Youth Sports Ethics

Columbus Recreation and Parks Department believes that all youth athletes should have a positive introduction and experience in sports. Our programs emphasize fun, sportsmanship, a healthy approach to competition and discourages the “win at all costs” attitude while striving for excellence in all areas. Participants, coaches, parents, volunteers and employees are expected to support this philosophy.

Below is the Coaches’ and Parent’s Codes of Conduct. If you would like to download a PDF version, please click here.

Parent/Guardian/Spectator's Code of Ethics

All parents, guardians and spectators involved with our programs must abide by our Code of Ethics. They also must impart these values to their children and lead by example. Our youth look to us for guidance and learn from our behaviors and words. We ask that all adhere to these values to improve our community.

I hereby pledge to provide positive support, care and encouragement for my child participating in youth sports by following the NAYS Parent Orientation & Membership Program – 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 a personal desire to win.
  • I will insist that my child plays in a safe and healthy environment.
  • I will require that my child’s coach is 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 for adults.
  • I will do my very best to make youth sports fun for my child.
  • 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 ask my child to treat other players, coaches, fans and officials with respect regardless of race, sex, creed or ability.
  • I will read the National Standards for Youth Sports and do what I can to help all youth sports organizations implement and enforce them.

Coaches' Code of Ethics

The following Code of Ethics has been developed in compliance with standards as set forth by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and the National Youth Sports Coaches Association (NYSCA).

Our coaches are the “face” of the program to our parents, officials, our schools and our community at large. Thus, each coach is expected to maintain a high level of integrity and professionalism both on and off the field. A coach’s primary responsibility is to develop good citizens and athletes, and to instill a passion for the game in our players. Thus, our coach’s performance is not measured by wins and losses, rather in what they teach the players in terms of technique, sportsmanship and fair play.

  • I will place the emotional and physical well-being of my players ahead of personal desire to win.
  • I will treat each player as an individual; remember the large range of emotional and physical development for these age groups.
  • I will be responsible in my demands on the player’s time, energy and enthusiasm. I will remember that they have other interests. I will always remember that my players are children, not professional athletes.
  • I will always exhibit proper and ethical behavior while interacting with players, coaches, officials, leagues, staff and parents at all games. I understand that the use of foul or abusive language is strictly prohibited.
  • I will promise to review and practice the basic first aid principles needed to treat injuries of my players.
  • I will lead by example in demonstrating fair play and sportsmanship to all my players.
  • I will treat each player, opposing coach, official, staff and parent with respect and dignity.
  • I will remember that I am a youth sports coach and that the game is for children and not adults.

I acknowledge that I have read, understand, and accept the terms of this code and will do my best to fulfill the terms of this document. I understand that not upholding the terms of this code and agreement can result in removal from my coaching position.

Player Expectations

  • Show respect for all players, parents, coaches, officials, staff and spectators.
  • Be a team player and help others to enjoy the Columbus Recreation and Parks sports experience.
  • Make an effort to attend all practices and games.  Communicate to coaches when you are unable to attend.
  • Help maintain a safe environment for play by learning and adhering to the rules and policies of Columbus Recreation and Parks.
  • Have a positive attitude at all times and recognize that recreational sports are focused on the fun of the game and not winning and losing.
  • Be the best citizen that you can be for the good of yourself and the community.