Violence in sport

The sporting community in Western Australia has taken a very proactive role in preventing and managing violent behaviour, including physical and verbal, in their respective sport and recreation activities and this has the full support of the department.

Upholding community values

Sport and recreation are an integral part of life in Western Australia and has a responsibility to uphold the accepted values and norms of our community.

Regrettably, there are occasions when violence occurs in sport and recreation settings involving players, officials, administrators and spectators. In all instances, the industry condemns such behaviour and supports initiatives to prevent it from occurring.  

Sport and recreation is not immune from the laws governing society and violence against a person and/or property is a punishable offence, be it on or off the field. It is important that the industry have procedures in place to manage and prevent violence and promote these procedures to all of their members and supporters. 

Responsible management for a violence-free industry

Many community sporting organisations already have established procedures for managing violence that might occur during an event and in many cases these are outlined in their constitution and/or by-laws. For examples of guidelines you can visit the Australian Sports Commission website.  

Club culture

These procedures start with the culture of your club. Players, coaches, officials and staff set the example for parents, volunteers and supporters of your club. The manner in which club members exhibit fair play and manage any incidents that occur reflects how the club expects all its’ members to behave. 

Self-management tribunals

The Australian Football Tribunals and the National Rugby League Tribunals are examples of the end of the line management of violence on the field by the sporting organisation itself, and are models for self-management.  

What can our organisation/club do?

The department encourages you to adopt the following ideas as a minimum:

  • Hold your activities in environments that participants can reasonably expect to be free of violence.
  • Have clear rules that guide appropriate management if a violent incident occurs.
  • Ensure that participants’ Play by the Rules of the sport/activity and exhibit fair play at all times.
  • Promote the expectation that your club culture is about fair play and non-violent behaviour to everyone including – officials, administrators, coaches, parents and spectators.               
Page reviewed 03 July 2019