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Forms and Policies

MARA Code of Conduct And Disciplines

The Code of Conduct and Disciplines are to be understood by all commissioners, coaches, assistant coaches, managers, players and parents of each MARA registered team. All coaches and managers are instructed to review this with their players and parents.

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

Matthews Athletic and Recreation Association supports youth sports activity that is governed by a strong sense of individual and team sportsmanship.

This Code of Conduct and Disciplines has been prepared as a guide to the principles and expectations of MARA and is intended to apply to everybody involved in MARA activities regardless of their role or affiliation. Adherence to the spirit as well as the letter of the Code is required.

Persons unwilling to abide by this Code should reconsider their membership in MARA activities.

PRINCIPLES AND EXPECTATIONS

MARA believes in the principles of fair play, ethical behavior and the right of every individual to fully enjoy the sport activity without undue interference from others.

MARA recognizes that participation in competitive activities is a source for strong feelings which will often lead to misunderstandings, disagreements and other conflicts. However, MARA also believes that every participant has a duty to respect the right of competitors to hold conflicting views.

MARA therefore expects its commissioners, coaches, players, officials and spectators, as well as their friends and families to deal with conflicts in a spirit of good sportsmanship and to cooperate in promoting the enjoyment of sport activities to the greatest extent possible.

MARA expects adherence to both the spirit and the letter of its Rules. Illegal, unfair, rowdy, violent, dangerous and unsportsman-like behavior will not be tolerated, whether on the field of play or away from the playing area.

MARA expects all participants to show respect for opponents, regardless of their skill.

Since MARA activities usually involve children from a very young age and since children are influenced by the behavior of adults, adult participants will be held to the very highest standards of conduct.

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR COMMISSIONERS, COACHES, OFFICIALS, AND SPECTATORS

MARA expects commissioners, coaches, officials and spectators to conform to the spirit and intent of applicable rules at all times on and off the field.

COMMISSIONERS

Commissioners are responsible for their own conduct as well as the conduct of their coaches.

MARA has taken action in support of good conduct and commissioners are expected to use their authority to maintain acceptable conduct of their coaches, assistant coaches, players and spectators.

MARA supports the authority of a commissioner to dismiss any coach, player or spectator from the game area for failure to comply with this code. Commissioners are expected whenever possible to advise coaches of any unacceptable conduct and to give the coach an opportunity to correct the situation before taking other corrective action.

Commissioners shown to have misused their authority will be held in violation of this Code and subject to appropriate penalties.

COACHES

Coaches are responsible for their own conduct as well as the conduct of their assistant coaches, players and spectators.

THE COACH AS AN EXAMPLE

The behavior of the coach is the most important guide for player and spectator behavior. The coach can exert strong player and spectator control by the example he/she sets; and by a few words of caution directed to the appropriate place when necessary.

GAME OFFICIALS

MARA has taken action in support of good conduct and game officials are expected to use their authority to maintain acceptable conduct on the sidelines as well as on the field.

Officials are expected to use their authority without hesitation when necessary to maintain order at games.

MARA supports the authority of an official to dismiss any coach, player or spectator from the game area for failure to comply with this code and to terminate a game if necessary. Officials are expected whenever possible to advise coaches of any unacceptable conduct and to give the coach an opportunity to correct the situation before taking other corrective action.

Officials shown to have misused their authority will be held in violation of this Code and subject to appropriate penalties.

ENFORCEMENT

Any behavior deemed unacceptable by this Code of Conduct will be dealt with as provided in the MARA Disciplines.

Suspensions, membership cancellations, periods of probation or team dissolution may result from violations of the Code by members and others subject to the authority of MARA including commissioners, players, coaches, team officials, elected officials and appointed officials.

UNACCEPTABLE CONDUCT

Vulgarity by elected officials, commissioners, game officials, coaches, players or spectators directed towards anyone.

Harassment of elected officials, commissioners, game officials, coaches or players by anyone.

Debasement of elected officials, commissioners, game officials, coaches or players by anyone.

Physical violence or threat of violence directed toward anyone or encouraged by anyone.

Verbal or physical assault on an elected official, commissioner, game official, coach and/or player. Physical assault is defined as any physical contact initiated by a player, commissioner, coach, team official, spectator, elected officer or appointed official.

Consumption of alcoholic beverages in and around the playing area before, during or after an activity.

Use of illegal drugs under any circumstance.

MARA DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES

Part 1 - THE MARA DISCIPLINE AND APPEALS COMMITTEE HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE FOLLOWING MATTERS ASSIGNED TO IT BY THE MARA BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

1) Allegations of violation of the By-Laws, or Code of Conduct.

2) Any protest.

3) Any incident involving an allegation of assault.

4) Any other matter assigned to it by the MARA Board of Directors.

Part 2 - THE DISCIPLINE AND APPEALS COMMITTEE (D & A Committee) NEED NOT HOLD A HEARING WITH RESPECT TO ANY MATTER ASSIGNED TO IT. THE D & A COMMITTEE IS PERMITTED TO UTILIZE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING MEANS, EITHER SINGULARLY OR IN COMBINATION, IN ITS CONSIDERATION AND RESOLUTION OF CASES ASSIGNED TO THEM:

1) By conducting a hearing at which the parties involved may afford the opportunity to present their cases to a hearing officer(s) appointed by the D & A Chairman.

2) By telephone, in which case the committee chairperson or the chair's designated alternate may coordinate the gathering of evidentiary information and coordinate the consultation of members by phone.

3) By mail, in which case the committee chairperson or the chair's designated alternate may coordinate the gathering of evidentiary information and coordinate the consultation of members by mail.

4) The D & A Committee is charged with resolving matters fairly under all circumstances, keeping in mind the best interest of MARA, the development and maturity and responsibility within athletes, the adults who are involved in youth sport activities and all other circumstances relevant to such.

5) The D & A Committee shall always render a decision. This decision will be binding unless an appeal is filed in writing to the MARA President within fourteen (14) days of the decision.

APPEAL PROCESS

Part 3 - AN APPEAL IS A REQUEST FOR A HEARING BY A HIGHER AUTHORITY TO RECONSIDER THE DECISION OF A LOWER AUTHORITY CONCERNING A DISCIPLINARY ACTION.

1) The D & A Chairman will present the appeal to the MARA Board for review.

a. A written appeal must state the reason for the appeal, and follow the process for filing with the MARA President.

b. A hearing appeal date, place, time is established by the MARA President. Normally at the next scheduled Board of Directors Meeting.

c. A written record of the proceeding needs to be kept by the Association.

d. The decision rendered with written notification to parties involved in timely manner, based solely on the evidence of record. Best to do by Certified mail.

e. Decisions rendered by the MARA Board of Directors through a motion with a majority vote shall be binding, which may include but is not limited to member suspensions or membership cancellations of any commissioner, coach, assistant coach, trainer, parent or player.

MARA DISCIPLINARY PUNISHMENTS

ALL VIOLATIONS OF THE MARA CODE OF CONDUCT ARE TO BE HEARD BY THE D & A COMMITTEE. THE FOLLOWING ARE SUGGESTED PUNISHMENTS ONLY.

Part 1 - Suggested punishments may be altered based on specific information.

Part 2 - Members guilty of fighting other players, coaches or spectators before, during or after games shall receive a one (1) year suspension.

Part 3 - Members guilty of using profanity, either by word or sign, against other players, coaches, spectators, or any official shall receive a four (4) month suspension. Part 4 - Members guilty of making threatening gestures against other players or coaches or any official shall receive a four (4) month suspension.

Part 5 - Members guilty of pushing or striking any coach or official shall receive a one (1) year suspension.

Part 6 - Players, coaches, spectators or team officials who are found guilty of making threatening gestures or using threatening language or profanity to players, other coaches or officials shall be disciplined according to the following schedule:

a. Members guilty of the infraction shall receive a one (1) year suspension. Coaches and/or spectators shall receive a one (1) year suspension.

b. Assault is an intentional act of physical violence upon another.

Assault includes, but is not limited to the following acts: hitting, kicking, punching, choking, spitting at, or on, grabbing or bodily running into another; kicking or throwing any object that could inflict injury-, damaging personal property.

Players, coaches, spectators, team officials or parents guilty of this infraction shall automatically be suspended for at least one (1) year from the time of the assault, unless serious injuries are inflicted, then the minimum suspension will be at least five (5) years. When the player, coach, manager, or official committing the assault is an adult and the other is a minor (17 or younger) then the suspension period is indefinite.

2. Abuse is a verbal statement or physical act not resulting in body contact which implies or threatens physical harm to another or their property or equipment. These include using foul or abusive language, spewing any beverage on their personal property; verbally threatening with such remarks as "I'll get you after the game" or "You won't get out of here in one piece".

The minimum suspension period for abuse shall be at least one (1) year.

Part 7 - Coaches or team officials who are guilty of fighting before, during or after a game will be brought before the D & A Committee for appropriate discipline.

Part 8 - Players, coaches or spectators who are found guilty of making verbal threats to other players, coaches or spectators: players shall receive a one (1) year suspension; coaches/spectators a two (2) year suspension.

Part 9 - Players guilty of violent conduct (committed either off the field or on the field against an opposing player or not in the area of play for the ball, or on the field while the ball is in play but against a teammate, an official or person other than a player on the opposing team) or serious foul play (intentionally striking or kicking another player while the ball is in play and while the players are challenging the ball) shall receive an indefinite suspension.

Spectators found guilty of violent conduct or encouraging such conduct shall receive an indefinite suspension.

Part 10 -

a. Any player found guilty by the D & A Committee of violent conduct with the intent to seriously injure or encouraging such conduct shall receive not less than a one (1) year suspension, up an indefinite suspension.

b. Any coach found guilty by the D & A Committee of violent conduct or encouraging such conduct shall receive an indefinite suspension,

c. Any team official found guilty by the D & A Committee of violent conduct with the intent to seriously injure, or encouraging or specifically directing such conduct, shall receive an indefinite suspension.

Part 11 - Any violation of the MARA Code of Conduct not specifically covered in the provisions above will be heard by the MARA D & A Committee. Persons who are found guilty of violating the Code of Conduct can be penalized by suspension.