Code of Conduct for Officials



CODE OF CONDUCT FOR OFFICIALS

The ATP, the Grand Slam Tournaments, the ITF and the WTA as members of the Joint Certification Programme require a high standard of professionalism from all Certified Officials (National, Green, White, Bronze, Silver and Gold) and all other Officials, (together, “Officials”) working at ATP, Grand Slam, ITF and WTA events. All Officials are automatically bound by, and must comply with, this Code of Conduct for Officials (“Code”). The ITF, ATP, Grand Slam Board and WTA shall continue to have jurisdiction over a retired Official under the Code in respect of matters taking place prior to his/her retirement.

A) Required standards

1. Officials must be in good physical condition.

2. Officials must have natural or corrected vision of 20-20 and normal hearing. In addition, International Chair Umpires must submit a completed eye test form each year to ITF Officiating and all other Certified Officials must submit a completed eye test form every three years to ITF Officiating.

3. Officials must be on time for all matches assigned to them.

4. Officials must understand the Rules of Tennis, the Duties and Procedures for Officials and all ATP, ITF, WTA and Grand Slam Tournament Regulations and Codes of Conduct for events at which they are officiating.

5. Officials must conduct themselves in a respectful manner towards other Officials, tournament staff, spectators, players and any person related to any tournament/event.

6. Officials should maintain a high level of personal hygiene and should maintain a professional appearance at all times.

7. Officials must not drink alcohol at least 12 hours before any match that they officiate, or at any time on-site while play is in progress, or while in uniform.

8. Officials must maintain complete impartiality with respect to all players at all times, and must avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest. Specifically, Officials shall not i) officiate in any match in which they have a real or perceived conflict of interest; or ii) socialise with or become intimate with players, or enter into any relationship or take any action that may call into question their impartiality as an Official. For the avoidance of doubt and notwithstanding the above, Officials may attend social functions at which players are present and may stay in the same hotels as players, but shall not share a hotel room with any player of any age. Officials must declare all conflicts of interest with ITF Officiating, which administers the Joint Certification Programme on behalf of all members of the Joint Certification Programme.

Note: Examples of conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to being: a professional tennis player or a friend, relative or Player Support Team member of a professional tennis player; a National Tennis Coach; a National Tennis Team Captain; a Tournament Director/Organiser; or an employee, consultant or contractor for a company that has a commercial interest in tennis.

9. Officials must not discuss calls or decisions by other Officials to anyone except with those Officials directly, the Supervisor/Referee or the ATP, Grand Slam Tournaments, or ITF and WTA staff responsible for officiating.

10. Officials shall comply with the applicable criminal laws in all jurisdictions. For the avoidance of doubt, and without limiting the foregoing, this obligation is violated if an Official is convicted of or enters a plea of guilty or no contest to a criminal charge or indictment for any offence in any jurisdiction.

11. Officials are bound by and must comply with all of the provisions of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, and it is their responsibility to acquaint themselves with all the program rules (available at http://www.tennisintegrityunit.com/) and to participate in the on-line Tennis Integrity Protection Programme, including the requirement to report any potentially corrupt approaches to the Tennis Integrity Unit.

12. Officials shall not talk to, or have conversations with, spectators while officiating a match, except as part of the ordinary course of officiating a match.

13. Officials must not participate in any media interviews or meetings with journalists from which their statements relating to tennis officiating can be printed or broadcast, without the approval of the Supervisor/Referee.

14. Officials shall not engage in unfair, unprofessional, criminal or unethical conduct, including attempts to injure or intentionally interfere with other Officials, players, tournament personnel and public. All Officials must also set a good example in their conduct to other Officials.

15. Officials shall not abuse their position of authority or control, and shall not compromise the psychological, physical or emotional wellbeing of other Officials, players or tournament personnel.

16. Officials shall not engage in sexual harassment or sexually abuse other Officials, players or tournament personnel.

17. Officials must make all tournament-related requests to the Supervisor/Referee or Chief Umpire.

18. Officials shall commit to work at an event until released by the Supervisor/Referee. If an Official has accepted an assignment to officiate at an event, he/she shall not withdraw from that assignment prior to release by the Supervisor/Referee, without the permission of the ATP, Grand Slam Tournaments, ITF or WTA officiating representatives, as applicable.

19. All Officials are under a continuing duty to disclose to the Joint Certification Programme any actual, suspected or alleged violations of the Code of which they are aware. Failure to so report is a violation of the Code.

B) Investigation of alleged violations

1. Alleged violations of this Code that take place on-site at a tournament must be reported promptly to the Officiating Representative of the ATP, Grand Slam, ITF or WTA, as appropriate. The on-site Supervisor/Referee is responsible for determining whether to suspend or dismiss from that event the Official(s) subject to the alleged violation. Alleged violations taking place at other times must be reported in writing to ITF Officiating.

2. Upon the Officiating Representative becoming aware of a possible violation of this Code, he/she shall promptly review the matter and determine whether further investigation of the alleged violation is required. If so, the Officiating Representative shall investigate the alleged violation, which shall include written notice to the Official concerned of the alleged violation under investigation, and giving the Official a minimum of ten (10) days to provide such information or evidence as requested by the Officiating Representative. If not, then the Officiating Representative shall proceed in accordance with section B)5.

3. Officiating Representatives are entitled, at their sole discretion, to share information concerning an investigation with the Tennis Integrity Unit, other tennis organisations as relevant and law enforcement agencies. Investigations under this Code may be stayed pending completion of an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit, other tennis organisations or external law enforcement agencies.

4. All Officials have the duty to provide documents and information as requested by the Officiating Representative during an investigation into an alleged violation of this Code, and appear as a witness upon request by the Disciplinary Panel or Appeal Panel at any hearing held in accordance with this Code.

5. Upon completion of the investigation (if any), the Officiating Representative shall determine whether the Official concerned has a case to answer. If the Officiating Representative determines that there is a case to answer, then the Officiating Representative shall send a written notice to the Official, with a copy to the Disciplinary Panel, setting out:

a) the violation alleged to have been committed and a summary of the facts on which the charge is based;

b) the evidence on which the Officiating Representative would seek to rely at a hearing before the Disciplinary Panel;

c) the potential sanctions applicable;

d) matters relating to provisional suspension described in section B)8; and

e) the Official’s entitlement to respond to the charge within 10 days of receipt of the notice in one of the following ways;

i. to admit the charge(s), and accede to the sanctions specified in the notice;

ii. to admit the charge(s), but to dispute and/or seek to mitigate the sanctions specified in the notice, and to have the Disciplinary Panel determine the sanctions at a hearing; or

iii. to deny the charge(s), and to have the Disciplinary Panel determine the charge and (if the charge is upheld) any sanctions, at a hearing.
Where the Officiating Representative determines that there is no case to answer, no further action will be taken against the Official concerned, who will be notified accordingly.

6. In the event no response to a notice is received by the specified deadline, the Official will be deemed to have admitted the charge(s), and to have acceded to sanctions specified in the notice.

7. In the event that the Official wishes to exercise his/her right to a hearing before the Disciplinary Panel, then the Official must also state how he/she responds to the notice and explain (in summary form) how the basis for such response.

8. The Officiating Representative may provisionally suspend an Official’s certification at any point from receipt of an allegation of a breach of this Code up to the completion or closure of the case, where he/she considers that the seriousness of the allegation and/or the evidence gathered in relation to that allegation merits such suspension. The Officiating Representative shall notify the Official concerned and the Disciplinary Panel of the provisional suspension. Within 10 days of receipt of a written notice of a provisional suspension, the Official may apply in writing to the Disciplinary Panel to have that provisional suspension vacated, stating the reason(s) for the application. The decision of the Disciplinary Panel on the application (if any) will be final and binding. All parties waive irrevocably any right to any form of appeal, review or recourse by or in any court of judicial authority in respect of such decision. Where a provisional suspension is not challenged by the Official or confirmed by the Disciplinary Panel, it shall be communicated by the Officiating Representative to the member National Associations and/or other tennis organisations as are deemed necessary for the purpose of enforcement.

C) Hearings before the Disciplinary Panel

1. The Disciplinary Panel shall have all such powers as are necessary to carry out its function efficiently and effectively. In particular it shall:

a) issue such further directions as are necessary for the efficient conduct of the proceedings;

b) take such legal and/or other professional advice it considers necessary;

c) nominate such person as it considers appropriate to act as its secretary in the proceedings;

d) not be bound by any formal rules as to admissibility of evidence; and

e) shall ensure that the Official has a fair hearing.

2. The Officiating Representative shall provide the Disciplinary Panel with a copy of the evidence and submissions on which he/she and the Official concerned seeks to rely at the hearing.

3. The Disciplinary Panel shall determine whether a violation of this Code has occurred on the balance of probabilities. The Disciplinary Panel shall hear the matter on the papers save where the Official requests an in-person hearing. Such hearing may proceed by telephone conference or video conference at the discretion of the Disciplinary Panel.

4. In the event that an Official admits the charge(s) but disputes the sanctions specified in the notice or the Disciplinary Panel finds that a violation has occurred, the Disciplinary Panel shall determine the appropriate sanction(s) to be imposed on the Official. In determining the appropriate sanction(s), the Disciplinary Panel may have regard to all relevant factors, including but not limited to (a) submissions on behalf of the tennis organisation at whose event the alleged violation occurred; (b) the seriousness of the violation; (c) the effect on the integrity of the sport; (d) any submissions and evidence filed in mitigation or by way of aggravation; and (e) the period of any provisional suspension served.

5. The range of sanctions that may be imposed are at the sole discretion of the Officiating Representative and Disciplinary Panel and may include, but are not limited to: (a) reprimand and warning as to future conduct; (b) suspension of certification for a limited period ; (c) permanent suspension of certification; and, in addition, (e) withdrawal of access to and accreditation for any tennis event organised, authorised or sanctioned by the ATP, Grand Slam Tournaments, ITF and WTA or by any National Association.

6. The Disciplinary Panel shall promptly issue its decision, with reasons, to the Official, the Officiating Representative, the Official’s National Association, the Tennis Integrity Unit, and any other tennis organisation it considers appropriate.

7. Any decision of the Disciplinary Panel imposed on the basis of a conviction of, or a plea of guilty or no contest to, a criminal charge or indictment for any offence in any jurisdiction as set out in clause A)10 of this Code shall be final and binding and not subject to appeal.

D) Appeals

1. Subject to article C)7 above, a decision that a violation of this Code of Conduct has been committed may be appealed to the Appeal Panel within twenty-one (21) days from the date of notice of the Disciplinary Panel’s decision.

2. The grounds of appeal available to an Official shall be limited to claims that the Disciplinary Panel:

a) failed to give the Official a fair hearing;

b) misinterpreted or failed to properly apply this Code; or

c) came to a decision which no reasonable body properly informed could have reached.

3. The notice of appeal, a copy of which must be sent to the Disciplinary Panel and the Officiating Representative, must include the grounds of appeal and explain the basis for the appeal.

4. The Disciplinary Panel shall provide the complete case file to the Appeal Panel promptly on receipt of a notice of appeal. The relevant Officiating Representative shall submit a response to the appeal within fourteen (14) days from the date of receipt.

5. The Appeal Panel shall have all such powers as are necessary to carry out its function efficiently and effectively. In particular it shall:

a) issue such further directions as are necessary for the efficient conduct of the proceedings;

b) take such legal and/or other professional advice it considers necessary;

c) nominate such person as it considers appropriate to act as its secretary in the proceedings;

d) not be bound by any formal rules as to admissibility of evidence; and

e) ensure that a fair hearing takes place.

6. The Appeal Panel shall proceed on the papers save where the Official applies in his notice of appeal for an oral hearing. Such oral hearing may proceed by telephone conference or video conference at the discretion of the Appeal Panel. Subject to further order, the Appeal Panel will announce its decision as soon as practicable following the hearing.

7. The Appeal Panel may affirm, reverse or modify (by the imposition of a lesser or more severe sanction(s)) the decision subject to appeal. The Appeal Panel shall promptly give written notice of the findings and any sanctions imposed to the parties. For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this clause prevents the ATP, Grand Slam Board, ITF or WTA (as appropriate) from publishing the decision as it sees fit.

8. The decision of the Appeal Panel shall be final and binding and not subject to further challenge. All parties waive irrevocably any right to any form of appeal, review or recourse by or in any court of judicial authority in respect of such decision.

E) Miscellaneous

1. Any sanction imposed under this Code shall automatically be recognised and enforced by all National Associations and any other tennis organisation.

2. For the purpose of this Code:

a) for cases involving National, Green and White Badge Officials, the Officiating Representative shall be the ITF Head of Officiating, the Disciplinary Panel will comprise the ITF Internal Adjudication Panel and the Appeal Panel will comprise the ITF Independent Tribunal. The rules of such panel and tribunal are hereby incorporated by reference and may be downloaded from www.itftennis.com. In the event of any conflict between those rules and this Code of Conduct, the rules of the ITF Internal Adjudication Panel and ITF Independent Tribunal shall prevail over this Code of Conduct; and

b) for cases involving Bronze, Silver and Gold Badge Officials, the relevant Officiating Representative shall be the nominated Officiating Representative of the ATP, Grand Slam Tournaments, ITF or WTA depending on the event at which the alleged violation occurred or if outside of an event such Officiating Representative as is agreed by a majority of the nominated Officiating Representatives. The Disciplinary Panel will comprise the nominated Officiating Representatives of the ATP, Grand Slam Tournaments, ITF and WTA or such party’s nominee in the event of a conflict of interest or other impediment to such party’s independence or impartiality. The Appeal Panel shall comprise four (4) individuals, nominated by each of the ATP, Grand Slam Tournaments, ITF and WTA at the start of each year who will take no part in the investigation or proceedings before the Disciplinary Panel

SANCTIONED OFFICIALS

Please see the document below for sanctioned officials:

Sanctioned Officials