IAPS Guidelines on Sport
Children develop differently, at different rates and react differently to the same
• Don’t force an unwilling child to participate in sport; he or she is not playing to
satisfy your ambitions.
• Children and young people are involved in organising sport for their
enjoyment – not yours.
• Encourage your children always to play by the rules.
• Teach your child that effort and teamwork are as important as victory so that
the result of each game is accepted without undue disappointment.
• Turn defeat into victory by helping your child work towards skill improvement
and a positive sporting attitude. Never ridicule or shout at your child for
making a mistake or losing a competition.
• Children learn best by example. Applaud good play by your team and by
members of the opposing team.
• Don’t question publicly the officials’ judgement and never their honesty.
• Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from children’s
• Recognise the value and importance of coaches. They give their time and
resources to provide guidance for your child. Set an example by being
friendly to the parents of the opposition!
• Emphasise enjoyment and fun.
• Praise and reinforce effort and improvement.
Children at play are not professional entertainers
• Children play organised sport for their own fun. They are not there to
entertain you, and they are NOT miniature adults or professional sportsmen
• Don’t harass or swear at players, coaches or officials.
• Applaud good play by your own and the visiting team. Show respect for your
team’s opponents. Without them there would be no game.
• Never ridicule or scold a child for making a mistake during a competition.
• Condemn the use of violence in all forms.
• Respect the officials’ decisions.
• Encourage players always to play by the rules.
• Relax and enjoy the game whether your team wins or not.