After seeing a rise in sport rage related incidents across some associations in the state, Football NSW has published the ‘Don’t Cross the Line’ handbook, in order to take action against this increase.
In response to undesired media condemnation and the efforts taken by some associations in admonishing clubs with the potential of a competition shutdown, Football NSW views the document as a guide towards future prevention of harm from abusive actions.
The guide seeks to provide associations with the tools to develop an optimal, safe and enjoyable football environment for all, whilst addressing the causes of sport rage and the measures that can decrease the number of incidents. Clubs can become equipped to adequately deal with and sanction inappropriate behaviour.
Feedback was retrieved from a variety of football associations and participants across the state regarding their experiences with sport rage, all of whom were instrumental in the creation of the new document.
In a statement co-written by Football NSW’s Chairman Anter Isaac and Chief Executive Officer Stuart Hodge, the pair acknowledged the need to proactively address sport rage in an effective manner.
“Sport rage is violence, bad language, abuse and general unacceptable behaviour that does not meet community expectations,” they said in a joint statement.
“Sport rage is a growing concern as we live in a faster, competitive, technology driven (social media) and more stressful society today.
“It is simply not acceptable that children and young people are exposed to any form of abuse whilst participating in football and there is a pressing need to address poor behaviour to ensure we foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of our participants.”
Football NSW, in tandem with Football Australia and all of the other Member Federations, has worked to produce a ‘Safeguarding Children’ toolkit, which will set the principles and benchmarks that need adhering to by associations in order to protect children and young people.
Additionally, Football NSW is seeking to initiate sessions to be run by communities and associations dedicated to dealing with sport rage, including methods of conflict resolution to be put in place on the side line.
You can view the ‘Don’t Cross the Line’ handbook here.