Published in 2006 by Rugby Football
Copyright © Rugby Football Union
Rugby Football Development Limited
Rugby House, Rugby Road
Twickenham TW1 1DS
Tel: 0870 405 2000
Fax: 0870 405 2009
• Bullying of any kind is not acceptable within any
Club or Constituent Body (CB) providing playing
opportunities for children and young people.
• The RFU/W are a ‘telling’ culture and anyone who
knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell
their Club Welfare Officer or CB Welfare Manager.
• Bullying will be taken seriously, responded
to promptly, and procedures followed to deal with
• It is the responsibility of every adult working in rugby
union whether professional or volunteer, to ensure that
all young people can enjoy the sport in a safe
WHAT IS BULLYING?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention
of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and
distress to the victim.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he
or she is being bullied. Children and Young People
have described bullying as:
• being called names.
• being teased.
• being hit, pushed, pulled, pinched, or kicked.
• having their bag, mobile or other possessions taken.
• receiving abusive text messages.
• being forced to hand over money.
• being forced to do things they do not want to do.
• being ignored or left out.
• being attacked because of religion, gender, sexuality,
disability, appearance or ethnic or racial origin.
OTHER SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
• doesn't want to attend training or club activities.
• changes their usual routine.
• begins being disruptive during sessions .
• becomes withdrawn anxious or lacking in confidence.
• has possessions going missing.
• becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable.
• starts stammering.
• has unexplained cuts or bruises.
Bullying can be:
• Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally
and physically), tormenting (e.g. hiding rugby kit,
threatening gestures including sending threatening
• Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any
use of violence.
• Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures.
• Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually
• Homophobic – because of, or focusing on the issue
• Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading
OBJECTIVES OF THE POLICY
• All Club members, coaches, volunteers and parents
should have an understanding of what bullying is.
• All Club members, coaches and volunteers should
know what the RFU/RFUW/Club/Constituent Body
policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying
• All players and parents should know what the
RFU/RFUW/Club/Constituent Body policy is on
bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
• Players and parents should be assured that they
will be supported when bullying is reported
• Bullying will not be tolerated.
IMPLEMENTING RFU ANTI-BULLYING
Phase 1: Raise Awareness
Raise awareness with all members and players within
- Put posters on the notice board
- Ensure all young players know they can talk
to someone if they are worried
- Ensure that parents have a copy of the policy
- Adopt the policy within the club constitution
- Ensure that the Code of Conduct clearly states
that behaviour which constitutes bullying will not
- Ensure all coaches, staff and volunteers have
signed up the code of conduct
- Ensure the policy is given to members
• Set up a working party to support the ongoing
development and implementation of the policy.
• Identify any training needs within the club and
contact the RFU to find out about workshops
and opportunities for support.
• is bullying other children.
• stops eating.
• is frightened to say what's wrong.
These signs and behaviours may not constitute bullying
and be symptoms of other problems. Club/Constituent
members, coaches and volunteers need to be aware of
these possible signs and report any concerns to the Club
Welfare Officer or CB Welfare Manager.
Procedures and Management of Bullying
1. Report bullying incidents to the Club Welfare Officer
(or CB Manager), record (using the RFU Incident
Record Form). If the incident is an adult bullying
a young person, the Club Welfare Officer (or CB
Manager) will report the incident to the RFU Child
Protection Officer. If the incident is a young person
bullying a young person, the club/county will manage
this, and can access advice and support from the
Club Welfare Officer, CB Welfare Manager or RFU
Child Protection Officer at any stage of the process.
2. Parents may be informed and asked to come
in to a meeting to discuss the problem.
3. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted.
4. If mediation fails and the bullying is seen to continue
the Club/CB/RFU can initiate disciplinary action under
the relevant constitution.