US Lacrosse Code of Conduct
Players, coaches, officials, parents and spectators are to conduct themselves in a manner that "Honors the Game" and demonstrates respect to other players, coaches, officials, parents, spectators and fans. In becoming a member of the lacrosse community an individual assumes certain obligations and responsibilities to the game of lacrosse and its participants. The essential elements in this "Code of Conduct" are HONESTY and INTEGRITY. Those who conduct themselves in a manner that reflects these elements will bring credit to the sport of lacrosse, themselves, their team and their organization.
It is only through such conduct that our sport can continue to earn and maintain a positive image and make its full contribution to amateur sports in the United States and around the world. US Lacrosse supports the following behaviors for those who participate in the sport or are involved in any way with US Lacrosse. The following essential elements of the "Code of Conduct" must be followed:
- Sportsmanship and teaching the concepts of fair play are essential to the game and must be taught at all levels and developed both at home and on the field during practices and games.
- The value of good sportsmanship, the concepts of fair play, and the skills of the game should always be placed above wining.
- The safety and welfare of the players are of primary importance.
- Coaches must always be aware of the tremendous influence they have on their players. They are to strive to be positive role models in dealing with young people, as well as adults.
- Coaches should always demonstrate positive behaviors and reinforce them to players, parents, officials and spectators alike. Players should be specifically encouraged and positively reinforced by coaches to demonstrate respect for teammates, opponents, officials and spectators.
- Players should always demonstrate positive behavior and respect toward teammates, opponents, coaches, officials, parents and spectators.
- Coaches, players, parents and spectators are expected to demonstrate the utmost respect for officials and reinforce that respect to players/teammates. Coaches are also expected to educate their players as to the important role of lacrosse officials and reinforce the ideal of respect for the official to players/teammates.
- Grievances or misunderstandings between coaches, officials or any other parties involved with the sport should be communicated through the proper channels and procedures, never on or about the field of play in view of spectators or participants.
- Officials are professionals and are therefore expected to conduct themselves as such and in a manner that demonstrates total impartiality, courtesy and fairness to all parties.
- Spectators involved with the game must never permit anyone to openly or maliciously criticize, badger, harass or threaten an official, coach, player or opponent.
- Coaches must be able to demonstrate a solid knowledge of the rules of lacrosse, and should adhere to the rules in both the letter and the spirit of the game.
- Coaches should provide a basic knowledge of the rules to both players and spectators within his/her program. Attempts to manipulate rules in an effort to take unfair advantage of an opponent, or to teach deliberate unsportsmanlike conduct, is considered unacceptable conduct.
- Eligibility requirements, at all levels of the game, must be followed. Rules and requirements such as age, previous level of participation, team transfers, etc, have been established to encourage and maximize participation, fair play and to promote safety.
Code of Ethics
The mission of US Lacrosse is to ensure a unified and responsive organization that develops and promotes the sport by providing services to its members and programs to inspire participation, while preserving the integrity of the game. US Lacrosse grants the privilege of membership to individuals (players, coaches, officials and leadership) and organizations committed to the tenets of its mission.
Inherent within all professional organizations is the potential for conflicts of interest, harassment, abuse of power, and other forms of unethical practice. Through the establishment of an organizational Code of Ethics, US Lacrosse has defined a set of guidelines to promote and protect the spirit of the game, safeguard the best interest of the participants, and establish and maintain standards of behavior. The Code is not intended to serve as a set of rules, but rather, to outline general principles and guidelines of aspirational virtues and proper ethical behavior for all members, volunteers, staff and any other individuals and organizations that chose to affiliate with US Lacrosse.
The definition of ethical behavior is having an understanding of the difference between right and wrong and at all times choosing to do what is right. This definition should be applied at the individual level to those within the US Lacrosse umbrella: employees, volunteers or individuals who represent US Lacrosse within the community at large, as well as the corporate level pertaining to the actions of US Lacrosse, as an organization. Ethical considerations are integral, not optional, elements of all sports activities and apply to all levels of participation. US Lacrosse encourages all members to acknowledge and follow ethical guidelines and demonstrate integrity by voluntarily agreeing to adhere to a moral or ethical code.
Participation in the sport of lacrosse provides a powerful vehicle for a participant’s personal growth and development, teaching the value of respect, fairness, teamwork, communication, responsibility, truthfulness, non-discrimination, honesty and integrity. These values serve as the core ideals for the US Lacrosse Code of Ethics.
A key component of ethical behavior is respect, which is defined at the individual, team and corporate levels. Individuals should value the opinions, views and roles of others who work to further the mission of the organization. All should safeguard the dignity, privacy and freedom of individuals regardless of their race, color, creed, socio-economic status, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability or nationality. Respect defines the value that US Lacrosse, as an organization, places on honoring the history of the sport, and demonstrates the regard it shows to the various and disparate constituencies that have come together to form US Lacrosse to further the growth and development of the sport.
Fairness is making decisions without favoritism or prejudice. US Lacrosse firmly believes that the concept of fairness is fundamental to sport. Anything that creates an unfair advantage violates the spirit, as well as the integrity, of the sport of lacrosse.
Teamwork is defined as a cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a group of individuals who work collectively in the interest of a common goal. US Lacrosse believes there is significant value in promoting teamwork, both on and off the field, in every segment of the sport. All members of US Lacrosse, its staff, and volunteers should adopt and promote the philosophy that greater success can be achieved when individuals sacrifice their desire for personal accomplishment in favor of the benefits of their team.
Communication is an attempt by individuals to create shared understanding. Communication is an active ‘two way street,’ requiring a balance of articulating, listening, writing, reading, observing, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. Communication is verbal, nonverbal, or written, sent through various media, and transmits a thought provoking idea, gesture, or action. US Lacrosse members, employees and those individuals or groups representing US Lacrosse, should communicate with clarity, honesty, timeliness, and openness. Communication should include all pertinent information shared transparently with all appropriate recipients. Clear, honest, timely communication allows collaboration and cooperation to occur, building a stronger game and community for sport.
Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest is present in any instance in which the actions or activities of an individual representing or acting on behalf of US Lacrosse could result in actual or perceived personal gain or advantage, and/or have an adverse effect on the interests, mission or integrity of US Lacrosse. Individuals who represent and serve US Lacrosse, at the local, regional or national levels have a duty to disclose any financial interest or personal obligation that may, actually or perceptually, affect the independence of their judgment.
All members of US Lacrosse, its staff, and volunteers are obligated to comply with all applicable laws. Violation of the law is not tolerated. US Lacrosse reserves the right to review such violations, which may result in revocation of organizational and/or member status.
Representing the fastest growing national sport, as an emerging force in sports organizations and leadership, US Lacrosse has a duty to provide positive influence over athletic administrators, programs, officials, coaches, and players. The goal of US Lacrosse, in creating the Code of Ethics, is to promote sportsmanship and character by teaching, advocating, modeling and enforcing ethical principles, while preserving the integrity of the game.
By affiliating with US Lacrosse, individuals and organizations agree to comply with the aspirational guidelines set forth in the Code of Ethics. Failure to adhere to this Code of Ethics may result in revocation of membership or affiliation. US Lacrosse encourages others involved with the sport of lacrosse to adopt and follow these important guidelines.
Ethics Advisory Committee
Chris Brescia (chair)