Official Code of Conduct
The goal of OPTIONAL Sports LLC is to ensure to the best of its ability that all the Members of the Association enjoy the events, games, tournaments, exhibitions & clinics organized by the OPTIONAL Sports LLC. Members are expected to: i) have a positive, fun, athletic, and social experience, and (ii) compete and play in a sportsmanlike manner. It is an essential principal of the Association that all games and activities be conducted in a constructive, non-criticizing manner and to ensure that all members are treated with respect and dignity and are provided a fair and equitable opportunity to participate.
- Any OPTIONAL Sports LLC (hereafter OPTIONAL) member, whether a player, umpire or spectator, who discredits OPTIONAL by either unsportsmanlike conduct or other actions found to be not in accord with the league rules, Mission Statement or spirit of fair play shall be subject to disciplinary actions including, without limitation, censure, suspension and/or termination of membership.
- Examples of behavior which will be subject to disciplinary review and action are as follows:
(a) threats, profane language or gestures directed at any OPTIONAL player, spectator or umpire or a member of the general public;
(b) a physical or verbal assault on any OPTIONAL player, spectator or umpire or a member of the general public;
(c) provoking, taunting, ridiculing, berating, threatening, trash talking, intimidating or deceitful behavior, tactics and/or actions.
- Following an incident, any alleged violation of the Code of Conduct shall be reported as soon as is reasonably possible to the Area Director.
- With respect to an alleged violation of the OPTIONAL Code of Conduct, the Area Director shall use reasonable efforts to interview at least 2 direct witnesses (other than the Managers or individuals bringing the complaint). The Area Director may also interview, based on his/her reasonable discretion, any other corroborating witnesses and gathering any supporting documentation pertinent to the matter as the Rules Coordinator deems reasonable.
- The Area Director shall also solicit a written response from the member being charged with a Code of Conduct violation.
- After the initial investigation of the alleged Code of Conduct violation is complete, The Area Director shall submit a written report of his findings and recommendation to the Board of Directors.
- The Board shall have the right to take such actions as it deems fair and reasonable and in the best interest of OPTIONAL. The following are actions which the Board of Directors may, but shall not be obligated to, take:
(a) The Board may hold a hearing and call witnesses but if such a hearing is held the members involved in the Code of Conduct Dispute have the right to attend, to hear all the testimony and to address the Board.
(b) The Board may act on the recommendation of the Area Director without holding any hearing.
- The Area Director retains discretionary authority with regard to temporarily suspending a player without a hearing if he/she believes there is a risk of physical or verbal assault. Such a scenario exists if the Area Director is unable to complete an investigation or the Board of Directors is unable to deliberate prior to the alleged violator of the Code of Conduct being scheduled to participate in a league event. The Area Director shall inform the member of his/her decision to suspend him/her and communicate the decision to the Board of Directors. However, the Area Director’s decision should not influence the investigation or the Area Director’s recommendation to the Board of Directors.
- Penalties may, without limitation, include any of the following:
- A written reprimand
- A written warning
- A suspension of 1 or more games
- A remainder of the season suspension with no dues reimbursement
- A suspension for the next season
- A disqualification from any OPTIONAL sponsored events
- A lifetime expulsion from OPTIONAL activities.
- Records of player discipline for violations of OPTIONAL regulations including being ejected from games shall remain active in their files for the remainder of the player’s career for purposes of progressive discipline.
Adopted by Board of Directors – February 20, 2019