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Welcome to the CYO Philosophy Page!

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Welcome to the CYO Philosophy Page!



CYO Code of Conduct 

CYO Points of Emphasis 


The Value of Sports to the Church

"Sport is a human activity of great value, able to enrich people's lives. As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, she is working in the world of sport to bring the joy of the Gospel, the inclusive and unconditional love of God for all human beings."
– Pope Francis "Sport at the Service of Humanity," 2016

"To belong to a sports team means to reject all forms of selfishness and isolation--it is an opportunity to meet and be with others, to help each other, to compete in mutual esteem and grow in brotherhood.”
– Pope Francis to young people,
Italian Sports Center Event, 2014

"Sport, because of the wholesome elements it gives value to and exalts, may become more and more a vital instrument for the moral and spiritual elevation of the human person and therefore contribute to the construction of an orderly, peaceful and hardworking society.

"The Church approves and encourages sports seeing in it a form of gymnastics of the body and of the spirit, a training for social relations based on respect for others and for one's own person and an element of social cohesion which also fosters friendly relations..."

-- Saint Pope John Paul II

"...sport, practiced with passion and ethical sense, in addition to exercising a healthy competative spirit, becomes a school to learn and deepen human and Christian values."

-- Pope Benedict XVI

Youth Sports Website Links

National CYO Sports: The national organization for CYO sports affiliated with the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry

Human Kinetics Publishers: Source of sports publications and coaches training resources

STOP Sports Injuries: Resources in information on the prevention of sports injuries, sponsored by the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine.

Mom's Team: Information and discussions for parents on creating positive experiences for children in youth sports

Positive Coaching Alliance: Teaching the Double Goal Coach principle.

WePlay: A positive and proactive website for athletes, teams, coaches, parents, and sports fans.

The Educated Sports Parent: A good informational site for parents

Play Sports Television: A proactive youth sports training site

JellyBean Sports: Designed specifically for younger athletes with developmental programs for ages 2-8

National Alliance for Youth Sports: Educational website for coaches, officials, and parents, that also offers developmental programs for youth

Ask Coach Wolff: A sports blog addressing many current issues in sports and youth sports.

National Federation for State High School Associations: the agency coordinating high school sports

Catholic Athletes for Christ: "Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) serves Catholic athletes in the practice of their faith and shares the Gospel in and through sports. We work with athletes at all levels of sport in an effort to promote Catholic sports culture."




Catholic Youth Organization
Diocese of Oakland

2121 Harrison Street , Oakland CA 94612
510-893-5154 • Fax 510-834-5498

Bill Ford, CYO Director
Grace House, Administrative Assistant

CYO Email

The Purpose of CYO Sports


Every athletic competitor exercises every kind of self-discipline - they to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.
(I Corinthians 9:15)

A diocese or a parish sponsors a Catholic Youth Organization as one dimension of its total ministry to youth. Athletic programs can help young people toward imperishable crowns as well as perishable ones. A parish CYO program justifies its existence and the sacrifice and expense it entails only if it allows young people to practice Christian attitudes and responsibilities.

In CYO programs, emphasis rests not on the number of games won or lost, but on the participants' attitude in victory or defeat. Learning how to lose is just as important as learning how to win. Learning how to win graciously is more important than winning itself.

CYO programs serve the needs of all youth. They enable the gifted to excel, the less gifted to participate and improve. "Star" athletes and teams do not receive exclusive attention.

Principles of fair play and sportsmanship must govern every game. Dishonesty has no place in CYO competition. CYO competitors must not borrow from professional sports questionable techniques for winning at any cost.

All participants should have the respect of others on their own team and the opposing team. Competitors should regard the opposition as friends, not enemies.

CYO participants should have a spirit of loyalty to CYO ideals, to parish, to coach, and to the team. They should learn patience with and tolerance of those of less ability. They should feel grateful to all who make the CYO program happen. Speech and actions should reflect Christian values.

At times, during the heat of competition, a participant may temporarily forget some rule of conduct. Prompt correction can turn even failures into learning experiences.

Ultimate responsibility for the success of CYO programs lies with the volunteer adult participant. Adults involved in CYO must remember that the program exists for the Christian growth of young people. Conduct of adults must always model Christian values and virtues. When adults forget the primary focus of CYO, the program becomes destructive. When adults remain faithful to the Christian ideals of CYO, they exercise a unique and rewarding ministry to the young with whom they come in contact.

"Run to win," St. Paul advises (I Cor. 9:24). In CYO athletics, all who compete can win, if they run to win the real prize; closer union with Jesus Christ.