Twin Cities Roller Derby Code of Conduct

(rev. May 2019)

  1. General principles

  1. TCRD is an organization comprised of skaters, officials, and volunteers from all different backgrounds. The league does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status. The primary concern of the league is to provide a safe environment in which anyone over the age of 18 can participate in the sport of roller derby.
  2. This Code of Conduct will be reviewed and updated annually by the league as part of board elections.
  1. Internal league communications

The primary location for all internal league communications is Slack, tcterrors.slack.com. The league also has in-person league meetings, usually once per month during the home season.

  1. All information shared on Slack or at league meetings is considered to be private and should not be shared with people who are not part of the league. This is necessary for open and honest communication to occur.
  2. TCRD members are expected to be respectful to one another. Disagreement can be healthy, but should never devolve into personal attacks or profanity.
  1. Skating with other leagues

Clinics, mixers and open practices are a great way to improve skills and make new friends. TCRD members are reminded that they are de facto representing the league and should be on their best behavior.

  1. Members who attend outside events should alert the league that they are doing so via a post to Slack. This heads-up will ensure that other league members are aware of opportunities to participate. The Board may ask a member to withdraw from an event if participating in it will reflect poorly on the league.
  1. Health and Safety

  1. On the day of an event or practice, prior to and during the game, there is a zero-tolerance policy for narcotics, marijuana, alcohol, or other mind altering drugs for the following people: skaters, referees, officials, bench coaches, track maintenance, EMTs, or any other on-track staff. Violating this policy will result in not being allowed to participate in the day's event or practice. Any paid fee will not be refunded.
  2. After the event or practice, a skater can drink only after their skates are removed. Skaters who take legal prescription drugs are allowed to skate with doctor’s consent and, in the case of incident or injury, may be required to present documentation thereof.
  3. Off-track staff such as merch table volunteers or announcers are expected to be sober and professional in their actions during a game, but will not be held to the same standard as on-track staff.
  4. A pregnant skater shall inform the league, but their eligibility for skating and contact will be a choice between the skater and their doctor.
  1. Behavior policies

  1. Any behavior that makes someone feel uncomfortable, threatened, or disrespected is unacceptable. This covers the continuum from crude humor or intentionally misgendering all the way to harassment and stalking. Every league member is responsible for their own behavior as well as holding peers accountable.
  2. During bouts and scrimmages, members of TCRD shall be respectful to all peers, including coaches, team captains, skaters, officials, EMTs and other staff. Public bouts must foster a “family-friendly” environment with consideration for fans and other bout attendees. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.
  3. In-game communication with officials shall be decided before the game: at the ref crew’s discretion, skaters may respectfully ask for clarification between jams. Any further disagreement shall be voiced to the team captain(s), who can then approach the officials in between jams to discuss if deemed appropriate.
  4. While playful and clever “derby names” are encouraged, a league skater will be asked to choose another derby name if their first choice is deemed sexually, culturally, or racially inappropriate. (See section 1.1). Visiting skaters with inappropriate names will be asked to cover the name and skate as another name.
  5. Members shall cultivate the positive reputation of TCRD. Whether a member is wearing a TCRD uniform is irrelevant; the derby community is small enough that any bad behavior will reflect on the league.
  6. Social media and personal expression is protected and TCRD members are encouraged to engage with the online derby community. However, if  a post is deemed a liability to the league the BoD may ask the member to take it down, re-word it, or even post a retraction or apology.  MRDA content and information from league meetings or Slack that are covered by non-disclosure agreements may never be posted publicly.
  1. Sexual harassment

h/t http://archrivalrollerderby.com/2018/02/08/official-arch-statement-on-sexual-harassment-assault-in-roller-derby/

Twin Cities Roller Derby is committed to providing a community that is free from sexual harassment, where everyone feels safe and welcome. League leadership will take appropriate actions to ensure the safety of all skaters, coaches, volunteers, and fans.

TCRD defines sexual harassment as unwelcome actions, regardless of intent, including but not limited to the following:

•  Sexual advances;
•  Requests for sexual favors;
•  Sexual pranks, videos, images, or repeated sexual teasing, jokes, or innuendo, in person or via e-mail, phone calls, voicemail, or social media;
•  Verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
•  Touching or grabbing of a sexual nature (incidental contact with sensitive areas can occur as part of normal derby gameplay, but repeated/intentional contact of this nature is considered sexual harassment/assault);
•  Leering, or staring with lewd interest;
•  Standing too close in an imposing manner or intentionally brushing up against a person;
•  Repeatedly asking a person to socialize during non-skating or non-league activity hours when the person has said no or has indicated that they are not interested;
•  Making sexually suggestive gestures at or about an individual or group;
•  Sexually abusive/derogatory media (including social media posts, event materials, art, etc.)

This list is not a comprehensive list of actions deemed sexual harassment/assault. The key word is “unwelcome.” The impact to the victim is more important than the perpetrator’s intent. Actions become harassment when someone involved feels unsafe or uncomfortable, regardless of the intentions of the other parties.

A victim or perpetrator of sexual harassment can be of any gender. The victim can be of the same sex and/or gender as the harasser. The harasser can be a skater, coach, or volunteer in the derby community.

If something happens to you:

We encourage you to report the incident(s) to the Board or anyone in leadership you feel comfortable talking to, or to report indirectly by asking another league member to relay your report. Even if you do not want the perpetrator to face consequences, reporting helps the leagues develop an awareness of the issues and work toward a more positive, safer culture. You may request mediation through Grievance if you feel comfortable.

Make sure you are taking care of yourself. This can include taking a break from league practices or events, talking to a friend or professional, or doing whatever you feel you need to feel safe.

If someone asks you to stop a behavior:

•  Stop immediately.
•  Do not argue or make excuses or accusations.

If you observe something questionable:

If you feel safe, you may attempt to disrupt the interaction by doing one of the following:
        •  Intervene by saying something like, “Hey, are you alright?”
        •  Start a conversation with either party
        •  Invite the uncomfortable party to leave with you
        •  Don’t blame the person being harassed. Make sure they know it is not their fault.
        •  Make a written note and tell another member what you saw

  1. Officer behavior

TCRD elected officers are held to a higher standard of behavior than general league members because they are in many ways the most public face of the league.

  1. Board members, captains, committee heads, coaches, and trainers who are found to have committed a violation of the Code of Conduct in the performance of their duties, or in any way connected to their position of leadership, will face consequences commensurate to a higher standard.
  2. TCRD officers will maintain member privacy and confidentiality in all matters. All records released to the league or public shall be redacted of personally identifying information. Documents shall not be shared beyond what is necessary and only to those who need them.
  1. Grievance process

  1. If there is disagreement between league members that cannot be resolved, they shall first bring in outside help to resolve the conflict: a team captain, bench coach, committee chair, or a member of the HR committee. After reasonable options have been exhausted, they may file a formal grievance with the Board.
  2. Grievances shall be submitted in writing with as much detail as possible to the Human Resources Committee and all members of the Board of Directors.
  3. Should a member of the Board be named in the grievance, that member will recuse themself, and the HR Committee shall appoint a non-involved league member to take their place for the purpose of administering the grievance procedure. The same in reverse if a member of the HR Committee is named in the grievance, the Board will appoint a replacement.
  4. Grievances may be filed by non-league members. There are two ways to reach the Board of Directors: contact@twincitiesrollerderby.com, or by filling out the Contact form online: https://www.twincitiesrollerderby.com/about-tcrd/contact-tcrd/
  5. If sexual harassment/assault or physical violence charges are brought against any member or staff individual, that member will be suspended from the league as if grievances had been filed, pending the outcome of the charges.
  1. Restorative justice / disciplinary action

There is no roller derby criminal code, mapping violation “X” to punishment “Y”. Whenever possible and all parties are willing, TCRD will seek to apply the principles of restorative justice to Code of Conduct violations:

  1. Give voice to those involved in and affected by a given incident of harm, and invite dialogue among them where appropriate. Outcomes decided upon must feel fair and reasonable to all those participating.
  2. Address the harms – both tangible and intangible – resulting from an incident, and do what is possible to help meet the needs of any and all affected.
  3. People causing harm should be held accountable for their actions to the people whom they have hurt. Appropriate reparation should be discussed and expected.
  4. Harmful actions often create outcasts, alienation and distrust in the community. Where possible, restorative justice will help with reintegration and the repair of relationships.
  5. Restorative justice is future-focused and asks the question: “What needs to happen to reduce the chance of people being harmed again?”

Should a member not be willing to participate in restorative justice or if the Board and HR committee decide the situation calls for a different course of action (e.g. health and safety concerns), the following will apply:

  1. The Board and HR Committee (or alternate(s)) will examine the grievance, seek a response from the accused party in writing, and seek outside counsel and advice as needed. They will interview other involved parties to get all perspectives, while respecting confidentiality. The Board and HR Committee (or alternate(s)) will then submit a written report back to all parties involved. This report will include any needed reparations.
  2. Should the response not be unanimous, it will be so-noted in the report; the dissenting members may add a binding statement to the report. In the case of a tie the quorum created by the Board will break the tie.
  3. Disciplinary actions will include both a punishment to discourage repeat behavior and a corrective action (policy change, etc) to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. Punishments can range from a private or public admonishment, to a suspension from some number of games, all the way up to removal from the league.
  4. TCRD disciplinary actions do not require the same burden of proof as an official legal hearing. In situations where a member presents even a perceived threat to the health and safety of other league members, the BoD will remove that member from the league and may notify other roller derby leagues in the area.
  5. If a member is suspended or removed from the league the decision will be announced on Slack with safety concerns going forward. Questions should be directed to the Board and HR chair.
  6. Should the response not be unanimous, it will be so-noted in the report; the dissenting members may add a binding statement to the report. In the case of a tie the quorum created by the Board will break the tie.

Appeals

  1. The decision by the Board and HR Committee is final. If the aggrieved party feels the decision is in error they may re-submit their case after one month has passed since the formal response. There can be only one appeal.

I have read the TCRD Code of Conduct and agree to be bound by these rules:

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