Complaints procedure

The aim of this framework is to deal with behaviour that you believe is contrary to the rules of the game or established etiquette. It is intended to deal with all cases: where there is a breach and it is deliberate; where there is a breach and it is accidental; and where you mistakenly believe there to be a breach.

In all cases, the hope is that this framework will make it easier to raise the issue and for the issue to be dealt with fairly if escalation is needed.

So, if you perceive wrong-doing on the part of your opponent please follow this procedure:

  1. Ask them to stop and if you feel it is required (ie there is some resistance) explain which rule is being infringed.

    This first step is most important. It gives your opponent an opportunity to modify his/her behaviour and in 90% of all cases you can expect your opponent to desist. Often people are simply not aware of either the offence their actions is causing or the rule in question.

  2. If your right to curtail their actions is questioned and/or the behaviour continues, you should attempt to appeal to the most knowledgeable club member present. It is important to note at this stage that the behaviour in question is not black and white and the appeal to a third party is important in both resolving the dispute there and then but also in providing evidence should the disagreement be escalated to the Board of Management.

    If a suitable member is available, their judgement should be respected. However, if one or both parties do not consider the available people sufficiently credible, then that third party should continue to observe the game and note the relevant behaviour carefully, so as to be able to be consulted on the matter after the game.

  3. As a last resort, if the situation could not be resolved during the game - or if the resolution was so partial as to continue to cause offence, the matter should be reported to the Board of Management which will gather all available evidence and make its best effort to conclude the matter. The conclusion could include disqualification from the relevant competition, suspension of membership or any normal sanctions.

Above all, it is important to remember that these disputes can and will happen - and that having a procedure that is understood and can be used without causing undue stress is an important part of maintaining good relationships within the club and beyond.

August 2018