PWSA Policy Relating To Member Conduct
Application of this Policy
- This policy applies to Members of the Provincial Women’s Softball Association, where the term Member refers to all categories of Members as defined in the By-Laws of the Provincial Women’s Softball Association, as well as all individuals engaged in activities with the Provincial Women’s Softball Association but not limited to directors, officers, managers, coaches, players and all volunteers.
- This Policy applies to the conduct of members at any activity, program or event organized or sanctioned by the Provincial Women’s Softball Association.
Expected Standard of Ethical Conduct
- All Members of the Provincial Women’s Softball Association are expected to¨
a) Demonstrate through words and actions the spirit of sportsmanship, sports leadership and ethical conduct:
b) Treat others with respect and refrain from negative or disparaging remarks or conduct:
c) Avoid and reject the non-medical use of drugs or the use of performance-enhancing drugs or methods;
d) Consume alcohol and tobacco products responsibly in association with the Provincial Women’s Softball Association events:
e) Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes harassment, where harassment is defined as comment or conduct directed towards an individual or group, which is offensive, abusive, racist, sexist, degrading or malicious.
f) Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes sexual harassment, where sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature, when submitting to or rejecting this conduct influences decisions which affect the individual, such conduct has the purpose of effect of diminishing performance, or such conduct creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment: and
g) Comply at all times with the By-laws, policies, rules and regulations of the Provincial Women’s Softball Association, as adopted and amended from time to time, including complying with any contracts or agreements executed with or by the Provincial Women’s Softball Association.
Types of Infractions
- Failure by a Member to achieve the expected standard set out above may result in an infraction and the imposition of discipline. Infractions are divided into two types, minor infractions and major infractions, which are dealt with using different procedures.
- Minor infractions are single incidents of breaching the expected standards of conduct that generally do not result in harm to others. Examples of minor infractions include, but are not limited to:
a) Single instances of disrespectful comments or behaviour directed towards others;
b) Single instances of unsportsmanlike conduct;
c) Single instances of non-compliance with the policies and rules of the Provincial Women’s Softball Association.
- All disciplinary situations involving minor infractions will be dealt with by the appropriate person having authority over the Member involved; this person may include, but is not restricted to, a board member, a committee volunteer, or any other person holding a position of authority in the given circumstances.
- Major infractions are instances of misconduct that result, or have the potential to result, in harm to other persons, to the Provincial Women’s Softball Association or to the sport of softball. Examples of major infractions include, but are not limited to:
a) Repeated minor infractions;
b) Activities or behaviour that interferes with a competition or with any athlete’s preparation for a competition;
c) Pranks, jokes or other activities that endanger the safety of others;
d) Deliberate disregard for the policies and rules of the Provincial Women’s Softball Association;
e) Conduct that intentionally damages the image, credibility or reputation of the Provincial Women’s Softball Association;
f) Behaviour that constitutes harassment, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct;
g) Abusive use of alcohol, any use of alcohol by minors, use of illicit drugs and narcotics, or use of banned performance enhancing drugs or methods.
- Major infractions will be reviewed and decided using the disciplinary procedures set out in this policy.
Reporting an Infraction
- Any individual may report to an Official of the Provincial Women’s Softball Association a complaint of an infraction. Such complaint must be in writing and must be made within 14 days of the alleged infraction. For the purposes of this Section an “Official” is any person in a responsible position within the Provincial Women’s Softball Association.
- Upon receiving a complaint, the official will provide it immediately to the President, or designate, if the President is not available or not able to act in this capacity.
- The Provincial Women’s Softball Association may determine that an alleged infraction is of such seriousness as to warrant suspension of the Member pending investigation, a hearing and a disciplinary decision.
- Upon receiving a complaint of a major infraction, the President will review the complaint and may:
a) Dismiss the complaint if he or she considers it to be trivial or vexatious;
b) Determine that the complaint does not fall within the jurisdiction of this policy and refer it to the appropriate body having jurisdiction;
c) Direct that the infraction be dealt with informally as a minor infraction; or
d) Refer the matter to the discipline Committee to deal with as a major infraction.
- The Discipline Committee is a Provincial Women’s Softball Association tribunal composed of three persons, who are appointed by the Provincial Women’s Softball Association to deal with the complaint. At least two of the three persons will be actively involved in the sport of softball in Ontario. The Discipline Committee has the authority to determine its own procedures, has an overall responsibility to ensure procedural fairness is respected at all times during the disciplinary process, and to carry out, this process in a timely manner.
- Depending on the circumstances of the complaint, the discipline Committee may authorize an investigation into the alleged infraction.
- . The Discipline Committee will determine the format of the disciplinary process, which may involve an oral hearing in person, an oral hearing by telephone, a hearing based on written submission or a combination of these methods.
- The Member will be given reasonable notice of the format as well as day, time and place of the hearing; will receive a copy of the Investigation Report if an investigation was carried out; may be accompanied by a representative; and will have the right to present evidence and argument before the Discipline Committee.
- After hearing the matter, the Discipline Committee will reach a decision as to whether an infraction has occurred and if it has, what the sanction should be. The Discipline Committee will issue a written decision, including reasons, for distribution to the Member, the complainant and the President.
- Where the conduct being reviewed by this policy is of a sensitive nature, the Discipline Committee and the Provincial Women’s Softball Association will keep all proceedings under the policy confidential, except where publication is ordered as part of the sanction, is required by law, or is in the best interests of the public.
- In fulfilling its duties, and with the approval of the Provincial Women’s Softball Association, the Discipline Committee may obtain independent advice.
- The following are examples of disciplinary sanctions that may be applied singly or in combination, where it is found that an infraction has occurred:
a) Verbal or written reprimand;
b) Require a verbal or written apology;
c) Service or other voluntary contribution to the Provincial Women’s Softball Association;
d) Removal of certain privileges of membership;
e) Suspension from certain events, which may include suspension from the current event or from future events;
f) Suspension from certain Provincial Women’s Softball Association activities such as competing, coaching or officiating for a designated period of time;
g) Suspension from all Provincial Women’s Softball Association activities for a designated period of time;
h) Expulsion from membership; or
i) Publication of the disciplinary sanction.
- It is understood that the above are representative penalties only, that they may be modified to fit the circumstances of the infraction, and that they are presented generally in order of severity.
- In applying sanction, the Discipline Committee may give consideration to sanctions imposed historically under previous policies and rules of the Provincial Women’s Softball Association.
- Discipline decisions made under this policy are final and binding upon the Member, subject only to a successful appeal under Provincial Women’s Softball Association’s Appeal Policy.
Approved September 22, 2007