Code of Conduct

The following Code of Conduct has been written to uphold the aims of Braintree Hockey Club and to help and protect all players, umpires and spectators involved in the playing of hockey regardless of whether it is in league games, friendly matches or training sessions. It should be read in conjunction with the rules of England Hockey, East Hockey Leagues, the Rules of Hockey and the England Hockey Code of Discipline.

Each individual is accountable for his or her own actions. Whether you are playing, watching, coaching or umpiring any match, it is your personal responsibility to treat your own team, opposition players, coaches, spectators and the umpires with respect before, during and after the match. This includes the use of bad language towards all parties; we are a family club.

There are additional responsibilities placed on individuals and these are detailed below:

1.                 Interaction with Umpires:

It is important to recognise that a game of hockey cannot take place without the presence of two umpires.

All Green, Yellow and Red Cards issued in a match must be sent to the Umpire Liaison Officer by the team’s captain. The ULO will maintain a record and will provide a report through the playing officer for each Executive meeting.

Abuse of an umpire whether verbal or physical will not be tolerated. Anyone receiving more than two yellow cards for verbal abuse or dissent will be put forward to the club’s Disciplinary Committee.

The disciplinary committee is made up of the Club Captain, Men’s Club Captain, Ladies’ Club Captain and Club Coach, other members of the Management Committee and or Team Captains will be called up on as required. This group will decide on the required action for individuals involved, the suggested action will be –

  • Fines for yellow cards are set by the club’s Disciplinary Committee if the number of yellow cards reaches three (two if they are for dissent, foul language or other unacceptable behaviour).
  • Two yellow cards for umpire abuse or dissent - receive a club warning and will be encouraged to attend an umpiring course.
  • Three yellow cards for umpire abuse or dissent - must take an umpiring course or agree to attend an umpiring course before continuing to play.
  • The penalty for a red card will be at least the cost of the club’s administrative fee, as well the actions taken as detailed in the league disciplinary procedures. The club’s Disciplinary Committee will review what additional action should be taken.

Never argue with an umpire. If you have a query, ask your captain to approach the umpire at half time or after the game in a calm and courteous manner to get clarification. Do not pursue discussions in the changing rooms. Positive discussion between the players and the umpires is actively encouraged during the post-match refreshment particularly if you buy the umpire a drink!

2.                 Pre-game:

On match days please arrive at the place stipulated at the correct time, ring the team captain or coach if you think you are going to be late. Make sure you have mobile numbers to contact your team captain, coach or other members of your team and let them know yours so you can be contacted.

Anyone who turns up obviously the worse for wear from the previous night’s socialising should not be surprised to find themselves in a lower team the following week.

Do not knock balls up on the side of the pitch when another game is in progress. No one is allowed to go on the pitch at the club’s home pitches until the previous game has finished and it would be prudent to adopt the same approach at away venues as well. Warm-up properly before the game and warm down after the game; it prevents injury and contributes to the team’s success.

3.                 Kit:

All players, when representing the Club on and off the pitch shall act and dress accordingly. Hockey is a social sport to be enjoyed by all, so please use your common sense.

The club colours are yellow and white shirts, Black shorts/skirts/skorts and Yellow, Blue and White striped socks. Please ensure you are wearing the right kit in league games; all players must have numbered shirts with no duplicates.

4.     During the Game

The Captain/Coach is responsible for the conduct of their team and spectators for the duration of the game. Do not put them under pressure by poor behaviour.

A team can consist of 16 players; hence rolling substitutions should be expected. Whilst off the pitch wear a different colour top from your playing strip. Only warm up on your side of the team/bench area, not in front of any opposition bench or that half of the pitch. Coaches/managers should stay in designated area close to the half way line and not cross over into the other half. Substituted players are expected to act with dignity, and to contribute to the team’s efforts by supporting their team-mates. Please ensure that you do not leave your stick or other equipment right by the side of the pitch where it may impede the umpire.

If you need a rest to recover from injury or for any other reasons just ask to be substituted; it may help the team and your own performance.

During the Captain/Coach’s team talk have the courtesy to listen to what is being said. The coach only has a few minutes to put their points across so please do not interrupt or start rival conversations. Do not criticise or remonstrate with your team-mates; every player has off days, it could be you next week, therefore encourage and support.

5.                 Discipline

This club wants to achieve an exemplary record, and it should go without saying that those who undermine our efforts in this area are risking their future with the club.

We will not tolerate players regularly getting carded or sent off. It gets the club a bad name and contrary to what some might believe, it does not help us to win matches.

We expect umpires to be treated with respect before, during and after the game.

If for any reason a player is sent off with a yellow or green card they should leave the pitch quickly and under control, so that the game can be restarted without undue delay. You are required to stay in the area designated by the umpire and sit quietly – take time to reflect on your actions, take your punishment and learn from it.

The club will not tolerate abuse of any kind. The club’s Disciplinary Committee will investigate cases of abuse on the grounds of gender, disability, race and ethnicity, religion or beliefs and sexual orientation by any club member. Unprovoked aggression, intimidation and verbal abuse are not acceptable at this club.

If any member feels that another club member or a player has abused them in any of the above ways or official from another club or organisation, then they must contact a club captain, the welfare officer or a member of the committee as soon as possible.

6.                 Spectators:

Parents, ex-players, friends and others are always welcome to attend matches. It is a requirement of the hockey league and associations that ALL spectators stay at the opposite side of the ground from the team area, and outside of the fenced area at Four Releet.

Show respect for your team’s opponents and the umpires, without them there would be no game. Respect the umpire’s decisions and positively support your own team and remember nobody makes a mistake on purpose; positive encouraging comments can be motivational.

7.                 Post-Game

Warm down and stay together as a team regardless of the result. It helps with any following matches if you do this off the playing area.

Do not approach the umpires and opponents on the pitch immediately after the game in an aggressive or abusive manner.

At the end of the game ALWAYS thank the umpires and shake hands with your opponents.

Try to get back to the club for refreshments and encourage the opposition to come back as well. This is the best time to seek clarification with umpires as mentioned earlier. Try speaking to members of the other team; you make good friends that way.

8.                 Training

Serious contenders for places in any team are expected to attend training regularly. We go to training to get fit, to develop a team spirit and to practise set pieces. It follows that, if you are not training regularly, you cannot be as fit as you need to be and cannot be part of a team.

Regularly attend and work hard during training sessions “a player who fails to train is training to fail”. If you cannot attend training let your captain or coach know.

9.                 Communication

Please respond as soon as possible to any emails, texts or calls about selection. There are a number of teams to organise and people would like to plan their weekends around hockey, not have it disrupted because an individual cannot be bothered to plan their own. If people do not respond, then please expect that they may be moved between teams to accommodate those who have responded in a timely manner.

If you do not attend training, ring your captain/coach to inform them of your non-attendance. It is far less hassle for many to make one phone call than for one to make many! Keep captains informed of your availability.

If you have a point to make to your captain, coach or a committee member, about team selection or other matters, that is your right, but please do not rant at them in a crowded bar or on the touchline. Ring them or see them at training, or talk to them in the bar.

10.            General

If you think there is a lot of responsibility spread around a small number of people, you are right! If anyone would like to volunteer for any job within the club, your offer would be gratefully received.

Please make new members feel welcome.

And finally, people play hockey for a variety of reasons and have different views, aims and ambitions – please respect these. Enjoy yourself - that’s why we play. We want to win - but we also want to win fairly.