Expected Behaviour and Code of Conduct

Practical guidance on physical contact

As a responsible adult you should only use physical contact if its aim is to

  • Treat an injury
  • Prevent an injury or accident from occurring
  • If the child or vulnerable adult is physically or visually impaired and needs to be touched in order to help them understand

You should seek to explain the reason for the physical contact to the child, i.e. explain in language they can understand. Unless the situation is an emergency, the adult should ask for permission. Physical contact should always be intended to meeting the child’s needs NOT the adult’s.

If a child becomes injured, and the injury requires the child to be carried to a place of treatment, always seek the support from another adult before moving the child. Any first aid administered should be in the presence of another adult or in open view of others.

Codes of conduct

The following codes of practice should be consulted:


Abuse of children and vulnerable adults can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with the judgement about any action to take. Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with children in order to harm them. A coach, instructor, official or volunteer may have regular contact with children and be an important link in identifying cases where the child needs protection. All suspicious cases or poor practice should be reported following guidelines in this document. When a child or vulnerable adult enters the club having been subjected to abuse outside the sporting environment, sport can play a crucial role in improving the individual self esteem.

Good Practice means:

  • Ensuring that bowls is fun, enjoyable and fair play is promoted
  • Treating all children equally with respect and dignity
  • Being an excellent role model, this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol
  • Always putting the welfare of children first, before winning or achieving goals by encouraging a constructive environment where healthy competition, skill development, fun and achievement are promoted in equal measures
  • Always working in an open environment (eg avoiding being alone with a child, and encouraging open communication with no secrets)
  • Building balanced relationships based on trust which enable children to take part in the decision making process.
  • Not tolerating acts of aggression
  • Recognising the needs and abilities of children, avoiding too much training or competitions and not pushing them against their will
  • Giving positive and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism
  • Working to Bowls Panel guidance on physical contact, where children are always consulted and their agreement gained before any contact
  • Keeping up-to-date with technical skills, qualifications and insurance in sport
  • Ensuring that if mixed sex teams are taken away, they are always accompanied by a male and female chaperone
  • While on tour, you do not enter a child’s room or invite them into your room, except in an emergency ie when very unwell.
  • Finding out if any children you are supervising have medical conditions that could be aggravated whilst playing or training.
  • Helping the family of bowls to work towards eradicating harassment and abuse of children from the sport
  • Keeping a written record any time a child is injured in your care, along with the details of any treatment provided. Report the incident immediately to the Club Safeguarding Officer or Welfare Officer (SO/WO) or County SO/WO with a copy to the Club or County Secretary.

Avoiding poor practice means you must never:

  • Spend excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others
  • Take or drop off a child at an event
  • Take children to your home or transport them by car, where they will be alone with you
  • Engage in rough, physical or sexual provocative games
  • Share a room with a child
  • Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching or physical abuse
  • Take part in or tolerate behaviour that frightens, embarrasses or demoralises a bowler or affects their self esteem
  • Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
  • Make sexual suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
  • Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or ignored.
  • Make a child cry as a form of control
  • Do things of a personal nature for children or vulnerable adults that they can do for themselves
  • Shower with a child

Any of these can leave you open to allegations.