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Disciplinary Handbook

INTRODUCTION

The task of maintaining the standards of discipline within the league is a shared responsibility between those who run the league, the clubs, players, coaches and any other participant within our competitions.  The league aims to maintain the appropriate standards of discipline and sportsmanship with the co-operation of all clubs, their members and the national governing body, Basketball England. 

Clubs are entitled to have their own internal disciplinary measures and make their own decisions in regards to their players, coaches, team followers and committee members.  Their decisions do not prejudge our own process.  The league secretary, as Convenor of the League Disciplinary Sub-committee, has recommended the appointment of the following officers:

-    a Child Protection Officer, as per national governing body regulations.  Their guidance and policy can found in a separate document.
-    A Disciplinary Officer (DO), whose guidance is below. 
-    And an Appeals Officer (AO), whose guidance is also below.

The league secretary has the power to delegate their functions as Convenor of the League Disciplinary Sub-committee to an acting/deputy league secretary.

THE DISCIPLINARY SUB-COMMITTEE

The League Disciplinary Sub-Committee consists of the Vice-Chair, the Secretary (Convenor) and the Technical Secretary.  They have the power to carry out the following tasks:

- To draft, present and review the Disciplinary Handbook as appropriate,
- To appoint a DO, 
- To appoint an AO, 
- To ascertain the fees the DO and AO should receive for their services,
- To liaise with Basketball England in regards to codes of conduct and disciplinary decisions whenever appropriate.  

FEES

The DO will carry out their duties on a referral based basis.  They will make a decision only once they have received all documentation in regards to a disciplinary incident, or the time frame for that process has ended.  The club or individuals involved in this process are not liable to pay any fee at this stage.  
The AO will carry out their duties on a referral based basis.  They will make a decision once they have received all documentation in regards to an appeal and the league secretary has received the club’s deposit for the appeal.  There is a non-returnable fee of £40 to be paid by the club making the appeal.  

THE DISCIPLINARY OFFICER:  TIME FRAME & REFERRALS

The DO will receive the disciplinary reports from the referee and umpire within the next 48 hours after the conclusion of the game.  The DO may request the reports from the table officials and court supervisors, if necessary.   They may also request access to video evidence for disciplinary purposes only.  All these requests will be done through the league secretary. 

The league secretary will, within the 24 hours following the incident, request the reports from the referees, table officials (if necessary) and the club secretaries involved in the dispute(s).  The league secretary will provide them with a time frame of 48 hours to produce their reports.  This time frame may be extended if, and only if, the club secretary requests it due to difficulties in contacting their own players, coaches and/or team followers whose input is necessary to produce the report. 

The league secretary will inform the club secretary involved in the dispute of any interim decision ie. one game ban after disqualification, until the DO delivers their decision. 
The DO should have received all reports in within 48 hours after the day of the incident. 
The DO will have 4 working days to produce their report to the league secretary. 
The league secretary will inform the club secretary of the decision (fine, games ban, etc.) from the DO in less than 24 hours of receiving their report. 
The league secretary will also in the same time frame inform the club secretary of their right to have their case reviewed by the Appeals Officer (AO).
If the club secretary wishes to see their case reviewed by the AO, they need to inform the club secretary in written in the next 48 hours following the communication of fines, games ban or any other decision from the DO through the league secretary. 
All disciplinary measures will remain in place unless the AO decides otherwise.  The club secretary who wishes to make an appeal to the AO will need to pay a £40 non-refundable deposit to the league prior to their case being seen.
 
THE DISCIPLINARY OFFICER:  PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

The DO will

-    Receive the disciplinary reports either directly or through the league secretary.
-  Maintain confidentiality on all matters in relation to the dispute.  Confidential information includes any information relating to the activities of the league which is designated by the league as confidential, and any information that comes to the knowledge of the DO in the cause of performing their duties.
-    Maintain accurate records of the referrals sent to them and their decisions.  They may delegate this task to the league secretary. 

THE DISCIPLINARY OFFICER:  SCOPE OF THEIR ROLE

The DO will not deal with issues regarding the management of the game, or any aspect of the competition but disciplinary matters.
The DO does not have the power to change the regulations in the league handbook, Basketball England procedures or FIBA regulations. 
The DO does not have the power to make a decision regarding a referee, table official or commissioner unless they are present in the incident but not performing their professional roles as referee, table official or commissioner. 
The DO will make decisions about disciplinary matters sent to them within the league competitions. 

FINES AND DECISIONS BY THE DISCIPLINARY OFFICER

The DO will pay especial attention to the following:

- Evidence from the reports regarding physical violence towards any official, player, coach, or member of the public. 
- Evidence from the reports regarding abusive language and any form of racist/homophobic remarks, expressions or gestures. 
Any disqualification as a result of a Disqualifying foul will result in an automatic one-game ban.  The fine will be a minimum of £40.  

Physical contact is part of basketball and a degree of consideration has to apply when punishing hard physical contact in the act of playing as opposed to the physical contact when the game has stopped for any reason.  The DO may recommend a fine and/or games ban. A third disqualification for a team in within the session will result in a £100 fine at least.  

DISQUALIFICATIONS (NOT DIRECT DISQUALIFICATION)  

A disqualification as a result of two Technical fouls will not result in an automatic match ban.  It will imply a fine of £40 and a warning.  
A disqualification as a result of two Unsportsmanlike fouls will not result in an automatic match ban.  It will imply a fine of £40 and a warning.  
A disqualification as a result of two Coach Technical fouls, or combination of Coach Technical and Bench Technical will result in an automatic one match ban, a £40 fine and a warning for the coach.  
A disqualification as a result of fight, if this is the result of bench clearing, will result in an automatic one match ban and a £40 fine for the team.  

HARD PHYSICAL CONTACT WHILST BALL IS LIVE

A disqualification of a player by hard physical contact on another player in the act of playing should have a penalty of at least one-game ban.  If the disqualified player contacted the player from behind, they are not giving them the opportunity to avoid the contact and there is a high risk of injury.  Therefore the penalty could increase to two or three games if (a) the player who suffered the contact was airborne, (b) the contact came from behind them and (c) not necessarily the player who suffered the contact ended up with an injury. 

Special consideration will be given to off-the ball situations such as pushing an opponent to the floor, or use of elbows on opponents. 

ACTS OF PHYSICAL AGGRESSION IN DEAD BALL SITUATIONS

This kind of episodes must be dealt with severity due to the fact that the defaulter has the opportunity to stop and think about what to do next and plan how to inflict the aggression.  An act of aggression straight after a referee’s call (i.e. dead ball) could be penalised with a three-game ban if (a) we give the benefit of the doubt to the defaulter regarding stoppage of the game (i.e. they are not aware of it), (b) it was one act with no continuation because of self-restrain or peers’ physically restraining them. 

Any incident in which a defaulter chases others with(out) objects in their hands, we would consider a permanent ban from the league.  The league would at least consider a significant ban (half a season). 

PRE-GAME OR POST-GAME INCIDENTS

These situations occur more often than the previous ones.  The usual strategy of all officials leaving the premises would not work in some cases as they are most likely to be officiating the following game, or have to assist to tidy up the court and put the equipment away.

Approaching the officials, surrounding them after they had been instructed to move away, will result in a heavy penalty and strong warning regarding legal action.  If any of the participants involved in this action had already been under disciplinary sanctions, we will contemplate a one-season ban at least.  

Any physical contact with any league official (putting their hand on them, touching their shoulders, holding their arms), or not allowing them to move by surrounding them would mean a three-game ban at least and a fine as per handbook.

The DO and the league secretary will consider a referral to the Metropolitan Police in cases of physical assault and/or threats, homophobic or racist abuse. 

Any acts of physical violence or vandalism before or after a fixture will be investigated and acted upon.  The league will liaise with the manager of the property (ie. venue) and the London Metropolitan Police.  

COMMUNICATION WITH CLUBS AND PARTICIPANTS

The League Secretary will communicate the decision from the DO to the clubs.  The communication will be about: 

-      A request for reports. 
-      To communicate a temporary suspension of a participant until a definitive decision is reached. 
-      A final decision regarding a disciplinary dispute. 

The DO will communicate its decision to the league secretary first in written (email) at least four working days after receiving the referral and all relevant information. 

THE APPEALS OFFICER:  TIME FRAME AND REFERRALS

The AO will receive the referral from the league secretary.  The referral will consist of

-    The appeal from the club secretary in regards to the decision by the DO only. 
-    Any relevant report(s) from the DO, especially the referees' reports, table officials' reports and DO's decision.

All relevant reports must be with the AO within 24 hours after the club secretary has informed in written the league secretary of their intention to appeal a decision from the DO.  Only the reports originally presented to the DO will be forwarded to the AO, unless there is new evidence ie. video evidence, witness; report. 

The AO will provide a response in written to the league secretary within 5 working days since receiving the referral.  They may ask for an extension of no more than 2 weeks. 

THE APPEALS OFFICER:  PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

The AO will

-    Receive referrals via the league secretary. 
-  Maintain confidentiality on all matters in relation to the dispute.  Confidential information includes any information relating to the activities of the league which is designated by the league as confidential, and any information that comes to the knowledge of the AO in the cause of performing their duties.
-    Maintain accurate records of the referrals sent to them and their decisions.  They may delegate this task to the league secretary. 

 THE APPEALS OFFICER:  SCORE OF THEIR ROLE

The AO will not deal with issues regarding the management of the game, or any aspect of the competition. 
The AO has the power to make an interpretation (but not to change) the regulations in the league handbook, Basketball England procedures or FIBA regulations. 
The AO will consult Basketball England regarding interpretations of disciplinary regulations if necessary. 
The AO will follow FIBA interpretations 2015 or any most recent update. 

DECISION BY THE APPEALS OFFICER

The decisions by the AO will be:

-    To uphold the referral or
-    To reject the referral.

The appeal is upheld:  The AO will inform the league secretary of their decision and rationale.  The AO will inform the League Secretary of:

-    Fine is changed or cancelled; and/or
-    Suspension is changed or cancelled. 
-    Disciplinary Investigation needs to start again.  

The appeal is rejected:  The AO will inform the league secretary of their decision and rationale. 

© Jose Luis Celorio, November 2014, updated September 2015 and September 2016


DISCIPLINARY OFFICE DECISIONS

DATE

FIXTURE

INDIVIDUAL

REPORT

OUTCOME

APPEAL

 

 

30.10.16

 

The Smurfs vs. EY Beamers

 

Alexandro Pechivanis (The Smurfs)

 

Disqualifying Foul

 

£40 fine, 1 match ban, warning

 

 

N/A

 

 

30.10.16

 

Soul vs. Stratford Royals

 

Terrence Okorougo (Stratford Royals)

 

2 Technical Fouls

£40 fine, no suspension, warning

 

 

N/A

 

 

27.11.16

Mandraikos BCL vs. London Commodores

 

Enrico Sbrocco (London Commodores)

 

Post-match incident

No fine, no suspension, warning

 

 

N/A

 

 

4.12.16

London Sharks vs. Mudchute Moneyball

 

Agris Alksnis (London Sharks)

 

Disqualifying Foul

 

£40 fine, one match suspension

 

 

N/A

 

14.01.17

Mandraikos BCL vs. London Spartans

Nikos Papadosifos (London Spartans)

Disqualifying Foul

£40 fine, one match suspension

 

 

N/A

 

21.01.17

Knights vs. London Amazonians

Edward Garrett (Knights)

Post-match incident

No fine, no suspension, warning

 

 

N/A