Discipline

AUTHORITY

All disciplinary administration must conform to Ontario Soccer Operational Procedure Section 12.0 - Discipline; references to that section's procedures are given in brackets in this note. Clubs and leagues may establish their own rules and regulations, as long as those do not conflict with Ontario Soccer Operational Procedure 12.0 - Discipline. All registrants (player, team official or club/league official) are subject to the procedure.

DISCIPLINE MECHANISM

There are two mechanisms for administering discipline whenever a registrant has been cautioned (received a yellow card), dismissed (received a red card) or reported for an Ontario Soccer misconduct type (2.0). Those are Discipline by Review (DBR -  5.3) and Discipline by Hearing (DBH - 5.4). All discipline decisions must be made by DBR or DBH.

DISCIPLINE AT TOURNAMENTS

Discipline at tournaments are dealt with by DBR or DBH as appropriate, but those can take place immediately after the game where the incident occurred (7.0).

REQUEST FOR HEARING

DBR decisions are automatic, and the disciplined registrant does not provide input. A registrant charged with a misconduct that would be dealt by DBR may however request a hearing in order to be administered by DBH within three days of the misconduct (5.3.6). This means that a DBR may not issue a decision on a misconduct any earlier than 72 hours after the incident has taken place.

NOTIFICATION OF HEARING

A registrant facing DBH must be notified that a hearing is scheduled. If a club or league does not have a published schedule of disciplinary hearings, all those required to attend must be given 15 days notice (5.4.1). Those organizations that have a published schedule of disciplinary hearing must still send notification to those required to attend, but may hear the case at their next scheduled hearing, as long as the hearing takes place at least three days after the hearing (5.4.2).

COMMUNICATION OF PENALTIES

Decisions can only be issued by DBR (5.3.4) or by DBH (5.7.8). DBR decisions must be communicated in writing within four days of the review (5.3.4), DBH decisions must be communicated within fifteen days of the conclusion of the hearing (5.7.8.1). Decisions must include the exact misconduct for which the accused has been found guilty, suspension start and end date or the specific dates of suspended games, fines, fees and/or bonds (5.3.4 and 5.7.8.1). A registrant cannot be given an "automatic suspension" before a communicated decision by DBR or DBH. The registrant must be permitted to participate in games or competitions that take place before receiving a communicated decision of suspension by DBR or DBH.

APPEALS

A registrant may appeal the decision of a DBH (Operational Procedures 13.0 - Appeals). DBR decisions cannot be appealed, unless the decision was made in contravention or not in accordance with a published rule (see 7.4). SOSA is likely to uphold any appeal raised by a registrant if the timelines described in this note are not respected by a club or league.

Ontario Soccer Rights of Appeal (doc file)