Club Handbook

Club Handbook

Cobham Lacrosse Operations Handbook


The handbook sets out key operating practices for Cobham Lacrosse Club (CLC) or ‘the Club’) and gives guidance to coaches to enable them to undertake their roles and responsibilities in a safe and effective way. In so doing, the handbook:

·       Provides good practice for CLC coaches to follow;

·       Sets out the Club’s Code of Conduct for players, coaches, officials and volunteers;

·       Sets out the Club’s Safeguarding and Risk Assessment guidelines.

In addition, a significant amount of information in relation to the Club is held on the CLC website and therefore this handbook should be read in conjunction with the website.

Cobham Lacrosse Club (CLC)

The Club is run by a committee of volunteer parents whose roles and responsibilities shall be as the Committee decide. The details of the committee at any point in time may be found on the website.

England Lacrosse Association (ELA)

Women’s and girls’ lacrosse is played under ELA rules. We expect all members, coaches, parents and spectators to comply with the ELA's Code of Conduct Policies. See CLC Membership: Terms and Conditions on the website for more details. This document is also found on the Teamo Registration form.

Public Liability and Insurance

CLC is covered for public liability insurance by being registered as a lacrosse club with the ELA and by being a member of the Cobham Rugby Sports Association (CRSA)

Individuals who register with the ELA are covered by ELA insurance (coaches and players). This is required for some age groups (U12+ playing in League matches) and optional for others. See the Membership page of the website for more information.

Storage of Data and Online Information

Use of data

We will only ever use your date for the purposes of running the club and nothing else. For more information, see the Privacy Notice on our website, and on the Teamo registration form.

Membership database

The Club operates an online membership system with all membership applications and members’ data retained in the Teamo Membership Database. All members agree to the Club’s Terms and Conditions of Membership (which may be found on the website) by paying to join or when renewing their membership each year.

Emergency Contact Information

Emergency contact information for all members is held on the Teamo Membership database, which is accessible online by the Membership Secretary and designated deputies.

Taster/Training Sessions

Players who take part in ‘taster’ sessions or are attending training sessions prior to completing membership must provide emergency contact details and parental consent for participation via the online Teamo registration form. This information will be retained by the Club and made available whenever the child takes part in an activity.

Information for Parents

All the information necessary for a parent to assess the risk associated with a child taking part in sporting activities is contained within the Terms and Conditions page on the website, as is the Photography policy. There is a dedicated front page on the Teamo app with Kit information.

Definition of Juniors

For the purposes of this handbook children and young people (juniors) are defined as anybody under 18 years old. No junior player may take part in any CLC activity without formal written parental consent having been obtained. This consent is given as part of the Club’s online registration process via Teamo registration.

Safeguarding, Risk Assessment and Appointing Cobham Staff

ELA ruling requires that all qualified coaches are DBS checked. In addition, Cobham Lacrosse uses a combination of interviews, references, qualification checks, trial sessions and, where needed DBS checks, to assess whether an applicant, whether coach, Club Committee member or parent volunteer can work at the Club. All individuals who work at the Club are required

·       Never to have sole charge of the players;

·       To work in the open with other adults present;

·       Not to be present when players change;

·       Never drive or otherwise accompany the children to away matches;

The Committee will decide on a case-by-case basis whether any volunteer requires a DBS check or whether any event or trip might require the workforce for that event or trip to have a DBS check.

Coaching and Code of Conduct

Sports coaching helps the development of individuals through improving their performance. The CLC aims to develop its young members in this way.

Sports Coaching is summarised by three key objectives:

·       To identify and meet the needs of individual players;

·       To improve performance through a progressive programme of safe, guided practice and/or competition;

·       To create an environment in which individual players are motivated to maintain participation and improve performance.

To promote meeting these objectives, CLC Coaches will hold an appropriate coaching qualification and will have demonstrated their competence by an appropriate level of experience.

Coaching competence, qualification, and experience

All coaches should have adequate training and/or experience to enable them to undertake their roles competently. Therefore, all individuals involved in coaching/supervising activities must be approved by the Committee.

·       The Head Coach will decide how to deploy each coach on a week-to-week basis;

·       Coaches must have a coaching qualification; 

·       Where individuals are new to supervising activities, they must not be left in sole charge of a group until the Head Coach is satisfied they are competent to do so;

·       All coaches must also be familiar with the CLC Safeguarding policies and be aware of the requirements for the supervision of children, also contained within this handbook.

Safeguarding and Supervision

Welfare Officer

The Club has a named Welfare Officer who parents or members can contact in confidence at any time. The contact details for the current Welfare Officer Anna Woodfine are available on the Committee page of website; parents are periodically reminded via email about this role. The Club works in tandem with the Cobham Sports Association and the ELA on welfare and safeguarding issues.


The Club actively encourages children and young people to take part in sporting activities. It is vital that children are adequately supervised in line with good practice guidelines (and appropriate to the experience of the coach) and that their parents are made aware of the inherent risks of the sport. The following guidelines derive from best practice guidance from the ELA and Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU)

It is the responsibility of the Club when planning or providing sessions/activities to ensure that those running the activity are suitable to do so, ensuring that they:

·       Have undergone an appropriate recruitment and selection process;

·       Have appropriate insurance;

·       Have adopted the ELA’s codes of conduct;

·       Have an appropriate qualification;

·       Understand their responsibility to safeguard children.

Under 18 coaches

CLC encourages under 18’s to undertake coaching and officiating awards. This creates opportunities for these young people to develop their coaching or technical skills and a sense of responsibility. Once registered as an ELA qualified coach, U18s are covered by the ELA public liability insurance and are regarded as a qualified adult coach. However, this should not result in these young people being given full or lead responsibility for managing groups of children until the Head Coach deems that they have enough experience to do so.

Open Access Policy

CRSA operates an open access policy to all junior sporting activities, including lacrosse, which means that participants will be supervised whilst taking part in the specified activity but will not be confined to the grounds or be prevented from coming or going as they please. Parents therefore remain responsible for bringing and collecting children from training and matches.

Supervision Ratios

Whatever the recommended ratio of adults to participants, a minimum of two adults should always be present. This ensures at least basic cover in the event of something impacting on the availability of one of the adults during the activity (e.g., following an accident that requires the attention of one of the adults).

In the planning of all activities, a risk assessment should be undertaken to decide appropriate supervision levels. Key factors to assess include:

·       Age of children;

·       Additional supervision/support needs of some or all participants (for example due to disability);

·       Competence/experience of participants;

·       Nature of activities/drills;

·       Nature of venue (whether closed and exclusive, or open and accessible to members of the public).

The following guidelines are minimum requirements for supervision within CLC.

·       The Club does not admit children under the age of 8 as members.

·       Minimally, for children over 8 years old, one adult (or U18 ELA qualified coach) to twenty children (with a minimum of two adults) is provided

·       Our target is to provide one coach or U18 ELA qualified coach to 10 players, which is the norm for a lacrosse camp

Risk Assessment: Safety and Wellbeing of Players

It is a requirement in law that risks are assessed, and measures put in place to control those risks. CLC regularly reviews its assessment of risks associated with playing lacrosse and in turn the adequacy of the control measures. The following guidance shall be followed to ensure that these risks are properly controlled.

To avoid injury from not warming up or lack of fitness, coaches and managers should ensure that:

·       All players follow an appropriate and thorough warm-up routine.

·       All players have appropriate levels of fitness to play in a match and that there are enough substitutes in case of injury or exhaustion

To avoid injury from balls and equipment, coaches and managers should ensure that:

·       Trained or experienced referees and coaches supported by parents ensure mouth guards and full personal protective kit is worn by players, including the goalie;

·       Parents have been informed via the website of the correct kit. It is parents’ responsibility to purchase it;

·       Spectators are kept off the pitch and made aware of the dangers of loose balls.

·       ELA guidelines on the use of protective equipment must be followed. The provision of protective equipment should be considered for players who may not have their own personal equipment.

·       Where equipment is provided by the Club, it must be checked for appropriacy and is properly maintained.

To avoid injury from flying balls from adjacent pitches, coaches should ensure that:

·       Goal practice and line drills do not take place facing onto adjacent pitches;

·       Players who arrive early/stay late during training to play in designated area(s) only.

To avoid injury from inappropriate or faulty kit and equipment, coaches should ensure that:

·       The condition and legality of sticks (including butt end) and kit is checked by the coach before play;

·       Jewellery is not worn;

·       Footwear is appropriate to the surface (i.e. astro pitch or grass) and laces are tied;

·       Sports clothing is checked free from dangerous projections e.g. buckles, rings, spikes;

·       For junior lacrosse, any rules that prohibit physical contact are enforced;

·       The referees have checked that the goals are secured and that the netting is intact.

To avoid injury from poor ground conditions, coaches should ensure that:

·       They, along with the referee, check that the surface is free of tripping hazards and slipping hazards (e.g. ice, water);

·       On astro pitches, during wet weather, slippery patches of mud/slimy sand are cleared prior to play.

To avoid injury from poor light, cold or heat, managers and coaches should ensure:

·       Matches are scheduled so that they can be played in proper light (may need to consider use of floodlight pitches);

·       In bright light, players take note/care of balls which may be difficult to see when looking into sun;

·       Appropriate sports clothing is worn by everyone;

·       Water and shelter are readily available;

·       Match or training is cancelled/postponed in extremely adverse conditions, give due notice of cancellation to the opposition (alternative may be to shorten playing time).

Organisation and arrangements for practice sessions

It is essential that all practice sessions are undertaken in an organised and disciplined way. Not only could the failure to do so result in accidents, but the opportunity to learn is less effective.

To assist in the smooth running of the practice sessions, it is important to have a coaching plan that details the structure and content of the sessions. This should cover the skills, knowledge and behaviours to be coached and in the case of juniors, ensuring that the correct ratio of junior players to coaches is achieved (see above, safeguarding). This is done by the Head Coach or the Coach Administrator.

Organisation and arrangements for matches

The selected team players should be contacted by email with details of team and logistics. A list of the players should be taken to matches via the Teamo app/paper list as confirmation of the team to the opposition: it also enables a check that all players have arrived. The Head Coach ensures provision of coach and referee.

Good practice by coaches and managers

Good organisation matters in successful coaching and management. This includes coaches turning up on time to practices and matches. Being disorganised, including poor time management, conveys the wrong messages to the players. Coaches and Managers should in all respects aim to be the role model in terms of organisation, behaviour and attitude

Working relationships with players, team spirit, player motivation

A successful squad and team is one with a good team spirit and this comes through generating the right attitude and commitment along with a good amount of fun! Expectations should be clearly set by the coach, who should encourage a positive attitude amongst the players and discourage any negative attitude. Bullying is not tolerated.

The girls should be encouraged to mix with other girls outside of their school friend groupings. During the season, coaches should consider encouraging this team spirit by arranging activities/events/games to generate this team bonding.

Other specialists

There may be occasions when the help of other specialists is required. Examples of this include fitness instructors or coaches brought in to teach specific skills.

First Aid and Accidents

Minor accidents, incidents and ill health occurrences will be reported to the parent of the member concerned and, where the Head Coach or deputy considers it necessary, investigated to see if any of the Club’s operating practices require amendment.

In the event of a major accident or incident occurring, the circumstances will be assessed, with causes and remedial actions reported to the Club Committee. In certain circumstances, there may be a legal requirement that an accident or incident is reported to the Health & Safety Executive and/or Local Enforcing Authority.

All coaches must be familiar with the First Aid and Accident Reporting procedures contained within this handbook, or of the local arrangements, if playing away from CLC.

First aid kit

·       Each coach will have access to an up-to-date and properly equipped first aid kit. This should only be used for “simple injuries” otherwise the first aider should be called as described below;

·       An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available at both Covenham and Memorial home pitches; coaches show know the location of the AED ( at Cov4nham, in the First Aid Room)

·       Senior Coaches must carry a mobile phone or make themselves familiar with the location of a landline phone in case the need arises to call emergency services.

First aiders

First aid treatment should only be given by a qualified first aider. Good practice indicates that a qualified first aider should be present whenever organised activities are in progress or more than 50 people are on site. Arrangements must therefore be made to ensure first aid cover is available wherever possible when such numbers are anticipated.

At CLC, the Head Coach and other qualified coaches are qualified first aiders. Wherever possible a qualified first aider will be on site to assume responsibility for first aid in the event of an incident. Following any incident where the first aider has provided first aid, the Committee First Aid Officer or other Committee member should be notified.

CLC does not routinely collect medical information on its members. It is the parents’ responsibility to provide their children with any medical equipment that they might need, such as inhalers or EpiPens and to brief coaches on an ongoing basis in relation to any support that their children might need.

Recording of Accidents

Minor accidents will in first instance be reported to the parent of the member concerned. Where the Head Coach considers it necessary to investigate further to see if any of the Club’s operating practices require amendment, the details of the incident will be recorded and sent to the Committee for further discussion.

Action to take in the event of an Accident

In the event of accident occurring, the following procedure must be followed:

·       Summon the Duty First Aider or Senior Coach (the ‘first aider’);

·       No treatment should be given (except in extreme emergency) before the arrival of the first aider;

·       If necessary, the first aider will make the decision to summon an ambulance and will nominate an individual to make the telephone call;

·       Following removal to hospital of the casualty, the team manager or coach must complete an accident form. If the injured player is a junior, the player should be accompanied to hospital by an adult;

·       In the case of the casualty being a junior member, the parents should be contacted;

In the event of an accident occurring to a junior during an away match, emergency contact numbers can be accessed via Teamo by a Team Manager or Teamo Administrator.

Coaches, Officials and Volunteers Code of Conduct

Coaches, Officials and Volunteers will:

·       Work within the ELA rules and Cobham Lacrosse Constitution;

·       Operate within the Club’s Safeguarding Policy;

·       Not be alone with a player, nor communicate directly by phone, text, letter or email with a junior player, nor drive a player home;

·       Be well organised and prepared for the training sessions and matches;

·       Be enthusiastic and approachable, and display high standards of behaviour and appearance;

·       Be well prepared and suitably equipped in case of accidents in training or matches;

·       Be responsible for the actions and for the behaviour of players and spectators before, during and after an official game;

·       Ensure that the activities they provide are appropriate to the age, maturity, experience and ability of the players;

·       Promote the positive aspects of the game such as fair play etc. and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited substances.


Players’ and Parents’ Codes of Conduct can be found on the England Lacrosse website at, see Code of Conduct for Players and Code of Conduct for Spectators

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