Code of Conduct

Senior Section Code of Conduct

The following Code of Conduct has been written to uphold the aims of Erskine Stewarts Melville Hockey Club (ESM HC) and to help and protect all players, umpires and spectators involved in the playing of hockey regardless of whether it is in league games, friendly matches or training sessions.

It should be read in conjunction with the rules of the Scottish Hockey Union, the Rules of Hockey and ESM HC Discipline and Grievance Policy.

Each individual is accountable for his or her own actions. Whether you are playing, watching, coaching or umpiring any match, it is your personal responsibility to treat your own team, opposition, coaches, spectators and the umpires with respect before, during and after the match.

Additional responsibilities placed on individuals are detailed as follows.

Interaction with Umpires

  • It is important to recognise that a game of Hockey cannot take place without the presence of two umpires. 
  • Abuse of an umpire, whether verbal or physical, will not be tolerated. Anyone receiving more than two yellow cards in any consecutive 12 month period for verbal abuse to an umpire or dissent will be referred to the Disciplinary Committee. 
  • Only the team Captain (or in his/her absence the Vice Captain) may query an Umpire’s decision on the pitch. Never argue with an umpire. If you have a query, ask your captain to approach the umpire at half time or after the game in a calm and courteous manner to get clarification. Positive discussion between the players and the umpires can take place during the post match refreshment but only if the umpires are willing to enter into that discussion
  • Respect works both ways and our umpires should at all times remain courteous, inter active and seek to make decisions in accordance with the rules of hockey to the best of their ability and with due regard to consistency and fairness.


  • On match days please arrive at the place stipulated by your Captain at the correct time, ring the team captain or coach if you think you are going to be late. Make sure you have mobile numbers to contact your team captain or other members of your team and let them know yours so you can be contacted. 
  • While the club is a social one, players are expected to attend games in a condition to be able to play otherwise this disrespects the Captain and other players.
  • Players should not enter the pitch area either to spectate or to warm-up prior to the conclusion of the previous game on the pitch. Players should behave in this manner when at away matches also. 
  • Warm-up properly before the game and warm down after the game, it prevents injury and contributes to the team’s success.
  • Teams failing to fulfil fixtures result in fines for the Club. These fines will be met by the team in question. 


  • All players, when representing the Club on and off the pitch shall act and dress appropriately.
  • The club colours are Red shirts and Navy shorts (or skirts or skorts) with a change strip of Navy shirts and Navy shorts (or skirts or skorts). White socks are to be worn for home games, and red socks for away games. The club can be fined for not wearing the right kit in league games, and all players must have numbered shirts with no duplicates.

During the Game

  • The Captain is responsible for the conduct of their team and spectators for the duration of the game. Do not put them under pressure with poor behaviour. 
  • Our players are expected to demonstrate sportsmanlike behaviour at all times.
  • A team can consist of 16 players hence rolling substitutions should be expected. Whilst off the pitch wear a different coloured top from your playing strip. Only warm up on your side of the team/bench area. Coaches should stay in designated area close to the half way line and not cross over into the other half. Substituted players are expected to act with dignity, and to contribute to the team’s efforts by supporting their team-mates.
  • During the Captain’s/Vice-Captain’s team talks have the courtesy to listen to what is being said. He or she only has a few minutes to put points across, please do not interrupt or start rival conversations. Don’t criticize or remonstrate with your team instead encourage and support.
  • The club is required to abide by Scottish Hockey’s clean air policy. 


  • The club wants to achieve an exemplary record, and it should go without saying that those who undermine our efforts in this area are risking their future with the club.
  • We will not tolerate players regularly getting carded or sent off. It gets the club a bad name and contrary to what some might believe, it does not help us to win matches.
  • We expect umpires to be treated with respect before, during and after the game.
  • If for any reason a player is sent off with a yellow card they should leave the pitch quickly and under control, so that the game can be restarted without undue delay. You are required to stay in the area designated by the umpire and sit quietly – take time to reflect on your actions, take your punishment and learn from it.
  • Make the most of any period of suspension by watching the play closely and working out how you will be best able to contribute to the team’s performance when you rejoin play.
  • The penalty for a red card will be that stipulated by the SHU but if it is considered necessary, the Discipline Committee may take further action. Fines for yellow cards are set by the team captain, additional penalties may be considered by the Club’s Disciplinary Committee if the number of yellow cards reaches three (two if they are for dissent, foul language or other unacceptable behaviour).
  • The club operates a zero tolerance policy towards abuse and discrimination. Cases of abuse or discrimination on the grounds of gender, disability, race and ethnicity, religion or beliefs and sexual orientation by any club member will be investigated by the Club’s Discipline Committee. Unprovoked aggression, intimidation and verbal abuse are not acceptable at this club. It is within the Discipline Committee’s power to remove any member deemed to have abused any other member on any of the grounds noted above.
  • If any member feels that they have been abused in any of the above ways by another club member or a player or official from another club or organisation then they encouraged to contact their team captain in the first instance or any other member of the Committee.
  • Members should be aware of the Club’s Discipline and Grievance policy.


  • Parents, ex-players, friends and others are always welcome to attend matches.
  • Spectators should remain outside the pitch fence and any young children or animals should be supervised at all times.
  • Show respect for your team’s opponents and the umpires at all times.
  • Positively support your own team.


  • Warm down and stay together as a team regardless of the result. It helps with any following matches if you do this off the playing area.
  • Do not approach the umpires and opponents on the pitch immediately after the game in an aggressive or abusive manner.
  • At the end of the game always thank the umpires and shake hands with your opponents.
  • Try to get back to the club or pub for refreshments and encourage the opposition to come back also. This is the best time to seek clarification with umpires as mentioned earlier.


  • Serious contenders for places in any team are expected to attend training regularly. 
  • Work hard during training sessions and listen to the instructions given. If you can’t attend training let your captain or coach know.
  • The club understands that members have work commitments and accepts this as a reason for absence.


  • It is the responsibility of each player to let the Captain know of any absence as soon as far in advance as possible.
    Captains will ascertain player availability at the start of each week by email. If you do not have email, it is your responsibility to suggest an alternate method of contact.
  • All players should confirm availability to Captains by 5pm Wednesday. This allows Captains to rotate squads as appropriate through discussions at training. Squads will be announced by email on Thursday.
  • If you have a point to make to your Captain, coach or a Committee member, about team selection or other matters, that is your right, but this should be done in private. Your attitude towards selection may become a matter for the Discipline Committee.


  • The Club is administered by a small committee and has few umpires therefore if you are keen to help out in either way make yourself known.
  • Please make new members feel welcome. 
  • Hockey is a social sport to be enjoyed by all so please use your common sense.

Last update: March 2017

Youth Section Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct applies to all youth hockey players involved with ESM Youth Hockey Club at training sessions, camps and when representing the club at matches.

Expected minimum standards of behaviour and conduct by all youth hockey players

  • Respect the spirit of fair play in hockey. This is more than playing within the rules. It also incorporates the concepts of kindness, friendship, respect for others (both coaches and other players) and always participating with the right spirit.
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of others.
  • Conduct themselves in a manner that takes all reasonable measures to
    protect their own safety and the safety of others.
  • Promote the reputation of the sport and take all possible steps to prevent it from being brought into disrepute.
  • Protect themselves and others involved in the game from verbal or physical abuse, and threatening, intimidating or bullying behaviour.
  • Never use inappropriate language or gestures.
  • Follow coaching instruction without unnecessary distraction.
  • Abide by the Scottish Hockey Code of Conduct for Safeguarding Children in Sport.
  • Abide by the Scottish Hockey Equality and Diversity Policy.
  • Abide by the Scottish Hockey Anti-Doping Rules.

Parental support of Ethos of ESM Hockey Club

  • Be aware of the Code of Conduct of the ESM Youth Hockey Club and discuss it with their children who wish to attend the club.
  • Be responsive and supportive when feedback is received from the coaches or other officials of the club.

Management of Poor Conduct at ESM Youth Hockey Club

  • ESM Youth Hockey Club is a friendly and inclusive hockey club welcoming hockey players at all levels of hockey.
  • All players, when representing the Club on and off the pitch shall act and dress appropriately.
  • Feedback will be provided to parents of youth members who appear not to wish to play hockey such that behaviour on the pitch leads to session disruption for the coaches and other players.
    • If behaviour remains disruptive after a maximum of 2 warnings, discussion will be had with the youth member’s parents as to whether the youth member wishes to continue playing hockey with ESM Hockey Club.
  • Feedback will be provided to parents if youth members demonstrate any behaviour that is identified by the coaches as being disrespectful and/or dangerous to either coaches or other players.
    • Depending on the severity of the poor behaviour, the youth member may be issued with up to a maximum of 2 warnings, or if the poor behaviour is particularly serious the parents may be contacted immediately to discuss whether the youth member can continue to attend ESM Hockey Club sessions.

Last update: August 2021

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