Anti-bullying Policy

Bullying and what to do in case of Bullying

Cricket Ireland is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our children, so they can train and play in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable in our clubs. If bullying occurs, all children should be able to tell somebody, and know incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.

The Anti-Bullying Policy applies to all members – young people, parents, coaches, anyone watching or supporting the game and any others who help and assist with club activities. It is the responsibility of everyone in the club to put this Anti-Bullying Policy in place and to help the club to be a safe, enjoyable place for young people. The Children’s Officer should discuss the policy with the young people and parents/guardians in the club and have it readily available.

What is bullying?

Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim. Bullying can take many forms, including:

  • Emotional: being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (for example: hiding kit/belongings, or making threatening gestures)
  • Physical: pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
  • Racist: racial taunts, graffiti and/or gestures
  • Sexual: unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
  • Homophobic: because of, or focusing on, the issue of sexuality
  • Verbal: name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours and teasing
  • Cyber: bullying behaviour online or via electronic communication (email and text, social media etc) Misuse of associated technology, such as camera and video facilities

How to recognise bullying behaviour

People who behave in a bullying manner can be recognised by:

  • Being intentionally hostile, aggressive; this can be without reason
  • An imbalance of power between groups and/or individuals; where the one person/group exerts their power over another individual or group
  • Gaining satisfaction from their bullying behaviour
  • Causing harm to the target of bullying behaviour

Why is it important to respond to bullying? Bullying hurts. No one should experience bullying behaviour. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect. Children who are displaying bullying behaviour also need to learn different ways of behaving. Cricket clubs have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying. Note that harmful behaviour can be directed towards either a person or a group.

Impact of bullying behaviour

Bullying behaviour has an impact on everyone involved. For the person who is the target of bullying behaviour, the effects can be felt psychologically and physiologically. The person who is responsible for the bullying behaviour may also show signs of low self-esteem. If the person who is behaving in a bullying manner is an adult in the club, other young people may be afraid to speak out because of the consequences, i.e. they may be afraid of not being picked for activities or left out of team selections.

Dealing with bullying behaviour involving young people

There are generally two ways to deal with bullying behaviour between young people:

  • IMMEDIATELY AS AN ISSUE HAPPENS: This involves the person in charge being aware or told something is happening and seeking to resolve the issue at the time.
  • AFTER AN ISSUE HAPPENS This can be used if an immediate response does not resolve the issue straight away or the behaviour only becomes apparent later. If the bullying behaviour continues it may involve a disciplinary/complaints process.

Procedures for dealing with bullying

  • Report bullying incidents to the Club Children’s Officer. If the person the concern is about, go to another committee member
  • If the individual is U18, the parent should be informed and invited to a meeting to discuss the problem
  • In cases of serious bullying, or continuous bullying, the incidents will be dealt with by the disciplinary committee, and if unresolved, reported to the Provincial Union and then Cricket Ireland, at which point the Safeguarding panel, if appropriate, would advise on actions
  • Please note the CCO or DLP can contact the NSO at any point throughout this process. If necessary, an appropriate agency such as the Gardai/PSNI will be consulted

Cricket Ireland Safeguarding Information

The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated, and the bullying stopped quickly

  • An attempt will be made to help the person/s displaying bullying behaviour change their behaviour
  • In cases of adults reported to be bullying cricketers under 18, the club disciplinary committee will aim to resolve the issue and Cricket Ireland Safeguarding Officer will be notified immediately
  • In extreme cases, persons could be suspended from their club

Outcome of dealing with the issue

The Children’s officer and the parents, should be informed as soon as possible and kept informed of the issue and how it was dealt with. This encourages parents to support the policy of dealing with issues immediately to the benefit of all involved. It is important to check the bullying behaviour does not continue by observing the group, checking in with those involved, and to encourage all club members to talk to a trusted person if they are worried about bullying behaviour. If the bullying continues, the issue will go to the disciplinary committee, and then to the National Safeguarding Panel.