Ethical decisions 

In this section we give you a few ethical dilemmas for you to work through using the Ethical Decision Making Framework. It's a good idea to print out the Ethical Decision Making Framework before you work your way through each dilemma below. You can download it here. If you haven't had a chance to take a look through the framework then we recommend you visit The Big Picture - Ethical Decision Making in Sport page first. 

Ethical dilemma 1

The coach of the under 16’s team is an intense person, but he gets the best results out of players in the club and wins lots of trophies. However, he puts a lot of pressure on the team to train harder and often shows his disappointment when they don’t win. He is always reinforcing that “winning is everything” and “there are no prizes for second place” and he can be quite abusive to his players if they haven’t performed up to expectations.

The team had a poor performance on the weekend and the coach is in a bad mood. He makes one player run laps until he is physically sick and says to another that he “plays like a girl”.

The team captain approaches you to make a complaint as the players are getting fed up and are thinking of quitting. How do you handle this as the club’s complaint officer?

Work through the Ethical Decision Making Framework and ask yourself - 

  • What values and principles are involved in this issue?
  • Who are the main players in the dilemma?
  • Is all of the information known? 
  • What are the options in this situation?
  • How do you frame the choices in terms of rules and policies? 
  • What are the consequences of your choices? 


Ethical dilemma 2

You are the team captain and one of your players, who is also a long time friend, tells you that he has a cheap supply of complimentary medicines that he can give you for the team in the run up to the finals. He says that the team is getting tired at the end of the season and these will help the team prepare and recover for the final games. He also tells you that he's tried them himself and they 'work a treat'! 

He asks you to buy them and gives you a price. 

Work through the Ethical Decision Making Framework and ask yourself -

  • What are your personal and team values in this situation? 
  • What do you say to your friend as his captain? 
  • How do you consider the any rules and policies that may impact on this situation? 
  • What are the possible consequences of your choices?