Guidelines for conduct between adults/ adolescents and children

Calgary Rockies Football Club adheres to the following Child Protection Code of Conduct to guide our employees and volunteers in their interactions with children.

Sport offers incredible experiences and opportunities for children. These experiences are integral to enhancing child development. Positive experiences are tied to healthy relationships between athletes and coaches, as well as to safe environments where adults are accountable for their actions and behaviors. As such, the purpose of these guidelines is to establish a common understanding of expectations for adults interacting with children in sport, and a sense of safety for those who need to bring forward any concerns of misconduct towards children.

For the purpose of this document “a coach or adult” refers to any person working, volunteering or otherwise interacting with children in sport. “Children” refers to anyone under 18 years old.

The Coach and Athlete Relationship

Generally, coaches are in a position of trust, and it’s through professional boundaries that this foundation of trust between coaches and athletes is built. If boundaries are broken, that pillar of the relationship crumbles.

The coach and athlete relationship is also characterized by a power imbalance in favour of the coach. Athletes are taught to respect and listen to their coaches, and they are dependent upon the coach’s knowledge and training to further develop their skills.

Both trust and power can be used to breach the coach-athlete relationship, and often this happens through boundary violations, which occur when the adult places their needs above the needs of the child and gains personally or professionally at the child’s expense.

The responsibility is always with the adult to establish and maintain an appropriate boundaries with children.

Appropriate and Inappropriate Behaviour Examples of Appropriate Behaviour:

  • Respectful language, tone and attitude towards others

  • Respectful of personal physical and emotional boundaries

  • Responding to children to meet the child’s needs and not the adult’s

  • Engaging with children in a manner that would be seen by a reasonable observer as maintaining

    reasonable boundaries

  • Keeping practices open to observation by parents

  • Communication with children (including electronic) is transparent and accountable

    Examples of Inappropriate Behaviour:

  • Disrespectful language

  • Humiliating or intimidating children

  • Inappropriate touching of children (e.g., massaging, stroking, caressing, roughhousing, tickling)

  • Confiding or sharing overly personal information with a child

  • Asking children to keep secrets

  • Electronic communication with children that is personal and not directly tied to coaching


  • Communication that is sexual or flirtatious in nature

  • Pictures taken with personal devices or in change rooms

    Standard of Measure for Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries
    All interactions and activities with children should be (including electronic communication):

    • Transparent

    • Accountable

    • Tied to coaching/volunteer duties

    • In response to meeting the child’s needs

      Parents and Coaches Play a Role

      It can be difficult to respond to a situation where you notice a coach and athlete relationship that appears inappropriate. Reporting inappropriate behavior creates accountability so proper action can be taken and expectations can be re-established. Parents or coaches who have concerns should speak with that coach’s supervisor.

      Parents and coaches should also have regular age-appropriate conversations with children about personal safety and boundary-breaking behavior. Some topics to talk with children about are the qualities of healthy relationships, importance of personal boundaries, and how to get help and where to bring concerns.

    Why Rockies?


    At Calgary Rockies, our mission is to provide every child access to high-quality youth soccer.

    We are committed to providing a supportive environment to foster each child’s development and love for the game. We believe in creating well rounded players, by teaching the skills needed to excel today and in the future. This approach should never make soccer financially inaccessible, therefore our pricing is transparent and affordable.


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