St. Anthony’s CYO
For thirty three years, St. Anthony's CYO has offered the children of Rocky Point and the surrounding communities the opportunity to participate in a sports program that is a friendly, non-threatening environment. They learn that it is possible to compete and be gracious in victory or defeat. In the interests of making our principles known to all, we have formulated this Sportsmanship Statement. This Statement, along with the CYO Philosophy, is the backbone of our organization. It was when CYO was founded, and it will still be when our children are coordinating and coaching this program.
The CYO Council wants to remind our coaches, volunteers, parents and players what our CYO program is all about. Please take the time to review this pamphlet and to share its contents with your child, so they may learn and understand what our CYO program is all about – Christian values and virtues – while having fun playing sports.
A diocese or a parish sponsors a Catholic Youth Organization as one dimension of its total ministry to youth. A parish CYO program justifies its existence and the sacrifice and expense it entails only if it allows young people to practice Christian attitudes and responsibilities.
In CYO programs, emphasis rests not on the number of games won or lost, but on the participants' attitude in victory or defeat. Learning how to lose is just as important as learning how to win. Learning how to win graciously is more important than winning itself.
CYO programs serve the needs of all youth. They enable the gifted to excel, the less gifted to participate and improve. Star athletes and teams do not receive exclusive attention.
Principles of fair play and sportsmanship must govern every game. Dishonesty has no place in CYO competition. CYO competitors must not borrow from professional sports questionable techniques for winning at any cost.
All participants should have the respect of others on their own team and the opposing team. Competitors should regard the opposition as friends, not enemies.
CYO participants should have a spirit of loyalty to CYO ideals, to parish, to coach, and to the team. They should learn patience with and tolerance of those of less ability. They should feel grateful to all who make the CYO program happen. Speech and actions should reflect Christian values.
At times, during the heat of competition, a participant may temporarily forget some rule of conduct. Prompt correction can turn even failures into learning experiences.
Ultimate responsibility for the success of CYO programs lies with the volunteer adult participant. Adults involved in CYO must remember that the program exists for the Christian growth of young people. Conduct of adults must always model Christian values and virtues. When adults forget the primary focus of CYO, the program becomes destructive. When adults remain faithful to the Christian ideals of CYO, they exercise a unique and rewarding ministry to the young with whom they come in contact.
"Run to win," St. Paul advises (I Cor. 9:24). In CYO athletics, all who compete can win, if they run to win the real prize; closer union with Jesus Christ.
CYO Points of Emphasis
- PRAYER - Prayer is encouraged with youth in CYO. All CYO activities will begin with a prayer, the National Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance. Both teams -- coaches and players -- are to assemble together prior to each contest.
- GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP - Taunting, baiting and rough play will not be tolerated. If CYO is to reflect Christian values, then coaches must emphasize good sportsmanship. Coaches will set sportsmanship goals with their teams and discuss proper conduct. Coaches and players should never show disrespect to the officials. Coaches with concerns about an official should contact their divisional coordinator or sport coordinator.
- SPECTATOR BEHAVIOR - Good sportsmanship includes good spectators. Spectators should cheer in a positive manner and never shout derogatory remarks to coaches, opposing players or game officials. Coaches should emphasize good spectator behavior, explaining proper spectator behavior in the CYO Code of Conduct. Coaches, players or spectators may never approach game officials after a contest for explanations of calls or to make comments. We encourage coaches and officials to communicate with each other, but not the players and/or spectators. Coaches are responsible for the behavior of their spectators and should act immediately on any unruly behavior.
- ALL PLAY - The 'all play rule' guarantees each child equal playing time. Divisional coordinators shall monitor their program's coaches for compliance. Repeated violation shall be a breach of sportsmanship. Coaches, under the supervision of their divisional coordinator, should be certain that all players receive sufficient playing time. Remember, there are no benchwarmers. Everyone gets to play.
- NOT RUNNING UP SCORES - Children have more fun when the contest is close. There is no place to humiliate an opponent. Coaches who run up the score may be suspended.
- KEEP CYO FUN! - CYO is for players, not a spectator sport. Coaches must always be positive, praising and instructing, not shouting negatively or demeaning players. Good coaches build self esteem emphasizing the skills and social aspects of sports rather than winning. Parents must be supportive without placing undue pressure on their child to succeed. All in CYO should keep the outcome of the game in perspective.
Code of Conduct
The CYO, through the vehicle of sports, provides youth with an opportunity to practice Christian attitudes and responsibilities and to become friends with other children throughout the parish and adjoining communities. CYO activities should be examples of the meaning of Christian sportsmanship. The guiding principle behind the enforcement of this code is that the behavior of everyone involved in CYO should not detract from the children's enjoyment of the sport.
Acceptable standards of coaching behavior include:
- Set a good example for participants and fans to follow, exemplifying the highest moral and ethical behavior
- Respect the judgment of officials, abide by rules of the event
- Treat opposing coaches, participants and fans with respect
- Instruct participants in sportsmanship and demand they display good sportsmanship
- Coach in a positive manner, reflecting Christian values
- Any coach ejected from a game (match) because of unsportsmanlike conduct may be suspended for future games (matches) and may be subject to additional penalties, including disqualification from future CYO participation
- Any coach who physically abuses another person may be suspended for the remainder of the season and may be disqualified from future CYO participation
- Any coach who physically abuses an official may be suspended for the remainder of the season and may be disqualified from future CYO participation
Acceptable standards of participant behavior include:
- Treat opponents with respect; shake hands prior to and after contests
- Respect the judgment of officials and abide by the rules of the contest
- Accept seriously the responsibility of representing St. Anthony's parish and our community by displaying positive behavior at all times
- Do not bait or taunt opponents
- Play in a positive manner, reflecting Christian values
- Any player ejected from a game (match) because of unsportsmanlike conduct may be suspended from future games (matches) and may be subject to additional penalties
- Any player who physically abuses another player, participant or official may be suspended from play for the remainder of the season and may be disqualified from future CYO competition
Acceptable standards of spectator behavior include:
- Remember that the players are children and are playing for their enjoyment, not yours
- Remain seated in the spectator area during the games
- Respect decisions made by contest officials
- Be a role model by positively supporting teams and by not shouting instructions or criticism to the players, coaches or officials
- Do not coach from the stands
- Make no derogatory comments or gestures to players, coaches, parents of the opposing team, officials or league administrators
- Participating teams and their coaches are responsible for the conduct of their spectators
- Any spectator who displays poor sportsmanship may be removed from the facility by an official, their team coach, a CYO official or the host gym person-in-charge
- Any spectator who interferes with the conduct of a CYO activity may be barred from attendance at subsequent CYO activities
- CYO, under the supervision of the pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church, shall enforce this code. Complaints regarding violations of this code shall be first brought to the attention of the sport program coordinator. Coaches, participants or spectators may be placed on probation or suspended from CYO activities for their actions.
The Value of Sports in the Church
"Sport, because of the wholesome elements it gives value to and exalts, may become more and more a vital instrument for the moral and spiritual elevation of the human person and therefore contribute to the construction of an orderly, peaceful and hardworking society.
"The Church approves and encourages sports seeing in it a form of gymnastics of the body and of the spirit, a training for social relations based on respect for others and for one's own person and an element of social cohesion which also fosters friendly relations..."
-- Pope John Paul II