Sportsmanship & Conduct Policy

The RAA exists to build confident, successful and respectful future citizens through youth sports. By focusing on providing affordable, competitive and respectful youth sports programs and facilities that are accessible to everyone in our community independent of household income level. 

We facilitate volunteer lead youth programs that build good sportsmanship, physical fitness, athletic skills, team comradery, and civic pride with opportunities for our community to rally together and support each other through a love of friendly competition in sports.

While we are not a farm system for the Riverview School District Athletic Programs, or any other school programs, we recognize the impact we may have on those programs.  Our focus is on developing good life skills through sports.

The RAA will not tolerate verbal or physical abuse of its volunteer coaches, referees, or players from any Parent, Player, or Spectator.  Spectators, as well as the players and coaches, are expected to abide by the Code of Conduct described herein at all RAA events (practices, games, tournaments, or travel to and/or from).  While most of the adults and children in the program will abide by this code without being instructed, it is being published to protect the children, the integrity of our programs, and emphasize the values of the RAA.  This Code of Conduct as set forth below, is not intended to limit the scope or application of any laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the Boroughs of Verona and Oakmont, to the extent such laws, rules or ordinances are applicable.

Parents/Spectators Code of Conduct

Sports can be a valuable, memorable, and rewarding experience for all participants.  The experience can serve as a foundation for youth and adolescent development.  At any RAA event, practice, or competition, any adult who verbally abuses, attempts to intimidate, is flagrantly rude to, or does not control their language or actions with a Player, Referee, Coach, Spectator, or RAA Board Member will be asked to immediately leave the event.  In addition, he or she may receive written warning regarding their behavior from the RAA Board of Directors.  If the adult fails to leave upon request, law enforcement authorities may be called to remove the spectator.  Any adult that commits a second similar offense will be banned from RAA events for the remainder of that season.  Any adult who physically assaults a Player, Referee, Coach, or RAA Board Member will be banned from RAA sports for one year from the date of the offense.  After one year, the parent may apply for re-instatement.  If the adult commits a second offense, he or she will be permanently banned from all RAA events.  The term physical assault includes, but is not limited to; hitting, slapping, pushing, spitting, kicking or striking in any way with any part of the body or any physical implement.

As a parent or spectator, I will:

  1. Support the Players, Referees, and Coaches and help teach the value of commitment to the team, sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and fair play.
  2. Support my child’s team and help my child and the RAA make athletic contests a positive education experience.
  3. Direct constructive criticism of my child’s team program to the Coach and/or RAA Board Members at an appropriate time.
  4. If a situation occurs during a game or practice which you believe requires a discussion with the Coach; RAA requires that you wait 24 hours before doing so, unless the situation involves the health or safety of a child.
  5. Accept decisions of the game Referees and Coaches on the field as fair and called to the best ability of the said officials.  The Referees are in charge of all games, and their decisions are final.
  6. Exhibit exemplary sportsmanship at all times.
  7. Emphasize that good athletes strive to be good students that are physically and mentally alert.
  8. Abstain from being under the influence of, or in possession, of alcoholic beverages and any illegal substance, on game and practice fields.
  9. Remain behind the designated Spectator Sideline during a game.  Spectators are not allowed on the Team Sidelines or on the Field during a game, except with Coaches approval (i.e.-child injury).
  10. Not express complaints about Coaches in stands, or to Coaches in the presence of Players (i.e. right after a game or practice).
  11. Strive to make every sport activity serve as a training ground for life, and a basis for good mental and physical health by being present to support the children.

As a parent or spectator, I will not:

  1. Interfere or interrupt the Coaches during games or practices.
  2. Criticize Referees or Coaches, direct abuse or profane language toward them, or otherwise subvert their authority.
  3. Criticize an opposing team, its Players, Coaches, or Spectators by word of mouth, by gesture, or by deliberately inciting unsportsmanlike behavior.
  4. Undermine, in work or deed, the authority of the Coach or RAA.

Consequences of Behavior

Anyone who fails to conform their conduct to the preceding Code of Conduct while attending, coaching, officiating, or participating in a RAA event will be subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to the following, in any order or combination.

    1. Verbal or written warning issued by the RAA.
    2. Suspension or immediate ejection from the RAA event or multiple events.
    3. Season suspension or multiple season suspensions issued by RAA.

Important Notes: The RAA Board uses the three strike policy we hold our coaches accountable toward as a general rule on how to determine disciplinary action.

  • This policy is not exhaustive and may be modified at the discretion of the League Board.
  • The severity of the consequences will be determined on a case-by-case basis, considering the nature of the infraction, prior behavior, and impact on the program and participants.
  • Communication and collaboration between coaches, parents, and the Riverview Athletic Association Board are crucial in addressing disciplinary issues.
  • The goal of this policy is to ensure everyone upholds our core values and contribute to a positive and enriching experience for all participants.

The RAA Board

Progressive Discipline Policy for Coaches

The Riverview Athletic Association prioritizes creating a safe, positive, and inclusive environment for all participants, including players, coaches, parents, and officials. This progressive discipline policy specifically outlines the expected conduct for coaches and the consequences for violations. It is designed to ensure that all coaches uphold our core values and contribute to a nurturing and respectful environment.

Core Values:
Our core values are:

  • Integrity: Knowing and doing what is right. Learn from mistakes and losses; seize the opportunity to improve.
  • Respect: Treating others the way you want to be treated. Support everyone's worth and dignity, regardless of background, abilities, or beliefs.
  • Responsibility: Accept that your actions impact everyone around you. Prove that others can depend on you. 
  • Sportsmanship: Compete skillfully, guided by the letter and spirit of the rules. Respect the game and everyone's contributions.
  • Fun: Encourage enjoyment and celebrate the joy of playing sports.

Expected Conduct:
All coaches are expected to:

  • Demonstrate respect and positive communication with all participants, including players, parents, officials, and other coaches.
  • Prioritize the safety and well-being of all players.
  • Comply with all league rules, regulations, and safety protocols.
  • Abstain from abusive language, bullying, harassment, or discrimination of any kind.
  • Maintain a positive and encouraging coaching style that focuses on player development and teamwork.
  • Refrain from using physical force or intimidation.
  • Promote a culture of sportsmanship and respect for opponents and officials and model positive behavior and sportsmanship for your players.
  • Focus on teaching skills, teamwork, and the joy of the game, rather than solely on winning.
  • Communicate effectively and respectfully with players and parents.
  • Be aware of your limitations and seek support when needed.
  • Continuously strive to improve your coaching skills and knowledge.

By adhering to this policy and demonstrating the core values, coaches can contribute significantly to a positive and rewarding experience for all involved in the youth athletic program.

Additional Coaching Resources:

National Alliance for Youth Sports:
Positive Coaching Alliance:

Progressive Discipline Format

Three-Strike Policy:
This policy utilizes a three-strike system to address infractions. The severity of the consequence will increase with each subsequent offense. An infraction is considered official when it is communicated in writing and must be emailed to the RAA Board of Directors at 

Strike 1:

  • Minor infractions: Disrespectful behavior towards players, parents, or officials, minor rule violations, inappropriate language.
  • Possible Consequences: Verbal warning, individual coaching session, written reflection exercise, mandatory training on positive coaching practices.

Strike 2:

  • More serious infractions/Second Infraction: Repeated minor infractions, aggressive behavior towards players or officials, use of discriminatory language, failure to follow safety protocols.
  • Possible Consequences: Meeting with RAA Board of Directors, temporary suspension from coaching duties, community service project, mandatory completion of additional coaching certifications.

Strike 3:

  • Major infractions/Third Infraction: Physical violence, harassment, discrimination, threats, serious rule violations, violation of league policies, endangering player safety.
  • Consequences: Immediate removal from the coaching program for the remainder of the season, potential ineligibility for future seasons, and notification to relevant authorities.

Important Notes:

  • This policy is not exhaustive and may be modified at the discretion of the League Board.
  • The severity of the consequences will be determined on a case-by-case basis, considering the nature of the infraction, prior behavior, and impact on the program and participants.
  • Communication and collaboration between coaches, parents, and the Riverview Athletic Association Board are crucial in addressing disciplinary issues.
  • The goal of this policy is to ensure all coaches uphold our core values and contribute to a positive and enriching experience for all participants

The RAA Board



You shall support and encourage your child, attend games and cheer for all of the players, including the opposition.


You shall play the sport with your child outside of practices and games if the child wants to, but not push your child into doing so. Pushing your child can cause resentment and burnout.


You shall practice good sportsmanship and avoid yelling at your child about the child's performance during or after games, even when said child deserves it.


You shall realize youth sports are for kids, not adults, and not compare your child to another player or sibling in either a positive or negative manner.


You shall avoid critiquing your child's or any other player's game performance on the car ride home.  You will only discuss the game if the child wants to.


You shall bring your child to practices and games on time and contact the coaches if your child cannot attend or will be late for a practice or game.


You will endeavor to always be a positive role model for all children and avoid complaining about or yelling at referees, even when they make bad calls or screw up royally.  When tempted to violate this commandment, you will remind yourself referees are often volunteers, teenagers or in training themselves.


You shall understand that while winning is fun, youth sports research clearly shows kids would rather play on a losing team, than sit the bench on a winning one.  This understanding will include the fact that all kids need to play significant minutes - not just your kid or the best ones - and make mistakes during games to have fun and improve.  Children mature and progress at different rates.  Michael Jordan was cut from the Varsity as a high school sophomore and Bill Russell was only 5'9" tall as a sophomore in high school.


You shall not coach your child or any other players from the sidelines or stands.  If you have a problem with the "official" coach, you will address it in private with said coach.  If you would like to coach, you will volunteer to be one.


You shall always remember you are the adult and act like one.  It is more difficult for a child to deal with an out-of-control parent than a parent (that is, you) to deal with an out-of-control child.

By Jim Bado