The Bloomington Athletic Association was organized in 1953 by Arnie Johnson after once again cutting youth from a baseball team. He resolved to find a way that would give ALL kids the opportunity to participate in organized sports. In 1954, Arnie presented a plan for the formation of an athletic program based on the tenet that if youth boys wanted to play a sport, he should play, without regard to ability and at an affordable cost. In the early 1960s, through the efforts of Betty Lokken, girls' sports were added. The outcome of these efforts was the formation of the Bloomington Athletic Association (BAA).
BAA is an all volunteer sports organization. Over the past 60 years, BAA has grown to provide opportunities for over 5,800 participants annually in 10 different sports programs. The program is exclusively run by volunteers and operates with a $375,000 budget. It has been reported that BAA is the largest volunteer youth sports organization in the Country.
Through the years, BAA's philosophy has remained the same for over 6 decades: offer youth organized sports programs to participate in without tryouts, without regard to ability and at a cost affordable to all. If the fees are an issue, BAA offers scholarships to provide equal opportunity to play for all youth.
BAA CODE OF CONDUCT
By registering with the Bloomington Athletic Association, each coach, player, and participant agrees to abide by the following Code of Conduct.
As a representative of B.A.A., every coach, parent and participant must at all times set examples of good sportsmanship.
Coaches, players, and parents will not “berate, make derisive remarks or verbally or physicallyabuse any official, referee or umpire at anytime.”
Unsportsmanlike or violent conduct will not be tolerated in B.A.A. Any fighting or unsuitable behavior will be dealt with sternly by the Sports Director, Sport Committee or the Vice President of Sports Operations.
Coaches are responsible for their behavior and that of the assistant coaches, players, parents, and spectators. Upon request of the officials the coaches have the authority to remove any spectator who is disrupting the game.
Offensive language, derogatory remarks, or profanity used by coaches, players, parents, or spectators is unacceptable.
It is the intent of the Bloomington Athletic Association to provide a safe and enjoyable environment to all of its members. It is a privilege to participate in the B.A.A. program. Coaches, Sports Directors, and the Executive Board will deal with any member who is physically or verbally abusing another member or their property.
Coaches, players, and parents agree to read the rulebook and to know all rules pertinent to the sport they are participating in.
BAA Guidance on Behavior
Types of behavior issues for players, coaches, officials, and fans:
·Abuse of equipment
oLeaving the game early
·Physical presence in other teams space
oEntering another teams bench or dugout for purposes outside good sportsmanship
oNot tolerated from any party involved
o“Getting in someone’s face”
oE.g., “the finger”
·Verbal abuse of official, coach, or fan
·Not reporting to a coach or official if another player has a weapon
·Physical abuse of official
oAny physical contact
·Physical abuse of coach
oKicking dirt or sand
·Code of Conduct
·Due diligence on coaching selections
·Defining roles and responsibilities – coaches, officials, directors, players, and fans
·Communications / training
·Monitoring of higher risk areas
·Defining roles and responsibilities – coaches, umpires, players, and fans
·Enforcement and accountability protocols
Code of Conduct
BAA has a formal code of conduct that should be read and signed annually by any BAA participant, coach, assistant coach, league director, city director, equipment director, and board member.
None of the above mentioned may participate in BAA activities until a signed copy of this document is received by the BAA secretary.It is the coach’s responsibility to get all players to sign.
The code of conduct can be obtained at BAA signups, from the coach, or on BAA’s website.
The code of conduct is uniform for all sports.
Each sport may have an additional board approved behavior guideline form if there are unique aspects to that sport that must be addressed.This guideline will in no way contradict the overall code of conduct.
Due diligence on coaches:
BAA coaches are volunteers with the work they do being critical and greatly appreciated by the players and the Bloomington community.
Coaches may be parents, siblings, or other concerned relatives of one of the participants.They may also be volunteers who have a heart for kids and the sport they are participating in.
BAA reserves the right to perform background checks on any volunteer.Any volunteer that has a high risk background such as violent behavior will not be allowed to coach in the BAA.Questionable backgrounds will be discussed by the BAA board with the sport’s director to determine whether a person will be allowed to coach or not.The volunteer will be notified personally of the final decision.
Volunteers who violate the code of conduct or behavior guidelines will be evaluated under the investigation and enforcement protocols.
Defining roles and responsibilities of coaches, officials, directors, players, and fans:
The BAA will define key roles and responsibilities for all volunteers, officials, players and fans.
Each sport may have additional board approved roles and responsibilities if there are unique aspects to that sport that must be addressed.
Roles and responsibilities will be provided to each to each volunteer and official to ensure that they are aware of expectations.
The roles and responsibilities of players and fans will be provided to coaches and available on the BAA website.
Communication / training:
It is the responsibility of the executive board to ensure that all city directors are aware of and fulfilling their responsibility in all aspects of behavior.Directors will be given all formal policies and procedures.The executive board will walk-through the policies and procedures with all new city directors.
It is the responsibility of city directors to ensure that all league directors and coaches are aware of and fulfilling their responsibilities in all aspects of behavior.City directors will walk-through policies and procedures with each new league director.Coaches will be given training on code of conduct and behavior guidelines at each sport’s pre-season coaches training.
It is the responsibility of coaches to ensure that all players are aware of and fulfilling their responsibilities in all aspects of behavior.Coaches will formally walk-through the code of conduct with players prior to conducting the first practice.Players who do not attend the first practice must be given a walk-through as soon as possible.
Documentation relevant to players and fans will be available on BAA’s website.
Regardless of how many preventative measures are followed, incidents of inappropriate behavior will occasionally occur at a BAA event.The first response to an incident by coaches and / or officials is the most important step in the entire process.
Coaches and officials are the first to see issues and have the initial responsibility to defuse any situation.It is the responsibility of coaches and officials to have common sense and a good knowledge of sportsmanship guidelines and be able to hold their players and fans to an acceptable standard.See guidance in enforcement and accountability protocols.
It is not only a good idea but required that a game be stopped when behavioral issues are or could potentially get out of hand.At this time coaches and officials should get together and determine the appropriate course of action to take in a volatile situation.See guidance in enforcement and accountability protocols.
In situations where extreme threats or violence is present the Bloomington Police should be notified immediately.
Directors, coaches, and officials will be provided with incident reporting forms.
All high impact incidents must have a form filled out by the coach and / or game official.
Incident forms should be given to the league or city director who will give a copy to the VP of sports operations. At that time the investigative process will begin.See investigation protocols.
It is advisable that the coach or official submitting the form speak personally with the director to ensure they have a full understanding of the situation.
Medium or low impact incidents may also have an incident form filled and submitted; this is at the discretion of the coach, official, or director.
There may be instances where a BAA participant has a continuous pattern of behavior that falls in the low or medium impact category.It is advisable that an incident form is filled out for this type of behavior.This ensures a formal record.
Monitoring of high risk areas:
BAA prides itself on being a fun, low pressure sports league where all kids from our community, regardless of ability, can participate.Therefore, it is a rare occurrence to witness a high impact incident.However, it may happen.
It is the responsibility of all volunteers – coaches, officials, directors, and board members – to monitor any suspicious activity that may be developing at a BAA event.
If there is suspicion that a high impact incident is possible it is the responsibility of the volunteer to report this to the proper authorities.If possible, do not wait for a situation to escalate to a high impact incident.
Defining roles and responsibilities of coaches, officials, directors, players, and fans:
See key roles and responsibilities for all volunteers, officials, players and fans.
When volunteers are clear on their roles and responsibilities and understand the principles and common sense behind handling an incident, the likelihood of that incident escalating is greatly reduced.
Incidents that fall into the high impact category –
Coaches and officials should stop the event immediately and defuse the situation.
Players are required to be seated at their bench or sideline, no exceptions.
All players directly involved in the incident are immediately ejected from the game and must remain on their bench or sideline until the game is completed.If behavior continues to be an issue for a player he / she should be escorted off the facility where the event is being held.
If the incident escalates beyond what can be defused the event should be cancelled and the police definitely contacted.
If player behavior is dangerous to others in anyway the Bloomington police should be contacted.
All weapons should be confiscated by the official and later handed over to the sport’s director or the police if they are involved.
An incident report should be filled out immediately after the event and given to the sport’s director.Both coaches and the official(s) should sign the incident report.There is the option that separate forms are filled out for each coach and official.
The sport’s director will schedule a meeting between coaches, officials, involved players parents, a representative from the BAA executive board, and a representative of the Bloomington police (if necessary) to take place within 48 hours of the incident.Involved players may be invited if agreed upon by the parents.
Purpose of the meeting is to resolve the issue, clearly define penalties, and ensure that going forward the potential for a repeat incident has been eliminated.
All players directly involved in the incident will not be allowed to return to BAA events until the incident is resolved and closed.
Subsequent meetings may be required to resolve the incident.It is the responsibility of the director to work with the executive board in scheduling these meetings with coaches, parents, officials, and players.
Communication between coaches, parents, officials, directors, players, board members or anyone else (e.g., witnesses) should either be in person or by telephone (e-mails should be avoided).
Incidents that fall into the medium impact category –
1.Coaches and / or officials should address the misconduct immediately.The game should be stopped to address the issue if need be.Most often the situation can be handled by the coach in a non-threatening off to the side.Cool heads and common sense must be used by all volunteers.
2.If behavior is approaching the high impact level, coaches and officials should use their better judgment in handling the situation.
3.If coaches and officials agree that the situation has been adequately resolved at the game no other actions would necessarily be required.
4.If coaches and officials do not feel the situation was adequately resolved an incident report should be filled out immediately after the event and given to the sport’s director.Both coaches and the official(s) should sign the incident report.There is the option that separate forms are filled out for each coach and official.
5.If a player has a trend of misconduct from game to game an incident report should be submitted to the director by that players coach.Directors should share this information with the VP sports operations.
6.After discussions with the coaches and / or officials the sport’s director will decide if a full investigation is necessary.
7.Players directly involved in the incident, as well as their parents, should be spoken with (personally) to ensure they fully understand the situation.
8.If coaches and / or officials believe that formal suspensions should be issued this should be communicated to the director and the director should communicate this to an executive board member.
Incidents that fall into the low impact category –
1.Coaches and / or officials should address the misconduct immediately.
2.If behavior is approaching the medium impact level coaches and officials should use their better judgment in handling the situation.
3.Low impact incidents should be handled with cool heads and common sense and can be an opportunity for teaching.
4.Investigations should not be necessary for low impact incidents unless there is a disturbing trend in a player’s attitude.At this point an incident form should be filled out by the players coach and given to the sport’s director.
Enforcement and accountability protocols:
A consistent and credible disciplinary system is key in effectively deterring misconduct.Meaningful penalties send a signal to internal and external participants that the BAA considers misconduct a high priority.
All participants and volunteers for the BAA are accountable for their actions and will be subject to the following penalties in the case of misconduct:
High impact misconduct:
Participants are immediately ejected from the event.
Participants are not eligible to participate until the incident is fully resolved.See investigation protocols.
Once incident is fully resolved the penalties will be set then received.If games are missed during the resolution process they will not count towards the penalties.
Every situation must be evaluated based on circumstance but the following guidelines will exist as penalties for high impact incidents:
Bringing a weapon to a BAA event – minimum 1 year ban from all BAA activities, status to be re-evaluated by sports directors and executive board after 1 year.
Using or threatening to use a weapon at a BAA event – minimum 1 year ban from all BAA activities, status to be re-evaluated by sports directors and executive board after 1 year.
Not reporting a weapon to a coach or official – two game suspension.
Fighting – two game suspension for all players involved in the fight.
Physical abuse of official or coach – two game suspension
For items c – e a second offense during that season will result in a suspension for the rest of the season.
Note: players must be in uniform and seated on the bench or sideline for all suspended games.A player will not be allowed to participate in BAA activities until the penalty is served in this manner (this may include subsequent sports).The game the incident took place at does not count as one of the penalty games.
Medium impact misconduct:
Players should be removed from the situation and warned by coaches and / or officials that their behavior is unacceptable.
It is left to the discretion of the coach or official to remove a player from a game if the player does not comply with a request.
Guidelines for removing a player from a game:
Player threatens another player, coach, official, or fan
Player continues misconduct after clear warning
Player has a trend of misconduct from other games and yet continues after clear warnings
Low impact misconduct:
Low impact misconduct would not require formal penalties or investigation by the sport’s director or the executive board.
It is responsibility of the coach to advise the player on proper sportsmanship.
Incidents of misconduct by players, coaches, officials, directors, board members, or fans are to be handled in a way that shows respect for all parties.
Incidents or details of incidents should be kept in confidence and only shared with parties directly related.
It is the responsibility of all BAA volunteers to stop gossip or public discipline of anyone directly related to an incident.
Anyone with questions concerning an incident is encouraged to call the sport’s director or the VP of sports operations.
It is the responsibility of sport’s directors and board members to help ensure that similar incidents do not occur in the future.
Once an incident has been investigated and corrective actions have taken place the VP of sports operations will discuss with the sport’s director possible actions to implement to ensure that future incidents do not occur.
Formal documentation of this discussion should be kept on file.
High impact incidents will have a formal followed up.
The sport’s director along with the VP sports operations will determine a plan for follow up to an incident.This plan should include:
A discussion with the coaches, officials, or other BAA volunteers that were witness to the incident
A discussion with players and / or parents who may have been victimized in an incident
For medium impact incidents the sport’s director along with the VP sports operations will determine if a plan for follow up to an incident is necessary.This decision should be formally documented