PENDING REVIEW

AusBGF Code of Ethics

1. Introduction

1.1 The game and concept of backgammon is based on the assumption that everyone involved/concerned observe existing rules and regulations and attaches the greatest importance to fair play and good sportsmanship.

1.2 It is impossible to define exactly and in all circumstances the standard of conduct expected from all parties involved in AusBGF tournaments and events, or to list all sets which would amount to a breach of the Code of Ethics and lead to disciplinary sanctions. In most cases commonsense will tell the participants the standards of behaviour that are required. If any participant in an AusBGF event has any doubt as to the conduct which is expected of him or her, the AusBGF officials present should be contacted or the local organiser who has been put in charge of the event.

1.3 Disputes arising during a game or tournament shall be resolved in accordance with the rules of play in existence at the time and with the tournament regulations.

1.4 This Code of Ethics is applicable to: AusBGF office bearers, delegates and counsellors, affiliated organisations, organisers, sponsors, and all competitors in AusBGF registered tournaments.

1.5 This Code of Ethics shall govern what action may be taken against any person (meaning either an individual or organisation) who deliberately or through gross negligence violate the rules and regulations of the game or neglects to observe the precepts of fair play.

1.6 AusBGF has the right to not accept a complaint if it is a purely local dispute where there has been no attempt at resolution or unless it directly involves an AusBGF Committee member or an AusBGF endorsed tournament.

1.7 AusBGF will establish an Ethics Committee for the purposes of this Code.

2. Breach of Ethics

The Code of Ethics shall be breached by a person or organisation:

2.1. who directly or indirectly offers, or attempts to offer, or accepts any consideration or bribe with a view of influencing the result in a game of backgammon or election into AusBGF office.

2.2. who in other respects acts contrary to this Code.

Of particular importance in this respect are the following:

2.2.1 Fraudulence in the administration of any AusBGF office that affects other federations.

2.2.2 Office bearers who through their behaviour no longer inspire the necessary confidence or have in other ways become unworthy of trust.

2.2.3 Organisers, tournament directors, arbiters or other officials who fail to perform their functions in an impartial and responsible manner.

2.2.4 Failure to comply with normally accepted standards of courtesy and backgammon etiquette. Misbehaviour of a personal nature which is generally unacceptable by normal social standards.

2.2.5 Cheating or attempts at cheating during games and tournaments. Violent, threatening or other unseemly behaviour during or in connection with a backgammon event.

2.2.6 Players withdrawing from a tournament without valid reason or without informing the tournament arbiter.

2.2.7 Gross or repeated violations of AusBGF Rules of Backgammon or other approved tournament rules.

2.2.8 In any top level tournament, players, delegations or teams must comply with a high standard dress code. Delegations includes both a player’s seconds and any other individual who the player allows to conduct business on behalf of the player. Players are responsible for the actions of acknowledged members of their delegations.

2.2.9 Players or members of their delegations must not make unjustified accusations toward other players, officials or sponsors. All protests must be referred directly to the arbiter or the Technical Director of the tournament.

2.2.10 In addition, disciplinary action in accordance with this Code of Ethics will be taken in cases of occurrences which cause the game of backgammon or AusBGF to appear in an unfavourable light and in this way damage its reputation.

2.2.11 Any conduct likely to injure or discredit the reputation of AusBGF , its events, organisers, participants or sponsors.

3. Sanctions
3.1 Breaches of the AusBGF Code of Ethics shall be sanctioned whether acts of commission or omission, whether they have been committed deliberately or negligently, whether the breach constitutes an act or attempted act, and whether the parties acted as principle, participant, accomplice or instigator, aiding or abetting.

3.2 Breaches of the AusBGF Code of Ethics are punishable by one or more of the following sanctions:

– warning;
– reprimand;
– return of awards;
– revocations of titles and sports results;
– ban on taking part in an AusBGF backgammon competition or related activity, as a player, arbiter, organiser, or representative;
– temporarily or permanent exclusion from membership or office.

3.3 If a sanction is imposed, the Ethics Committee may examine whether there are grounds to totally or partially suspend the enforcement of the sanction if the relevant circumstances allow it, in particular the previous record of the person sanctioned. By suspending enforcement of the sanction, the Ethics Committee may subject the person sanctioned to a probationary period of anything from six months up to two years. If the person benefiting from a suspended sanction commits another breach during the probationary period, the suspension shall automatically be revoked and the original sanction completely applied and added to the sanction imposed for the new breach.

3.4 The sanction may be imposed by taking into account all relevant factors in the case, including the offender’s age, assistance and cooperation, the motive, the circumstances and the degree of the offender’s guilt.

3.5 The Ethics Committee shall decide the scope and duration of any sanction.

3.6 Sanctions may be limited to a geographical area or to one or more specific categories of competitions or events (starting date).

3.7 Unless otherwise specified, the sanction may be increased as deemed appropriate if a breach has been repeated.

3.8 Where more than one breach has been committed, the sanction shall be based on the most serious breach, and increased as appropriate depending on the specific circumstances.

3.9 The Ethics Committee may (immediately) take provisional measures (eg provisional sanctions) if a breach of the Code of Ethics appears to have been committed and a decision on the main issue may not be taken early enough. The Ethics Committee may also issue provisional measures for preventing interference with the establishment of the truth. Provisional measures may be valid for a maximum of 75 days. In exceptional circumstances, the provisional measures may be extended by the Ethics Commission for an additional period not to exceed 45 days. The duration of provisional sanctions shall be taken into account in the final decision.

4. Administrative Procedures

4.1 Breach of the regulations of this code by any AusBGF official shall be reported to the AusBGF President.

4.2 Breach of the regulations of this code by any person shall be reported to and decided by the AusBGF Ethics Committee.

4.3 The proceedings shall be recorded in writing. Grounds must be given for any decisions taken and these must also be in writing.

4.4 Appeals against a decision taken by any AusBGF official can be submitted to the AusBGF Ethics Committee.

4.5 Any decisions made by the Ethics Committee may be the object of appeal arbitration proceedings in accordance with the Code of sports-related arbitration of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland. ***Need to check that we can invoke this clause***

4.6 The time limit for appeal is twenty-one days following the communication of the decision concerning appeal. All recourse to ordinary courts is excluded.

ETHICS COMMITTEE – PROCEDURAL RULES

*** These rules are adopted from the WBGF Code of Ethics – need to consider whether any of these procedural rules are required***

1. Register of cases

All complaints and reports concerning violations of the AusBGF Code of Ethics shall be addressed to the AusBGF Ethics Committee (hereafter called the “EC”) through the AusBGF President. The AusBGF President will transmit a copy to the Chair of the EC. A Register of the cases of the EC will be maintained by AusBGF.

2. Language

The working language of the EC is English. The EC shall, at the request of any party, authorise a language other than English to be used by the parties involved. In that occurrence, the EC may order any or all of the parties to bear all or part of the translation and interpreting costs. The EC may order that all documents submitted in languages other than English shall be filed together with a certified translation in the language of the procedure.

3. Notifications and Communications

All notifications and communications that the EC intend for the parties shall be made through the AusBGF President. All communications that the parties intend for the EC shall be made through the AusBGF President.

4. Representation and Assistance

The parties may be represented or assisted by persons of their choice. The names, addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers, email addresses of the persons representing the parties shall be communicated to the AusBGF President.

5. Intervention

If any other person has an interest in a case submitted to the competence of EC, it may submit to the EC.

6. Rights of the Parties

Each person charged with a violation of the AusBGF Code of Ethics has the right to be informed in writing (whether by letter, email or otherwise) of the pending case before the final decision of the EC and has the right to present to the EC memorials and documents in support of his/her/their position. Each party has the right, within the limits provided by article 8, to ask to appear in front of the EC in an oral hearing.

7. Submissions of Documents and Written Procedure

The Chair of the EC will fix a term, normally at least 20 days, for the submission of memorials and documents, failing which no further documents will be accepted by the EC. This term may be prolonged, if requested. When this term expires, the EC may decide upon the case. Documents may be submitted by email. The EC may acquire documents and statements, from AusBGF arbiters, players, organisers, tournament directors.

8. Hearing

The procedure before the EC comprises an oral hearing only if the EC deems it appropriate and necessary. Each party is responsible for all the costs directly or indirectly associated with their presence. If a party asks for a hearing and the EC deems it not necessary, the party insisting on having the hearing will be required to pay for AusBGF expenses and for the expenses of the other parties, in the event he/she/they loses the case. An appropriate amount of money to cover these expenses must be posted with AusBGF President prior to the hearing. The Chair of the EC shall issue directions relating to the hearing and, in particular, he shall set the hearing date. The hearing shall be public, unless the EC decides otherwise. The Chair of the EC shall conduct the hearing and ensure that the statements made are concise and limited to the subject of the case. The EC may exceptionally authorise the hearing of witnesses and experts, even via tele- or videoconference. Minutes shall be made at each hearing.

9. Judgement

The deliberations of the EC shall be taken in private and remain secret. All questions shall be decided by the majority of the members present. The quorum for the judgment shall be of at least three members. In the event of an equality of votes, the Chair of the EC shall have the right to cast the decisive vote. The judgment shall state in a written form the reasons on which it is based. It shall contain the names of the members of the EC who have taken part in the decision. If the judgment does not represent in whole or in part the unanimous opinion of the members of the EC who heard the matter, any dissenting member shall be entitled to deliver a separate opinion. A written copy of the judgment of the EC shall be delivered to each party (by letter, email or otherwise) no later than twenty days after the judgement.