It’s someone, or some people, being given preferential treatment over others, without reason or explanation. 


Around the club, you might be seeing:

  • Coaches giving certain players more time on the court or field, more time and attention 
  • One team appearing to get the better resources and facilities
  • One player getting away with things that other players can’t
  • Team selection processes that aren’t based on performance
  • There appearing to be different sets of rules for different people. Sanctions might exist but they’re certainly not enforced.


It’s unrealistic that people will remain loyal and committed to the club.

Privileging someone over others, treating them like they’re more valuable than others because of a special connection always causes harm, even if it’s not all that visible.

It’s no fun seeing someone else receiving privileged treatment. It’s no fun  watching unfairness played out before your eyes.

When we’re overlooked or not treated fairly, our sense of justice takes a hit and team confidence is shaken. 

Favouritism, or privileging some at the expense of others, is a stab to the heart of club cohesion and the capacity for people to realise their potential through sport.


A club aspiring to become a place of respect, safety, fun, fairness and success, has re-framed things.

Favouritism never gets a look-in because the club has a deep commitment to everyone receiving fair, equal treatment, everyone being valued, respected and welcomed.

Everyone works side by side, respectfully, with others in and around the club.

Favouritism is called out and dealt with constructively, including sanctions and other ways that measurably strengthen positive club culture.

Club Respect advice:

Step 1: Take notice


First, check in on yourself.

Be prepared to subject your own attitudes and behaviours to scrutiny.

Do you play favourites or allow it to occur?

Do you call out issues of team selection or player time on the field?


Step 2: Be alert


Be alert to behaviours of those around you. Such as when a coach continues to play favourites or when the club lets some players get away with bad behaviour just because they are the best players.


Step 3: Speak out


We know that it can be difficult to call out favouritism. We know that this is why people sometimes choose to turn a blind eye and remain uneasily silent.

But favouritism, in and around your club, with its negative impacts, will continue unless it is called out by you and others.

We think people like you are looking for a way to break the cycle of silence, a way that is safe, proactive and consistent.

Club Respect suggests that issues of favouritism are best dealt with by a club committee.

Talk constructively with others connected to the club (parents, supporters) to gauge their feelings and perspectives on the way club is handling the situation.

If others are similarly concerned, then together you need to take your concerns to the club committee.

You should be able to speak personally to them, in confidence, or should be able to follow an anonymous club complaint process.

Club Respect has created SMART steps to help you.