Howe of Fife Rugby Union Football Club


Agreed by the Club Trustees 19 June 2017


Our mission

As a Club, our stated mission is to

"To advance public participation in sport, particularly the sport of Rugby Union Football, so as to improve the health and well-being of a wide range of participants; to provide, develop, manage and promote recreational facilities and related recreational activities available to the public generally; to provide education, coaching and training through life-long learning in relation to sport, fitness, first aid and related skills to broaden the development of individual capabilities of children, youths, young adults and adults; and to work with those involved in sport, particularly the sport of Rugby Union Football, in relation to all or any of these Charitable Purposes."

Your Responsibility

To achieve our mission there are certain minimum standards which apply.  Please read this document in full so you are clear about the Club’s expectations of you.

  1. You abide by the Scottish Rugby Union Code of Conduct for the Game of Rugby in Scotland.  The Code of Conduct applies to clubs, coaches, players and match officials and persons connected in anyway with the game of Rugby in Scotland.  The Code of Conduct is attached as an Appendix.
  2. You abide by the Howe of Fife Club Standards set out in this document.
  3. You apply both the spirit and intent of the Equal Opportunities statement in the Club’s Articles of Association as a Charity which is that the Club shall provide equal opportunities and in particular:
  • In relation to its Charitable Purposes, the Club shall strive to avoid any intentional or unintentional discrimination against any group or individual on any grounds.
  • The Club shall work to ensure that its activities and services are accessible to people who are disadvantaged, or discriminated against in society, by virtue of their race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, disability, marital or civil partnership status, age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religious belief, political opinion, or their geography.
  • The Club acknowledges that, in making this provision, its activities and services may need to be modified in order to ensure the above.

The Trustees of the Club have set out standards of behaviour to prevent problems arising.  Everyone is expected to play their part in maintaining these standards.

Club Standards & Expectations

  • Showing respect at all times to all employees of the club, other players and coaches, members, teams, officials and the public.
  • Following Health and Safety guidance on and off the pitch as your wellbeing, and the wellbeing of others, is important.
  • Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is discouraged - because as a club we have a health and well-being focus.
  • Arriving on time is a mark of respect and players are expected to turn up on time for practice or advise their coach in advance
  • Adhering to and promoting the principles in the Equalities statement (including not using discriminatory language)
  • Wearing clothing with the club emblem going to and after a game.  You should be proud of your club and we want to show other that we operate as a team.
  • Moderating your language so it is not perceived as offensive.  This is because we have many children at the club and we wish to encourage a wide range of the public and families to participate and watch.
  • Making all new members and players welcome and players made to feel a part of the team.  There will be no ‘initiation’ of any new player.


The Club Head Coach shall ensure that all Coaches understand the importance of appropriate standards of behaviour on and off the pitch, their role in modelling and enforcing the expected standards, and that all Howe of Fife coaches are expected to challenge unacceptable behaviour.

The Coach, Team Manager and Captains shall ensure that new senior players know the standards and existing players are reminded at least once a year.  The Youth Convenor will ensure Youth Coaches communicate standards to youth teams in a similar, but age appropriate manner.

The standards will be displayed in the club and on the club website.  Applicants for any form of membership of the club, and employees, will be referred to the standards.

Members and employees are encouraged to raise issues or concerns openly and as early as possible so that issues can be resolved before any disciplinary action becomes necessary.

Many problems can be sorted out through informal dialogue and a 'quiet word' is often all that's needed.  Where breaches are repeated or more serious formal action may be required, concerns should be reported to the Club Discipline Manager, the President or a Trustee who will follow up the appropriate action to be taken.  Apart from employees, the SRU disciplinary procedure will apply.

Any member may be suspended to allow an investigation or mitigate perceived risk to the good name of the Club.  This is an operational matter that will be determined by the nominated Discipline Manager or President.

Discipline Sanctions

The SRU table of sanctions will be applied however for more general, off pitch, misconduct the disciplinary sanction may include one of the following.

First formal warning If conduct is unsatisfactory, the member will be given a written warning.  Such warnings will be recorded, but disregarded after 18 months of satisfactory behaviour.

Final written warning If the offence is serious, or if a further offence of a similar kind has occurred, a final written warning will be given which will include the reason for the warning and any specific requirements.  Such warnings will remain on record.  A subsequent disciplinary panel may disregard the warning after 36 months of satisfactory behaviour.

Termination of club membership If the conduct has failed to improve, there has been a significant repeat offence, or a single act that might be considered 'gross misconduct; membership of the club may be terminated.

A trustee, office bearer, coach, captain or vice-captain must demonstrate integrity.  Therefore, if anyone in any club position of leadership or responsibility received a formal warning through the proper process they will cease to hold that position immediately the warning is issued.  When the wrning has lapsed, they may be reconsidered for appointment.

The purpose of a warning is to educate and to communicate the seriousness of the misconduct and the improvement required to meet the expected club standard.

In exceptional cases, after 50% of the warning period has passed, the member may request an opportunity to meet the Board of Trustees to provide evidence that they have consistently met the required behaviour standards since the warning was issued.  The Trustees have the discretion to commute the period of the warning if they are satisfied the standards are understood and will continue to be met.

Examples of Behaviour the Club will consider Gross Misconduct

  • Dishonesty, theft, fraud or deliberate falsification of records or line calls
  • Fighting or assault on another person
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Deliberate damage or serious negligence which causes loss or damage or injury to Howe of Fife, or any other club or person or organisation’s property.  Where this is found to be the case recompense for full costs will also be pursued.
  • Serious incapability through being under the influence of illegal drugs
  • Serious incapability through alcohol where this results in offensive behaviour to any other party
  • Any action that jeopardises the charitable status of the club
  • Serious acts of insubordination

Example of Behaviour where the Club will normally suspend immediately to allow investigation or minimise potential risk to the Club

  • Child protection issues
  • Vulnerable adult issues
  • Where someone is referred to the police or charged with committing a sexual offense or other serious crime
  • Creating a risk to health, safety and wellbeing (emotional and physical) of any other member or employee of the club
  • Where continuation is damaging to the interests of the club

APPENDIX to Howe of Fife Club Standards



This Code of Conduct is the “World Rugby Code of Conduct”, amended only so far as is necessary to

apply to the game of Rugby in Scotland.  Scottish Rugby is obligated to adopt the World Rugby Code

of Conduct in this fashion and to ensure it is observed by all.

The Code

Code of Conduct for clubs, coaches, players and match officials and persons connected in anyway with the game of Rugby in Scotland.

All persons:-

(1) must ensure that the Game is played and conducted in accordance with disciplined and sporting behaviour and acknowledge that it is not sufficient to rely solely upon the match officials to maintain those principles;

(2) shall co-operate in ensuring that the spirit of the Laws of the Game is upheld and refrain from selecting players guilty of foul play;

(3) shall not repeatedly breach the Laws of the Game;

(4) shall accept and observe the authority and decisions of referees, assistant referees, match officials and all other rugby disciplinary bodies;

(5) shall not publish or cause to be published criticism of the manner in which a referee or assistant referee handled a match;

(6) shall not publish or caused to be published criticism of the manner in which Scottish Rugby handled or resolved any dispute or disciplinary matter resulting from a breach of the World Rugby Bye-Laws, World Rugby Regulations Relating to the Game, Championship/Cup Rules, other Scottish Rugby rules or processes or World Rugby Laws of the Game;

(7) shall not engage in any conduct or any activity on or off the field that may impair public confidence in the honest and orderly conduct of a match, tour, tournament or series of matches (including, but not limited to, the supply of information in relation to the Game, directly or indirectly, to bookmakers) or in the integrity and good character of any person;

(8) shall not commit a breach of World Rugby Regulation 6 (Anti-Corruption and Betting)

(9) shall promote the reputation of the Game and take all possible steps to prevent it from being brought into disrepute;

(10) shall not commit a doping offence as defined in World Rugby Regulation 21 (Anti Doping);

(11) shall not abuse, threaten or intimidate a referee, assistant referee or other match official, whether on or off the field of play;

(12) shall not use foul or abusive language or gestures towards referees, assistant referees or other match officials or spectators;

(13) shall not do anything which is likely to intimidate, offend, insult, humiliate or discriminate against any other person on the ground of their religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, colour or national or ethnic origin;

(14) shall not do anything which adversely affects the Game of Rugby Football, Scottish Rugby, any member club or other Union of World Rugby or any commercial partner of the Game in Scotland.

(15) shall abide by all other Codes of Conduct and policies issued by the SRU including inter alia the Scottish Rugby Code of Conduct for Safeguarding Children in Rugby.

Every person is under an obligation to comply with this Code of Conduct.

The Scottish Rugby Union is obliged to monitor compliance with and impose sanctions for breaches of the Code of Conduct by persons under its jurisdiction.

For breaches of the Code of Conduct, the Discipline Panel of Scottish Rugby may impose such penalties as it deems appropriate.



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