Oxfordshire Cricket Association Disciplinary Regulations 2019
1. AIMS AND JURISDICTIONS
2. CODE OF CONDUCT AND SPIRIT OF CRICKET
5. DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS
8. GUIDELINES ON THE CONDUCT OF HEARINGS AND APPEALS
9. NON-PAYMENT OF FINES
APPENDIX 1 – BREACHES OF DISCIPLINE
1. AIMS AND JURISDICTION
- The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and conduct.
- The Oxfordshire Cricket Association (OCA) also take this view and to this end have adopted these discipline regulations, incorporating major parts of the ECB Model Code of Conduct, The Spirit of Cricket and Disciplinary Guidelines
- These regulations shall be complied with by all those who participate under the jurisdiction of the OCA. The regulations shall apply to any player, official, member or supporter at any club, at any level, under the auspices of any of the OCA competitions.
- The regulations are intended to provide assistance and uniformity to all clubs in dealing with any alleged breach of the Code of Conduct and The Spirit of Cricket and are aligned to ECB Non-First Class procedures.
- Any club which fails to take all reasonable steps to ensure the proper conduct of its players, officials, members or supporters in all matters for which the club or its committee is responsible, or acts in any way which is prejudicial or detrimental to the interests or reputation of the OCA, breaches this Code of Conduct.
- There is nothing in this Code preventing or discouraging clubs from applying additional or stronger sanctions against offenders than those appearing within the Code, whether or not they are the subject of a discipline report. To this end, it is important that clubs have their own code of conduct and disciplinary procedures in place.
- For the purposes of these regulations, the expression ‘player’ shall throughout this document be deemed to mean and include not only any player, whether professional or otherwise, but also any member, supporter or official of any club in any incident of alleged misconduct occurring on any part of a cricket ground or building and not merely the field of play.
2. CODE OF CONDUCT AND SPIRIT OF CRICKET
Code of Conduct
- The OCA is committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and conduct at cricket matches both on and off the field. All clubs, players, officials, members and supporters by virtue of their registration with the OCA or their association with an OCA club, explicitly agree to abide by this Code of Conduct, which incorporates the Spirit of Cricket, and are bound by the provisions in these Regulations.
- The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of Cricket as well as within the Laws.
- Players and club officials, must at all times accept the umpire’s decision. Players and club officials must not show dissent at the umpire’s decision or react in a provocative or disapproving manner towards another player or a spectator.
- Players and club officials shall not intimidate assault or attempt to intimidate or assault an umpire, another player, a club official or a spectator.
- Players and club officials shall not use crude and/or abusive language (known as “sledging”), nor make offensive gestures or hand signals, nor deliberately distract an opponent.
- Players and club officials shall not use language or gestures that offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin.
- Players and club officials shall not use or in any way be concerned in the use or distribution of illegal drugs.
- Players and club officials shall not make any public or media comment which is detrimental to the League, clubs, umpires or the game in general. In this instance, media shall include press, radio, television, external websites, club websites, social networking sites and club match programmes.
- Players and club officials shall not disclose or comment upon any alleged breach of this Code.
- Clubs must take adequate steps to ensure the good behaviour of their players, officials, members and supporters.
Spirit of Cricket
Cricket owes much of its appeal and enjoyment to the fact that it should be played not only according to the Laws, but also within the Spirit of Cricket. The major responsibility for ensuring fair play rests with the captains, but extends to all players, umpires and, especially in junior cricket, teachers, coaches and parents.
Respect is central to the Spirit of Cricket.
Respect your captain, team-mates, opponents and the authority of the umpires.
Play hard and play fair.
Accept the umpire’s decision.
Create a positive atmosphere by your own conduct, and encourage others to do likewise.
Show self-discipline, even when things go against you.
Congratulate the opposition on their successes, and enjoy those of your own team.
Thank the officials and your opposition at the end of the match, whatever the result.
Cricket is an exciting game that encourages leadership, friendship and teamwork, which brings together people from different nationalities, cultures and religions, especially when played within the Spirit of Cricket.
- A breach of the disciplinary regulations occurs when:-
- Any player in the course of, or in connection with a match, offends against the Code of Conduct or acts at any time to prejudice the good name of interests of the OCA.
- Any club fails to properly control or discipline its players or acts in a manner prejudicial to the good name or interests of the OCA.
- Any player or club committing such a breach shall be liable to penalties in the manner prescribed in this document.
- A breach of the Code of Conduct will normally be categorised as Level 1, 2, 3 or 4, as set out in Appendix 1 when on the field of play or in match related circumstances.
- Breaches outside of such circumstances as in 3.3 above will be dealt with under the same procedures and the level of seriousness of any breach categorised as deemed appropriate by the OCA Disciplinary Co-ordinator.
- Reporting of Breaches
- For a first offence of a Level 1 breach of the Code of Conduct in a match, the umpire(s) should warn the player as to his future conduct and advise him and his captain that a report will be made to the OCA Disciplinary Co-ordinator and any repetition in the match will result in a formal report.
- If any player from the team receiving such a warning then commits a further Level 1 breach in the match, the umpire(s) will advise him and his captain that they will be submitting a formal report and take any other appropriate action according to Law 42 of the MCC Laws of Cricket.
- Should the umpire(s) consider that the first offence of a Level 1 breach is sufficiently serious, they have the authority to decide to submit a formal report and any other appropriate action without having previously issued any warning. The player and his captain should be advised accordingly.
- In all instances of any perceived Level 2, 3 or 4 breach, the umpire(s) must complete a formal report and take any other appropriate action as determined by Law 42 of the MCC Laws of Cricket.
- The report should be submitted using the standard discipline report form.
- Notification that a report is to be submitted following any alleged breach of the Code of Conduct must first be advised, by the umpire(s), to the player and his captain or an executive of the player’s club, on the day of the alleged offence, prior to leaving the ground according to Law 42.18 of the MCC Laws of Cricket
- Any such alleged breach of the Code of Conduct subject to a report (to be known as ‘a complaint’) will then be notified by telephone by the complainant to the OCA’s Discipline Co-ordinator or his nominated deputy within 24 hours of the end of the match. The written report should be sent, preferably by email, to the Discipline Co-ordinator or his nominated Deputy and be received within 72 hours of the end of the match.
- The disciplinary procedure may also be initiated by;
In such cases the report of the alleged breach must be reported by the secretary of the member club or by the secretary of the member club of which the individual is themselves a member.
- A report by an officer of the OCA
- A report by any member club or by an individual of a member club.The report must be made within 7 days of the alleged incident and must be accompanied by a deposit of £25. If the allegation is not sustained the deposit may be forfeit.
All such reports must be accompanied by;
- A version of the alleged events
- The nature of the offence
- Evidence to sustain any potential charges
- Reports from these sources should be made to the OCA Disciplinary Co-ordinator in writing and signed by the official (in the case of a club it is to be the secretary of the club) lodging the report. The Discipline Co-ordinator will then notify other relevant parties as below.
- The Discipline Co-ordinator or his nominated deputy shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, inform the Secretary of the club against whom the complaint has been made.
- It is intended that any breach of the Code of Conduct shall in the first instance be dealt with by the participant’s club who shall notify the Discipline Co-ordinator within 48 hours of any action taken. In the case of Level 1 and Level 2 breaches, this shall, as a minimum, be a two match (Level 1) or three match (Level 2) ban to be effective immediately.
- Within 48 hours of receipt of the written complaint or response from the club as in 4.5 above the Discipline Co-ordinator or his nominated deputy shall consider the complaint and resolve either:
All such decisions above to be notified to all parties concerned within the 48 hour time period.
- To take no action except to record the complaint and notify the club; or
- To endorse any action taken by the club and confirm that no further action is required; or
- To impose additional sanctions in accordance with guidance in section 6 below; or
- To refer the matter for a full Disciplinary Hearing.
- Level 3 or 4 complaints will automatically be subject to a full Disciplinary Hearing.
- Any match bans imposed by the club under paragraphs 4.5 and 4.6 above shall be advised in writing to the relevant club’s County Board by the OCA General Secretary. Players should understand that match bans will normally apply to all cricket played under the auspices of the OCA and other county competitions.
- In the case of an incident involving a player under the age of 18 years old, the County Board Welfare Officer will immediately be informed. In such circumstances, the incident may be regarded as:
- A welfare and child protection case or
- An outright disciplinary case. If the incident is being investigated by another organisation (e.g. the Police, ECB Welfare Department etc.) the League will await the outcome of that investigation.
- Should any report concern an officer of the OCA the Discipline Co-ordinator or General Secretary, whoever has received the complaint, will notify the President who will examine the matter and report his findings to the Chairman of the OCA (within 7 days) and the President and Chairman will, together, determine if further action should be taken and what, if any, disciplinary action should be taken.
- The Discipline Co-ordinator has the right to refer any complaint directly to the Oxfordshire Cricket Board Disciplinary Process due to the seriousness of the complaint or the person or persons involved in the complaint. Such a referral would only be made after consultation with the President of the League.
5. DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS
- In any case which is referred for a Disciplinary Hearing, the Discipline Co-ordinator shall convene the hearing within 14 days of the decision to refer. Any delay may only be granted at the discretion of the Chairman of the Disciplinary Hearing.
- Where a charge against a player is referred to a disciplinary hearing, his captain and club may be charged separately under their responsibilities as set out in the Code of Conduct above.
- At least seven days’ notice in writing of the hearing shall be given to the player via his club Secretary. In the case of a club, its Secretary shall be so notified. The notice shall specify the alleged breach(es) of the Code of Conduct above.
- The accused player or club shall be entitled:
- To submit written statements ahead of the hearing
- To attend the hearing
- To state his case (in the case of a club, by its Secretary or other official)
- To be supported by a colleague and to call witnesses.
- If the player or club is to have representation present at the hearing then the details of that representation must be given to the Discipline Co-ordinator not less than 48 hours before the date of the hearing.
- The Hearing shall be conducted by a Disciplinary Panel appointed by the Discipline Co-ordinator and shall consist of not less than three persons and not more than five persons drawn from a list approved by the OCA’s Management Committee. None of the Panel should be connected with the player, the club or their opponents at the time of the alleged breach, or a club which might directly benefit from any disciplinary action.
- A club or player involved in disciplinary proceedings will be solely responsible for meeting such costs or expenses as it or they may incur, including the cost of any legal or other representation.
- The standard of proof shall be on the balance of probabilities rather than the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt.
- As a guideline, the following penalties should be expected to be imposed for any complaint referred and, if appropriate, proved at a disciplinary hearing
- Level 1: 2 to 6 matches
- Level 2: 3 to 8 matches
- Level 3: 4 to 10 matches
- Level 4: A minimum of 10 matches
played under the auspices of OCB
Where applicable, penalties will be carried over to apply in the following season. Where the complaint is not referred to a Disciplinary Hearing, repeated infringements, listed on umpires reports, by an individual player or by a Club may still result in additional penalties as laid out in 6.4 below. If at a hearing a breach of the Code of Conduct is proved, the Disciplinary Panel shall have the power to impose one or more of the following penalties, together with such order as to costs as it deems appropriate:
In the case of a player:-
- To require the player to submit appropriate letter(s) of apology within a specified time
- To record a reprimand and to give a warning as to future conduct
- To suspend the player for one or more matches, or for a stated period of time
- To deduct League points from the player’s team
- To expel the player from the League
In the case of a club:-
- To require the club to submit appropriate letter(s) of apology within a specified time
- To record a reprimand and to give a warning as to future conduct
- To impose a fine
- To deduct League points from the club’s team
- To expel the club from any competition of the OCA
- To relegate to any lower division of the OCA
Panels will take the following factors into account when determining the penalties to be imposed:-
- If the accused player/club has pleaded guilty
- The player’s previous disciplinary record
- If the player is also the captain
- The conduct of the player subsequent to him being warned and told that he will be reported
- If an appeal is considered to be spurious
In addition, where an individual behaves inappropriately or fails to respect the formality at any level during a Disciplinary hearing, the Disciplinary Panel assumes the right to impose further corrective actions or penalties as it sees fit. Where a representative and/or witness(es) behaves inappropriately or fails to respect the formality at any level during a Disciplinary hearing this can be dealt with under the code by having a separate hearing. The Disciplinary Panel shall have the power to suspend the operation of any part, or all, of the penalty it imposes for such period and subject to such terms and conditions it deems appropriate. Decisions of the Disciplinary Panel (a finding that a complaint is proved or not proved or a decision on penalty) shall be by majority vote; where necessary the Disciplinary Panel Chairman shall have a casting vote. The League shall report match bans in writing to the relevant club’s County Board and other relevant organisations in accordance with the conditions set out at 6.10 to 6.12 below. Information about penalties imposed under these discipline regulations shall be shared with individuals at the club and County Board on a need to know basis, for example with individuals who need to be informed in order to give effect to the penalty; Information about match bans held by the County Board shall be shared with other clubs only for the purposes of ensuring recognition of penalties by other clubs; and Individuals subject to these discipline regulations must be made aware by their clubs that by playing in matches under the jurisdiction of the OCA, they agree that information about penalties imposed on them will be shared with the County Boards, and other clubs and organisations in accordance with these discipline regulations. All bans issued to players or officials apply to all aspects of OCA cricket. Conceded games shall not count as one of a ban. A game started and abandoned or cancelled due to bad weather shall count as one of a ban
- Any player or club will have a right to appeal against any penalty imposed under current bye-laws by a member of the Executive in the pursuit of their duties or against any decision of the Discipline Co-ordinator or Disciplinary Panel subject to the restrictions below.
- Appeals shall only be allowed against a ban instigated for Level 1 or 2 offences on the grounds of mistaken identity, misrepresentation or failure of the umpires to follow the procedures in Paragraph 4.1 above.
- Where a breach of the Code of Conduct has been proved at a Disciplinary Hearing, a player or club shall have the right of appeal. Where a player and his club are appealing in relation to the same incident, they must do so separately.
- A notice of appeal setting out the grounds of the appeal must be given in writing to Disciplinary Co-ordinator within seven days of the decision of a member of the Executive, the Discipline Co ordinator or Disciplinary Panel, together with a deposit of £100. This deposit may be forfeit if the original decision of the disciplinary process is upheld.
- The notice of appeal should record the decision or part of the decision against which the appeal is made and the grounds and basis of the appeal.
- Any penalty imposed under the Bye-Laws of the OCA shall stand pending the hearing of any appeal which shall take place no earlier than 14 days and no later than 21 days form the receipt of notice of the appeal.
- If a notice of appeal is given, the penalties imposed by the Discipline Co-ordinator or Disciplinary Panel shall not take effect pending the hearing of the Appeal, which shall take place no earlier than 14 days and no later than 21 days form the receipt of notice of the appeal.
- Any Appeal against a decision of a member of the Executive Committee other than the Disciplinary Co-ordinator or Disciplinary Panel shall be by way of a hearing before an Appeal Panel.
- The Appeal Panel and a Chairman of that panel shall be appointed by the Discipline Co-ordinator and shall consist of not less than three persons and not more than five persons drawn from a list approved by the OCA’s Executive Committee. None of the Panel should be connected with the individual or the club or their opponents, or a club which might directly benefit from any disciplinary action nor shall the Executive Committee member who made the original decision be on the Appeal Panel.
- The player or club shall have the same entitlements as set out in Paragraph 5.4 above and in 8 below.
- If the player or club is to have representation present at the hearing then the details of that representation must be given to the Disciplinary Co-ordinator not less than 7 days before the date of the hearing.
- Non-attendance at a hearing of the Appeals Panel by the club or person that submitted the appeal without good and valid reason for such non-attendance will automatically result in forfeiture of their right of appeal.
- The Appeals Panel may confirm, vary or reverse the decision of the Executive member and it shall have the power to increase the penalty and award costs of the Appeal hearing and forfeit the whole or part of the deposit.
- Decisions of the Appeal Panel shall be by majority vote; where necessary, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
- The decision of the Appeal Panel and if appropriate the penalty should be communicated to the accused person/club in writing within 21 days.
- Any Appeal against a decision of the Disciplinary Co-ordinator or Disciplinary Panel pertaining to on field or match play related issues will be heard under the auspices of the Oxfordshire Cricket Board Disciplinary Procedures by a panel established by the OCB Disciplinary Chairman and following their policies and procedures.
- The decision of this OCB Panel will be binding on all parties and no further appeal will be allowed under either OCA or OCB policies.
- The decision of the Appeals Panel or, if no appeal, of the Executive member, Discipline Coordinator or Disciplinary Panel, shall be final and binding.
8. Guidelines on the Conduct of Hearings and Appeals
These Guidelines do not replace or form part of the Discipline Regulations which should be read carefully by all those falling under their jurisdiction.
8.1 Natural Justice
The rules of natural justice are the minimum standards of fair decision-making imposed on persons or bodies acting in a judicial capacity. The rules of natural justice consist of the following elements:
- The right to a fair hearing
- The rule against bias.
8.2 The right to a fair hearing
The right to a fair hearing requires that an individual shall not be penalised by a decision affecting his rights or legitimate expectations unless he has been given prior notice of the case against him and a fair opportunity to answer the case against him and to produce his own case.
8.3 Prior notice of the hearing
The accused person should be given adequate notice of the allegations against him and of the procedure to be followed so that he may be in an position to make representations on his own behalf, to appear at the hearing, to prepare his own case and to answer the case against him.
The time and location of the hearing must also be properly notified to the reported person.
8.4 Opportunity to be heard
The reported person has a right to attend the hearing and be allowed to present his case. If the Disciplinary Panel is satisfied that the reported person has been given adequate notice of the alleged breach and of the time and location of the hearing, they may allow the hearing to proceed if the reported person fails to attend. However, it may not be justifiable to proceed if the time or location fixed for the hearing is such that the person cannot reasonably be expected to attend.
Within the Discipline Regulations it states that “at least seven days’ notice in writing of the hearing and of the offence(s) alleged shall be given to the player, or in the case of a club, its Secretary”.
8.5 The rule against bias
A person adjudicating on a dispute must have no pecuniary or proprietary interest in the outcome of the proceedings and must not reasonably be suspected, or show a real likelihood, of bias.
The rule against bias also provides that a party should not normally be judged by his accuser.
8.6 Conduct of the Hearing
Within these Guidelines words importing the singular shall include the plural and vice versa, and those importing the male shall include the female, and vice versa.
a. A complaint is received by either the Disciplinary Co-ordinator, the General Secretary or other officer of the OCA who decides to refer the matter to a Disciplinary Hearing.
b. The Hearing is conducted by at least three persons (the Panel) appointed by the Disciplinary Co-ordinator.
c. No-one connected with the individual or the club, or their opponents, or a club which might directly benefit from any disciplinary action (e.g. by the deduction of points), should be a member of the Panel.
d. The accused person/club should be notified of the offence(s) alleged against him/them and the time and location of the hearing. The notification should be in writing, include all relevant documentation and give at least seven days’ notice.
e. The accused person is entitled to be supported by a colleague. There is no right to legal representation but the Panel would normally permit the accused person to be legally represented. However, the attendance or otherwise of the legal representative should not be used as a ‘delaying tactic’.
f. If the complaint has been made by the umpires, they should be available to give evidence at the hearing.
g. Witnesses should not be present in the room at the outset but should be called in individually to give their evidence at the appropriate time. (Ideally, a separate waiting area should be provided for each party).
h. The Chairman should open the hearing and introduce all the parties. He should then briefly outline the procedure to be followed.
i. The charges against the accused person/club should be specified.
j. Witnesses should be called individually and asked to give their evidence. The Panel may question the witnesses. The accused person (or representative)/club may question the witnesses.
k. The accused person/club should be asked to give his/their account and may call witnesses. The Panel may question the witnesses.
l. The Panel may question the witnesses.
m. Once the witnesses have given their evidence and answered any questions, they should either leave the room or, with the permission of the Chairman, they may remain but should take no further part in the hearing.
n. The Panel may question the accused person/club.
o. The Panel should deliberate in private. The Panel’s decision should be by majority vote; where necessary the Panel Chairman shall have a casting vote.
p. The accused person/club should be called back in and the Panel should give their decision as to whether the case is proved or not proved. If proved, the accused person/club should be asked to give any mitigation which might affect the Panel’s decision as to sentence, if they have any discretion in this area.
q. The Panel should consider the sentence in private.
r. The accused person/club should be called back in and the Panel Chairman should announce the sentence.
s. The accused person/club should be made aware of the Appeals Process, (See Section 7 above) particularly the time within which an appeal should be lodged.
t. The decision of the Disciplinary Panel and if appropriate the penalty should be communicated to the accused person/club in writing within 21 days.
9. NON PAYMENT OF FINES
1. Any fine levied under these procedures or imposed for the breach of any match rule must be paid to the Treasurer of the League within twenty-eight days of the Club being notified of such fine.
2. Any fines still outstanding at the end of that period shall be increased by 100% of the original fine, when the Secretary or Chairman of the offending Club shall be notified to the effect that the fine is outstanding. They will be given a reminder that if after a period of fourteen days from that reminder, the fine is still outstanding, a deduction of five points shall be made from the points gained by the side that received the fine.
APPENDIX 1 – BREACHES OF DISCIPLINE
Certain conduct, whether on or off the field of play of play, amounting to a breach of the Laws of
Cricket and/or the Spirit of Cricket has been categorised into 4 levels which are set out below:-
- time wasting by either the fielding side or the batting side
- abuse of the cricket ground, equipment or fixtures
- showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action
- using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and or the making of an obscene gesture
- excessive appealing
- showing serious dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action
- inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play
- charging or advancing towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
- deliberate and malicious distraction or obstruction on the field of play, regardless as to whether such conduct is deemed to be fair under law 42.5
- throwing the ball at or near a player, umpire or official in an inappropriate and dangerous manner
- using language or gesture that is obscene or of a serious insulting nature to another player, umpire, team official or spectator
- changing the condition of the ball other than as permitted by Law 42.3
- the bowling of fast short pitched balls that result in the bowler being disallowed from bowling further in that innings
- causing avoidable damage to the pitch contrary to Laws 42.13 and/or Law 42.14 that results in a five run penalty being awarded
- intimidating an umpire
- threatening to assault another player, team official or spectator
- using language or gesture that offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin
- the deliberate bowling of any high full-pitched ball contrary to Law 42.8
- threatening an umpire
- physical assault of another player, umpire, official or spectator
- any act of violence on the field of play
- using language or gestures that seriously offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify another person on the basis of that person’s religion, sexual orientation, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin.
The conduct listed in Level 1 to Level 4 above cannot be considered to be exhaustive.