The Los Angeles Organization of Ultimate Teams (LAOUT) is an organization intended to help promote, organize, and grow the sport of Ultimate within the Los Angeles area. This document describes both the manner in which LAOUT expects members to conduct themselves and the processes to resolve incidents of inappropriate conduct. It is anticipated that the vast majority of issues may be resolved directly by the persons or teams involved. The primary purpose of this code is to help facilitate appropriate behavior at LAOUT events, lessen incidents of reckless play, and reduce injuries. It is the hope of LAOUT that this code will serve as a guideline for self-regulation and that only in the most severe cases should the LAOUT board become involved in resolving a misconduct issue.
2. Entities Governing Conduct Violations
To facilitate the expeditious resolution of conduct violations, there are two entities with the ability to enforce this code of conduct.
a. Acting Disciplinary Authority
At any LAOUT-sponsored event, be it disc-related or otherwise, there shall be a person or group of people who shall listen and respond to conduct complaints made at that event. Any person granted this authority shall be called an Acting Disciplinary Authority. This person enforces the rules of conduct detailed below in the “Conduct” section. An Acting Disciplinary Authority may be a tournament director, head observer, event coordinator, member of the LAOUT board acting in an official capacity, or other person appointed by LAOUT. An Acting Disciplinary Authority has the ability to enforce the code of conduct by imposing penalties at the designated LAOUT event and any decisions made are final. Examples of such penalties include but are not limited to ejection from the tournament, removal from one or more games, removal from the event grounds, and ejection from the league for the remainder of the season.
The purpose of having one or more Acting Disciplinary Authorities at any LAOUT event is to ensure that conduct violations are efficiently and swiftly resolved to limit the impact of any transgressions upon the actual event. Further sanctions may be enforced should a conduct violation be written into a formal complaint for review by the LAOUT board. Any disciplinary decision by the Acting Disciplinary Authority shall only impact the affected event or league.
b. LAOUT Board and Complaint Resolution
The LAOUT board serves as the oversight committee to pass judgments and impose sanctions for conduct violations related to LAOUT events. Just like the Acting Disciplinary Authority, the board enforces the rules of behavior outlined in the Code of Conduct section below. The purpose of the board is to hear complaints, discuss those complaints, and make rulings on those complaints. Following the ruling on a complaint, the concerned party may appeal the complaint with any clarifications or new information the party has discovered. The dispute resolution process is described below in the section titled “Enforcement Process.”
3. Code of Conduct
The code of conduct described here applies to all participants in any LAOUT-related activity. Note that at events organized by parties other than LAOUT and at which LAOUT plays a more supporting role, the LAOUT code of conduct defers to that code used by other organizations. For example, if LAOUT is tasked with helping to run USAU College Sectionals, then the USAU’s code of conduct supersedes that of LAOUT. If an incident occurs that is not covered by the other organization’s code of conduct, then the applicable LAOUT code is applied.
It is also important to distinguish between game-related penalties and misconduct penalties. Showing up late to a game may require that the offending team be penalized one or more points, for example, but such an incident would not constitute a violation of the code of conduct.
a. On-Field Conduct
On-field conduct refers specifically to a participant’s actions and behavior during a LAOUT-sponsored Ultimate event. All participants must adhere to the rules of Ultimate, be respectful towards others, behave within the guidelines of any site regulations, and not impinge upon the safety and well-being of others. Examples of on-field conduct violations include, but are not limited to, reckless or dangerous play, spiking the disc on an opponent, excessive heckling or taunting, cheating, damage or destruction of a field site’s property, repeated abusive behavior, and violence towards other participants. Reckless or dangerous play refers to play that a player knows or should know may result in injury or harm to another participant, even if no harm occurs or no harm is intended.
b. Off-Field Conduct
Off-field conduct refers to a participant’s actions at any LAOUT-sponsored event not directly related to playing Ultimate. An example of such an event would be a Summer League party held at a site different from the tournament site. Conduct violations may include, but are not limited to, destruction of site property, consumption of alcohol when prohibited by the site, violence towards other participants or non-participants, excessive disorderly or disruptive behavior, failure to leave the site in a timely manner, and disrespectful behavior towards participants or non-participants.
4. Enforcement Process
a. Complaints to Acting Disciplinary Authority
A complaint made to an Acting Disciplinary Authority does not require any formal documentation. The aggrieved party contacts the Acting Disciplinary Authority directly, who then makes a ruling. There is no appeal process associated with decisions made by the Acting Disciplinary Authority.
b. Complaints to the LAOUT Board
Formal complaints to the LAOUT board requesting further sanctions and conflict resolution must be submitted in writing to a member of the LAOUT board. The LAOUT board takes any complaint and then meets to discuss and rule on the complaint. Any complaint must be submitted within 30 calendar days of the incident. Multiple complaints on the same incident may be considered a single complaint.
After receipt of the complaint, within 10 business days following the next regular meeting of the board, the LAOUT board will decide whether a complaint warrants further action. If the board decides to take no action, it will inform the complainant that the case has been closed. If the board decides to take further action, the board will inform the defendant of the complaint and ask for a written response. Once notified, the defendant will have 10 business days to submit a written response. Alternatively, before the deadline to submit a written response has elapsed, the defendant may notify the board to appear in person at a special board meeting called for such purpose.
Following review of the defendant’s response, the board will have 30 calendar days to issue a decision. Following a ruling and the imposition of sanctions by the LAOUT board, the defendant may file an appeal with the board if the defendant has discovered new information related to the case. The board will vote on whether the appeal merits review, and if a majority decides that review is appropriate, the board may revise sanctions as necessary.
The Acting Disciplinary Authority may impose sanctions only insofar as they apply to the affected event or league. This action may include, but is not limited to, ejection from the tournament or league, removal from the event grounds, and removal from one or more games.
The LAOUT board may impose sanctions for one or more events spanning a time period not exceeding one year. These sanctions may include, but are not limited to, exclusion from LAOUT leagues, exclusion from LAOUT events or clinics, public apology and completion of service to the LAOUT community.
6. Safety and USAU Suspensions
LAOUT upholds USA Ultimate’s current list of suspended players – anyone currently suspended by USA Ultimate is ineligible to play in, or attend, any LAOUT or LAOUT affiliated event.
This document is intended to give LAOUT a set of defined guidelines to manage misconduct within the organization. This document provides broad descriptions and specific examples of potential misconduct violations at LAOUT-sponsored events. It provides a means for an aggrieved party to file a complaint and see that appropriate penalties are applied to the defendant, where deemed necessary. It also provides a means for the defendant to defend his or her actions, and in the case that his or her defense is overruled, appeal any imposed sanctions.
The expectation of LAOUT is that participants will treat each other with respect and avoid conflict. In the cases where conflict arises it is hoped that the participants will be able to amicably resolve the situation.