The deplorable behaviour of some players has been in the media recently, culminating in an A League soccer player spitting on an opponent.
It’s a sad reflection on our society when player behaviour is so poor they have to be told what is acceptable and what is not.
Even parents are being asked to sign Codes of Conduct that basically say they will behave themselves while watching their kids play sport.
Whatever happened to people taking responsibility and understanding what is acceptable behaviour?
Recently I was asked to help a friend write a Code of Conduct for my former Bush Cricket team.
My first draft was pretty simple. It was just one line. It said: “Don’t be a dick”.
My mate thought it was a good first draft, but needed a little work.
The problem was that each year all clubs in the competition get to vote on which clubs are allowed in for the coming season.
There were murmurings that some clubs were concerned about the behaviour of some of our teams.
Plus, like most small town sporting teams, they rely on sponsorship.
If they were excluded, even if they found another competition to enter – they might lose their sponsorship.
There were complaints some players were wasting time by leaving the field during play to get beer and, that having consumed several beers, they were not waiting for the drinks break to “make room for more beer” – if you get my drift.
I suggested that one of the Codes should be that “players will not leave the field without permission from the captain”.
That was not specific enough.
Okay, then, how about “Players will only use the toilet facilities”.
Sounded good, but not all fields actually have toilets – although they do have lots of trees.
We needed to be a bit more specific.
So now one of the Codes is that “players will not urinate on the field of play”.
For mine, I still reckon “Don’t be a dick” had everything covered.
And remember, there’s no such thing as too much sport.