All players, coaches, and parents who participate in the OGSA are automatically bound by and must adhere to the Bill of Rights and Code of Conduct guidelines, outlined below.
Players’ Bill of Rights
All children participating in the softball programs of the Oakville Girls Softball Association (OGSA) enjoy the following rights and are entitled to the protection of these rights.
SPORTSMANSHIP: You have the right to participate in a program in which sportsmanship, honesty and integrity are the cornerstones.
RESPECT: You have the right to the respect of your coaches, your team-mates, the coaches and players of the opposing team, the umpires and spectators and each of them has the right to expect the same of you.
PARTICIPATION: You have the right to participate fully in the activities of your team. For House League, in accordance with the OGSA House League rules. For Rep, in accordance with Softball Canada rules.
SKILL DEVELOPMENT: You have the right to learn about your sport and develop your skills to the maximum of your potential.
FREEDOM FROM ABUSE: You have the right to be free from harassment and abuse from any member of the coaching staff or any other person in a position of authority or influence.
FREE SPEECH: You have the right to speak freely without fear of recrimination.
FAIR TREATMENT: You have the right to be treated fairly and with impartiality.
FUN: You have the right to have fun.
Code of Conduct Policy
Players Code of Conduct
As a player in the Oakville Girls Softball Association (OGSA), I understand that I am expected to abide by the Players’ Code of Conduct guidelines described below:
- I will respect the game, my team-mates, my coaches and the umpires. I will never argue an umpire’s call. I will not make comments to an umpire from the field or bench. I will never argue a coach’s decision.
- I will settle disagreements with coaches and other players in a confidential / private manner after games and practices and away from other players.
- I will never fault other players when mistakes occur.
- I will always listen to and look at a coach while they are talking.
- I will always be in control of my temper.
- I understand that swearing, throwing equipment (bats and helmets) or any other actions that detract from the game will result in immediate removal from the game and possible suspension.
- I will work hard for myself and my team.
- I will take pride in myself and everything I do on the ball field.
- I will make every effort to maximize my playing ability.
- I will lead by being an example for my team mates.
- I will ALWAYS play by the rules.
- I will always show up on time for games and practices.
- I understand that the goals of playing in the OGSA are to have fun, develop my baseball skills and create team spirit.
Manager and Coach Code of Conduct
As a manager or coach of an Oakville Girls Softball Association (OGSA) team, I hereby pledge to provide positive support, care, and encouragement for each child participating in OGSA by following this Code of Conduct:
- I will encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all children, managers and coaches (including those of an opposing team). This applies to every game, practice, or any other OGSA event.
- I will encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all umpires, league officials and parents at every game or event.
- I will place the emotional and physical well being of all children on all teams ahead of any personal desire to win.
- I will ask my players to treat all other players, coaches, umpires, league officials, and parents with respect.
- I promise to help my players enjoy playing in the OGSA by being respectful to all players, coaches, umpires league officials, and parents.
- I will insist that my players are in a safe and healthy environment.
- I will demand a drug, alcohol, and tobacco-free sports environment for my players and agree to assist by refraining from their use at all OGSA games, practices and events.
- I will remember that OGSA softball is for children and not for adults.
- I will do all I can to make the game fun and safe for all the children involved in the OGSA.
- I understand that the OGSA is a volunteer organization that requires all parents to participate in activities, such as field preparation and scorekeeping. I therefore agree to enlist the support of all the parents of my players in this effort.
- I agree to be trained in the responsibilities of being an OGSA Manager or Coach, including attending all manager meetings and training clinics.
Parent’s Code of Conduct
As a parent of a child playing in the Oakville Girls Softball Association (OGSA), I agree to and will comply with the Parent’s Code of Conduct outlined below:
- I will remember that my child plays for her enjoyment, not for mine. – I will always encourage my child to play by the rules.
- I will always encourage my child to respect the coaches, their team-mates and the umpires.
- I will never criticize umpire’s judgment or direct negative comments towards them.
- I will not be a “Grand Stand” Manager during games or practices.
- I will always address any questions or concerns to the Coaching staff at the appropriate time, defined as after games or practices and away from the players.
- I will do my best to be a supportive, involved parent without interfering with the operation of the team.
- I realize that I have enrolled my child to have fun, develop their softball skills and have a positive team experience and will do my best to support these objectives.
- I understand that the game of softball is very difficult to learn and play.
- I will remember that children learn best by example. I will applaud the good plays by both my child’s team and their opponents.
- I will teach my child that trying their hardest despite the score or situation is extremely important.
- I understand that the goals of playing OGSA are to have fun, develop my child’s softball skills and create team spirit.
- I understand that by not abiding by the guidelines of this Parents Code of Conduct or by displaying any other inappropriate conduct, will result in my being asked to leave the ball park and may possibly result in my child not playing.
Harassment and Abuse
When a young person is harassed or abused by an adult occupying a position of trust, the impact can be devastating. A major hurdle to healing the wounds that inevitable result is non-disclosure: in order to recover, victims must be heard and believed.
Harassment is understood as encompassing a very broad range of prohibited behaviour, including discriminatory conduct, physical and sexual harassment, emotional, mental, physical and sexual abuse.
The Oakville Girls Softball Association believes that any softball player, umpire, coach or manager should have the ability to discuss any concerns that might be classified as harassment. The Oakville Girls Softball Association also believes that false allegations can be devastating to a person’s career and personal life.
In view of the incidents of harassment that have affected the sport of softball, we believe that there is a need for a concerned player, to be able to talk in private and confidentially with our organization.
We do not encourage concerns which may result from frustration or anger to be reported or acted upon, however, we are available to talk to your request.
Reporting and Review Process
In the event an issue is reported, the OGSA shall deal with all disciplinary matters, including suspensions and expulsions in accordance with the rules and policies of the OGSA. All complaints/issues will have reviews completed within 15 days of being reported to a Division Convenor, or VP House League, or VP Rep, or VP Select or President.
When a disciplinary matter needs to be addressed; the President shall appoint a special Disciplinary Board to deal with the matter and shall designate a person to chair the Disciplinary Board.
The Disciplinary Board will consist of three adult volunteers of the OGSA. The VP House League, or VP Rep, or VP Select will be a member of any Disciplinary Board.
A Disciplinary Board shall conduct itself with fairness and impartiality and shall provide a full opportunity for all parties to be heard.
Decisions of the Disciplinary Board will be communicated to those involved by the VP House League, or VP Rep, or VP Select.
Appeal Tribunal and Protest Committee
The Appeal Tribunal shall consist of three Members of the Executive Committee appointed by the President on an ad hoc basis for the purpose of hearing an appeal. The OGSA President will be a member and chair the Appeal Tribunal.
Members of the Appeal Tribunal shall have no direct association with any of the parties involved. Upon appointment to the Appeal Tribunal, members shall not discuss the merits of the case with anyone prior to hearing the appeal.
In the event the OGSA President is involved in the issue being appealed, either the VP House League, or VP Rep, or VP Select will chair the Appeal Tribunal.
The Appeal Tribunal shall conduct itself with fairness and impartiality and shall provide a full opportunity for all parties to be heard.
The appeal shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the OGSA.
Decisions of the Appeal Tribunal are final and will be communicated to those involved by the OGSA President or designate.
The OGSA Board may hold a special meeting to consider whether any member should be expelled for cause.
At least 15 days notice of such meeting shall be provided to such member and to the Members of the OGSA Board, together with the reasons for the proposed expulsion. Such member shall be given her/his opportunity to be present and to be heard.
Custody of Care
The OGSA takes the protection and safety of all players very seriously. Volunteer Coaches and OGSA staff are not responsible for players on or off the practice or game fields. As per our Custody of Care policy, coaches are only required to ensure (to the best of their ability) that players are released into the care of authorized individuals.
Authorized individuals include one or both parents, one or more legal guardians, or an authorized individual, 18 years of age or older, as notified by the parents or legal guardians prior to the practice or game.
As an authorized individual, it is your responsibility to:
- Accompany your child to and from the practice or game diamond.
- Remain on-site throughout the practice or game. If you cannot remain on-site, it is your responsibility to assign another authorized individual to be responsible for your child, and to notify the coach of this decision.
- Players are not allowed to be released on their own at the end of a practice or game. The authorized individual must be present and take custody of care of the child. Children are released only to authorized individuals, 18 years of age or older, as notified to the coach and/or the OGSA.
- A person picking up a child for the first time, or not recognized by the coach, will be required to provide photo identification.
- Players needing to use bathroom facilities during a practice or game, or needing to leave the diamond for any other reason, must be accompanied by their authorized individual.
- Notify the coach at the beginning of a practice or game of any change in those individuals authorized to pick up the child.
- Notify the coach at least 24 hours prior to a practice or game if the child will be absent. If this is not possible, it is your responsibility to communicate with the coach.
- Provide the coach with current phone numbers and emails where parents and other authorized individuals can be contacted in case of an emergency.
- Pick up a sick or injured child from the practice or game as soon as possible and take the necessary health and safety precautions.
- Adhere to all OGSA policies of game play, arrival times, safety and other.
Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action or expulsion from the league.
Certified legal documentation must be provided regarding any custodial evidence or authority limitations of either parent or guardian. Without legal documentation, either parent will be allowed full access to the child during practice or game times. In the event that the parent or guardian has unauthorized contact with the child, the local police department and custodial parent/guardian will be contacted.