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Disciplinary Measures

Sport organizations may have to make decisions to sanction members for unacceptable behaviors, whether they be athletes, coaches, officials, team managers, volunteers, etc.

While they account for a very small percentage of cases heard by SDRCC, discipline-related disputes are avoidable. Sport organization members should know what behaviors are acceptable or not through the publication of codes of ethics, codes of conducts or other such rules. These rules must be communicated widely to those expected to follow them. Unfortunately when such codes and rules exist, it is often the case that they sit on a shelf or are hidden somewhere on the sport organization's website. It is important that the individuals to whom these rules apply are well aware of them, and they understand especially of the consequences of not respecting them.

In cases where behavior standard breaches are alleged, disputes may arise when the disciplinary procedure is not followed correctly, as outlined in the relevant policies. Sport organizations can also see their decisions challenged or overtuned if their disciplinary processes are not respectful of the principles of natural justice.

When sanctions are imposed, they should be justifiable, coherent with the seriousness of the violation, and consistent with previous cases of similar nature. Ideally, the rules governing behavior in a sport organization should provide guidelines for the determination of sanctions to ensure consistency.