Rodway Hill Golf Club Disciplinary Procedure
From March 2022, all references to the Club Captain in this section should be replaced by ‘Club Chair’.
1.1 These Procedures deal with hearings in respect of breaches of any Club Rules, Bylaws or Code of Conduct, any issue arising from Paragraph 3.8 of the Club Constitution, and any complaint about a Member, other than those relating to Safeguarding, which should be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Officer in accordance with the Club’s Safeguarding Policy.
1.2 Disciplinary action may be informal or formal. Informal disciplinary action will involve discussing the problem with the Member and/or the complainer through the Club Secretary/Captain with a view to resolving the issue. Formal disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with these Procedures.
- Membership and Powers of Committees
2.1 The General Committee shall establish a Disciplinary Committee, which shall have the power to act in the name of the Club and determine disciplinary proceedings coming before it. The membership of the Disciplinary Committee will be determined by the General Committee and will have not fewer than 3 members, drawn from the General Committee.
2.2 The General Committee will establish an Appeal Committee of not fewer than 3 members drawn from the General Committee to consider any appeal. None of these shall be members of the Disciplinary Committee.
2.3 Any person who sits on either the Disciplinary Committee or the Appeal Committee shall be unbiased and have no personal interest in or involvement with the case; be familiar with these procedures; act within their powers under these procedures fairly, reasonably and proportionately at all times; have consideration and respect for all parties and apply the standard of proof as the balance of probabilities.
2.4 The Appeals Committee will have the full powers and authorities of the Disciplinary Committee, including the power to increase, decrease or accept any such penalties already imposed and/or impose any such new penalties as outlined in these Procedures.
2.5 Both Committees shall take decisions, including decisions as to guilt and appropriate sanctions, on the basis of a simple majority of Committee members with the Chair holding a casting vote if no majority is reached.
2.6 The Disciplinary Committee and the Appeals Committee shall have the power to abridge or extend any time limits set out in these Procedures, if in their reasonable discretion, it is considered appropriate in the circumstances.
- Initial Complaint Handling
3.1 Any complaint/s about a Member must be made in writing by the complainer, signed and dated and sent to the Club Secretary or Club Captain.
3.2 Any complaint must be lodged within 7 days of the alleged incident or grounds for the complaint arising, and must specify the details of the alleged incident or grounds for complaint. The Club Secretary shall forward a copy of the complaint to the member in question and request a written response within 7 days, undertake any further investigation he/she sees fit, and determine with the Captain whether an attempt to resolve the matter informally should be made. The Club Captain and/or Club Secretary will then take steps to resolve the matter without recourse to paragraph 3.3 below.
3.3 If and/or when it is determined that the matter should be resolved formally, the Club Secretary shall forward the complaint, written response and any other relevant material, if applicable, to the Disciplinary Committee for consideration as set out below.
- Disciplinary Hearing
4.1 Any person who is subject to a disciplinary hearing shall be supplied with a copy of the original complaint and any additional material provided to the Disciplinary Committee, including notice of any witnesses to be called or their written evidence.
4.2 Each Member being called before the Disciplinary Committee shall have the right to be advised of the nature of the charge or complaint and the potential penalties that may apply; to be present in person at any hearing and to be advised 14 days in advance of the date, time and place of such hearing; to state his/her case, call relevant witnesses and provide evidence at this hearing. The names of any witnesses being proposed by the Member should be intimated 5 days before any hearing to the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee.
4.3 If the Member is unable to attend the meeting, he or she should notify the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee.
4.4 If the Member elects not to attend the meeting without good reason, the disciplinary hearing may proceed in his/her absence.
4.5 Unless the Disciplinary Committee otherwise directs, the procedure will be as follows:
- The Disciplinary Committee will explain the process and advise on the rights of appeal;
- The terms of the complaint will be considered followed by the written or oral response, if any, provided by the Member, including representation on penalty;
- Any further evidence will be heard;
- Any other witnesses to be called will then be heard, or in the situation where the witness is unable to attend, then their signed written statement will be read out;
- Any witnesses are to be excluded from the hearing until required to give their evidence and must retire immediately after giving their evidence and answering any questions from the Disciplinary Committee;
- Questioning of the parties or any witnesses may only be directed by the Disciplinary Committee or as otherwise permitted by the Disciplinary Committee at its discretion, acting fairly and reasonably;
- The Member will then be given the opportunity to make final submissions – including submissions on sanctions in the event that the complaint is upheld; and
- Notification of the decision, including any sanctions, with appropriate reasons shall be issued by the Club Secretary, in writing, to the parties within 14 days of the hearing.
- Appeals relating to the rules of golf and handicapping issues
Decisions which relate to the Rules of Golf or to handicapping infringements fall within the England Golf Disciplinary Framework and are subject to a right of appeal as set out below.
|Matter arising at||Disciplinary body at first instance||Appeal level|
|National||England Golf||England Golf Appeals Panel|
There will be no further right of appeal.
- If the Respondent wishes to appeal a decision of the Disciplinary Panel, they (the “Appellant”) must lodge the appeal to the Disciplinary Secretary in writing (an “Appeal Request”) within 14 days of the date of the Disciplinary Panel’s original decision being notified to the Respondent.
- The Appeal Request must set out one or more of the grounds of appeal below and any further evidence on which the Appellant wishes to rely, together with reasons why the ground of appeal(s) applies. The grounds of appeal are as follows:
- The decision was based on error of fact or could not have been reasonably reached by a Disciplinary Panel when faced with the evidence before it;
- Serious procedural or other irregularity in the proceedings before the Disciplinary Panel;
- Significant and relevant new evidence has become available which was not available before the conclusion of the hearing but, had it been available, may have caused the Disciplinary Panel to reach a materially different decision; and/or
- The sanction imposed was manifestly unreasonable in the light of the facts before the Disciplinary Panel.
- Following receipt of a Notice of Appeal, the Disciplinary Secretary shall consider whether the Notice of Appeal is valid, that is received in time and sets out a valid ground or grounds of appeal (but not whether any grounds of appeal have been made out). If the Disciplinary Secretary considers that the Notice of Appeal is valid, he will forward it to the County Secretary of [insert County] Union or Association as appropriate. If the Disciplinary Secretary considers that the Notice of Appeal is not valid, he will return it to the Respondent and explain why it is not valid.
- The Gloucestershire Golf Union Disciplinary Regulations will apply thereafter to any appeal, unless England Golf has determined that it should hear the matter, in which case the England Golf Disciplinary Regulations will apply.
- Other Appeals
6.1 An appeal shall be lodged, when a Notice of Appeal is received by the Club Secretary. The Notice of Appeal shall be in writing, signed and dated by the Appellant Member and shall specify the decision appealed against; and the specific grounds of the appeal, including in relation to sanctions. An appeal must be lodged within 14 days of the decision being notified in writing to the Member.
6.2 On receipt of an appeal, the Club Secretary will forward all documentation to the members of the Appeals Committee.
6.3 The Chair of the Appeals Committee shall, in liaison with the Appeals Committee and the Appellant, set a time, date and place for the hearing of the appeal and advise the Appellant of the rules within this Procedure which govern the hearing and process.
6.4 The Appeals Committee may, at its discretion, rehear the whole or any part of the evidence given before the Disciplinary Committee, as it considers appropriate.
6.5 The Appeals Committee shall be entitled to hear and receive such further evidence on appeal, as it deems competent and fair.
6.6 Any further evidence to be heard shall be made available to the Appellant member 7 days prior to the appeal hearing. Parties shall have the right to respond in writing to any further evidence to be presented.
6.7 Where evidence is given before the Appeals Committee, there shall only be cross-examination or questioning of witnesses by the Appeals Committee.
6.8 Written notification of the decision of the Appeals Committee will be issued to the Appellant member within 7 days, stating fully the reasons for the decision.
6.9 The decision of the Appeals Committee is final and binding.
7.1 No penalty shall be imposed on any person or body in disciplinary proceedings unless the alleged misconduct against the person or body is proved on the balance of probabilities and that the penalty is fair, reasonable and proportionate, in the opinion of the Disciplinary or Appeals Committees.
7.2 If a complaint is proved against a Member, the Disciplinary Committee and Appeals Committee shall have the power to impose the following penalties:
- Suspension from Club membership for a specified period of time;
- Suspension from specified Club activities, including competition, for a period of time or permanently;
- Expulsion from Club membership on a permanent basis;
- Forfeiture of any competition and/or other points as specified;
- Any combination of the above.
7.3 When a penalty is imposed consideration will be given to the following:
- Consistency and uniformity in the level of penalty imposed;
- Whether the penalty is reasonable and proportionate in all the circumstances; and
- That where possible periods of suspension be imposed by reference to specific dates rather than playing days e.g. 1 April to 1 June.
7.4 Any penalties imposed by the Disciplinary Committee shall be suspended, on any Notice of Appeal being received in accordance with this Policy until the outcome of the Appeal Hearing.
- General Provisions
8.1 The hearing of proceedings by the Disciplinary Committee or the Appeals Committee shall be recorded by the taking of minutes by the Club Secretary or another nominated and appropriate person.
8.2 The record of the proceedings and all papers associated with the proceedings shall be held by the Club Secretary (or his/her nominee) in a secure and appropriate manner.
8.3 Copies of the record shall be made available to any person affected by the decision of the Disciplinary Committee or Appeals Committee.
8.4 Any notices or correspondence to be sent to any Member or person under these procedures shall be sent by first-class post or, if appropriate, secure electronic mail, to the last known address of that Member or person.