Discipline and Grievance Process


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Establish Clear Guidelines or Codes of Behavior
Define Disciplinary Procedure When Codes are Violated
Establish an Experienced, Representative Panel to Adjudicate Violations
Establish a Grievance Procedure


1. Establish Clear Guidelines or Codes of Behavior
(Establish Clear Guidelines or Codes of Behavior for Athletes, Coaches, and Parents)

Website Help: National Alliance for Youth Sports – www.nyas.org
Website Help: Minnesota State High School League – www.mshsl.org
Website Help: Minnesota Youth Athletic Services – www.myas.org

Examples: Code of Conduct

Coach and Player Code of Conduct

  1. I will not berate the officials or “trash talk” to my opponent.
  2. I will not use profanity.
  3. I will encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, contest administrators, and officials at every game.
  4. I will place the emotional and physical well-being of my teammates and opponents ahead of my personal desire to win.
  5. I will treat other players, coaches, fans, and officials with respect regardless of race, gender, creed, or ability.
  6. I will demand a sports environment that is free from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol and will refrain from their use at all MYAS sporting events.
  7. I will do my best to remember that a youth sport is supposed to be FUN and that winning and losing are part of everyone’s experience.
  8. I will express my concerns through the proper channels in a dignified manner.
  9. I will respect the volunteers that are assisting with the conduct of these events.
  10. I will respect and adhere to the rules governing eligibility and competition.

Parents Code of Conduct

  1. I will encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, contest administrators, and officials at every game.
  2. I will place the emotional and physical well-being of the athletes ahead of my personal desire to win.
  3. I will demand a sports environment that is free from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol and will refrain from their use at all MYAS sporting events.
  4. I will remember the game is for the kids-not the adults.
  5. I will do my best to make sure that youth sports is a FUN and POSITIVE experience.
  6. I will treat other players, coaches, fans, and officials with respect regardless of race, gender, creed, or ability.
  7. I will not berate the officials.
  8. I will not undermine the coaches’ instructions or directions.
  9. I will not use profanity.
  10. I will express my concerns through the proper channels in a dignified manner.

Example: Definitions and Parameters of Disbarment

Section 1. Acts of Disbarment Include:

    1. Physical attack on an umpire or other tournament official or Association Officer during a game or immediately following a game, played under the administration of the Association.
    2. Player, coach, manager, or sponsor threatening an umpire, tournament official, association director, or association officer.
    3. Any officer, director, umpire, player, coach, manager, or sponsor fighting, using unsportsmanlike conduct, abusive tactics, or derogatory or unbecoming acts that are detrimental and not in the best interest of the ( ) league and tournament play.
    4. Destruction of property or the abuse of property.
    5. Except as otherwise provided, paying or receiving compensation on consideration of participation in ( ) competition. This shall apply to a player, team, or sponsor.
    6. Receiving money directly or indirectly by capitalizing on athletic ability, athletic prominence for fame in ( ) except that a player or team may use his/her or its name and likeness to advertise, recommend or promote the sale of sporting goods equipment or other goods and services if it is done pursuant to a registered personal services contract.
    7. By knowingly competing with or against ineligible or suspended players.
    8. By participating in or permitting a fraud to be perpetuated.
    9. Competing under a false name.
    10. Failure to show up after entering a tournament unless reasonable advance notice is given.

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2. Define Disciplinary Procedure When Codes are Violated

Be clear that disciplinary action will be taken.

Example: Penalty
Any violation of the above Code of Conduct may result in a temporary or permanent banishment from any MYAS sponsored events.

General guidelines are best, leaving room for each situation to be looked at.

Example: Disciplinary Procedure
The severity of the unsportsmanlike act will determine the severity of the resulting disciplinary action. Any MYAS representative has the authority to use their best judgment to administer appropriate disciplinary action to any player, coach, official, host, or spectator. Possible disciplinary actions may include but are not limited to: censure, disqualification, suspension for a definite or indefinite period of time, or expulsion from any or all MYAS sponsored programs. Behave or Be Gone!

Ensure the discipline is fair and consistent.

Written documentation should always be filed for any incident and should include information such as the date and time, location, who is filing the report, contact information, name of individual(s) involved and their contact information, witnesses and their contact information, and a detailed factual description of the incident.

Example: Disciplinary Actions
On-site Disciplinary Actions: Any disciplinary action administered on-site shall be subject to immediate review by the MYAS Event Protest Committee (EPC). The EPC is composed of one representative from the host organization, one representative of the officials’ organization assigned to the event, and one representative from the MYAS. This committee will conduct an on-site hearing to determine if the disciplinary action is appropriate. All decisions of the EPC are in effect for the remainder of that specific event. The committee does not have the authority to issue any disciplinary action that shall exceed the length of that specific event. (Exception: If the disciplinary action occurred during the offending party’s last game of the event, it will carry over to the next MYAS event.) Any decision by the EPC may be appealed to the MYAS Review Committee at the earliest possible date.

Off-site Disciplinary Actions: The MYAS reserves the right to issue additional disciplinary action depending upon the frequency and severity of the offense. Additional disciplinary action may be taken after the completion of a formal hearing by the MYAS Review Committee. All actions of the MYAS Review Committee are final.

Example: General Disciplinary Guidelines

  1. The following procedures will be taken if a potential violation occurs:
    1. All necessary witnesses will be contacted and asked to provide written documentation of the incident (i.e. player, coach, game official, tournament director, etc.)
    2. Upon review of the facts, and if necessary, a letter will be sent to the player with a statement of their suspension until the date of their hearing at the next Recreational Sports Commission (RSC) meeting.
    3. Player will be informed that failure to comply with the suspension will result in additional penalties for the individual/team.
    4. Individual will be informed that failure to attend the scheduled meeting will forfeit their right to appeal any actions taken by the ( ).
  2. Should the ( ) choose to suspend an individual, the Executive Director, Sports Coordinator, Rules Interpreter, player, manager, and ( ) Chair will be sent a copy of the suspension letter.
  3. If a suspension/probation is required:
    1. Motion and suspension/probation letter will include Acts of Disbarment.
    2. Letter will include details that govern any violations of suspension/probation and the length of penalty (not to exceed 1 year from the date of incident. Only the Exceutive Director and ( ) Chair (2-0 vote) may overrule.

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3. Establish an Experienced, Representative Panel to Adjudicate Violations
(Have an Experienced, Representative Panel of Individuals to Adjudicate Violations of Codes or Other Policies)

Work to find a cross-section of experienced sports individuals.

Example: Suggested Experience for Sports Review Panel

    Director of the Organization/Association
    Current or Former Coach
    Current or Former Sports Parent
    Former Participant
    Current or Former Official
    Former Administrator or League Director
    Legal Counsel

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4. Establish a Grievance Procedure
(Establish a Grievance Procedure for Those Who have Issues that Cannot be Resolved Through Other Means)

Example: Appeals Process Procedure (MRPA)

Section 1. Definition of Appealable Issue:
An appealable issue shall be a complaint or dispute relative to:

    1. Any sanction imposed against a Division Umpire-In-Chief or area Director in violation of the Association’s Constitution, Sports Program By-Laws, Rule Books, Directives, and Policies.
    2. Any act of disbarment.
    3. Any other acts of a team or individual member of the Association which may require adverse action to be taken by any exectutive member of the Association.


Section 2. Policy:

    1. All stages of the appeal shall be in writing on appropriate forms supplied by the Association, and no substitution therefore shall be utilized.
    2. In such writing, the appellant must specify on the appropriate form the specific relief he/she expects to obtain through use of the procedure.
    3. Failure by the appellant to comply with all substantial procedural requirements of the appeal process procedure without just cause will terminate the right to further appeal.
    4. Failure of the Association, without just cause, to comply with all substantial procedural requirements of the appeal procedure will, at the option of the appellant, advance the appellant to the next step in the appeal process.
    5. Failure of the Association, without just cause, to comply with all substantial procedural requirements of the final step of the appeal procedure shall result in a decision in favor of the appellant.

In those instances where an appeal is to an individual whose title is concurrent with the title of the person being appealed to in any given step of the appeal procedure, then that step shall be avoided and the next step shall be instituted automatically; however, the initial appeal must always be made within 15 days after the occurence. Where conflicts of interest relative to the parties hearing any given step are suggested or obvious, the Executive Director shall designate members of the Association to hear that step of the appeal process.

Section 3. Procedure:

First Step: (Division Vice-President, or…?)

  • Within 15 days after the occurrence or condition giving rise to appeal, the person or team affected must present the appeal in writing to the appropriate ( ).
  • Within 10 days of such presentation the ( ) shall give its reply in writing to the individual or team with respect to the appeal, or shall advise the appellant that additional time for such decision is needed in which case a decision must be given the appellant within 30 days.

Second Step: (Assistant Executive Director, or…?)

  • If a satisfactory resolution is not reached at the first step, the appellant may so indicate on the appeal process form and submit the appeal to the appropriate ( ) within 15 days.
  • within 10 days of such presentation, the ( ) shall give its reply in writing to the grievance.

Third Step: (Assistance Executive Director, or…?)

  • If a satisfactory resolution is not reached at the second step, the appellant may submit the appeal to the ( ) of the Association.
  • Submission to the third step must occur within 10 days; unless, there is mutual agreement for an extension. The appellant has the choice to submit the appeal in writing or request a hearing. The expense of travel to such hearing shall be paid by the appellant. Each side may have witnesses in attendance. The ( ) shall render a written reply to the appellant within 10 days following the hearing. This step is final and a decision there from is nonappealable

Example: USTA Jr. Team Tennis Grievance Procedures

Grievance Committees: All greivance committees shall consist of no less than three persons, including a chair, to adjudicate grievances. The members of the committee may be the same as or different in whole or part, from the committee first approved.

Grievance Appeal Committees: All greivance appeal committees shall consist of no less than three persons, including a chair, to consider appeals from the grievance committees. No member of a grievance appeal committee may be a member of a grievance committee.

Grievances: General Procedures

  1. All complaints alleging a violation of the USTA Constitution and Bylaws; the USTA Regulations, the Rules of Tennis or other USTA reulations (unless modified by these USTA Jr. Team Tennis Regulations); the USTA Jr. Team Tennis Regulations or standards of good conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship, shall be filed in writing with the USTA Jr. Team Tennis Grievance Committee responsible for enforcement.
  2. A complaint against the administration of the league shall be filed and heard in the same manner as any other complaint. Any complaint against the USTA Jr. Team Tennis League National Manager shall be filed in writing with the USTA Jr. Team Tennis Committee. The decision of the USTA Jr. Team Tennis Committee shall be final and binding.
  3. All complaints with regard to any aspect of the USTA Jr. Team Tennis League shall be processed through the USTA Jr. Team Tennis League Grievance and Grievance Appeal Committees at the appropriate level (i.e. local, area, section, or national). Decisions of such grievance appeal committees shall be final and binding.
  4. All complaints shall be filed against the individual or team complained against (a) by the team coach/manager of the team who has competed in the match where the alleged violation occured, (b) by the team coordinator, or (c) by a member of the championships committee.
  5. Play during grievance procedures: An individual may continue to play during a grievance investigation and hearing but must understand that, if upheld, all matches played during that time may be defaulted.

Grievances Appeals: General Procedures

  1. Any party to the complaint may appeal the decision of the grievance committee to the grievance appeals committee within the time fixed by the grievance committee in its findings. Upon receipt of an appeal of the decision of the grievance, the grievance appeal committee shall act promptly to resolve the appeal.
  2. Play During Grievance Appeal Procedures: (a) If a player or team was suspended by the grievance committee decision, the individual or team may not play during the appeal process. (b) If the grievance was denied and appealed by the petitioner, the individual may play during his/her appeal process but must understand that if the decision of the grievance committee is reversed, all matches played during that time may be defaulted.
  3. The party appealing shall file written notice of appeal with the Chair of the appropriate grievance appeal committee and shall, at the same time, send a copy to the Chair of the grievance committee whose decision is being appealed, our, district, state, or section USTA Jr. Team tennis coordinator, and to the other party (or parties) involved in the complaint.
  4. The parties appealing shall have an opportunity to submit in writing the facts and arguments in support of their respective positions

General Procedures for Grievance and Grievance Appeal Committees:

  1. If one or more members of a grievance committee or grievance appeal committee cannot be present at a hearing, such members may, at the discretion of the chair, participate by means of a telephone conference call.
  2. If any witness cannot be present at a hearing to present evidence, such witness may, at the discretion of the chair, be permitted to do so by means of a telephone conference call.
  3. The requirement that a notice or other document be in writing is satisfied if it is sent by a telegram, fax, e-mail, or equivalent communication.

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