DISCIPLINE AND COMPLAINTS POLICY
* Indicates a section that has been adapted from the UCCMS
1. Participants are expected to fulfill certain responsibilities and obligations including, but not limited to, complying with Softball Canada’s policies, By-laws, rules and regulations, and Code of Conduct and Ethics. Non-compliance may result in sanctions pursuant to this Policy.
2. *The following principles guide the findings and determinations under this Policy:
APPLICATION OF THIS POLICY
3. This Policy applies to all Participants.
4. This Policy applies to matters that may arise during Softball Canada’s business, activities, and events including, but not limited to, competitions, practices, tryouts, training camps, travel associated with Softball Canada’s activities, and any meetings.
5. This Policy also applies to Participants’ conduct outside of Softball Canada’s business, activities, and events when such conduct adversely affects relationships within Softball Canada (and its work and sport environment), is detrimental to the image and reputation of Softball Canada, or upon the acceptance of Softball Canada. Applicability or acceptance will be determined by Softball Canada at its sole discretion.
6. *This Policy applies to alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct and Ethics by Participants who have retired from the sport where any claim regarding a potential breach of the Code of Conduct and Ethics occurred when the Participant was active in the sport. In addition, this Policy will apply to breaches of the Code of Conduct and Ethics that occurred when the Participants involved interacted due to their mutual involvement in the sport or, if the breach occurred outside of the sport environment, if the breach has a serious and detrimental impact on the Participant(s).
7. This Policy does not prevent immediate discipline or sanction from being applied as reasonably required. Further discipline may be applied according to this Policy. Any infractions or complaints occurring within competition will be dealt with by the procedures specific to the competition, if applicable. In such situations, disciplinary sanctions will be for the duration of the competition, training, activity, or event only.
8. An employee of Softball Canada who is a Respondent will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with any of Softball Canada’s applicable policies, as well as the employee’s Employment Agreement, if applicable. Violations may result in a warning, reprimand, restrictions, suspension, or other disciplinary actions up to and including termination of employment.
9. Softball Canada recognizes that Participants may also be registered with Provincial/Territorial Organizations and/or Local Associations. Softball Canada requires that Provincial/Territorial Organizations submit discipline decisions rendered at the Provincial/Territorial level involving Participants to Softball Canada.
10. Complaints may be brought for or against a Participant who is a Minor. Minors must have a parent/guardian or other adult serve as their representative during this process.
11. Communication from the Discipline Chair or Case Manager, as applicable, must be directed to the minor’s representative.
12. A Minor is not required to attend an oral hearing, if held.
REPORTING A COMPLAINT
13. Any person may report a complaint to Softball Canada or to Softball Canada’s Case Manager (when identified). If a Case Manager has not been previously identified, Softball Canada will appoint an independent Case Manager and direct that person to receive the complaint.
14. Softball Canada may, in its sole discretion, act as the Complainant and initiate the complaint process under the terms of this Policy. In such cases, Softball Canada will identify an individual representative of the organization.
CASE MANAGER RESPONSIBILITIES
15. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Case Manager has a responsibility to:
Process #1: Handled by Discipline Chair
16. The Discipline Chair will be a Director of the Board, or an individual appointed by the President of Softball Canada to handle the duties of the Discipline Chair. The President may choose to appoint three (3) individuals to serve as Discipline Chair and, in this case, decisions of the Discipline Chair will be by majority vote.
17. The Discipline Chair appointed to handle a complaint or incident must be unbiased and not in a conflict of interest situation
18. Following the determination that the complaint or incident should be handled under Process #1, the Discipline Chair will review the submissions and may:
19. Thereafter, the Discipline Chair shall determine if a breach occurred and, if so, if one or more sanctions should be applied (see: Sanctions).
20. The Discipline Chair will inform the Parties of the decision, which will take effect immediately.
21. Records of all sanctions will be maintained by Softball Canada.
Request for Reconsideration
22. The sanction may not be appealed until the completion of a request for reconsideration. However, the Respondent may contest the sanction by submitting a Request for Reconsideration within four (4) days of receiving the sanction. In the Request for Reconsideration, the Respondent must indicate:
23. Upon receiving a Request for Reconsideration, the Discipline Chair may decide to accept or reject the Respondent’s suggestion for an appropriate sanction.
24. Should the Discipline Chair accept the Respondent’s suggestion for an appropriate sanction, that sanction will take effect immediately.
25. Should the Discipline Chair not accept the Respondent’s suggestion for an appropriate sanction, the initial complaint or incident will be handled under Process #2 of this Policy.
Process #2: Handled by Case Manager
26. Following the determination that the complaint or incident should be handled under Process #2, the Case Manager has a responsibility to:
27. If the Case Manager determines the complaint is:
28. The Case Manager’s decision to accept or dismiss the complaint may not be appealed.
29. The Case Manager will establish and adhere to timelines that ensure procedural fairness and that the matter is heard in a timely fashion.
30. After notifying the Parties that the complaint has been accepted, the Case Manager may propose using Softball Canada’s Dispute Resolution Policy with the objective of resolving the dispute. If applicable, and if the dispute is not resolved, or if the parties refuse to use the Dispute Resolution Policy, the Case Manager will appoint a Discipline Panel, which shall consist of a single Arbitrator, to hear the complaint. In extraordinary circumstances, and at the discretion of the Case Manager, a Discipline Panel of three persons may be appointed to hear the complaint. In this event, the Case Manager will appoint one of the Discipline Panel’s members to serve as the Chair.
31. The Case Manager, in cooperation with the Discipline Panel, will then decide the format under which the complaint will be heard. This decision may not be appealed. The format of the hearing may be an oral in-person hearing, an oral hearing by telephone or other communication medium, a hearing based on a review of documentary evidence submitted in advance of the hearing, or a combination of these methods. The hearing will be governed by the procedures that the Case Manager and the Discipline Panel deem appropriate in the circumstances, provided that:
32. If the Respondent acknowledges the facts of the incident, the Respondent may waive the hearing, in which case the Discipline Panel will determine the appropriate sanction. The Discipline Panel may still hold a hearing for the purpose of determining an appropriate sanction.
33. The hearing will proceed in any event, even if a Party chooses not to participate in the hearing.
34. If a decision may affect another party to the extent that the other party would have recourse to a complaint or an appeal in their own right, that party will become a Party to the current complaint and will be bound by the decision.
35. In fulfilling its duties, the Discipline Panel may obtain independent advice.
36. After hearing and/or reviewing the matter, the Discipline Panel will determine whether an infraction has occurred and, if so, the sanctions to be imposed. Within fourteen (14) days of the hearing’s conclusion, the Discipline Panel's written decision, with reasons, will be distributed to all Parties, the Case Manager, and Softball Canada. In extraordinary circumstances, the Discipline Panel may first issue a verbal or summary decision soon after the hearing’s conclusion, with the full written decision to be issued before the end of the fourteen (14) day period. The decision will be considered a matter of public record unless decided otherwise by the Discipline Panel.
37. *Prior to determining sanctions, the Discipline Chair or Discipline Panel, as applicable, will consider factors relevant to determining appropriate sanctions which include:
38. *Any single factor, if severe enough, may be sufficient to justify the sanction(s) imposed. A combination of several factors may justify elevated or combined sanctions.
39. *The Discipline Chair or Discipline Panel, as applicable, may apply the following disciplinary sanctions, singularly or in combination:
40. *The Discipline Chair or Discipline Panel, as applicable, may apply the following presumptive sanctions which are presumed to be fair and appropriate for the listed Maltreatment:
41. A Participant’s conviction for a Criminal Code offense shall carry a presumptive sanction of permanent ineligibility from participating with Softball Canada. Criminal Code offences may include, but are not limited to:
42. Unless the Discipline Panel decides otherwise, any disciplinary sanctions will begin immediately, notwithstanding an appeal. Failure to comply with a sanction as determined by the Discipline Panel will result in an automatic suspension until such time as compliance occurs.
43. Records of all decisions will be maintained by Softball Canada.
44. The decision of the Discipline Panel may be appealed in accordance with Softball Canada’s Appeal Policy.
SUSPENSION PENDING A HEARING
45. The Chief Executive Officer and President may, after consultation and at their sole discretion, determine that an alleged incident is of such seriousness as to warrant suspension of a Participant pending completion of a criminal process, the hearing, or a decision of the Discipline Panel. If the complaint is against either the President or Chief Executive Officer, such decision shall be made by Discipline Panel, upon application by the Complainant.
46. The discipline and complaints process is confidential and involves only the Parties, the Case Manager, the Discipline Panel, and any independent advisors to the Discipline Panel. Once initiated and until a decision is released, none of the Parties will disclose confidential information relating to the discipline or complaint to any person not involved in the proceedings.
47. If the circumstances of the complaint are such that adhering to the timelines outlined by this Policy will not allow a timely resolution to the complaint, the Discipline Panel may direct that these timelines be revised.
RECORDS AND DISTRIBUTION OF DECISIONS
48. Other individuals or organizations, including but not limited to, national sport organizations, provincial sport organizations, sport clubs, etc., may be advised of any decisions rendered in accordance with this Policy.
49. *Softball Canada recognizes that a publicly-available searchable database or registry of Respondents who have been sanctioned, or whose eligibility to participate in sport has in some way been restricted, may be maintained and may be subject to provisions in the UCCMS.