Midwest Disciplinary Policy and ProceduresWritten by Jeremiah Johnson
MIDWEST RUGBY DISCIPLINARY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
USA Rugby has established Disciplinary Regulations and Procedures applicable to Territorial Union matches, including the Midwest. The policy of the Midwest is to comply with those Regulations and Procedures. In some respects, the USA Rugby Disciplinary Regulations and Procedures (hereafter, USARDRP) do not specify procedural details or provide alternative procedures. The purpose of these Policies and Procedures is to specify the procedures to be followed in disciplinary matters over which the Midwest Disciplinarian and Disciplinary Committee have jurisdiction.
REPORTS AND REPORTING
All Midwest disciplinary matters shall be reported to the Midwest Disciplinarian. If the disciplinary matter involves a sendoff or red card, the referee and both clubs shall file reports. If the disciplinary matter involves a yellow card, the referee shall also report the card to the disciplinarian of the LAU of which the club is a member. The preferred method for submitting written reports is email. All Midwest clubs and players have an obligation to provide accurate truthful information and reports concerning disciplinary matters. If clubs or players knowingly submit reports or information containing inaccurate or untruthful statements, the club or player submitting such statements may be subject to discipline.
Reports filed shall at a minimum provide names and CIPP numbers of players involved with contact information including phone numbers and email if possible, and shall describe the incident or incidents in sufficient detail for the disciplinarian to determine what penalties may apply. Reports may contain other pertinent information concerning acts leading to the incident and statements of witnesses including contact information.
All available evidence the party wishes to have considered (statements of witnesses, video and other evidence) must be submitted with the initial report. If some item of evidence a party wishes to offer is not available at that time, a description of the item must be included in the initial report along with the reason it has not been included and the date by which it will be submitted. If the item will not be available and submitted by the deadline for decision set forth in the USARDRP, the club or player offering the item waives the time frame for decision under the Regulations.
If the player or Club wishes to request a hearing, the request must be made in the initial report submitted by that party. If the player or Club requests a hearing or if the Disciplinary Chair decides that a hearing is necessary, such hearing shall be conducted by telephone, at a time and date to be determined by the Disciplinary Chair after consulting with the parties concerning availability.
COMMUNICATION AND COOPERATION
Each LAU of the Midwest shall have a designated Disciplinarian or Disciplinary Committee as required by USA Rugby, and shall provide the Midwest Disciplinarian the name and contact information for that Disciplinarian or Chair of the Committee, including telephone number and email. Each Club shall designate a person with whom the Midwest Disciplinarian
may communicate concerning disciplinary matters and shall provide the name and contact information for that person, including telephone number and email. This obligation shall also apply to select sides, all-star teams, and representative teams. The individuals designated for these duties and the clubs and LAUs they represent are obligated to cooperate with the Midwest Disciplinarian to provide information as requested by him in the execution of his duties.
The initial decision concerning the disciplinary matter described in III B 2 of the USARDRP shall be rendered by the Midwest Disciplinarian or his designee. If the Disciplinarian has a conflict of interest , he shall assign the matter to another member of the Midwest Disciplinary Committee. If all members of the Midwest Disciplinary Committee have conflicts, the Disciplinarian shall assign the matter to a Midwest LAU Disciplinarian who does not have a conflict of interest.
STANDARD OF PROOF
Factual disputes shall be determined by preponderance of the evidence.
Sanctions imposed shall be reasonable under all the circumstances, and shall fall within the ranges provided in USARDRP where such ranges apply. A period of probation with conditions may be imposed in addition to or as an alternative to suspension where appropriate. Clubs are obligated to monitor the behavior of their players and if a player is sent off or accumulates sufficient yellow cards to mandate a suspension under USARDRP, such players must be withheld from competition for the minimum mandated periods regardless whether reports are filed, unless the sendoff or yellow cards are successfully appealed. Sanctions imposed shall be effective as indicated in USARDRP and the decision of the Disciplinarian or his designee and shall not be stayed pending appeal.
APPEALS OF RED CARDS, SENDOFFS AND YELLOW CARDS
Appeals of red cards, sendoffs and yellow cards (III A. “The player has a right to a timely appeal.” and Appendix 1 (d) “A player may appeal against being given a yellow card...” of USARDRP) shall be conducted in the same manner as review of sendoffs (III B. 2. of USARDRP) and the procedures set forth herein. A red card, sendoff or yellow card shall not be cancelled unless the referee identified the wrong player or the conduct in question could not be the basis for the sanction imposed under the Laws of Rugby. As provided in USARDRP provisions for appeal of yellow cards, if the Disciplinarian determines that it is warranted, punishment that would have been appropriate if the player had been sent off may be imposed.
APPEALS FROM DECISIONS RENDERED BY THE MIDWEST DISCIPLINARIAN
Appeals of decisions rendered by the Midwest Disciplinarian shall follow the procedures set forth in V. of USARDRP. For purposes of selection of the Appeals Committee, the possible members shall include those individuals designated as Officers in the Midwest Bylaws and also the Midwest Representatives to the USARFU Board of Directors, Chair of the Men’s Competition Committee, Chair of the Women’s Competition Committee, chair of the Youth Committee and Chair of the Technical Panel. The player or Club appealing shall designate the two Officers selected as members of the Appeals Committee in the notice of appeal. The Disciplinarian shall then designate the two officers he has selected as members of the Appeals Committee and notify the appealing party. Evidence that was not previously submitted in the initial decision process shall not be presented or considered on appeal. The evidence that was submitted in the initial decision process, a copy of the decision appealed from and a copy of the notice of appeal shall be forwarded to all members of the Appeals Committee by the Disciplinarian within 48 hours of receipt of the notice of appeal. Appeals shall be submitted to the Appeals Committee in the form of written arguments. The appealing party shall first present written arguments against the decision. The Disciplinarian or his designee shall then present written arguments in support of the decision. The appealing party may then submit a rebuttal argument to address any new points raised in the Disciplinarian’s argument. The Disciplinarian shall determine the schedule for presentation of arguments after consulting with the appealing party. All arguments shall be submitted by email. The Appeals Committee shall deliberate by either telephone or email and shall vote on a decision as soon as reasonably possible. The Disciplinarian shall delivered the decision of the Appeals Committee to the appealing party by email within 48 hours of submission of the rebuttal argument.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
The Appeal Panel shall not substitute its judgement for that of the Disciplinarian or his designee, but shall only determine whether there was a reasonable basis in fact for the decision made and whether the sanction imposed was reasonable under all the circumstances and within the parameters set forth in USARDRP where applicable.
The proceedings, findings or decisions of the Disciplinarian, his designee or an Appeals Panel shall not be invalidated by reason of any defect, irregularity, omission or technicality unless such defect, irregularity, omission or technicality raises a material doubt as to the reliability of the proceedings, findings or decisio