Duty Officers Play an Important Role

April 11th, 2017

Football is for fun, but our instinctive competitive spirit sometimes initiates behaviour that is over-zealous and may even be regrettable?

Football Far North Coast is like all community based sports and overwhelmingly relies on the efforts of volunteers to support activity. One of these roles is as a “Duty Officer” (historically known as Ground Official) and we offer a few observations to everyone about the relevance of this role within local football.

EVERY individual who participates in local football (whether as a Player, Coach, Parent, Supporter or in any capacity) has a responsibility to adhere to a CODE of BEHAVIOUR that essentially means, “Appropriate, reasonable and respectful”. Words or Actions that offend or cause distress, are considered to be contrary to the Code and have NO place in local football participation. The overwhelming number of participants do not need any reminders about appropriate behaviour, however there will always be a few individuals who either through exuberance or for other reasons, create unnecessary angst. Although we may prefer to believe that the “loud, rude or aggressive” folk, through their minority presence, will not impede the enjoyment for others, it is necessary for football to have mechanisms in place to monitor activity and where required, take action to temper inappropriate behaviour.

The role of the DUTY OFFICER at club venues includes being visible, being vigilant and supporting behaviour that is appropriate to a community sporting event. EVERY club is required to have ONE Duty Officer per field for HOME games. Men’s Premier Division (and Premier Reserve) teams are required to have a Duty Officer for both Home AND Away games.

Clubs are always looking for people to volunteer to keep the club operating each season and whether you offer to be a Duty Officer (even ONCE per season) or do something else at the club, that will ABSOLUTELY help. Your contribution will REALLY be appreciated and will make a world of difference EVEN if (as expected) your experience will be incident free!! The presence of officials (e.g. Duty officers) makes a positive impact and can in itself make a difference that adds to the enjoyment of being at the football.

Duty Officers are NOT security people and people should not place expectations upon a person acting in the role of a Duty Officer, to perform the duties that may be expected of the police or a security firm.

As the 2017 football season “finally” takes shape after Easter, we encourage a collective spirit of respect for others, led by appropriate behaviour and the outcome will be FUN and ENJOYMENT!! Beyond anything else, THAT is what sport should be about.

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