Zero Tolerance Policy

Zero Tolerance Policy


Updated Monday November 12, 2012 by Winnipeg Minor Basketball Association . 



Effective for the 2004-2005 Season and beyond.  Revised June 15, 2005

The most important aspect of the WMBA is fair play, not competition.  Our league wants to promote sportsmanship through courtesy between players, coaches, referees, parents and fans.  Wins and losses and league titles are secondary outcomes.  It is important that league participants not lose sight of this in the heat of the games.

We have many well conceived and elegantly written league policies, all readily available in the WMBA Handbook.  These policies instruct all parties to show mutual respect and cheer for players from both teams.  However, some people seem to forget these expectations once the game begins and a referee makes an unfavorable call (in some people’s opinion).

As a league in 2004, we had cause for concern.  First, serious incidents occurred in our Fall / Winter playoffs involving abuse and near physical action by coaches and fans against senior referees.  Secondly, we had a desperate need for more officials, yet we were losing young referees because coaches and parents bullied them during games.  Senior officials expressed concern that WMBA parents made refereeing community games more burdensome than refereeing varsity high school games or university level games.  

As a result of this, the league implemented a “zero tolerance” policy in 2004-2005, regulating the conduct of coaches, players and parents toward game officials.  Players, coaches or spectators are now not allowed to challenge an official’s decision, nor are they allowed to make abusive comments.  This includes comments and complaints from the stands. 

1. Prior to each game officials will meet with both coaches and remind them of the league’s Zero Tolerance Policy on challenging the decisions of game officials or making abusive comments.  Coaches are reminded that they may ask for clarification on rules at stoppages in play, but under no circumstances are they to yell, call out, or question officials during the game.  Comments such as “call something”, “get in the game!” or sarcastic comments such as “it’s about time!” or “thank you!” are unacceptable.  Coaches are to be courteous when making requests for clarification.  Sarcasm or angry tones are not acceptable.

Coaches are to advise their players of the Zero Tolerance Policy.  Coaches are also required to remind spectators supporting them of the team’s responsibility to adhering to the rules of the league and not to challenge or criticize officials, for any reason.  

2.  When a player or coach challenges an official’s decision, a technical foul will be called.  The referee, with the support of the Gym Supervisor, has discretion to immediately eject the player or coach.   If another technical foul for abuse is called, their team will forfeit the game.   

Technical fouls that are called but do not involve the abuse of an official (ex: too many players on the court, uniform violation, scoresheet infraction) will not count toward the Zero Tolerance Policy and the official’s decision to call the game.

3.  If a spectator challenges or harasses an official, a technical foul will be called on the team that they support.  The referee, with the support of the Gym Supervisor, has discretion to immediately eject the spectator.  If the spectator delays or refuses to leave, the referee will advise the coach that his team will forfeit if they cannot get the spectator to leave.  Coaches are asked to remind parents and spectators that any further outbursts will result in their team forfeiting the game.

4.  Should the same team challenge or harass the official a second time, then the game will be called and that team will forfeit the game.  Under no circumstances are coaches, players or spectators to come up and further question the official. The decision to cancel and forfeit is final.

5.  Officials shall write up an incident report of any forfeited game, including any recommendations for further action.  The league Disciplinary Committee will review this report and may decide on any additional action that might be required.

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