United States Optimist Dinghy Association

revised 11/5/2019

Code of Conduct 

This Code of Conduct applies to me as a member of the United States Optimist Dinghy Association (“USODA”).  It applies when I participate in a USODA Sanctioned Event.  This includes USODA sponsored regattas, USODA National Team (“USNT”) and USODA Optimist Development Program (“ODP2”) practices and international regattas which I attend as a representative of the USODA (each an “event”).  This Code of Conduct starts to apply to me when I arrive at an event and ends when I leave the event.  This Code of Conduct applies to my behavior both on and off the water.  I understand that this Code of Conduct applies in addition to the Racing Rules of Sailing and in addition to any behavior rules that my club or private team may require of me. I understand that I may be subject to additional conduct rules if I participate in an international event, USNT, or ODP2 event. I understand that violations of this Code of Conduct may result in a hearing or punishment from the USODA directly and that my violation of this Code of Conduct may additionally violate the Racing Rules of Sailing, subjecting me to hearing, punishment or sanction imposed by US Sailing.
•      I will use my best efforts to learn and follow the Racing Rules of Sailing.
•      I will be honest, fair, courteous, respectful and a good sport, whether I am winning or losing.
•      I will treat competitors, coaches, regatta officials, parents, hosts and all others with respect, even if I believe that person is wrong.
•      I will comply with the reasonable requests of any regatta official, USODA team coach and/or parent chaperone that may be associated with an event.
•      I will not use another's property without permission, steal or damage another's property.
•      I will not hit, abuse, bully, make fun of or call anyone names.
•      I will not swear or curse.
•      I will not abuse my equipment in anger.
•      I will follow all safety procedures and instructions given by race officials, regatta hosts and other responsible adults. I will promptly notify a race official, coach or responsible adult if another person is in danger.
•      I will not engage in any conduct that endangers the health or safety of another competitor.
•      I will only use class legal equipment.
•      I will not use (including by vaping) alcohol, tobacco, or any drugs that were not prescribed specifically for me.

Code of Conduct Hearings:
Any competitor, coach, parent, Race Committee member, member of the Organizing Authority, judge or umpire may report an alleged breach by me of this Code of Conduct during an event.
I may report an alleged breach by another competitor or support person.
All reports must be made in writing (a Conduct Report), though no special form is required, which identifies the sailor being complained of and the basic facts of the alleged breach of this Code of Conduct. 
The Conduct Report must be presented to any one of the following persons:
the Event Chair or co-Chair of the event,
the Principal Race Officer (PRO) of the event (if a regatta),
any USODA Board Member present at the event,
the USODA Class Representative if present at the event,
the Head Coach of the event (if this is a practice event), or
The party taking the Conduct Report shall communicate the report to the Conduct Committee, which shall be composed of the following persons for a regatta event:  the Event Chair or his/her designee, the PRO, and the USODA Class Representative and/or Board Member (if attending event); the following persons for a USNT or ODP2 practice event:  the USNT or ODP2 Parent Champion and the Head Coach; and the following persons for an international event:  Team Leader, Country Representative and Head Coach.  In the event of any conflict of interest between a Committee member and the sailor complained of, the Committee member shall appoint an impartial designee to replace him on the committee.
If a Conduct Report is made, then as soon as is practicable, the Conduct Committee shall hold a hearing regarding the Conduct Report and may call witnesses to testify.  No rules of evidence will apply.  Even if a Conduct Report is withdrawn by a complaining person, the Committee may continue with a hearing in its discretion.  All decisions of the Conduct Committee are final and non-appealable.
Possible Discipline:
If, after hearing, the Committee determines that a breach has occurred, it may:
a.     Impose any of the following disciplinary actions and is not restricted to imposing just one:
i.      Require a written or verbal apology to be either privately or publicly made;
ii.     Issue a written or verbal warning to the competitor, record of which warning shall be maintained with such sailor’s membership file;
iii.    Issue a written report concerning the competitor’s behavior to his or her home club or sailing team;
iv.    In the case of property damage or theft, award damages to the owner of the injured property plus a fine if deemed appropriate in the case of intentional property damage or theft; and/or
iv.    Suspend such sailor’s membership within USODA for a period of time deemed appropriate by the Committee in its sole discretion.  The Committee may consider any prior warnings issued to a sailor previously in a suspension determination.
b.     In the event of a serious or material breach of the Code of Conduct for conduct which may violate either Rule 2 or 69 in its opinion, make a report to the Chair of the Protest Committee (or Chief Judge/Umpire) with a recommendation to hold a Rule 2 hearing or to consider a possible Rule 69 hearing under the US Racing Rules of Sailing.
I have read the above paragraphs regarding hearings and punishment for a Code of Conduct violation and understand the possible consequences to me for a Code of Conduct violation.


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