PoCoMo Pickleball Club Policy
Complaints & Dispute Resolution

Table of Contents

Section 1 - Policy Statement

Section 2 - Premise

Section 3 - Application

Section 4 - Effective

Section 5 - Roles and Responsibilities

Section 6 - Implementation

Section 7 - Intended Outcome

Section 1 - Policy Statement

1.1   PoCoMo Pickleball is committed to providing an environment in which everyone involved with PoCoMo Pickleball is treated with respect.

1.2   When an individualís conduct demonstrates lack of respect or otherwise is an infraction of PoCoMo Pickleballís bylaws or policies, a fair, expeditious and affordable process is in place to respond to complaints regarding the individualís behaviour.

Section 2 - Premise

2.1   Conduct in contravention of the values of PoCoMo Pickleball as described in its bylaws, Code of Conduct Policy or other policies may be subject to sanctions and discipline pursuant to this policy.

Section 3 - Application

3.1   This policy applies to all individuals participating in PoCoMo Pickleball programs, activities and events.

Section 4 - Effective

4.1   January 13, 2021

Section 5 - Roles and Responsibilities

Reporting a complaint

5.1   Anyone may make a complaint to the Vice-President of PoCoMo Pickleball or his/her designate. A complaint must be in writing and signed or submitted online via the complaint-dispute form. A complaint must be filed within fourteen (14) days of the alleged incident. Anonymous complaints may be accepted at the sole discretion of PoCoMo Pickleball.

5.2   A complainant wishing to file a complaint outside the fourteen (14) day period must provide a written statement providing reasons for an exemption to the time limitation. The decision to accept the complaint outside of the fourteen day period is at the sole discretion of PoCoMo Pickleball and may not be appealed.

Minor infractions

5.3   Minor infractions are single incidents of failing to achieve expected standards of conduct that generally do not result in harm to others, PoCoMo Pickleball or the sport of pickleball.

5.4   Examples of minor infractions can include, but are not limited to, a single incident of:

  1. disrespectful, offensive, abusive, racist, or sexist comments or behaviour;
  2. conduct contrary to the values of PoCoMo Pickleball;
  3. non-compliance with PoCoMo Pickleballís policies, procedures, rules or regulations;
  4. minor violations of PoCoMo Pickleballís Code of Conduct.

Major infractions

5.5   Major infractions are instances of failing to achieve the expected standards of conduct that result, or have the potential to result, in harm to other persons, to PoCoMo Pickleball or to the sport of pickleball.

5.6   Examples of major infractions include, but are not limited to:

  1. repeated minor infractions while participating in PoCoMo Pickleball programs, activities or events;
  2. incidents of physical abuse;
  3. incidents of harassment, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct;
  4. activities that endanger the safety of others;
  5. abusive use of alcohol or use or possession of illicit drugs;
  6. conduct that intentionally damages PoCoMo Pickleballís image, credibility, or reputation;
  7. intentional violation of PoCoMo Pickleballís bylaws, policies, rules or regulations;
  8. intentionally damaging PoCoMo Pickleball property or improperly handling PoCoMo Pickleball monies;
  9. major or repeated violations of PoCoMo Pickleballís Code of Conduct Policy.

Initial review of complaint - mediation

5.7   Upon receipt of a complaint, the Vice President (or designate) in consultation with the Case Manager:

  1. determines if the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or outside the jurisdiction of this policy, in which case the complaint will be dismissed immediately, and if it is not;
  2. decides if the alleged infraction is a minor or major infraction.

5.8   Before a complaint proceeds to a formal process, the complaint may first be referred to PoCoMo Pickleballís Vice President (or designate) with the objective of determining whether the complaint may be resolved using mediation or other alternative dispute resolution method.

5.9   Mediation or other alternative dispute resolution processes may be used at any point in the complaint process if the complainant and the person subject of the complaint agree that such a course of action would be mutually beneficial.

5.10  Where mediation is pursued, it will be done so in accordance with standard mediation practice using mediators who are acceptable to both parties and are available in a reasonable time period after the dispute has taken place.

5.11  Any costs arising from the use of mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods are shared equally between the complainant and the individual who is subject of the complaint.

5.12  If the complaint is not resolved by use of facilitation or mediation, the formal complaint process as described in this policy will be followed.

Appointment of a Case Manager

5.13  PoCoMo Pickleball will appoint a Case Manager to oversee the management and administration of the complaints and discipline process. He/she has an overall responsibility to ensure procedural fairness is respected at all times under this policy, and to implement it in a timely manner. The Case Manager does not need to be a member of PoCoMo Pickleball.

5.14  Any infractions or complaints occurring within a PoCoMo Pickleball sanctioned or sponsored tournament will, if applicable, be dealt with by the procedures specific to the tournament. In such circumstances, disciplinary sanctions will be only for the duration of the tournament. Further sanctions may be applied but only after review of the incident in accordance with this policy.

Responding to a minor infraction

5.15  Procedures for responding to a minor infraction are much less formal than responding to a major infraction. As much as possible, complaints are managed at a local level, involving individuals familiar with the individuals and the circumstances.

5.16  The Case Manager may request another appropriate person who has knowledge of the person and/or authority over the person to respond to the complaint, provided that the person who is subject of the complaint has been:

  1. informed of the nature of the alleged infraction, and
  2. given opportunity to provide information about the circumstances regarding the infraction.

5.17  Examples of another appropriate person with knowledge of and/or authority over the person include:

  1. a president of a local pickleball club;
  2. a tournament organizer;
  3. a pickleball board or committee member;
  4. a pickleball coach or official.

5.18  After the Case Manager or other appropriate person has reviewed the alleged incident with the individual involved, he/she may determine that no further action is required, or may apply a penalty, either singularly or in combination, including the following:

  1. a verbal or written reprimand;
  2. a verbal or written apology from one party to another;
  3. a service or other voluntary contribution to PoCoMo Pickleball;
  4. any other penalty considered appropriate to the circumstances.

Informing police of criminal activity

5.19  If, at any point during an investigation or hearing, it comes to the attention of the Case Manager that a criminal act may have occurred involving a party to the complaint, the Case Manager will:

  1. consult with the Board regarding the alleged criminal act;
  2. in conjunction with the Vice President, notify the police of the alleged criminal act.

Responding to a major infraction

5.20  When it is determined the alleged incident is a major infraction, the Case Manager will:

  1. as soon as possible, notify the parties involved in the complaint, advising them the complaint is potentially legitimate and will be responded to as a major infraction;
  2. ensure the individual alleged to have committed the infraction is provided with written details of the alleged infraction;
  3. ensure both parties of the complaint are provided with a copy of this policy.
  4. appoint an adjudicator, or if deemed necessary, a Panel in accordance with this policy;
  5. coordinate all administrative aspects of the complaint;
  6. provide administrative assistance and logistical support to the adjudicator or Panel as required;
  7. provide any other service or support that may be necessary to ensure a fair and timely proceeding.

5.21  Where the Case Manager determines a Panel will respond to a complaint, wherever possible, the Panel members will be selected to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

Hearing for a major infraction

5.22  If the person alleged to have committed the major infraction acknowledges the facts of the incident, he/she may consent to waive the need for a hearing. In these circumstances the adjudicator or the Panel will determine the appropriate sanction with or without holding a hearing.

5.23  If a party to the complaint chooses not to participate in the hearing, the hearing will proceed without their participation.

5.24  The Case Manager will determine the format of the hearing, which may involve:

  1. an oral in-person hearing;
  2. an oral hearing via teleconference, via videoconference or via web-based conference
  3. a hearing based on a review of documentary evidence submitted in advance of the hearing.

5.25  The hearing is governed by the procedures that the Case Manager deems appropriate in the circumstances, provided that the Parties:

  1. are given a minimum of ten (10) days written notice of the day, time, and place of the hearing;
  2. agree to an exchange of any written documents they wish to have the considered at the hearing and provided in advance of the hearing in a timeframe agreed to by the parties;are advised they may be accompanied by a representative, advisor, or legal counsel at their own expense;
  3. are informed the adjudicator or Panel may request that other individuals participate and give evidence at the hearing.

5.26  If the Case Manager determines that a decision made by the adjudicator or Panel may affect another party to the extent that party would have recourse to a complaint in their own right, that party will become a party to the complaint in question and will be bound by that decision.

Adjudicator or Panel Decision from the hearing

5.27  Within fourteen (14) days of the conclusion of the hearing, the adjudicator or Panel determines whether the alleged infraction occurred and if so the sanctions to be imposed. This decision along with its reasons is distributed in writing to all parties and to the President of PoCoMo Pickleball within seven (7) days of the decision being made.

5.28  Sanctions for a major infraction may include but are not limited to:

  1. a written reprimand;
  2. expulsion from membership in PoCoMo Pickleball;
  3. publication of the decision.

5.29  Unless the Adjudicator or Panel decides otherwise, disciplinary sanctions start immediately after the written decision has been distributed to the parties.

Criminal convictions

5.30  At the sole discretion of PoCoMo Pickleball, an individualís conviction for any of the following offenses will be deemed a major infraction under this Policy and will result in expulsion from PoCoMo Pickleball and/or removal from PoCoMo Pickleball competitions, programs, activities and events:

  1. any child pornography offences;
  2. any sexual offences;
  3. any offence involving violence against a person;
  4. any offences involving trafficking of illegal drugs.

Record of decisions

5.31  If a decision is made to impose a penalty for either a minor or major infraction, a record is created and maintained by PoCoMo Pickleball and includes the following:

  1. details of the alleged incident including the date;
  2. the names of the individuals involved in the complaint;
  3. the response of the person whom the complaint was made against;
  4. the name of the Case Manager and/or other appropriate person who determined the penalty;
  5. a description of the penalty applied.

5.32  Decisions and appeals are matters of public interest and shall be publicly available with the names of the individuals redacted. Names of persons disciplined may be disclosed to the extent necessary to give effect to any sanction imposed.

Section 6 - Implementation

6.1   PoCoMo Pickleball is responsible for communicating this policy to its members and others involved in its programs, activities and events.

6.2   PoCoMo Pickleball will need to provide an orientation to the complaints and discipline process to its Executive and to ensure a Case Manager will be available in the event of a complaint involving a major infraction.

Section 7 - Intended Outcome

7.1   Individuals involved in PoCoMo Pickleball programs, activities and events are treated with respect and know how to lodge a complaint where they have felt PoCoMo Pickleballís Code of Conduct or the values of PoCoMo Pickleball are not being upheld.