Code of Ethics




As a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), I am committed to sound educational processes, establishing traditions and promoting values for my volleyball community. I am dedicated to advancing the welfare of those who seek my assistance and to the maintenance of high standards of professional conduct and competence. I am accountable for all of my actions and to this Code of Ethics, and my acceptance of this fiduciary responsibility is expressed in all of my personal and professional relationships in that coaching may involve my direction of youth, adolescent or adult teams. I will follow these principles in all environments and abide by them completely when coaching.


I pledge to maintain practices that protect the public and advance my profession; I will:

  • Maintain responsible association with USA Volleyball, its national programs and member organizations.
  • Continue personal and professional growth, remaining current on new developments in the field through continuing education.
  • Use my knowledge and professional association(s) for the benefit of the people I serve.
  • Always strive to be truthful and put colleagues or other professionals in a positive light.
  • Avoid discrimination in all of its forms.



I pledge to maintain relationships with athletes on a professional basis; I will:  

A.   Conduct all my relationships from a perspective of dignity and sound educational and scientific foundation to:     

  • Direct comments or criticism relative to the performance, not the athlete.
  • Ensure that all activities are suitable for the age, experience and ability of the athletes.
  • Educate athletes as to their responsibilities in contributing to a safe environment, and to do my best to ensure that all facilities and equipment meet safety standards and that they are ageeability appropriate.
  • Consider the athlete's future health and well being as foremost when making decisions regarding an injured athlete's ability to continue competing or training, and seek professional medical opinions to serve as a basis for my decisions.
  • Be aware of academic responsibilities; conduct practices and match schedules in a manner so as not to unduly interfere with academic success. Never encourage, condone, or require any behavior that threatens an athlete's high school, USA Volleyball, collegiate eligibility or amateur status.
  • Comply with regulations and ethical guidelines for recruiting practices as defined by governing sport organizations.
  • Strive to develop individual and team respect for the ability of opponents.
  • Prioritize being present at all practices and competitions and, when unable to, assure knowledgeable and safe supervision.

B.   Work with and strive to develop every member of the team.

C.   Show sensitive regard for the moral, social, religious and sexual orientations of others and communities. I will not impose my beliefs on others.

D.   Recognize the trust placed in, and the unique power of, the coach and athlete relationship. I will not exploit the dependency of athletes and will avoid dual relationships (e.g., business or close personal relationships) which could impair my professional judgment, compromise the integrity of the process and/or take advantage of the relationship for my own gain.

E.   While serving in a professional capacity or as a role model, avoid any drug, tobacco or alcohol use while in the presence of athletes. I will discourage by way of education any consumption of these substances by minors and will remain at all times within the limits of the law with regard to legal substances. I will avoid illegal ones entirely.

F.   Not engage in physical, verbal or emotional harassment, abusive words or actions, or exploitative coercion of current or former athletes. I will report any suspected cases of abuse to the appropriate authorities immediately.

G.   Recognize that all forms of sexual abuse, assault or harassment with athletes are illegal and unethical, even when an athlete invites or consents to such behavior or involvement. Sexual abuse and harassment is defined as, but not limited to, repeated comments, gestures or physical contacts of a sexual nature. I will report all suspected cases of sexual assault or abuse to law enforcement as required by law.



I will respect the integrity and protect the welfare of all persons with whom I am working and pledge to safeguard information about them that has been learned or obtained during the coaching relationship, including performance reviews, statistics and all personal confidences. Further, I will obtain permission from athletes before sharing videotape recordings or other data of them with anyone excepting the recognized coaching staff; when current or former athletes are referred to in a publication, while teaching or in a public presentation that is not laudatory, their identity will be thoroughly disguised. The only exception to this will be that I will not use these standards of confidentiality to avoid intervention when it is necessary (e.g., when there is evidence of physical or psychological abuse of minors, or legal issues).


All relationships with employees and staff will be maintained on a professional and confidential basis, and I will avoid exploiting their trust and dependency.

The Code of Ethics is a condition of membership in the AVCA. All members will be provided a copy of the Code as part of their membership application. To qualify for membership, an applicant must sign a statement acknowledging having read the Code and subscribing to the principles of the Code.

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