Bishops’ Onside Campaign

Well done to Bishops for a super Honour Code initiative. See their letter in blue below.

I’m at an SBR game just about every Saturday and off the top of my head three things that bug are:

  1. At a growing rate, players of all ages back-chatting the grown-up referees. Numerous extra 10-yards penalties being conceded this way.  Obviously dirty play ranks highest on the unacceptable behaviour chart, but this type of disrespect for the ref, not to mention lack of self-discipline, is an attitude schools should be looking to rid the game of at school level.
  2. Old boys who are school-leavers from a year or two back that choose to sit/stand close to their old school’s designated seating area and then do things like resort to loud coarse language, picking on the match officials or make a noise at the time when the opposition kicks at goal. Fair enough, a lot of them are just having “innocent” fun or showing off. Don’t absolve their school of blame though – in many cases the school had five years to teach better manners.
  3. Those coaching assistants slash medics who patrol the touchlines and resort to the worst forms of gamesmanship, some crossing the line to just plain unsportsmanlike conduct, in their efforts to influence the referee’s decisions. Say what you like about professionalism at school level but that sort of behaviour should have no place in a school rugby system. It smacks of desperation and disrespect. Worst is it’s often done by staff in full view of the headmaster of their school.



Dear Old Diocesans

I mentioned in previous newsletters that the leadership of Bishops and Rondebosch had undertaken the project of establishing a sporting code of conduct to which both school communities would subscribe. The process has yielded positive results.

We are proud to announce the launch of the Onside Campaign, at the heart of which is the Honour Code, designed to remind us of the longstanding and worthy values that underpin the best traditions of school sport.

The word “tradition” comes from traditio, the noun from the verb tradere (to transmit, to hand over). It was used in Roman law to refer to the concept of legal transfers, delivery and inheritance. Traditions remain a central component of modern culture, in that it provides a commonality of experience and promotes unified identity. This weekend marks the origin of a new tradition, embodied in the spirit and letter of the Honour Code, the text of which can be found here.

Adrian Dommisse (of the Rondebosch Old Boys Association) and I are encouraged by the support for the initiative shown by parents, old boys, pupils and members of the two schools’ community, including Bosch Old Boys and Old Diocesans, such as Chris van Zyl, Nizaam Carr and Dillyn Leyds. Moreover, Springbok captain, Siya Kolisi, has endorsed the Honour Code.

Old Diocesans are encouraged to adhere to the Honour Code, ahead of, and during, the upcoming Derby fixtures between Bishops and Rondebosch this weekend. You will see that the Honour Code applies to participants, coaches, parents and spectators alike. It is anticipated that the Code will be rolled out to schools across South Africa with Bishops and Rondebosch being the leaders of this important initiative.

The first team fixtures this weekend are:

· Football, Friday 15h00 on North

· Hockey, Friday 19h35 on Bosch Astro A

· Rugby, Saturday 12h10 on Tinkie Heyns Field

Accordingly, I take great pleasure in inviting you to witness and celebrate the birth of a renewed and invigorated tradition of rivalry between Rondebosch and Bishops this weekend.

Pro fide et patria

(ODU Chairman)


  1. A good joint initiative from both schools here. Let’s see how it pans out and if other schools will soon follow suit.

  2. @BoschBoy: I think it’s a great initiative. They now just need to include preventing the medics from trying to influence touch judge and ref decisions and we will have a perfect world, and Bush will be happy. Mind you whenever I sit with him and the refs socks are down he screams at the ref to pull up his socks!

  3. Very good initiative. Some supporters can take the bantering too far and there is sometimes a thin line between good natured heckle and disrespect. The former should result in a chuckle and smile to both parties.
    I can also not see the need for medical personnel to patrol the sidelines. The additional 3-5 seconds to get to an injured player, from a stationary position, can surely not be critical?

  4. I will suggest that my Alma Mater gives its unreserved support to this initiative.

  5. @BrotherBear: You obviously have different medics entrance exams in Jozi. In KZN we are happy with a 25sec 100m qualifier.


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