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Disciplinary Code

Na Gaeil Óga 

Managing Challenging Behavior

Discipline in sport should always be positive. Learning structure and rules enables participants to set their own goals and strive to achieve them. It should encourage young people to be responsible for themselves and therefore be more independent. The primary form of discipline should be positive reinforcement for effort. It should encourage the development of emotional and social skills as well as sporting skills. It should help children to be responsible for the decisions and choices they make within sport, especially when they should distinguish between playing fairly and unfairly. There should be no place for fighting or overly aggressive and dangerous behavior in sport. Participants should treat others with respect. They should not disturb others, bully or take unfair advantage of others.



The use of sanctions is an important tool for maintaining control. A coach has the authority to apply sanctions where deemed necessary, however, they should have a clear understanding of the relevant situations when sanctions should be applied. The child's age and development should be mitigating factors when using sanctions.


The following steps are recommended: 


Minor offences

A warning should be given if a rule is broken, e.g. misconduct A sanction (for example, the use of a penalty kick) should be applied if a rule is broken a second time. If a rule is broken three or more times, the child should be spoken to, and if necessary, The parents/guardians should be informed. If the misconduct continues, the coach can request that the player be suspended from practice and games for a defined period of time. 

Serious Offenses

  • Serious offenses can be defined as follows:

  • Persistent violations of discipline.

  • Refusing to follow the committee's instructions.

  • Willfull damage to the property of the association or to the property of the visiting teams, bringing the association into disrepute by the player's actions during a training session, or any event organized by the association.


Any type of Bullying


In the event of such an incident occurring, the committee can ask the parent/guardian to collect their child from training/match and suspend the player from playing or training for a specified period The coach may report the incident to the disciplinary committee if necessary. Upon receipt of any such complaint, the disciplinary committee will investigate the incident and recommend any additional punishment deemed proportionate to the offense concerned.



The Disciplinary Committee should be made up of representatives from the Youth Committee, (for example, Chairman), the Children's Officer and ordinary registered members of the club. Regular turnover on this committee is recommended. The issue of confidentiality is important. Access to these mechanisms should be limited on a needs basis.


It is the responsibility of the Disciplinary Committee to manage problems related to the conduct of its membership. Any complaint about any incident of suspected misconduct, including bullying (with the exception of handling child abuse issues), should be dealt with by the Disciplinary Committee. The Disciplinary Committee should inform the person against whom the complaint is being made with details of the complaint being made against them and give them an opportunity to provide a response orally or in writing. It is recommended that the Disciplinary Committee meet with all parties involved, allowing all parties the same rights and opportunities. The Disciplinary Committee should establish a written report outlining the procedure followed, conclusions and any disciplinary actions to be taken. All parties should receive a copy of this report. This report should also be kept on file. The Disciplinary Committee should, as soon as possible, inform the Management Committee of the progress and conclusions of the disciplinary process. If the member is under 18 years of age, communication and correspondence should be addressed to the parents/guardians.



When it is established that an incident of misconduct has occurred, the disciplinary committee should notify the member of any sanction imposed. The notice should be given in writing, setting out the reasons for the sanction. If the member is under 18 years of age, communication and correspondence should be directed to the parents/guardians.



If the member against whom the complaint was made is dissatisfied with the decision of the Disciplinary Committee, they should have the right to appeal the decision to an Appeals Committee (independent of the Disciplinary Committee).

Any appeal should be made in writing within 7 days of the Committee's decision.

The Chairperson of the Appeals Committee should be a member of the Management Committee or be elected by the members during the AGM.

The Appeals Committee has the power to confirm, revoke or vary any sanction imposed by the Disciplinary Committee. If either party is unhappy with the outcome, the matter can be referred to the National Children's Officer.

All efforts to resolve the issue at a local level should be exhausted before contacting the National Children's Officer to resolve the issue.

Appeals submitted at National level will be heard by the Management Committee, and their decision will be final.


Let's make sure that everyone working for us emphasizes FAIR PLAY, RESPECT, EQUALITY, SAFETY and anti-discrimination in all aspects of our work with children and young people.


Na Gaeil Óga Committee 2021 

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