Code of Conduct


This Code of Conduct (‘the Code’) applies to players, Committee Members, officials and supporters (‘Members’) of the St.Bernard’s Old Collegians Football Club (‘the Club’). References to the Committee are to those elected Members of the Club.

The objective of the Code is to is to ensure that Members conduct themselves in a fair and appropriate manner, at all times respecting umpires and opposition players, officials and supporters, whilst recognising the principle of fair play and the need to promote the game of football and its parent body, the VAFA.

The Club is committed to ensuring safe, welcoming and inclusive environments for all people involved in the Club.


Members must conduct themselves in a manner so as not to bring the VAFA, the Club and members of the community into disrepute. Inappropriate behaviour could result in sanctions to be determined by the Club’s Committee.

This applies to behaviour which:

  • Occurs during the course of any match, training session or Club function;
  • Involves public comment; and
  • Involves conduct deemed by the Committee to have brought the VAFA and/or the Club into disrepute.

Examples of behaviour which brings the Club into disrepute includes:

  • Excessive and inappropriate swearing;
  • Inappropriate heckling or sledging;
  • Abuse directed at any official, player or spectator;
  • Any physical abuse, unnecessary physical contact, intimidating or aggressive behaviour.
  • Misuse of social network sites for bullying players, criticising umpires or Club officials;
  • Harassment (whether sexual or otherwise); and/or
  • Instances where Members attend the club under the influence of illegal drugs or excessive alcohol consumption

Racial and Religious Vilification

Members must refrain from making any comment that vilifies or tends to vilify persons based on characteristics including but not limited to their race, religion, colour, sex, sexual orientation or special ability/disability. Inappropriate behaviour could result in disciplinary action being taken including the Member being suspended from the Club.


Members must show due regard for the property and facilities of the Club and the property, facilities and staff of other providers that are utilised during any authorised activities.

Where a Member breaches this provision, he or she may be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to being required to pay the relevant person or body an amount equivalent to the cost of repairing or replacing the damage they caused to the property and/or facility.

Social Media

Members are to not engage in any negative or harmful commentary towards other Members, the Club or the VAFA on any social media platforms. This includes posting statuses, images and/or comments.

Substance Abuse

The Club has adopted an Illegal Drugs Policy which can be located on the club website St. Bernards Football club ( This policy should be read and understood in conjunction with the club’s code of conduct.

The AFL Illicit Drugs Policy and AFL Anti-Doping Code prohibit the taking of illicit and/or performance-enhancing substances. It is the responsibility of Members to report suspected illegal or inappropriate use or distribution of alcohol or drugs to a coaching representative or Committee Member(s). Any Member found to be using or distributing illegal substances on the Club premises and at any time while representing the Club will be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to immediate suspension.

Breaches of the Code of Conduct

The following process will be followed if anyone breaches or is alleged to have breached this Conduct:

  • A Club representative will approach the Member breaching or alleged to have breached the Code and politely ask them to refrain from behaving in such a manner and remind them about the Code.
  • A Member failing to observe an on the spot caution may be asked to leave the venue or event by a Committee Member.
  • Those that breach the Code may be required to front a disciplinary panel established by the Committee and may then be subject to disciplinary action. Any penalty imposed is at the discretion of the Committee (or their selected representatives) and repeated breaches may result in expulsion from the Club.
  • After reviewing and evaluating the evidence a decision will be confirmed and outcomes of the process documented and signed by the parties (with one of those parties to be one of the Club’s President or Secretary). A copy is to be provided to the parties concerned.
  • Members will have the right to appeal a decision through the complaints/appeals procedures of the Club.

The Club is committed to ensuring that natural justice and privacy of people involved in the breach are dealt with sensitively, irrespective of the alleged breach to the Code.

Player Code of Conduct

  • Abide by the Code, the rules of the game and rules set down by your coach, Club and the VAFA.
  • Refrain from arguing with an official or umpire.
  • Control your temper. Verbal or physical abuse of officials, other Members, umpires,
  • spectators or other players, deliberately distracting or provoking an opponent is not
  • acceptable or permitted.
  • Treat all players as you would like to be treated. Do not interfere with, bully or take unfair
  • advantage of another player.
  • Always show respect for umpires and respect decisions made even if you do not agree with the outcome.

Be responsible for your actions.