of the best players by using a squad system which gives
everybody a satisfactory amount of playing time.
K. Never allow a player to train or play when injured.
L. Provide good supervision of players, both on and off the field.
M. Recognize that players should never be exposed to extremes of heat, cold or
unacceptable risk of injury.
N. Develop an awareness of nutrition as part of an overall education in lifestyle
O. Recognize that it is illegal for players under 21 to drink alcohol and those under
18 to smoke. Coaches should actively discourage both.
P. Keep their knowledge and coaching strategies up to date and in line with USA
Rugby philosophy.
Q. Be aware of, and abide by, the USA Rugby recommended procedures for taking
young people on residential tours at home and abroad.
R. Coach to the laws and keep up-to-date on law changes.


The full copy for your review below - links to a host of safety resources .

To the Rugby Community:

The EPRU is proud to announce the issuance of two new standards which are intended to improve the enjoyment and safety of rugby by all.

Feel free to use these standards and as well as passing them along to your rugby contacts that would benefit from them.

Comments and suggestions for the improvement of this standards are both welcome and encouraged. Please send them to me at president@epru.org.

With you on-and-off the pitch.

Steve Cohen
EPRU President


EPRU Sets Standards of Conduct for Participants and Supporters
A high degree of sportsmanship and fairness is expected from players, coaches, match officials and supporters.

In its continuing efforts to improve the rugby experience for all involved - both on and off the field of play, the EPRU has issued a series of Codes of Conduct that it expects compliance with from match officials, players, coaches and supporters. This document can be found at: http://www.epru.org/forms/pdfs/conduct.pdf.

In addition....
All age-grade (ages 6 to 19) coaches and collegiate coaches are required to sign and abide by the EPRU “Rugby Coaches Code of Conduct” which is found at www.epru.org/forms/pdfs/conduct_coach.pdf


All collegiate players and coaches must comply with the USA Rugby's Collegiate Code of Conduct which states:
'Collegiate rugby players represent their universities and are ambassadors of United States collegiate rugby. As such, each collegiate rugby player and coach is expected to be a lady or a gentlemen on and off the field. Collegiate rugby players should not tolerate obnoxious, impolite or antisocial behavior of any sort which could adversely affect the image of collegiate rugby as a serious and disciplined athletic endeavor. Any breach of this Code of Conduct at this event, either at the event site, area hotels, public facilities, etc., as witnessed and reported by any individual will be forwarded to the appropriate disciplinary committee for action.'

Compliance with these conduct codes requires cooperation from everyone involved in the game and recognition of the fact that we are all in this together for the same reason.


EPRU Improves Its Standard for Rugby Safety
The EPRU continues to lead the way in making rugby a safer experience for everyone.

Since 1995, the EPRU has been pro-active in making rugby a safer sport with its publication of "Safety Precaution Recommendations". In 1998, a more comprehensive safety publication "Making Rugby Safer" was issued. This document was well-received by the rugby community nationwide and is used by many Unions as "their" safety document. In continuing its pro-active approach to rugby safety, the EPRU has issued its Safer Rugby Program and feels its 7-step approach to rugby safety will help to make the rugby experience even better for all involved. Please start using it today.

In recent years, safety has received more focus by both National and International Rugby governing bodies as seen by the wealth of information found at USA Rugby's website (www.usarugby.org ) as well as the IRB (www.irb.com). USA Rugby has partnered with the National Center for Sports Safety ( www.sportssafety.org) to provide its sports safety course "PREPARE" which is now part of the Coaching Certification Program. PREPARE can also be taken directly online at the NCSS website. The IRB has produced its "Rugby Ready Program" ( www.irbrugbyready.com) and can be taken online. Both of which are part of the EPRU's "Safer Rugby Program".

The EPRU Safety and Risk Management section is at: http://www.epru.org/safety/index.php and has links to various safety and risk management articles and information. The Safer Rugby Program and Making Rugby Safer documents are available at: http://www.epru.org/safety/safer_rugby.php.


AOF said...

I really wish I was teaching my sport policy class this semester because this would be a great policy to analyze. There are three aspects of this policy I want to comment on:

"Specifically coaches MUST be aware of any size mismatches and move players to compensate"

My college team has a small scrum. Historically, we’ve been a smaller scrum, but hold our own and can dominate because size isn’t always everything. Good body positioning, discipline and coaching often can beat an untrained, undisciplined larger scrum. I’ve propped against women half my size, and some that cast a shadow over me. So does this mean when I bring my college team to play an EPRU school who has a front row double the size that they will swap their props out?? It’s not clear. Perhaps the intention is good, but it’s not written in a clear fashion. Potential place for confusion.

"Develop an awareness of nutrition as part of an overall education in lifestyle management."

Do rugby coaches often provide information on dental care? No, because their not a dentist. Coaches should not provide nutritional counseling because THEY ARE NOT nutritionists. I am currently conducting a study on the use of body fat testing in NCAA collegiate athletes. It is stunning the misinformation and DANGERS of coaches playing nutritionists. I have spoken with coaches who believe a college female athlete should have a BMI between 11-14 percent. I have talked with women who never menstruated in college because their coach advocated really restrictive diets and measures. There is an epidemic of eating disorders among college females and particularly athletes. Stick to coaching, find proper, certified nutritionists on campuses on in communities to work with your athletes. Perhaps this guideline doesn't say coaches should advocate or counsel, but it can open the door to such.

"Provide a safe environment, with adequate first aid readily on hand"

Problem with interpretation. What is “adequate first aid”??? I have no control that my University does not provide an athletic trainer or EMT. I have first aid and CPR certification, I have a cell and can call 911 - but is that enough? Is that what the league considers “adequate first aid.”

Policy should provide clarity, some of the standards may create more confusion.

Just my two cents!

Em said...

The mismatch thing is ridiculous. I think in spirit they intend to discourage deliberately pitting a huge woman against a tiny one, but not every team has depth at all positions to produce an adequate size match, nor should coaches be expected to play a less experienced/talented player in a competitive match just b/c she is closer in height/weight than the opposing player.