BCF Code of Conduct – 2015
By virtue of becoming a member club of the Belgian Cricket Federation (BCF), it is implicit that clubs, and their players, members, and officers, accept the constitution of the BCF and in particular abide by this Code of Conduct (CoC), the powers of the League Committee (LC), and the Disciplinary Panel (DP) in relation to conduct and breaches of the rules. This includes the procedures specified below, and they undertake to be bound by them including the powers of suspension.
This Code of Conduct covers all BCF organised competitions:
- Twenty20 Cup
Reports alleging breaches of this Code of Conduct by nominated players and their substitutes in Belgian competition matches shall be handled by the DP. Sanctions may be levied against clubs as a result of misbehaviour by nominated players and their substitutes while representing them during the course of a match and, on occasions, afterwards as well.
In most instances, the Code of Conduct will be applied only to incidents reported during Belgian competition matches (see 4.3 for parameters) but some offences will be regarded as breaches at whatever time they are committed (this could be weeks, months, or even years after the match in question) notably sections 1.6 and 2.2 regarding public criticism and inappropriate comments about match officials or match related incidents as well as any other conduct that is unbecoming to the status of the game and/or likely to bring the game into disrepute. Such behaviour may be investigated under this Code of Conduct as soon as it is reported from whatever source and by any medium to a member of the League Committee.
For all other reports and complaints, the League Chairman shall decide whether they are best investigated by the League Committee or the Disciplinary Panel either under this Code of Conduct or under other prevailing League Regulations.
- Offences and Penalties
- Player Sanctions
- Club Sanctions
- Offences and Penalties
Based on the ICC Code of Conduct, there are 4 levels of offences to be considered in this Code of Conduct when players and clubs are reported either by umpire(s), by a recognised club officer, or anyone else entitled by the league regulations to make a report. Upon the request of the League Chairman, the Disciplinary Panel will convene to establish whether the player(s) or club(s) reported shall have a case to answer.
- A Level 1 offence is the least serious with lower penalties and players sanctioned will have no automatic right of appeal – but see c) below. (See Player Sanctions section for full list).
- Level 2, 3 and 4 offences are progressively more serious with higher penalties but parties sanctioned do have a right of appeal. (See Player Sanctions section for full, list). Level 3 offences carry a minimum 3 match suspension which may be increased depending on the seriousness of the incident and Level 4 sanctions range from a minimum 6 match suspension up to a permanent ban for the player or official concerned.
- Notwithstanding the provisions of a) above, a player will also have the right of appeal where – in a single match – he is sanctioned for more than one incident up to the time when the scoresheet is signed.
- Where the facts, complexity, or seriousness of the alleged incident mean that it cannot be bracketed as one of the listed offences referred to in a) and b) above – for example, fighting between the teams, pitch incursion by players, members, officers, supporters, or spectators, or any other exceptional circumstance not adequately or clearly covered by any of the above offences – once the umpire, official or club has made a report the Disciplinary Panel has the discretion to find the reported party guilty at any of the 4 levels mentioned above, under either:-
- Unfair Play including any Conduct Contrary to the Spirit of the Game
- Conduct Unbecoming of the Game’s Status or Conduct which Brings the Game into Disrepute.
- To be valid, the Incident report must be emailed, or faxed to the BCF League Chairman and Administrator (BCFA) by Wednesday midnight following the incident. Additionally, procedures outlined under the Notes in 3, 4, and 5 have to be followed.
- Where a complaint is registered after the deadline mentioned in e) above, and the League Chairman in consultation with the League Committee considers the potential offence to be one of a sufficiently serious nature because of what took place and its potential to bring the game into disrepute, then it will still be eligible for investigation – without prejudice – under this Code of Conduct provided written clearance from the BCF Executive Committee (BCFEC) is obtained. In any circumstances, complaints received after 23h00 on the fifth working day following the incident shall not be considered.
- The Disciplinary Panel will review reports relating to all offences, conduct interviews as and when required (by email, phone or in person) and convene, when necessary, at its convenience. Meetings involving players/umpires/clubs will be scheduled where possible to meet their preferences and dates will be confirmed at least 7 days in advance and may only thereafter be changed by the Disciplinary Panel. It reserves its right, according to the factors behind each case, to conduct its hearings with the relevant parties either simultaneously or at different times, in person or by phone, as it sees fit. Parties invited are expected to be represented or at least to be available by phone during the scheduled meeting time.
- Clubs can be sanctioned following a reported incident only if a group of their players commit a collective offence (see Club Sanctions section) – whether such an offence has been committed will be decided upon by the Disciplinary Panel. Captains of club teams can be held responsible for the conduct of their players.
- Although it will not by itself change the BCF’s disciplinary process following such a reported incident, internal disciplinary action by clubs is strongly recommended. If considered appropriate, and the Disciplinary Panel is duly informed in writing by the club(s) in question, this may be taken into consideration when determining possible penalties in situations where they are to be levied against a club.
- Persistently offending players can expect to be dealt with severely. Any player found guilty of a second offence in any three consecutive calendar years will automatically be deemed to have a previous record of misconduct and penalised accordingly. Additionally, a player found guilty of a level 3 or level 4 will have his past record of misconduct back to 1 January 2009 taken into account.
- The Disciplinary Panel has the power to request a player to make an official written apology to any appropriate party for his misconduct. This must be done within a specified time frame and should this not be done the Disciplinary Panel shall reconvene and further sanctions shall be imposed additional to those already given. Under this section, the Disciplinary Panel shall have the power – with no recourse to appeal – to suspend a player for a maximum of two further matches. Where the sanction is against a club, up to 20% of the maximum number of points attainable in a match may be deducted.
- Where applicable, penalties that couldn’t be carried out in the current season will be carried forward to the following season.
- Player Sanctions
The Offences set out at 1.1 to 1.7 below are Level 1 Offences.
The penalty for a Level 1 Offence will depend on the previous record of the player concerned:
- The penalty shall be an unconditional 1 match ban suspended for 12 months from the date of the incident, except for b) below.
- Where a second offence under the BCF Code of Conduct has been committed in any three consecutive calendar years, the penalty shall be (unconditionally) an immediate 1 match ban plus an additional 1 match ban, suspended for 12 months, which shall run from the originally scheduled date of the match to be missed (or final match to be missed where a suspended ban in force from a previous offence crystallises).
It therefore follows that a player who is found guilty of a second offence at Level 1 committed while any suspended 1 match ban remains in force from a previous offence would be immediately suspended for 2 matches (possibly more if the previous offence was at Level 3, definitely more if Level 4) as the suspended match ban(s) from the previous offence would have been automatically triggered. Players are therefore advised to be careful while suspended match ban(s) are still in force.
1.1 Abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings.
1.2 Showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by action or verbal abuse.
1.3 Using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and/or the making of an obscene gesture.
1.4 Excessive appealing.
1.5 Pointing or gesturing towards the pavilion in an aggressive manner by a bowler or other member of the fielding side upon the dismissal of a batsman.
1.6 Public criticism of, or inappropriate comment on a match related incident or a match related official. [See also 2.2].
1.7 Captains only – actions considered unhelpful (including unreasonably passive ones) where this is considered to have worsened a situation where one of his players is reported and subsequently sanctioned under this Code of Conduct. Players, other than the nominated captain, may also be sanctioned if they are considered to have been acting as a captain.
The Offences set out 2.1 to 2.9 below are Level 2 Offences.
The penalty for a Level 2 Offence will depend on the previous record of the player concerned:
- The penalty shall be (unconditionally) an immediate 1 match ban plus a further 1 match ban, suspended for 12 months, which shall run from the originally scheduled date of the match to be missed (or final match to be missed where a suspended ban in force from a previous offence crystallises), except for b) below.
- Where a second offence under the BCF Code of Conduct has been committed in any three consecutive calendar years, the penalty shall be (unconditionally) an immediate 2 match ban plus an additional 1 match ban, suspended for 12 months, which shall run from the originally scheduled date of the final match to be missed.