Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ultimate Player Conduct Policy

An incident at a recent Alabama vs Central Florida Ultimate game has raised the question of repercussions for unsafe play. The video titled "Alabama Player Spikes Disc On Opponent" also shows the UCF defender making a needless bid making contact with the scorer.

USAU's Spirit of the Game cites "...Such actions as taunting opposing players, dangerous aggression, belligerent intimidation, intentional infractions, or other 'win-at-all-costs' behavior are contrary to the Spirit of the Game and must be avoided by all players." Or, read MLU's Spirit of Sportsmanship or AUDL's Integrity Rule.

Ultimate Leagues usually have players sign-off on a waiver stipulating "I have read and understand the policy." As an example, here's Washington Area Flying Disc Club's Conduct Policy for players.

Conduct Policy [WAFC]

A. Code of Conduct
WAFC members are expected to behave in a manner consistent with the ideals and vision of the organization. A member's responsibility to this charge manifests itself on the playing field, in his or her interactions with the administration and officers of WAFC, and in his or her dealings with the greater ultimate community. The same expectations are made of teams and other groupings of players.

i) On-Field Conduct
"On-Field Conduct" refers to the actions of players and teams during the course of a tournament or other WAFC event, and is not limited to actions during a game. Players and teams are expected to treat one another with respect, to conduct themselves in a safe and orderly manner, and while playing to adhere to the rules of ultimate as well as to any tournament and site regulations.

Violations of conduct occur upon the breach of these expectations. On-field violations may therefore include (with the clause being violated appearing in parentheses), but are not limited to, abusive heckling (respect), spiking the disc on another player (respect, safety), dangerous play (safety), spitting at another player (respect), cheating (rules), deliberate fouling (rules), reckless behavior at a tournament party (order, safety), drinking on the sidelines when prohibited (site regulations), taunting (respect), creating a hostile environment (respect, order) and violence against another player (respect, order, safety).

Repeated, excessive or deliberate inappropriate conduct constitutes a violation of this conduct policy. An individual instance of inappropriate conduct may also warrant sanctioning by the Board if the action is severe enough.

ii) Conduct within the Ultimate Community
Players are expected to act consistently with the mission of WAFC to promote the sport of ultimate. Actions inimical to the sport of ultimate are violations of conduct. Such violations may include, but are not limited to, libel against ultimate players or organizers in the printed media, obscene acts on televised media featuring ultimate, and vandalism or other destructive behavior, including playing on closed fields, toward an ultimate facility.
C. Sanctions
The Board is not limited in its range of sanctions, except by the requirement that the penalty be proportionate with the severity of the action or its consequences. Such sanctions may include, but are not limited to, public or private censure, demand of public or private apology, demand of completion of service to the ultimate community, probation, and suspension from participation in WAFC events. Suspensions or penalties occurring for a duration of time longer than one (1) year will be reviewed annually by the Board.

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