Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - for immediate release

Town implements new discipline procedure for sports field permit holders

Progressive approach encourages improved behaviours

Town Council has approved a new procedure for managing inappropriate behaviour by permit holders — sports organizations, teams, players or residents — who are using the town’s sports fields. The procedure includes a new online reporting process and a progressive discipline approach to encourage better behaviour.

“Our goal is to ensure a respectful sports and recreation environment that can be enjoyed by all,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.

The new procedure is being implemented as a pilot project during the current sports season and will be evaluated by the end of 2014. The town’s Parks staff will continue to conduct regular checks of parks and sports fields to help ensure proper use.

“The majority of players act in a respectful manner; however, there are occasions when inappropriate behaviour is reported,” said Colleen Bell, commissioner of Community Services for the Town of Oakville. “Our new reporting procedure ensures incidents are documented and any resulting disciplinary action for permit holders is fair and transparent.”

The new disciplinary procedure details are as follows:

  • Inappropriate behaviour including aggressive or bullying behaviour, foul language, public urination, littering, smoking, drinking alcohol on public property, or leaving field lights on after play is finished can now be reported online through a new Inappropriate Behaviour Reporting Form.
  • Reported incidents involving permit holders will be investigated within five business days. If the details are confirmed, disciplinary action will be taken within 10 days. Action can include a verbal and/or written warning, $150 fine, permit suspension or termination of permit, depending on the severity of the incident and any prior violations. If town staff is unable to confirm the complaint or accurately identify the offenders, no action will be taken, but the report will be kept on file.
  • Permit suspensions can be appealed within 14 days. New evidence must be submitted along with a fee of $250. Appeals will be reviewed by a panel chaired by the commissioner of Community Services. If the appeal is successful, the suspension will be lifted and the fee will be refunded in full.

Through its new “Be a Good Neighbour” campaign, town staff is working with sports organizations, sports field neighbours, spectators and players to raise awareness of the required conduct at sports fields and the new procedure for reporting and investigating inappropriate behaviour.

For more information on the town’s new reporting and disciplinary procedure, please visit Acceptable Use of Town Facilities page.

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