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Resolution Process and Grievance Form

Resolution Coordinator
Patrick Ewan

Sexsmith Football Club Culture

The Sexsmith Football Club operates as a family.  Concerns should be dealt with directly with respect and consideration for all parties.  On the field or in the stands, gossip is an activity that can drain, distract and downshift your football experience. In order to create a fun football family environment, we request that everyone makes a commitment to change our atmosphere to be positive and supportive of everyone.

Respectful Football Discipline Policy

Discipline is an important component of any organization.  Therefore, behaviour that is inconsistent with the values of the association will result in disciplinary action being taken.  This policy applies to all parents and family members as well as players, coaches, managers and executive.

Examples of this action include:

  • A change in assignment,
  • Suspension for a portion of a game(s)
  • Expulsion from the Sexsmith Football Club

For example:

  • A player (or parent) who is blatantly disrespectful to another player, parent or referee while at any SFC sanctioned event can expect to be suspended for the balance of that activity, and may be suspended further if warranted.  Minor infractions will result in players being asked to leave the field for a short period, or as directed by referees/officials.
  • Players who miss practice without good reason may have their assignment changed from starter to backup or similar demotion.
  • Repeated poor behaviour by a player or parent or frequently missing practices may result in a player being suspended from a game or from the program.
  • Coaches not adhering to the Coaches Code of Conduct will be approached with the concerns by the President and/or Head Coach and asked to correct their conduct.  Delay in correcting will result in the actions outlined above.  In extreme cases, corrective action may be immediate.  The Head Coach, in consultation with the SFC Board, shall determine the extent of a suspension. 

The SFC may only expel a player, coach or parent with the approval of the Board of Directors with a majority vote.

Please remember that football is the ultimate team game. 

Players who do not adhere to the team values are not only hurting themselves; they are hurting their whole team. 

Parents who do not adhere to the club values are not only hurting themselves; they are hurting the entire club. 

Coaches who do not adhere to the club values are not only hurting themselves; they are hurting the entire program. 


Application of the Discipline Policy and Procedure

This Procedure applies to all matters dealing with matters where there are breaches to:

  • Player Code of Conduct
  • Parent Code of Conduct
  • Coach Code of Conduct
  • Board Member Code of Conduct

 

These Procedures have been adopted by Sexsmith Football Club in order to establish a process that will enable individuals participating in the activities, programs, events or business to participate, learn, work and play in a respectful environment free of discrimination, harassment, bullying or abuse.

Definitions:

For the purpose of this Procedure:

  • Complainant – Is a person who discusses a concern or makes a complaint (an allegation made in writing) of unacceptable conduct, as that conduct is defined by the Policy;
  • Respondent – Is a person against whom concern is raised about, or a complaint has been made;
  • Official – Is any individual occupying a position of authority with Sexsmith Football Club including but not limited to the executive, directors, officers, team officials and game officials.

Steps to Reporting Unacceptable Conduct

A person who experiences, witnesses, or has reason to believe that unacceptable conduct has occurred is encouraged to make it known to the alleged offender following the 24-hour rule as described in this section.  All conversations with the person should be done with respect and with the intention of improving the culture and environment of the Sexsmith Football Club.  If speaking with the alleged offender is not possible, or if after speaking with the alleged offender the unacceptable conduct continues then the following process should be followed:

1.       24-Hour Rule

The 24-hour rule works this way: If you have something to say to a coach/manager/parent, or they have something to say to you (that could be contentious), please wait 24 hours after the event or the game before discussing it. By this time, you have a better perspective; they have a better perspective, and a lot of arguments naturally are eliminated in the process. Football is an emotional game. It's best to let the emotions simmer before talking to a coach/manager/parent, adult to adult, preferably away from the field.

Effort should be made to resolve the concern with the individual directly; excluding the situation where the concern is with a coach, these concerns should be directed to the Team Manager.

2.      Contact the Resolution Coordinator

Contact the Resolution Coordinator to discuss options.  The complainant may choose to file a formal written complaint or feel that the concern is resolved.

3.      File a Formal Grievance

A formal grievance may be filed using the form provided by the SFC and available on the website.

The Complainant has the option to file a formal complaint if the matter is not resolved informally, or if the unacceptable conduct continues or reoccurs, or if the Complainant chooses not to attempt to resolve the matter informally.

The formal concern shall:

  • Be submitted in writing using the form available on the website titled Resolution Form. Once submitted, the form will be electronically mailed to the Resolution Coordinator’s private mailbox.
  • A Complainant may request the assistance of the Resolution Coordinator to draft the formal concern.
  • Persons who wish to file formal concerns are encouraged to do so at their earliest opportunity. It should be noted, however, that to be considered all formal concerns must be filed within 2 weeks from the date of the most recent alleged violation of the Policy or Code of Conduct unless, at the discretion of the Resolution Coordinator, extenuating circumstances would warrant an extension of time.

4.      Applicability of the Concern

Upon receipt of the formal concern the Resolution Coordinator, with advice from appropriate persons or professionals as needed, will review the allegation(s) to determine:

  • Whether the alleged conduct falls within the definitions of unacceptable conduct established by the Policy;
  • The nature of the concern, including an initial assessment as to the seriousness of the alleged conduct;
  • Who the concern involves.

If it is determined that the allegation(s) does not fall under the definitions set out by the Sexsmith Football Club or that the complaint does not involve any person to whom the Policy applies then the Complainant shall be advised accordingly.  No further action will be taken on the formal concern.

The Resolution Coordinator may recommend that the Complainant pursue other avenues in order to resolve the matter.

If it is determined that the concern does not involve a member of the Sexsmith Football Club but may involve a member/participant of the Grande Prairie Football League, or if the concern raises issues within the exclusive jurisdiction of the League, the Resolution Coordinator shall refer the concern to the appropriate League.

If it is determined that the concern involves a person or persons to whom the Policy applies, and the concern is initially assessed as minor in nature, and if agreed upon by the parties a resolution may be attempted through mediation for such period of time that the Resolution Coordinator considers reasonable. Any such resolution may provide for the withdrawal of the concern or a portion thereof. Should mediation be unsuccessful or if at any time one or both of the parties decline to participate further in the resolution process, the Resolution Coordinator shall proceed to handle the matter.

If it is determined that the concern involves a person or persons to whom the Policy applies and the concern is initially assessed as serious in nature, the Resolution Coordinator may then contact/appoint an individual with the necessary training, skills and experience to conduct an investigation of the concern. This may be an individual external to Sexsmith Football Club.

The Resolution Coordinator shall:

  • Provide the Respondent with a reasonable opportunity to consult with a representative if required to do so.
  • Request the Respondent to provide a written response to the concern within a reasonable time that shall be at the discretion of the Resolution Coordinator.
  • Investigate the concern, including interviewing the Complainant and the Respondent, and any other person deemed relevant to the investigation.
  • Re-interview the parties of the concern, as needed, in order to provide them with a full opportunity to respond to all pertinent information gathered during the investigation.
  • Carry out the investigation in a timely manner.

5.      Decision

The Resolution Coordinator will deliver written recommendations to the SFC Board. The written recommendations shall contain:

  • A summary of the facts,
  • A conclusion as to whether or not the Policy has been breached;
  • The disciplinary action, if any, to be taken against the Respondent for any breach of the Policy found to have occurred;
  • The disciplinary sanctions, if any, to be administered to the Complainant in the event of the finding that the complaint was clearly false, malicious, or frivolous;
  • If determined to be necessary, measures to remedy or mitigate the harm or loss suffered by the Complainant, for any breach of the Policy found;
  • Any other measures that may be necessary to properly dispose of the complaint.

Unless the SFC Board decides otherwise, any disciplinary sanctions determined to be taken against either the Complainant or Respondent shall take effect immediately.

Failure by a member to comply with a sanction as determined by the Board shall result in an automatic suspension of membership in Sexsmith Football Club until such time as the sanction is fulfilled.

The SFC Board Decisions are final.

It may be determined by the Board that the concern would be better handled by the League and as such will forward the formal complaint to the appropriate League Representative.

If a concern is brought to the SFC President from the League, the President will start the process at an appropriate level based on the concern.

Record Keeping and Confidentiality of Records

Once a formal concern has been disposed of pursuant to these Procedures, the Secretary shall keep a secure record of all relevant documents including, but not limited to:

  • The formal written complaint;
  • Any written reply to the complaint received by the Respondent;
  • Any informal or mediated resolutions (set out in writing and agreed to by the parties);
  • Any responses received by the parties to the Investigator’s report;
  • The decision of the Resolution Coordinator;
  • Any other related correspondence.

Sexsmith Football Club recognizes the sensitive nature of matters falling within the Respectful Football Policy and these Procedures and, in particular, the difficulties associated with coming forward with a complaint of unacceptable conduct and with being accused of unacceptable conduct.

Sexsmith Football Club recognizes the interests of both the Complainant and Respondent in keeping any matter being dealt with under the Policy confidential.  However, no absolute guarantee of confidentiality of the information and/or documentation provided to or obtained by Sexsmith Football Club pursuant to these Procedures can be provided.  Disclosure of such information and/or documentation may be required to appropriately investigate, notify the Respondent that a concern has been received and that an investigation is being commenced. The Respondent shall be provided with a signed copy of the formal concern and a copy of the Sexsmith Football Club’s Respectful Football Policy and Procedures.