Code of Conduct and Associated Disciplinary Committees Policy
Blind Golf Australia – Core Document 9
(Ratified at the BGA Board Meeting 26/10/2020)
Blind Golf Australia and its Affiliated Members
Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct is to be read in conjunction with Blind Golf Australia’s “Members Suspended or Expelled for Disciplinary Reasons Policy“
On becoming a member of any state body which is affiliated with Blind Golf Australia (Blind Golf Queensland, Blind Golf NSW, Blind Golf Victoria, Blind Golf South Australia and Western Australian Blind Golf Association) each such member voluntarily submits to acceptable standards of behaviour and ethical conduct. All members are under an obligation to avoid acts that are unsporting or discredit the game of blind and vision impaired golf throughout Australia. The Board of Blind Golf Australia and/or the state bodies named above have the power to take disciplinary action against: –
- Any member who whilst participating in a game of golf organised by Blind Golf Australia and/or any of its affiliated members and who engages in conduct which is detrimental to the spirit of the game or general behaviour that is deemed to be unacceptable
- Any member who at any time physically abuses, or engages in verbal abuse, sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying or intimidation against, any opponent or other person within the precincts of the course or clubhouse being used for a blind golf event
- Any member who unreasonably uses profane or abusive language or throws or breaks clubs, or wilfully damages any portion of the golf course in any way
- Any member who acts in such a way that brings discredit to Blind Golf Australia or its affiliated members or the game of golf in general either within the confines of the golf club being used for a blind golf event, or while representing Blind Golf Australia in any event at any course, or in any other public forums (e.g., social media)
- Any member who commits a criminal offence against Blind Golf Australia, its affiliated members or other blind /vision impaired golfers (e.g., assault, damage or theft of a member’s property)
- Any member who witnesses any breach of this code will be invited to co-operate in any subsequent inquiry. Any such violations of this Code of Conduct if successfully pursued may attract penalties ranging from reprimand, suspension of playing rights or expulsion.
Each of Blind Golf Australia and its affiliated members will establish a Disciplinary Committee which will be responsible for hearing complaints against individual members for breaches of this Code of Conduct in events or circumstances under their organisations’ control. Each Board will establish the procedures under which this Committee will operate and these will include the right of the member being complained against to be present, or make representation in writing, at any Committee Hearing, and right of appeal provisions. The Disciplinary Committee will have the power to issue reprimands, and to suspend a member for a period of one month or less. Any decision to suspend a member for more than one month or to expel a member, or any other punishment (such as exclusion from Board positions, or selection in Australian teams) must be made by the full Board of Blind Golf Australia or the Affiliated Member involved.
Any individual member who wishes to make an official complaint against another member or members for violation of this Code of Conduct must do so in writing (including via email) outlining the full circumstances to the Secretary of Blind Golf Australia and/or the Secretary of the Affiliated State member (depending on where the alleged offence took place) within 72 hours of the subject offence occurring. The Secretary will then inform the Disciplinary Committee which will act in accordance within the procedures agreed by their parent body.
BLIND GOLF AUSTRALIA and AFFILIATED MEMBERS DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEES
Blind Golf Australia and its Affiliated Members have adopted a Code of Conduct which will come into operation on the 26th October 2020.
Included in this Code of Conduct is the establishment of Disciplinary Committees which are responsible for hearing complaints against individual members for breaches of the Code of Conduct in events or circumstances under their organisation’s control.
Blind Golf Australia (BGA) is adopting the operating procedures set out under to handle complaints against any individual which occur in events or circumstances under BGA’s control. BGA strongly recommends that each Affiliated Member adopts the same procedures.
Establishment of Disciplinary Committees
- At the first Board meeting after the annual election of the Board, such Board will appoint three of its members to form a Disciplinary Committee. The Committee once established shall appoint one of its numbers to be Chairperson. Where appropriate the Chairperson will have a casting vote.
- Where an appointed member of the Committee is unable to be present at any hearing, the Chairperson of BGA may appoint a proxy to take his/her place.
- Any complaint against a member or members for violation of the Code of Conduct must be made in writing (including via electronic means) to the Secretary/Treasurer of BGA within 72 hours of the alleged breach taking place outlining the full circumstances of the complaint.
- The Secretary/Treasurer will immediately inform the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the complaint.
- The Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee within 48 hours of notification, will inform the member involved that a complaint has been made, outlining the circumstances of the complaint, nominating the date on which the complaint is to be considered by the Committee and inviting the member to be present at the hearing or make a submission in writing. The member making the complaint will also be advised of the hearing date and be invited to be present.
- At the Disciplinary Hearing, the Committee must give the member the opportunity to be heard and/or consider any written statement submitted by the member
- The Disciplinary Committee will have the power to issue reprimands or to suspend the member from all blind golf activities for a period of up to one month.
- If the Committee decides that other punishment is appropriate (such as suspension for longer than one month, expulsion, exclusion from Board positions, exclusion from selection in national teams, counselling etc) the Chairman shall submit a full report to the BGA Board outlining the Committee’s recommendations. The BGA Board has 7 days to make a decision on any penalty.
- The member involved must be informed in writing of any Disciplinary Committee decision, or any subsequent decision made by the BGA Board.
- Any member who has been suspended, expelled or given any other penalty as above has the right to appeal to the BGA Board against the penalty.
- The appeal must be in writing and submitted to the BGA Secretary within 48 hours of receiving notice of the penalty.
- The appeal will be considered by the BGA Board within 7 days of receipt and the member will be notified of the Board’s decision in writing immediately.