Fair Play Code of Conduct

Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board Fair Play Code of Conduct (“the Code”)

Extract from the address by Mawlana Hazar Imam to Jamati Leaders on the occasion of His 80th Birthday (16 December 2016):

‘My wish for the decades ahead is that you stand firmly by the principles and the ethics of our faith, wherever you are, whatever age you are, whatever you do in your lives, it is essentially important to me that the principles of our faith should be respected everyday of your lives. This is my hope and this is my prayer.’

The Code conveys sporting principles for which the game has always stood. Its purpose is to promote fair play, respect, sportsmanship and team spirit.

As Mawlana Hazar Imam expressed on His 80th birthday, the ethics of the faith must be followed whatever we are doing in our lives. Integrity, tolerance, excellence, friendship, equality, respect for written and unwritten rules are the building blocks of fair play that can be experienced and learnt both on and off the field.

Fair play extends beyond just the player; these principles extend to parents, referees, volunteers and spectators. It is not a theory – it is an attitude that manifests itself in behaviour. The following will serve as a guide for the European Sports Festival (ESF) 2017 in introducing fair play awareness to the Jamat.


Fair Play Guidelines

  1. Play Fair
    Winning is without value if victory has been achieved unfairly or dishonestly. Cheating is easy, but brings no pleasure. Playing fair requires courage and character. It is also more satisfying. Fair play always has its reward, even when the game is lost. Playing fair earns you respect, while poor sportsmanship is detested.
  2. Play to Win
    Winning is the core objective of playing sport. Never set out to lose. If you do not play to win, you are cheating your opponents, deceiving those who are watching, and fooling yourself. Never give up against stronger opponents but never relent against weaker ones. It is an insult to any opponent to play at less than full strength.
  3. Follow the Rules of the Sport
    Rules are simple and easy to learn. Make an effort to learn them, so you understand the sport better. This makes you a better player. It is just as important to understand the spirit of the rules – they are designed to make the game fun to play and fun to watch.
  4. Respect Opponents, Teammates, Referees, Officials and Spectators
    Fair play requires unconditional respect for opponents, fellow players, referees and supporters. Your teammates are your colleagues. You form a team in which all members are equal. Referees are there to maintain discipline and fair play. Always accept and respect their decisions without arguing, and help them to help you enjoy the game more. Spectators give the game atmosphere. They want to see the game played fairly, but must also behave fairly themselves.
  5. Accept Defeat with Dignity
    Nobody wins all the time. You win some, you lose some. Learn to lose graciously. Don’t seek excuses for defeat. Genuine reasons will always be self-evident. Congratulate the winners with good grace. Don’t blame the referee or anyone else. Determine to do better next time. Good losers earn more respect than bad winners. Doing your best is as important as winning. Regardless of the result, shake hands with your fellow competitors.
  6. Be a Peacemaker
    It is natural that in tense situations, there can be differences of opinion. When these differences of opinion lead to a dispute, they need to be resolved through dialogue, understanding and compromise, always bearing in mind the ethics of our faith. Be a peacemaker and promote the prevention and resolution of disputes in an ethical manner. Dispute prevention will enhance unity and harmony within the Jamat and inevitably lead to a much more enjoyable event for everyone involved.

The Oath

The Code provides guidelines ensure fair play. Through the Oath athletes, parents, referees and spectators pledge to abide by the Code.

On behalf of anyone participating at ESF 2017, I hereby pledge to respect and abide by the rules, regulations, policies and conditions set forth by the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board for the United Kingdom Jurisdiction, France, Portugal and their respective Jurisdiction Jamats.

 In keeping with the Jamat’s ethics and values, I further confirm my unwavering commitment to the pledges below.

 

Athletes

I pledge to:

  1. Respect and uphold fair play and exercise good sportsmanship
  2. Exercise restraint and self-discipline on and off the field
  3. Avoid any behaviours or activities that would endanger the health or well-being of others, or cause offence to fellow competitors, spectators or volunteers
  4. Respect the authority of the referees and officials and accept their decisions
  5. Show respect, consideration and gratitude towards all volunteers
  6. Resolve any grievances and/or personal differences with understanding, humility, respect, tolerance and forgiveness
  7. Show respect to my opponents whether I win or lose because without them, there would be no game.

 

Parents

I pledge to:

  1. Explain the contents and importance of the Athletes pledge above to my child
  2. Remember that my child plays for his or her enjoyment, not for mine
  3. Teach my child that doing one’s best is as important as winning, so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome of the game
  4. Remember that children learn best by example and so I will be a good role model

 

Referees

I pledge to:

  1. Respect and uphold fair play and exercise good sportsmanship
  2. Show respect, consideration and gratitude towards all volunteers
  3. Resolve any grievances with understanding, humility, respect, tolerance and forgiveness
  4. Do everything I can to promote fair play and be a role model for others
  5. Avoid or put an end to any situation that threatens the safety of the players
  6. Not to permit the intimidation of any player either by words or actions.
  7. Not tolerate unacceptable conduct toward myself, other officials, players or spectators
  8. Fulfil my role as a teacher, role model and promoter of fair play, especially with young participants.

 

Spectators

I pledge to:

  1. Respect and uphold fair play and exercise good sportsmanship
  2. Exercise restraint and self-discipline when spectating
  3. Avoid any behaviours or activities that would endanger the health or well-being of others, or cause offence to fellow competitors, spectators or volunteers
  4. Respect the authority of the referees and officials and accept their decisions
  5. Show respect, consideration and gratitude towards all volunteers
  6. Resolve any grievances and/or personal differences with understanding, humility, respect, tolerance and forgiveness
  7. Remember that participants play for their enjoyment.

 

Volunteers

I pledge to:

  1. Serve to the best of my ability, with honesty, integrity and humility
  2. Keep the interests of the Jamat at the forefront of everything I do.

 

By taking this pledge, I agree to observe and abide by the above pledges at all times during the European Sports Festival, on and off the playing field, from the time of my arrival to the time of my departure.

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