Coaches’ Code of Conduct

This Code Of Conduct applies to all people who are either coaching or helping in the league. To maintain our inclusive and non-judgemental atmosphere, it is imperative that all coaches and helpers read and fully understand this document before embarking on any kind of instruction in the league.

  1. Use gender-inclusive language to refer to groups of people, e.g. ‘skaters’, ‘people’, ‘fantastic human beings’ etc. Not ‘guys’ or ‘ladies’ or ‘men and women’.
  2. Use gender-inclusive language in all drills and exercises, e.g. ‘ass to crotch’ instead of ‘ass to vag’.
  3. Some people react well to being pushed further, but unless someone has explicitly stated that they wish to be pushed, do not encourage someone to skate beyond their comfort level.
  4. Do not force any skater to participate in any activity they are not comfortable performing.
  5. Do not coach or help if you feel unsafe for any reason, for example heavy medication, illness, dizziness.
  6. Safety is the primary concern.
  7. Skaters must be able to define their own limits, unless you observe someone skating in a way that is dangerous to other people. Then you may ask them to stop skating and calmly explain your reasoning. This may need to be passed onto the welfare team, e.g. if you suspect a skater is suffering from addiction and needs extra support.
  8. We as a league work from celebrating achievements. While constructive criticism can be helpful, it will not be issued unless a skater is repeatedly performing an activity or drill wrong, or performing it unsafely, or unless they have asked. Skaters must be given the opportunity to self-correct, as it can be demoralising to hear that you’re doing something wrong when you’ve only tried it once or twice.
  9. Take on the responsibility of coaching within WFTDA rules.
  10. Respect any officials and do not openly question any rules-related calls they make in public. If you have a problem with a call made, take it up with them in private.
  11. Realise that winning and ‘being the best’, although fun, is not the reason most skaters participate in roller derby.
  12. Be reasonable in your demands on skaters’ time, energy and enthusiasm.
  13. Always ask for explicit verbal permission before touching a skater to help them with a non-contact activity or drill, including off-skates activities such as stretching.
  14. Always use encouraging language, and never ridicule skaters, even if it is in jest.
  15. Helpers – recognise that coaches plan and run sessions in specific ways for specific reasons, and help within those parameters. The league is incredibly grateful for your time and support, but we need to make sure we coach and teach in a cohesive and structured way in order to show that we don’t ‘play favourites’ or value more natural learners over those who find it more difficult.