USA RACQUETBALL CODE OF CONDUCT/STATEMENT OF ETHICS

APPROVED 6/14/21

Introduction / Mission

USA Racquetball (USAR) is the National Governing Body for the sport of racquetball, recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee and is committed to excellence and service to our members. We provide opportunities for members and enthusiasts to actively participate in the sport through sanctioning of events, administration of programs, and development of competitive teams.

USA Racquetball operates in the public spotlight, and we are expected to conduct our affairs on a basis consistent with the great trust that has been placed in us. This requires that our membership behaviors conform to the highest ethical principles and conduct.

Statement of Ethics

USA Racquetball provides opportunities for members and enthusiasts to actively participate in the sport, through sanctioning of events, administration of programs, and development of competitive teams. Our core values are excellence, customer service, integrity, dedication, and communication.

We stand for integrity, ethical leadership, respect, communication, and responsibility.

Integrity -- We believe in doing the right things right everywhere we do business.

Ethical Leadership -- Our values inform our business decisions so that we deliver solutions that matter to our members; maintain the trust of our employees, partners, and communities; and uphold USA Racquetball’s reputation as an ethical, legal, and respected association.

Respect -- We value human dignity, individual differences, diversity of thought, and the quality of ideas, innovation, and solutions that result.

Speaking Up -- We possess the courage to ask questions and raise concerns about any situation, condition, or action that appears inconsistent with our Code of Conduct, association policy, or applicable law, knowing that our voice will be heard without retaliation or reprisal.

Responsibility -- We take responsibility for meeting our commitments and are transparent in the manner in which we deliver results for our members.

We prohibit dishonesty, illegal activity, retaliation, misuse of assets, and conflicts of interest.

Dishonesty -- We don’t mislead our members, suppliers, partners, or each other. We do not falsify or misrepresent information.

Illegal Activity -- We do not violate the law and do not support others to violate the law.

Retaliation -- We don’t harass, bully, intimidate, engage in acts of violence toward others, or retaliate against anyone who speaks up in good faith or participates in an investigation.

Misuse of Assets -- We don’t misuse USA Racquetball assets or confidential information, or those of our partners.

Conflicts of Interest -- We avoid situations that interfere with our ability to act in the best interests of USA Racquetball.

Code of Conduct

The mission of USA Racquetball is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of racquetball. USA Racquetball grants the privilege of participation to individuals and groups committed to the same mission. The privilege of participation may, therefore, be withdrawn or denied by USA Racquetball at any time when determined that a participant’s conduct is inconsistent with the mission of the organization or the best interests of the sport and those who participate.

All Athletes, Coaches, Tournament Directors, Referees, Members, Vendors, National Board Members, Officers, Contractors, and Staff pledge to abide by the following Code of Conduct:

  • Abide by all USA Racquetball rules, selection procedures, and safety guidelines.
  • As an ambassador, exhibit the highest standards of fairness, discipline, ethical behavior, and sportsmanship by mutually respecting and bringing honor to USA Racquetball, the United States, and the Olympic Movement. 
  • Respect teammates, athletes, coaches, officials, spectators, volunteers, USADA representatives, sponsors, and National Office staff of USA Racquetball without regard to race, religion, national origin, age, civil status, veteran status, marital status, language, social condition, mental or physical ability, sexual orientation, or gender.
  • Will not disrespect, intimidate, or embarrass other members, teammates, athletes, coaches, officials, spectators, sponsors, volunteers, Board of Directors, Committee members, Athlete Advisory Council Representatives, USADA staff, or USA Racquetball and National Office staff in person, electronically, and/or through social networking venues (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, blogs or websites, etc.).
  • Will not use offensive language, gestures, or aggressive behavior as a response to the decisions made by the referee or tournament official as an expression of frustration and/or self-admonishment.
  • Will not engage in any form of discriminatory, verbal, physical or sexual harassment/abuse, fraud, stealing, deception, or dishonesty related to USA Racquetball events or activities.
  • Will abide by the SafeSport Code, MAAPP policies, and all requirements, and will report any witnessed impropriety.
  • Will not knowingly misrepresent competitive achievements, professional qualifications, education, experience, eligibility, criminal record or affiliations of oneself or another member.
  • Will respect and not cause damage to private or public property of others while at an event sanctioned by USA Racquetball or at a designated USA Racquetball facility.
  • It is the duty of individual members of USA Racquetball to comply with all anti-doping rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Racquetball Federation, the USOPC including the USOPC National Anti-Doping Policy, and of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), including the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing (USADA Protocol) and all other policies and rules adopted by WADA, the International Racquetball Federation, the USOPC and USADA. Athlete members agree to submit to drug testing by the International Racquetball Federation and/or USADA or their designees at any time and understand that the use of methods or substances prohibited by the applicable anti-doping rules make them subject to penalties including, but not limited to, disqualification and suspension. If it is determined that an individual member may have committed a doping violation, the member agrees to submit to the results management authority and processes of USADA, including arbitration under the USADA Protocol, or to the results management authority of the International Racquetball Federation, if applicable or referred by USADA.

Reporting and Review

If a Member observes a violation of a USA Racquetball Policy, Guideline, Code of Conduct, or Rule during a USA Racquetball sanctioned event, he or she is encouraged to report it to an Event Director and/or USA Racquetball (membership@usaracquetball.com). Event Directors will then take appropriate action at that time, and in addition, should complete and file an Incident Report with USA Racquetball.

When an Incident Report is received by USA Racquetball, the Executive Director and staff may impose appropriate disciplinary action and in such case communicate with all parties involved in the incident. In certain circumstances, the applicable portions of the USA Racquetball Bylaws, Articles XIII-XVIII, will be utilized.   

Depending upon the nature of an issue and the severity of such, determinations of disciplinary action will include the Executive/Ethics/HR/Personnel/Grievance Committee, which will administrate appropriate process per USAR Bylaws and will include disinterested parties and athlete representation as required/indicated.

Types of Infractions

The following disciplinary actions will be imposed in a manner commensurate with the offense and in accordance with the below qualifications of the severity of their disruption or threat.

 

Minor Infraction

A Minor Infraction is defined as a single occurrence or disturbance from which no threat has been brought upon any coach, parent, player, participant, official, USA Racquetball staff member, or any other attendee though is a violation of this Code of Conduct. Examples of Minor Infractions include but are not limited to:

  • A single instance of disrespectful language or actions directed at any coach, parent, player, participant, official, USA Racquetball staff member, or any other attendee.
  • A single occurrence of non-compliance with the Policies and Guidelines set forth by USA Racquetball.

Major Infraction

A Major Infraction will result in disciplinary actions involving suspension from a single event, multiple events, a season, or multiple seasons. A Major Infraction is defined as repeated Minor Infractions or a single occurrence or disturbance of an event in which a threat has been brought upon any coach, parent, player, participant, official, USA Racquetball staff member, or any other attendee. These threats or actions, if deemed sufficiently damaging to the event or sport, give USA Racquetball or the event organizers the right to immediate action in accordance with any and all disciplinary actions as outlined in this Code of Conduct. Examples of Major Infractions include but are not limited to:

  • Multiple reported instances of disrespectful language or actions directed at any coach, parent, player, participant, official, USA Racquetball staff member, or any other attendee.
  • A threat or act of violence or assault, sexual or otherwise, against any coach, parent, player, participant, official, USA Racquetball staff member, or any other attendee.

Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary action for violation of any provision in this Code of Conduct may include any or all of the following: (i) a reprimand; (ii) suspension from competition participation; (iii) withholding of athlete support payments; (iv) imposition of fines (including with respect to reimbursement of expenses incurred by USAR); (v) removal from team; (vi) termination of memberships with USA Racquetball; (vii) any combination of the foregoing.

If a USA Racquetball member receives a disciplinary penalty or otherwise has a grievance related to this Code of Conduct, the member has the right to file a written request with the Executive/Ethics/HR/Personnel/Grievance Committee and Executive Director/CEO of USA Racquetball within thirty (30) days of the action giving rise to the members claimed grievance, to seek a review of the action in question pursuant to USA Racquetball Bylaws and Grievance Procedures. The Athlete has a right to a hearing per Articles XIII-XVIII of the USAR Bylaws.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing herein shall conflict with or curtail members’ rights with respect to disputes involving members’ right to participate in protected events as set forth in the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act (section 220510 of the United States Code.)

In the event any member of USA Racquetball has a complaint/grievance that falls under the control of USA Racquetball, NO individual may contact any sponsor (i.e., employees, partners, suppliers, concerned individuals, et al.) for any reason related to the complaint/grievance until such time that all hearings (including appeals) related to the complaint/grievance have been fully completed.

Anti-Retaliation 

USA Racquetball has zero tolerance for retaliation against people who make good faith reports of potential ethical, policy, financial, or legal violations, or who cooperate with investigations of those reports. That means individuals governed by this policy, including but not limited to Athletes, Coaches, Tournament Directors, Referees, Members, Vendors, National Board Members, Officers, Contractors, and Staff, may not threaten, harass, discriminate against, or take any negative employment (where applicable) or participation-related action (e.g., discharge, demotion, suspension, non-assignment, negative review) on that basis. Any such retaliation will be treated as a violation of USA Racquetball’s Code of Conduct, and it may lead to serious consequences including termination of participation for anyone involved in retaliation.

Conclusion

While it is important to identify violators of the Code of Conduct, it is equally important to identify players who exhibit exceptional sportsmanship and the ideals of the Code of Conduct. If you witness a player exhibiting exceptional sportsmanship at a tournament, let USA Racquetball know about it. If you have seen a player who has acted in an admirable way during accredited matches, please share the moment with USA Racquetball.

For any questions regarding this Code of Conduct, please contact USA Racquetball Staff at membership@usaracquetball.com.

For Athletes With Questions Regarding This Code of Conduct:

The USOPC Athlete Ombudsman provides cost-free, independent and confidential advice regarding athlete rights; resolving disputes or grievances; and any sport rule, policy, or process, including NGB-athlete agreements, codes of conduct or team selection procedures. The Athlete Ombudsman can also help athletes connect with legal counsel or mental health resources if needed. Athletes may contact the Athlete Ombudsman at:

PHONE: (719) 866-5000

EMAIL: ombudsman@usathlete.org

WEBSITE: www.usathlete.org

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