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Code Of Conduct

CONTENTS

1. Policy Objective

2. Definitions

3. Application and Authority

4. Policy Statement

5. Key Principles
5.1 Safety
5.2 Integrity
5.3 Respect
5.4 Inclusion for all

6. Accountability
6.1 Directors, Committee Members, Employees
6.2 Coaches
6.3 Team Managers, Athletic Therapists & Medical Support Personnel
6.4 Officials
6.5 Players
6.6 Parents and Guardians

7. Breaches and Complaints

8. Disciplinary Action

9. Appeals

10. Revision and Approval

11. Contact Us

1. Policy Objective

The BC Rugby Code of Conduct aims to provide a safe, positive and inclusive environment within BC Rugby and all of BC Rugby’s programs, competitions, events and activities.

2. Definitions

In addition to the definitions included in the BC Rugby Bylaws, as amended from time to time, the following definitions apply to this Code of Conduct:

  1. Appellant – the Individual, or their representative, who is appealing a decision.
  2. Complainant – any Individual or member of the public who lodges a formal complaint in accordance with this document.
  3. Employee – any person receiving wages for work with BC Rugby, where wages includes salaries, commissions or money paid or payable by BC Rugby to any person for work, but does not include allowances, grants or expenses.
  4. Harassment – any comment or conduct directed towards an individual or group, which is offensive, abusive, racist, sexist, degrading or malicious. Types of behaviour that constitute harassment include, but are not limited to:
    1. written or verbal bullying, abuse, threats or outbursts;
    2. the display of visual material which is offensive or which one ought to know is offensive in the circumstances;
    3. unwelcome remarks, jokes, comments, innuendo or taunts;
    4. leering or other suggestive or obscene gestures;
    5. condescending or patronizing behaviour which is intended to undermine self-esteem, diminish performance or adversely affect working conditions;
    6. practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment, endanger a person’s safety or negatively affect performance;
    7. any form of hazing where hazing is defined as ‘any potentially humiliating, degrading, abusive or dangerous activity expected of a junior- or lower-ranking player by a more senior or higher-ranked player, which does not contribute to either player’s positive development, but is required to be accepted as part of a team, regardless of the junior/lower-ranking player’s willingness to participate. This includes, but is not limited to, any activity, no matter how traditional or seemingly benign, that sets apart or alienates any teammate based on class, number of years on the team or athletic ability;
    8. behaviours such as those described above that are not directed towards a specific individual or group but have the same effect of creating a negative or hostile environment; and
    9. retaliation or threats of retaliation against an individual who reports harassment to BC Rugby.
  5. Individual – any Individual Member as defined in the BC Rugby Bylaws, as well as those employed by, or engaged in activities with BC Rugby including, but not limited to, players, coaches, managers, officials, volunteers, parents, guardians, administrators, committee members, and directors and officers of BC Rugby.
  6. Respondent – any Individual about whom a complaint has been submitted to BC Rugby with respect to either an alleged breach of this Code of Conduct or a subsequent appeal regarding a decision made in relation to an alleged breach.
  7. Sexual Harassment – any unwelcome sexual comments, sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, or conduct of a sexual nature. Types of behaviour that constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
    1. sexist jokes;
    2. display of sexually offensive material;
    3. sexually degrading words used to describe a person;
    4. inquiries or comments about a person’s sex life;
    5. unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances or propositions; and
    6. unwanted physical contact including, but not limited to, touching, pinching, poking, slapping, hugging or kissing.
  8. Workplace – any place where business or work-related activities are conducted.
  9. Workplace Harassment – any vexatious comments or conduct against a worker in a Workplace – a comment or conduct that is known to ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Workplace Harassment should not be confused with legitimate, reasonable management actions that are part of the normal work function, including measures to correct performance deficiencies, such as placing someone on performance improvement plan, or imposing discipline for Workplace infractions. Types of behaviour that constitute Workplace Harassment include, but are not limited to:
    1. bullying;
    2. offensive or intimidating phone calls or emails;
    3. displaying or circulating offensive pictures, photographs or materials in printed or electronic form;
    4. psychological abuse;
    5. sexual harassment;
    6. discrimination;
    7. intimidating words or conduct (offensive jokes or innuendos); and
    8. words or actions which are known or should reasonably be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating or demeaning.
  1. Workplace violence – the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a Workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker; an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a Workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker; or a statement or behaviours that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a Workplace, that could cause physical injury to that worker. Types of behaviour that constitute Workplace Harassment include, but are not limited to:
    1. verbal threats to attack a worker;
    2. sending to or leaving threatening notes or emails for a worker;
    3. making threatening physical gestures to a worker;
    4. wielding a weapon in a Workplace; and
    5. hitting, pinching or unwanted touching of a worker.

3. Application and Authority

3.1 In accordance with BC Rugby’s Bylaws, this Code of Conduct applies to any Member of BC Rugby and any Director or Officer of BC Rugby. Additionally, this Code of Conduct applies to all Employees, provincial and program coaches, provincial team managers and athletic therapists, contractors, volunteers and interns of BC Rugby.
3.2 This Code applies to all Individuals’ conduct during and involvement with BC Rugby business, teams, programs, competitions, events and activities including, but not limited to, matches, practices, training camps, workshops, conferences, any travel associated with BC Rugby activities, teams and competitions, the BC Rugby office environment and any meetings concerning BC Rugby business.
3.3 Any Individual who violates this Code may be subject to discipline in accordance with BC Rugby’s Bylaws, Section 12.
3.4 Any Employee of BC Rugby found to have violated this Code will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the Employee’s employment agreement.

4. Policy Statement

BC Rugby is committed to leading by example, treating all individuals with respect and consideration, and providing an organization, community and environment that is welcoming, safe and supportive for all Individuals to enjoy Rugby.

5. Key Principles

5.1 Safety
Safety is the top priority at all times. All Individuals have a responsibility to:

  1. enhance the safe play of Rugby by instilling and upholding a culture of safety, injury prevention and fair play;
  2. understand the symptoms of concussion, and support the disclosure of those symptoms;
  3. refrain from consuming alcohol, any tobacco products or recreational drugs while participating in BC Rugby programs, activities or competitions; and
  4. in the case of individual adults who meet the legal drinking age, take reasonable steps to manage the responsible and safe consumption of alcohol at events associated with BC Rugby.

5.2 Integrity
Integrity is a core value of Rugby and is upheld through honesty, diligence and fair play. All Individuals will:

  1. consistently demonstrate the spirit of sportsmanship, sport leadership and ethical behaviour;
  2. ensure adherence to the Laws of the Game and the spirit of those laws;
  3. promote and uphold Rugby as a Clean Sport by abstaining from the promotion, endorsement, supply or use of non-medical drugs or the use of performance-enhancing drugs. More specifically, BC Rugby adopts and adheres to the Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport. Any infraction under the Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport shall be considered an infraction of this Code and may be subject to further disciplinary action. BC Rugby will respect any penalty enacted pursuant to a breach of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program, whether imposed by BC Rugby or any other recognized sport organization;
  4. adhere to all federal, provincial, municipal and host country laws; and
  5. comply, at all times, with BC Rugby’s Bylaws, policies, procedures, rules and regulations, as adopted and amended from time to time.

5.3 Respect
Respect is at the heart of our sport and the Rugby community should have a sense of pride for upholding this core value. All Individuals have a responsibility to:

  1. maintain and enhance the dignity and self-esteem of individuals by:
    1. treating all individuals fairly and respectfully regardless of body type, physical characteristics, athletic ability, gender, ancestry, ethnic or racial origin, nationality, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion, religious belief, political belief, disability or economic status; and
    2. focusing comments or criticism appropriately and avoiding public criticism of players, coaches, officials, organizers, volunteers, employees or any other Individual Members.
  2. refrain from any behaviour that constitutes Harassment or online Harassment;
  3. refrain from any behavior that constitutes Sexual Harassment;
  4. refrain from the use of power or authority in an attempt to coerce another person to engage in inappropriate activities; and
  5. respect the property of others and not willfully cause damage.

5.4 Inclusion for All
Rugby has the power to build communities through camaraderie, teamwork and loyalty which transcends cultural, geographic, political and religious differences. All individuals have a responsibility to:

  1. promote the sport of Rugby in the most constructive and positive manner possible;
  2. proactively invite and include all people, regardless of age, athletic ability, gender, ancestry, ethnic or racial origin, nationality, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, religious belief, political belief, disability or economic status;
  3. upholding safety for all as the top priority, make or provide modifications to make BC Rugby competitions, programs and events accessible for disabled players, coaches, officials;
  4. upholding safety for all as the top priority, make or provide modifications or exemptions to facilitate mixed-gender play; and
  5. upholding integrity as the top priority, make or provide modifications or exemptions to facilitate the inclusion of players from lower socio-economic households.

6. Accountability

As set out elsewhere in this document, all Individuals are accountable to this Code of Conduct. However, due to the nature of various positions within BC Rugby, the following have additional responsibilities.

6.1 Directors, Committee Members and Employees
Directors, Committee Members and Employees are the privileged keepers of our great sport and must uphold the highest standards of ethical behaviour. Therefore, BC Rugby’s Board of Directors, Committee Members and Employees shall:
  1. provide leadership by demonstrating and promoting the values of Rugby and the key principles of the Code of Conduct through their decisions, actions and behaviour. Their behaviour must build and inspire the community’s trust and confidence in BC Rugby;
  2. function primarily as a Director, Member of a Committee or an Employee of BC Rugby, and not act with self-interest or as a representative of any other organization;
  3. act with honesty and integrity and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the Values of Rugby and the responsibilities of BC Rugby business;
  4. conduct themselves openly, professionally, responsibly, lawfully and in good faith in service of BC Rugby’s Constitutional Purpose;
  5. behave with decorum appropriate to both circumstance and position, and to be fair, equitable, considerate and honest in all dealings with others;
  1. exercise the degree of care, diligence, thoughtfulness, skill and time commitment required in the performance of their duties pursuant to the laws under which BC Rugby is incorporated;
  2. conform to and uphold the Bylaws and Policies approved by BC Rugby, in particular this Code of Conduct, Conflict of Interest Policy and Confidentiality Policy;
  3. refrain from any behaviour that constitutes Workplace Harassment; and
  4. Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes Workplace Violence.

6.2 Coaches
Coaches have many responsibilities. The coach-player relationship is a privileged one and plays a critical role in the personal, mental and athletic development of the player. Coaches must understand and respect the inherent power imbalance that exists in this relationship and must be extremely careful not to abuse it, consciously or unconsciously. Coaches will:

  1. ensure a safe training and playing environment by selecting activities, training equipment and establishing controls that are suitable for the age, gender, body type, experience, ability and fitness level of the involved players;
  2. maintain World Rugby’s ‘Concussion Management for the General Public’ certification, educate players, and their parents/guardians, on the symptoms of concussion, encourage and facilitate the reporting of any symptoms of concussion, and adhere to the “Recognize and Remove, if in doubt, sit them out”’ protocol at all training sessions, training camps and matches;
  3. act in the best interest of the player’s development as a whole person, particularly their formal education;
  4. at all times display respect towards opponents and officials, both in victory and defeat, setting an example and educating players on the values of Rugby; and
  5. not engage in an intimate or sexual relationship with a player under 18 years old, or an intimate or sexual relationship with a player over the age of 18 if the coach is in a position of power, trust or authority over that player.

6.3 Team Managers, Athletic Therapists & Medical Support Personnel
Team managers, athletic therapists and medical support personnel have particular responsibilities to ensure the safety and well-being of Players. Team managers, athletic therapists and medical support personnel will:

  1. act in the best interest of the player’s physical and mental well-being;
  2. understand and respect the inherent power imbalance of the coach-player relationship and, as appropriate, protect the player’s privacy;
  3. maintain World Rugby’s ‘Concussion Management for the General Public’ certification, educate players, and their parents/guardians, on the symptoms of concussion, encourage and facilitate the reporting of any symptoms of concussion, and adhere to the “Recognize and Remove, if in doubt, sit them out” protocol at all training sessions, training camps and matches; and
  4. not engage in an intimate or sexual relationship with a player under 18 years old, or an intimate or sexual relationship with a player over the age of 18 if the team manager, athletic therapist or medical support personnel is in a position of power, trust or authority over that player.

6.4 Officials
Officials have a significant role in the prevention and management of injuries and concussion. Officials will:

  1. ensure a safe playing environment by enforcing and communicating the enforcement of the Laws of the Game appropriate to the age, gender, body type, experience, ability and fitness level of the involved players;
  2. maintain World Rugby’s ‘Concussion Management for the General Public’ certification and enforce the ‘Recognize and Remove, if in doubt, sit them out’ protocol at all BC Rugby competitions, tournaments and events.

6.5 Players
Players have responsibilities on and off the pitch. Players will:

  1. compete and participate in a spirit of fair play, honesty and respect for the opponent, the officials and the supporters;
  2. compete and participate within the Laws of the Game and any rules of competitions or tournament rules;
  3. at all times show and uphold respect for coaches and team managers and show appreciation for their contribution to the sport of Rugby; and
  4. at all times show and uphold respect for officials and show appreciation for their contribution to the sport of Rugby.

6.6 Parents and Guardians
Parents and guardians have additional responsibilities, particularly as it relates to ensuring the safe and fair play of Rugby. Parents and guardians of players will:

  1. instill a spirit of fair, positive play and sportsmanship in their rugby-playing children;
  2. at all times show and uphold respect for the child’s coach and team manager, the opponents, the officials and other supporters;
  3. continually inform the relevant coach, team manager, club official and/or athletic therapist if your child has been injured, is ill, concussed, or shows any symptoms of concussion; and
  4. inform the relevant coach, team manager, club official and/or athletic therapist if your child has any medical or health condition, as well as any sensory, intellectual or physical disability that may impact their health, ability or enjoyment while participating in Rugby.

7. Breaches and Complaints

7.1 All Individuals shall abide by the requirements of BC Rugby’s Bylaws and this Code of Conduct, and shall endeavour to resolve disputes in good faith.

7.2 Any complaints concerning a violation or breach of this Code of Conduct must be submitted in writing to the Chair of the Discipline Committee within three (3) months of the alleged breach or last alleged breach where there is a continuing breach. If the Chair of the Discipline Committee is the subject of, or is implicated in a complaint, then the complaint shall be addressed to the CEO or the President of BC Rugby. Written complaints submitted should contain full and exact details of the incident(s), including date, time and/or duration, location, full names of the persons involved, names of any witnesses, and other pertinent details of the alleged breach of this Code of Conduct.

  1. Upon receipt of the complaint under Section 7.2, the Chair of the Discipline Committee shall inform the CEO of BC Rugby and shall assemble an independent and impartial investigative panel comprised of one or more persons to investigate the complaint.
  2. The investigative panel will conduct a preliminary assessment of the complaint, at the conclusion of which the investigative panel may determine to continue the investigation or make a written recommendation to the Chair of the Discipline Committee that the complaint be dismissed as unfounded, beyond the jurisdiction of this Code of Conduct or unlikely to succeed. The investigative panel will determine when to notify the Respondent of the complaint and any investigation but it must be done in a timely manner in the circumstances.

7.5 If the investigative panel determines to continue with the investigation, then the investigative panel shall in a timely manner:

  1. conduct an investigation of the complaint in a manner that accords with the principles of due process and natural justice;
  2. provide an investigation update to the Chair of the Discipline Committee within thirty (30) days of receipt of the complaint;
  3. provide a written, confidential report of the findings of the investigation, including findings as to whether there has been, on a balance of probabilities, a breach of this Code of Conduct, to the Chair of the Discipline Committee and the CEO, as applicable, and to the Complainant and Respondent;
  4. provide recommendations in the report as to the appropriate resolution of the complaint, which recommendations may include:
    1. dismissal of the complaint; or
    2. sanction of the Respondent for misbehaviour or a breach of this Code of Conduct, including but not limited to suspension from play or probation;
    3. public censure of the Respondent for misbehaviour or a breach of this Code of Conduct;
    4. a requirement that an individual apologize to any person adversely affected by a breach of this Code of Conduct;
    5. counselling of an Individual; or
    6. such other measures as are deemed appropriate in the discretion of the investigative panel; and
  5. where the investigative panel finds that a Director, Committee Member or Employee has breached this Code of Conduct, the Panel may additionally recommend to:
    1. counsel the Director, Committee Member or Employee;
    2. terminate the Director’s or Committee Member’s appointment;
    3. terminate the Employee’s employment; or
    4. implement such other measures as deemed appropriate in the discretion of the investigative panel.

7.6 The Discipline Committee will not be bound to accept all or any of the recommendations of the report prepared by the investigative panel. The Discipline Committee may make such decisions as it deems appropriate in its discretion.

7.7 All complaints shall be dealt with by the Discipline Committee, but nothing herein stops a Voting Member or Associate Member from undertaking its own investigation of alleged misconduct, and from imposing its own sanctions where appropriate on its own Individual Members.

7.8 BC Rugby will retain all reports prepared under Section 7.5

7.9 Any complaints concerning a violation of World Rugby Regulation 17 must be submitted in writing to the Chair of the Discipline Committee.

8. Disciplinary Action

8.1 Any individual found to have breached this Code of Conduct may be subject to disciplinary action, which may include reprimand, suspension or expulsion from BC Rugby and/or BC Rugby’s Board, Committees, competitions, events, programs, squads or teams.

8.2 BC Rugby may determine that a particular alleged breach or breaches of this Code of Conduct are of such seriousness to warrant suspension of the Individual Member or Individual pending a hearing and a decision of the Discipline Committee.

8.3 At the sole discretion of BC Rugby, a conviction for a Criminal Code offense may result in expulsion from BC Rugby and/or removal from BC Rugby teams, competitions, programs, activities and events as well as banning from any future membership or involvement with BC Rugby.

9. Appeals

9.1 Any Individual who wishes to appeal a decision of the Discipline Committee may appeal to the BC Rugby Appeals Committee.

9.2 An Individuals who wishes to appeal a decision of the Discipline Committee has seven (7) days from the date on which the Individual receives notice of the decision to submit in writing (via email) to the BC Rugby CEO and/or President the following:

  1. notice of the intention to appeal;
  2. contact information and status of the Appellant;
  3. name of the respondent and any affected parties;
  4. date the Appellant was advised of the decision that the Appellant is appealling;
  5. a copy of the decision being appealed, or description of decision if written document is not available;
  6. grounds for the appeal as set out in Section 9.3; and
  7. An administration fee of two hundred dollars ($200) payable to BC Rugby.

An Individual who wishes to appeal a decision of the Discipline Committee and has submitted the foregoing within the seven (7) day period shall then submit in writing (via email) to the BC Rugby CEO and/or President the following within 30 days from the date on which the Individual receives notice of the decision of the Discipline Committee:

  1. detailed reasons for the appeal;
  2. all evidence that supports these grounds; and
  3. requested remedy or remedies.

9.3 An appeal must be based on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. the Discipline Committee made a decision outside of its authority or jurisdiction;
  2. the Discipline Committee failed to follow its own procedures or the procedures set out in this Code of Conduct;
  3. the Discipline Committee breached natural justice; or
  4. the Discipline Committee made a decision that was unreasonable in the circumstances.

9.4 In any appeal of the decision of the Discipline Committee, the Appellant bears the burden of proving that there are sufficient grounds for appeal as described in 9.3 section of this Code of Conduct.

10. Revision and Approval

This Code of Conduct shall be reviewed by the Governance Committee and the Chief Executive Officer on a regular basis, who may each recommend revisions to the BC Rugby Board of Directors for their approval.

11. Contact Us

All feedback, comments, requests for support and other communications relating to this Code of Conduct should be directed to: info@bcrugby.com.

British Columbia Rugby Union
Code of Conduct

BC Rugby is committed to leading by example, treating all individuals with respect and consideration, providing an organization, a community and an environment that is welcoming, safe and supportive for all Individuals to enjoy Rugby.

SAFETY

  • Enhance the safe play of Rugby by instilling and upholding a culture of safety, injury prevention and fair play;
  • Understand the symptoms of concussion, and support the disclosure of those symptoms.

INTEGRITY

  • Consistently demonstrate the spirit of sportsmanship, sport leadership and ethical behaviour;
  • Ensure adherence to the Laws of the Game and the spirit of those laws;
  • Promote Rugby as a Clean Sport and adhere to the Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport.

RESPECT

  • At all times show respect towards officials, coaches, team support personnel, players and opponents;
  • Maintain and enhance the dignity and self-esteem of individuals by treating all individuals fairly and respectfully;
  • Respect the property of others and not willfully cause damage.

INCLUSION

  • Proactively invite and include all people in Rugby, regardless of age, athletic ability, gender, ancestry, ethnic or racial origin, nationality, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, religious belief, political belief, disability or economic status.

Application

In accordance with BC Rugby’s Bylaws, this Code of Conduct applies to any Member of BC Rugby and any Director or Officer of BC Rugby. Additionally, it applies to all Individuals’ conduct during or involvement with BC Rugby business, teams, programs, competitions, events and activities. Any Individual who violates this Code may be subject to discipline in accordance with BC Rugby’s Bylaws, Section 12.