Code of Conduct

The Sawtell/Toormina Junior AFL Football Club is a community club built the core values of gender and cultural diversity, teamwork and respect and responsibility to all. We believe and follow the principles of good play, leadership, fairness, and providing a family-friendly and comfortable environment on- and off- the field.

A community- and family-friendly brand is essential to our Club’s future, and the Committee is dedicated to correcting any negative perceptions. This Code of Conduct builds atop that enforced by the AFL and represents what it means to be a Sawtell/Toormina Saint. It is mandatory and enforceable for anyone wearing or supporting the red, white and black – on or off the ground, face-to-face, in social media or any other medium.

For Parents & Supporters

 • Remember that children play football for fun – they are not playing for spectator entertainment, nor are they miniature professionals. Involvement is for their enjoyment, not yours.

• Be mindful of their conduct during matches and set a positive example for players and spectators.

• Encourage children to participate whatever their ability and not force them.

• Teach that honest endeavour, not winning, is the victory.

• Promote respect for opponents and condemn unsporting behaviour.

• Encourage children to always play by the rules and to accept the umpire’s decision without question.

• Recognise good play and skill where it is due, regardless of the side displaying it.

• Never ridicule or yell at a player for mistakes or losses.

• Respect official’s decisions and teach children to do likewise.

• Support club officials to foster high standards of behaviour for the club.

• Racial or physical abuse of players, coaches, officials and other supporters is illegal.

• Swearing, sledging, acts of verbal abuse and intimidating behaviour are not acceptable.

• Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all players and their families regardless of gender, ability, cultural background or religion.

• Recognise the value and importance of volunteer’s coaches, officials and administrators.

• Contribute always to a family-friendly spectator environment.

• While exclamations of expected, umpiring decisions is tolerated, supporters are not to directly address in a negative or critical manner or ridicule umpires, officials or players from the opposition.

• If you disagree with an official, raise the issue through appropriate channels rather than questioning the official’s judgement and honesty in public. Raise any concerns privately.

For Players

• Play by the laws and rules.

• Be a team player. Player for the benefit of the team as well as yourself.

• Never argue with an umpire or officials. If you disagree, discuss the matter with your coach. • Control your temper. Abuse of officials or other players is unacceptable behaviour.

• Be a good sport and display sportsman-like conduct. Don’t forget to acknowledge opponents, officials and umpires (eg. shake hands before and after the game). Be gracious in victory, humble in defeat.

• Treat all players fairly, as you would like to be treated.

• Swearing, sledging, acts of verbal abuse and intimidating behaviour are not acceptable.

• Cooperate and support your coach. Encourage your teammates.

• Play for the ‘fun of it’ and not just to please parents and coaches.

• Aim to improve.

• Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all players and their families regardless of gender, ability, cultural background or religion.

• Respect the property of the Club and other players.

• These guidelines apply to how we expect you to behave towards your teammates and other players before, during and after game day or training, whether at the ground, at school, at other sporting venies or online.


Violations of the Code of Conduct can put the Club at financial risk with the AFL. Breaches will be dealt with swiftly in accordance with the Club’s Rules of Association and under the principles of natural justice. Individuals believed to be in breach will receive a maximum of one formal warning per season. Continued breaches will result in being called in front of the Committee to explain the infractions, with punitive action from the Club potentially including family suspension, and if sustained, expulsion. Violence and racial vilification are both considered criminal offences and instances will be dealt with accordingly.

Player violations of the Code of Conduct and rules of the game are covered under the disciplinary provisions of the AFL.

Teams at Sawtell/Toormina are larger that than the group of players that take to the field each week. There are a host of volunteer roles that must be filled, and we all have a responsibility to share the effort. All of us – parents, players and siblings – are the team and need to support the people who take on these roles for the week or season. If your family isn’t doing one of these roles at least every 3 matches then you’re not pulling your weight in the team.

Coach & Assistant Coach

Appointed by the Club and operating within our Junior Operations Policy, the coaches are empowered to make all decisions regarding their team; including training, game plan, positions and use of the bench. While you may not always agree, we expect parents to support and not undermine them.

Team Manager

Is responsible for the organisation of the team in-line with the coaches’ directions, ultimately ensuring that the required players take to the field at the right time and place each round. They manage all match-day operations at the ground, ensuring that all volunteer roles are filled and that all necessary paperwork is completed and issued. Team Managers are the conduit for all communications from the Club regarding playing football, and back to the AFL regarding results.


Wears the bib and has the sole duty of delivering coaches’ messages to players and then taking the most direct route off the ground back to the coach. Runners must not speak to or abuse an umpire, opposition player or official.


Provided by the Club where feasible, Trainers attend to injured players during a match and then immediately leave the ground. They are not to carry coaches’ messages nor engage umpires or opposition players.

Goal Umpires

Goal umpires carry a pair of white flags. They adjudicate the goal line and record the match score on cards provided by the Team Manager. The field umpires’ decisions override those of the goal and boundary umpire.

Time Keeper

Keeps control over the timing of the match and siren at the guidance of the field umpires. They control the length of each quarter once the field umpires start it, and signify the ending of each quarter break. They keep track of match times and scores on the cards provided by the Team Manager.

Match Day Official

Wearing the fluorescent orange bib, they patrol the boundary to make sure that our Club’s parents and supporters uphold the Club values embedded in our Code of Conduct, and ensure that the 10m exclusion zone around the Coaches’ box for everyone except Coach, Team Manager, Runner, Trainer and Players is maintained. The Match Day Manager shouldn’t act in an overly officious manner, nor become involved in on-field issues, but they do have the authority to report breaches of the Code of Conduct to the Club for further action.

Canteen Attendants Teams playing out of Richardson Park will have the responsibility of providing two (2) helpers to assist the canteen manager on the day.


Provide support and encouragement to the team in accordance with the Sawtell/Toormina Football Code of Conduct always. Supporters are to abide by the 10m exclusion zone around the Coaches’ area, as well as the State laws prohibiting smoking at junior sporting events. Parents are encouraged to support their children but leave the coaching and game plan to the coaches and not provide potentially conflicting instructions.