The Northern Ireland Pool Association is committed to the enjoyment of pool by all. The fundamental policy of the NIPA is to respect the dignity and rights of each individual player. The NIPA will strive throughout its organisation to promote, create and maintain safe environments for all our players. It will also ensure the key values of Respect, Inclusion, Integrity, Excellence and Fun.

The NIPA expects those involved with pool to publicise, adapt and supervise the implementation of this code. The NIPA has committed itself to monitoring and enforcing this code where reasonably possible.


  • The safety, health, general welfare and dignity of each player must be respected. Ÿ

  • Committee members and Team manager should endeavour to consider the safety, health, welfare and dignity of players to be paramount and superior to all other considerations. Ÿ

  • The enjoyment of pool by each player should be pursued as an objective. Ÿ

  • It is the role and responsibility of every member, team managers, together with the NIPA, to ensure that the spirit of this policy are promoted, implemented and monitored successfully.

  • The NIPA should review their Safeguarding Policy every 2-years and/or as legislative changes occur in Northern Ireland


The NIPA shall promote the interests players by:

(a) Appointing a Safeguarding Officer who shall have the primary aim of maintaining a players centred ethos.

(b) Defining the roles of officers, committees, team managers, players and parents for players.

(c) Monitoring procedures for protecting the interests of players through the association.

(d) Prominently displaying the NIPA safeguarding message and information about their plans to follow this Policy and the NI Sports Councils’ Code for easy access by Sports Leaders, Members, Employees, Players and their parents.

(e) Providing in a planned manner, training and information meetings for everyone associated with Players about this Policy.

(f) Ensuring the NIPA Safeguarding Officer liaise with the Statutory Authorities concerning allegations or suspicion about abuse of a player.

(g) Promoting contact with representatives of Statutory Authorities to contribute to and learn about child protection issues, best practices and recommended procedures.

(h) Ensuring that this Policy and the Sports Councils’ Code is adopted and followed by its organisation and members


No team manager should be appointed or retained for players unless the manager: -

  • Has completed the vetting process through NIPA

  • Has subscribed to the NIPA’s Code of Conduct for Junior players

  • Is adequately resourced and supported

  • Maintains and furnishes such records and evidence as specified by the NIPA Ÿ

  • Referees for matches involving players must subscribe to the rules and procedures laid down by an Association or NI Sports Council. Ÿ

  • Clubs should follow safety/premises guidelines as set out by NIPA


All safeguarding documents will be kept according to, or each case of any amending legislation, the requirements of the UK Data Protection Act 1998; this includes requirements for the collecting, storage and requests of personal data. For general information on Data Protection consult the Data Protection on the UK Information Commissioner’s web site



1. Act at all times in the best interests of players

2. Be intimately familiar with the provisions of the Safeguarding Policy and its guidelines and with such further information and requirements as may be provided or put in place by the NIPA

3. Communicate with the committee on any matter on which the Safeguarding officer considers it necessary to do so, or any matter in relation to players on which the advice or directions of the association are required

4. Receive NI Sports Council advice, information and directions from the concerning players and act accordingly

5. Inform clubs of requirements made by the NIPA concerning players

6. Ensure that they are in a position to respond accurately and promptly to queries from the NIPA as to the welfare of players in their club generally or in relation to any specific incident which may occur

7. Be the contact person in the Association for Statutory Authorities regarding the welfare of players who are members of the association

8. Communicate with players

9. Provide advice and information to parents of players


(Please note the following is a non-exhaustive list, regard should be given to NI Sports Council “Code of Ethics and Good Practices for Children’s Sport). Ÿ

  • Try to work with other adults present and avoid situations where you are alone with individual Players. Ÿ

  • Identify aspects of necessary physical contact e.g. stance, holding of cue. Let parents know of these conditions so that behaviours cannot be misinterpreted. Ÿ

  • Ensure that travel arrangements are set out in advance and known by all. Ÿ

  • Where mixed teams compete away from home, endeavour that the group is accompanied by at least one male and one female adult, preferably a parent. Ÿ

  • Always ensure the well-being and safety of players at all times.


  • Spending too much time with any one player away from others

  • Taking players on journeys alone.

  • Taking a player to your home or agree to meet a player individually on your own away from the club setting. Ÿ

  • Taking sessions alone. This may occasionally occur due to lateness, sickness, etc. but this should not be a regular practice within the association. Ÿ

  • Constant communication with one player by phone, text, email, etc.

  • Avoid becoming ‘friends’ with players on social media such communication should be for the purposes of administration of club business and should not be for social / friendship purposes


  • Engage in rough physical or sexually provocative games including horseplay. Ÿ

  • Share a room with a player alone. Ÿ

  • Permit or engage in any form of inappropriate touching, keeping safety of the player as primary concern. Ÿ

  • Permit players to use inappropriate language unchallenged. Ÿ

  • Make sexually suggestive comments to any player. Ÿ

  • Allow allegations made by any player to go unrecorded and not acted upon Ÿ

  • Do things of a personal nature that a player can do for themselves. Ÿ

  • Undertake any form of therapy (hypnosis, massage, etc.) while training players. Ÿ

  • Exert due influence over any players in order to obtain personal benefit or reward. Ÿ


While clubs are responsible for the recruitment of team managers, and the allocation of roles and areas of responsibility to them, the NIPA will support them through the provision of vetting checks and adherence to the recruitment process. Vetting should not be seen as a stand-alone procedure and should always be done in conjunction with signed Codes of Conduct, commitment to training and adherence to this Safeguarding Policy. Failure to comply with all aspects of club recruitment could result in a team managers not being offered position within the Association. The decision to appoint team managers is the responsibility of the association and not one individual within it. Good practice in management and supervision of team manager after appointment is as important as adherence to recruitment policies and procedures.



Staffing ratios are difficult to prescribe as they will vary according to activity, location and resources. It is important to ensure that there are enough people to be able to cope with the number of players participating in any activity and adequately respond to an emergency. As a guide, a ratio of 1:10 should be considered as a minimum requirement where players are 11 years of age or older. For younger players or players with a disability or situations involving travel, the ratio should decrease depending on the requirements of the players.


  1. Age and gender of the players. Ÿ

  2. Any special needs of the players. Ÿ

  3. Where both genders are involved try to ensure a mix of male and female adults. Ÿ

  4. Type of activity (training, traveling or social) to be undertaken. Ÿ

  5. Time involved. Ÿ

  6. Experience of the team manager and relevant adults involved. Ÿ

  7. Previous experience with players or club and likely behaviour. Ÿ

  8. Location of competition or event and type of travel involved. Ÿ

  9. Suitability of the team manager and officials.


  1. Junior players/ vulnerable players are not left unattended and adequate numbers of officials are available to supervise all formal activities, i.e. coaching sessions, matches, and other organised pool activities. Ÿ

  2. Officials know where the players are and what they are doing. Ÿ

  3. Dangerous behaviour should not be tolerated at any stage.

  4. Ensure the respect for the privacy of all players, especially in changing rooms, showers and toilets. Ÿ

  5. All junior / vulnerable players are informed beforehand of what behaviour will be accepted and not accepted from them, See Code of Conduct. Ÿ

  6. Those who are operating in a supervisory role should have access to adequate first aid resources.


Safe management practices will not only enable an association to run smoothly and efficiently, but it will also help to minimise opportunities for accidents or harm to happen to children. Some points to consider:


  • Have defined criteria for membership of the club. Ÿ

  • Have a registration system for all players. Ÿ

  • Keep a record on each player regarding medical details and needs as well as all contact numbers. Ÿ

  • Ensure that all activities are properly supervised. Ÿ

  • The NIPA insurance, which is limited in nature and extent, covers all registered players.


Ensure: Ÿ

  • Follow the recommended official/player supervision ratios. Ÿ

  • Have completed the NIPA’s recruitment process, including signing the Team Manager Guidelines / Code of Conduct.

  • Have a clear title and area of responsibility. Ÿ

  • Have attended appropriate coaching courses and related safeguarding and welfare training.


Traveling to and from venues is part of fulfilling fixtures. In order to ensure the safety of all involved, clubs must ensure that suitable policies and procedures are in place. To put players and parents / carers at ease, organisers should ensure all arrangements are in place and communicated to all involved before the event. Parents / Carers should be informed of the mode of transport.


Ensure all arrangements are suitable for the journey to be undertaken. Ÿ

Vehicles must be roadworthy and appropriate and the driver to understand that he/she is responsible for the vehicle during the trip, including use of booster seats if necessary. Ÿ

Ensure parental consent is obtained prior to journeys being undertaken

All journeys to take place under the supervision of the team management / officials.


Ensure: Ÿ

When renting, make sure you deal with a reputable company. Ÿ

Make sure the vehicle is suitable and equipped with appropriate safety features according to the rules of the road.


Although this is the most frequently used option it is important to ensure that the safety of all players are not jeopardised at any stage. Ÿ

Prior to the trip, parents / carers should be informed if this form of transport will be used and consent obtained for their player to travel this way. Ÿ

Vehicles must be roadworthy, safe and have appropriate insurance cover. Ÿ

Drivers must have a suitable drivers licence. Ÿ

All passengers must use seat belts and booster seats (where necessary) for the duration of the journey. Ÿ

All drivers are responsible for the safety of the passengers and must be aware of their legal responsibilities. Ÿ

One passenger per seat at all times. Ÿ

Inform parents of the time of departures as well as estimated time of arrival.


With the increased use of technology (video or photographic) in pool it is important for clubs to adopt a policy in relation to the use of photographic images players. The use of any images on websites and publications has raised concerns about the risks posed directly and indirectly to players.


Bullying is repeated aggression, be it verbal, physical or psychological, by an individual or group against others, which causes significant harm to the victim(s). It is intentional, aggravating and intimidating.


  1. Name calling. Ÿ

  2. Spreading harmful rumours about others. Ÿ

  3. Exclusion from activities Ÿ

  4. Intentionally isolating another person from conversation or during activity. Ÿ

  5. Threatening or intimidating behaviour. Ÿ

  6. Taking or damaging property or belongings. Ÿ

  7. Physical assault or causing physical harm Ÿ

  8. Making a person do things they don’t want to. Ÿ

  9. Threatening or abusive text messaging.


Bullying should always be considered in conjunction with the Codes of Conduct referred to in this Safeguarding Policy. Poor practice should always be tackled early, warnings should be given and in the case players especially, there should be an opportunity to correct the poor behaviour. Persistent poor practice may escalate into bullying if allowed to go unchecked. More extreme forms of bullying would be regarded as physical or emotional abuse and are reportable to Health Social Care Trust or the PSNI. It is the responsibility of the association to deal with bullying that may take place.


As part of the NIPA’s commitment to protecting the health and well-being of players and to ensuring players thrive within a safe and fun environment. Functions and facilities of whatever kind attended by junior players must be managed in a manner which recognises the potential detrimental effect of drugs / alcohol. It is a priority to ensure that the culture and practices on premises associated with pool and to which junior players are exposed will prevent and discourage drug /alcohol abuse.


NIPA officials / team managers must not promote or condone drugs and adhere to the NIPA Drugs policy.Ÿ

NIPA officials / team managers participate in the education of themselves and others about the detrimental effects of using drugs.


Smoking should be avoided by the junior players. Smoking is a serious health risk. It should play no part in a player’s lifestyle. Ÿ The NIPA must enforce statutory requirements in relation to smoking on the premises.


Alcohol and alcohol advertising is part of everyday life. Young people are not only influenced by trends and peer pressures but are also exposed to constant alcohol advertising. These advertisements seek to make the consumption of alcohol acceptable and trendy and therefore making the awareness of the pitfalls of alcohol consumption more difficult. Officials should ensure junior/ vulnerable adult players are aware of the dangers of alcohol abuse.


Sport can contribute positively to the player’s mental health, helping them to feel good about themselves and cope with everyday pressures in their lives. Sport can make a positive contribution if the player’s experience of sport reflects sport’s positive values, such as fun, inclusion and fair play.

Officials / Team Managers can help players by encouraging them: Ÿ

To have control over their emotions and their behaviours both on and off the baize. Ÿ

To be aware of their thoughts and feelings towards themselves and others Ÿ

To manage their thoughts and feelings rather than becoming overwhelmed