Items below may be amended, added, or removed from time to time, at the discretion of the OGSA, and will be binding on all coaches, providing these changes are duly communicated.
1. The following terms have these meanings in this Code: “Individuals” - All categories of membership as defined in Article 2 of the Provincial Women’s Softball Association’s (OGSA) By-Laws, as well as all individuals engaged in activities with the OGSA including, but not limited to, teams, athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, managers, administrators, directors, spectators of OGSA events and parents of OGSA members.
2. The purpose of this Code of Conduct (“Code”) is to ensure a safe and positive environment (within OGSA programs, activities and events) by making all individuals aware that there is an expectation, at all times, of appropriate behavior consistent with the values of the OGSA, as set out in section 3 of this Code.
3. The OGSA is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect. The OGSA supports equal opportunity and prohibits discriminatory practices. Individuals are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner consistent with the values of the OGSA that include fairness, integrity, accountability, excellence, accessibility, innovation and respect.
4. Conduct that violates this Code may be subject to sanctions pursuant to the OGSA’s Discipline Policy.
APPLICATION OF THIS CODE
5. This Code applies to conduct that may arise during the course of OGSA business, activities and events including, but not limited to, its environment, competitions, practices, training camps, tryouts, social media, travel and any meetings of the OGSA.
6. The Code also applies to the conduct of individuals that may occur outside of the OGSA’s business, activities, events and meetings when such conduct adversely affects relationships with the OGSA (and its work and sport environment) and is detrimental to the image and reputation of the OGSA. Such applicability will be made by the OGSA in its sole discretion.
7. All individuals have a responsibility to:
a) Maintain and enhance the dignity and self-esteem of OGSA members and other individuals by:
i. Demonstrating respect to individuals regardless of body type, physical characteristics, athletic ability, gender, ancestry, colour, ethnic or racial origin, nationality, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion, religious belief, political belief, disability or economic status.
ii. Focusing comments or criticism appropriately and avoiding public criticism of athletes, coaches, officials, organizers, volunteers, and members.
iii. Consistently demonstrating the spirit of sportsmanship, sport leadership and ethical conduct.
iv. Acting, when appropriate, to prevent or correct practices that are unjustly discriminatory.
v. Consistently treating individuals fairly and reasonably.
vi. Ensuring adherence to the rules of softball and the spirit of those rules.
b) Refrain from any behavior that constitutes harassment, where harassment is defined as comment or conduct directed towards an individual or group, which is offensive, abusive, racist, sexist, degrading or malicious. Types of behavior that constitute harassment include, but are not limited to:
i. Written or verbal abuse, threats or outbursts.
ii. The display of visual material which is offensive or which one ought to know is offensive in the circumstances.
iii. Unwelcomed remarks, jokes, comments, innuendo or taunts.
iv. Leering or other suggestive or obscene gestures.
v. Condescending or patronizing behavior, which is intended to undermine self-esteem, diminish performance or adversely affect working conditions.
vi. Practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment, endanger a person’s safety, or negatively affect performance.
vii. Any form of hazing where hazing is defined as “Any potentially humiliating, degrading, abusive, or dangerous activity expected of a junior ranking athlete by a more senior team-mate, which does not contribute to either athlete’s positive development, but is required to be accepted as part of a team, regardless of the junior-ranking athlete’s willingness to participate. This includes, but is not limited to, any activity, no matter how traditional or seemingly benign, that sets apart or alienates any team-mate based on class, number of years on the team, or athletic ability.”
viii. Unwanted physical contact including, but not limited to, touching, petting, pinching or kissing.
ix. Unwelcomed sexual flirtations, advances, requests or invitations.
x. Physical or sexual assault.
xi. Behaviors such as those described above that are not directed towards a specific individual or group but have the same effect of creating a negative or hostile environment.
xii. Retaliation or threats of retaliation against an individual who reports harassment to the OGSA.
c) Refrain from any behavior that constitutes sexual harassment, where sexual harassment is defined as unwelcomed sexual comments and sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or conduct of a sexual nature. Types of behavior that constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
i. Sexist jokes.
ii. Display of sexually offensive material.
iii. Sexually degrading words used to describe a person.
iv. Inquiries or comments about a person’s sex life.
v. Unwelcomed sexual flirtations, advances or propositions.
vi. Persistent unwanted contact.
d) Abstain from the non-medical use of drugs or the use of performance-enhancing drugs or methods. More specifically, the OGSA adopts and adheres to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. Any infraction under this Program shall be considered an infraction of this Code and shall be subject to disciplinary action, and possible sanction, pursuant to the Provincial Women’s Softball Association’s Discipline Policy. The OGSA will respect any penalty enacted pursuant to a breach of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program, whether imposed by the OGSA or any other sport organization.
e) Refrain from associating with any person for the purpose of coaching, training, competition, instruction, administration, management, athletic development or supervision of the sport of competitive softball, who has incurred an anti-doping rule violation and is serving a sanction involving a period of ineligibility imposed pursuant to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program and/or the World Anti-Doping Code and recognized by the Canada Center for Ethics in Sport (CCES).
f) Refrain from the use of power or authority in an attempt to coerce another person to engage in inappropriate activities.
g) In the case of adults, avoid consuming alcohol in situations where minors are present, and take reasonable steps to manage the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages in adult-oriented social situations associated with OGSA events.
h) Respect the property of others and not willfully cause damage
i) Promote softball in the most constructive and positive manner possible.
j) Adhere to all federal, provincial, municipal and host country laws.
k) Comply at all times with the By-Laws, policies, procedures, rules and regulations of the OGSA, as adopted and amended from time to time.
8. In addition to section 7 of the OGSA Code of Conduct (above), coaches have additional responsibilities. The coach-athlete relationship is a privileged one and plays a critical role in the personal, sport, and athletic development of the athlete. Coaches must understand and respect the inherent power imbalance that exists in this relationship and must be extremely careful not to abuse it, consciously or unconsciously. Coaches will:
a) Meet the highest standards of credentials, integrity and suitability including, but not limited to, such considerations established by the OGSA Screening Policy, so that the softball community is satisfied it has minimized the risk of an unsafe environment.
b) Report any ongoing criminal investigation, conviction or existing bail conditions, including those for violence, child pornography, or possession, use or sale of an illegal substance.
c) Under no circumstances provide, promote or condone the use of drugs (other than properly prescribed medications) or performance-enhancing substances and, in the case of minors, alcoholic beverages and/or tobacco.
d) Respect all other teams and athletes from other teams and, in dealings with them, not encroach upon topics or actions which are deemed to be within the realm of coaching, unless first receiving approval from the coach who is responsible for the team or athlete(s) involved.
e) Not engage in a sexual relationship with an athlete of under the age of 18 years, or an intimate or sexual relation with an athlete over the age of 18 if the coach is in a position of power, trust or authority over such athlete.
f) Recognize the power inherent in the position of coach and respect and promote the rights of all participants in sport. This is accomplished by establishing and following procedures for confidentiality (right to privacy), informed participation and fair and reasonable treatment. Coaches have a special responsibility to respect and promote the right of participants who are in a vulnerable or dependent position and less able to protect their own rights.
g) Dress professionally, neatly and inoffensively.
h) Use inoffensive language, taking into account the audience being addressed.
i) Set a good example by modeling the same basic expectations set for players and parents. If an expectation is reasonable for a parent or player, and should also be expected to follow those same standards.
j) Practice high ethical standards and only direct my team to play within the rules. We will always attempt to play within the rules of fair play, regardless of whether they are enforced.
k) Have a thorough understanding of the rules of the game and those applicable to the tournaments entered, and will be a student of the official and tournament rulebooks so that they are properly prepared.
l) Do everything to prepare the players for the situations they will face. Using practice as a time to thoroughly cover situations so that players are positioned to succeed.
m) Have clear, written team rules and expectations for players, parents and coaches. It is unfair to all if the rules and expectations are not in writing.
n) Consistently enforce team rules. While severity, frequency and context will matter, it’s important to enforce rules fairly.
o) Have clear, written expectations for players regarding team philosophy and approach. Beyond rules, players need to have a clear understanding of how we as a team will consistently approach the game.
p) Enforce gameplay discipline due to mental and not physical mistakes. Players will make mistakes, particularly physical ones. Mental mistakes are a sign of poor preparation or approach and need to be corrected and prevented.
q) Will not enforce gameplay discipline due to mental mistakes if the coach failed to adequately prepare the player for that situation. If a player was not properly prepared to handle a situation, the coach can’t be disappointed in her decision. Correction and preparation – not discipline – are required.
r) Consciously provide more positive than negative reinforcement. Understanding that this significantly impacts a player’s passion to play the game and ability to learn.
s) Treat all kids fairly, including the coaches own child. Evaluate players and assign roles in an unbiased light.
t) Treat all of our players with the respect they deserve. Teach the game of softball and some life lessons along the way. These are kids developing into young adults, and they all deserve respect.
u) Always be physically and mentally prepared. Provide proper equipment and do the best to be prepared for any situation at any time.
v) Determine roles, positions, lineups and playing time in good faith. These things will be determined based on an honest assessment of ability, effort, teamwork, preparedness, execution and fulfillment of team rules and philosophy.
w) Arrive early to practices and games to be sure you are prepared prior to players arriving. Players should never wait for their coach to arrive with equipment and instruction.
x) Enforce safety at all times, including but not limited to proper use of equipment. Roles will be assigned with safety in mind, giving positions to players who show their execution of that role will keep themselves and others safe.
y) Do no not risk the health of a player’s arm in an effort to win.
z) Take lightning seriously and do not risk the safety of a team, coaches and families. If lightning is close by, the game or practice is no longer important. The players, coaches and families must be removed.
aa) Respect decisions made by the umpires. Do you best to have respectful discussions with a calm demeanor when those situations arise.
bb) Be a role model for the players regarding good sportsmanship, teamwork and self worth. Realize that players and families will often follow the coaches lead. It is important that we all practice good sportsmanship and respect of others and ourselves.
cc) Respect the opposing team, coaches, players and fans. While games can get intense, we will practice friendly competition and show respect for our opponents.
dd) Understand that winning is important, but the primary objective is promoting an environment of growth and learning. We will always try to win the game, but winning will be secondary to a commitment for our core values.
ee) Handle winning with class and losing with grace. Winning is exciting, but do not forget the pain and disappointment that are often felt on the other side. Likewise, as a team we will keep our heads up high when we lose and show respect to the winning team.
SOCIAL MEDIA / LOGO
9. Recognizing that social media plays a large component to everyday life for many players, parents, family members, coaches, officials, opponents, and the community at large, I recognize that as a coach I have a responsibility for the appropriate use and thus control and oversight for my own and my team’s collective use of social media platforms. All conduct items listed in sections 7 and 8 of this document will also be expected to be upheld within any social medial platforms I either myself use, or permit to be used by the team.
This includes, but is not limited to : Team Snap, Gamechanger, Twitter, Snapchat, Email, Instagram.
The OGSA logo and brand may not be used without the written permission of the OGSA Board, and I understand that the OGSA holds the exclusive right to use and approve for use the organization logo in all platforms and materials.
10. While it is never the intention of any coach, player, parent, or organization to effect disciplinary measures on its members and participants, we understand that none of us are perfect. In those moments, in order to protect the interest of all involved, it is important that there are processes for review that are independent and unbiased, and I will comply with the OGSA in all matter of discipline and enforcement.
As Coach I agree to adhere to all disciplinary review policies and procedures of the OGSA, and will consult with the OGSA when I need to enforce an infraction of conduct violation on a particular Player, Players, Parent, or other Coach or Administrator on my team. I may, however, at all times take any immediate steps when the safety of a player, players, parent, other coach or administrator on my team is at stake. In this situation, I will follow up with the OGSA VP of Rep at the first available opportunity.
I understand that failing to confirm with the OGSA VP of Rep on a disciplinary matter may result in my position / decision being overturned and also my own status as coach being brought under review.
I understand and agree, that if a complaint has been submitted regarding my behavior or performance, that the OGSA reserves the right to suspend me from my position as Coach until such time as a complete review can be completed.
When an OGSA review committee has been assembled, I will respect the decision of said committee and treat that matter as final and closed. Accordingly, I will not dwell on the decision made, nor advance any further public dialogue on the matter, or engage in any conduct which would violate any of the other terms I have agreed to within this agreement. I understand that non-compliance in this regard may result, not only in the immediate termination of my coaching position, but may have legal and financial consequences to me personally.