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These are quite complicated because they are the official rules, and as you would expect they are quite definitive.
Approved at VUHC AGM, 14 September 1998
For events hosted under the auspices of the Committee.
General Meetings shall have the power to make, repeal, add or amend by-laws necessary for proper administration of the Melbourne Underwater Hockey District (MUHD), subject to compliance with the constitutions of the Australian Underwater Federation (AUF) and the Victorian Underwater Hockey Commission (VUHC). These By-laws will continue to exist until amended or repealed by a General Meeting of MUHD.
The following terms are used in this document with the meanings assigned to them:
1.1.MUHD - The captains, players and administrators of the regular Melbourne fixture competition.
1.2.The Committee - The committee of management of the AUF, VUHC and/or MUHD, as most relevant to the context.
1.3.An Executive Member - one of the following office bearers of MUHD or VUHC: President, Secretary, Treasurer, Games Co-ordinator, Chief Referee, Publicity Officer or State Team Co-ordinator
1.4.Team - The coach, players and any other officials of a group registered to compete in an underwater hockey competition.
1.5.A player is considered State-Level when he has played in an Open State Team that has competed in the last five years.
1.6.The Panel - The VUHC Disciplinary Panel
1.7.The Tribunal - The VUHC Disciplinary Tribunal
1.8.Defendant - a member(s) of a Team or a Team(s) who is the subject of a complaint or is responsible for a Guest(s) who is the subject of a complaint.
1.9.Complainant - A person making a complaint against a Defendant.
1.10.Guest - a person, being neither a member of the VUHC nor a player in a Team, who is present at a VUHC event and who, it is reasonably believed, has an affiliation with a particular member of the VUHC or VUHC Team.
2.Finance and Membership
2.1.All players must be financial members of the VUHC. The Committee may waive the VUHC Membership fee in cases where players are transferring from an equivalent interstate branch and have already paid an equivalent fee in that year.
2.2.Teams who field a player who has not paid VUHC Membership will forfeit that night's games, at the discretion of the Games Co-ordinator, subject to By-laws 3.7 and 3.8.
2.3.The Committee will notify any player of non-payment of fees.
2.4.Failure to pay their debt may result in the member's suspension from the competition until the balance owing is paid.
2.5.Teams must consist of at least six (6) VUHC registered members and no more than fourteen (14) VUHC registered members.
3.Registration and New Players
3.1.All Teams shall submit a list of players (with their VUHC membership numbers and Team contact phone number and address) with a nominated Captain and Vice Captain (and Coach if applicable) to the Games Co-ordinator, within fourteen (14) days of team nominations being called for. Team captains must ensure that all players and officials of their Team are listed on the Team sheet.
3.2.Subject to By-laws 3.7 and 3.8, all players in the MUHD fixture shall be current members of the VUHC. [See also By-law 2.2.]
3.3.Where a registered Team withdraws from a fixture it's members may re-register with another Team through the Committee.
3.4.Players not registered with a Team will be considered permanently registered with a Team after they have played three (3) games with that Team.
3.5.Any player who wishes to change Teams (for more than one (1) night) during the competition must apply in writing to the Committee in order to re-register with the new Team and must remain with that Team for the remainder of that fixture, except under extraordinary circumstances with the approval of a Team Captain's meeting.
3.6.Players may transfer on a night of competition according to these guidelines:
3.6.1.Player transfers must be approved by two (2) Committee members, preferably by the Games Co-ordinator and one other Committee member, who will consult the Captains if appropriate.
3.6.2.An A-Grade player may only play for one (1) Team in a night (ie one A grade Team OR one B-Grade Team).
3.7.New Players may play three (3) fixture nights before joining the VUHC
3.8.Itinerant players may play in a competition game subject to the following. Visiting players:
3.8.1.must be members of the AUF if a resident of Australia;
3.8.2.may play for a maximum of eight (8) weeks without joining the VUHC;
3.8.3.must have the consent of the opposing Team Captain to play in a competition game; and
3.8.4.must abide by the MUHD Fixture By-laws (By-law 4).
4.1.All competition games conducted by MUHD will adhere to the CMAS International Rules for Underwater Hockey, subject to Australian Amendments and MUHD local rules.
4.2.A-Grade is an open competition.
In B-Grade, Teams will be required to have at least one (1) player with five (5) years of Underwater Hockey experience and are restricted to a maximum of four (4) State Level players per Team.
4.3.Super League Teams will have no less than five (5) State-Level players present per game. Super League Teams can register eight (8) players, but may play any other two (2) players on any given night.
4.4.It is the rostered Team's duty to supply two (2) in-water and one (1) out-of-water referees three (3) minutes prior to the scheduled start of each game and ensure that the Teams perform their duties as required.
4.5.Each game will normally consist of two (2) fifteen (15) minute halves with a three (3) minute break at half time, unless varied, with good reason, by an Executive Member of the Committee. One (1) time-out per Team (per game) may be called for the duration of one (1) minute. The clock will not stop for time-outs and a time-out may not be called in the last three (3) minutes of any half of a game.
4.6.Games shall commence when indicated by the time-clock (such time not being earlier than indicated in the fixture) regardless of whether Teams are in position or not and regardless of whether referees are in position or not. In the event that referees are not in position, the game shall be conducted under the supervision of the respective Team Captains until such time as at least one (1) In-water Referee is present.
4.7.Teams must wear Team bathers.
4.8.Teams shall use either white or black sticks as indicated in the fixtures. Teams shall wear blue or white caps as indicated by the sticks or club coloured caps (provided that club coloured caps are different to the opposing Team's cap colour).
A Captain may object to opposing players not wearing the correct Team bathers. The referee/s of the game will then ask the player to change their bathers. Notwithstanding, a referee of the game may also challenge any player who is not wearing the correct Team bathers.
Any player who is not wearing the correct coloured cap or stick should normally be instructed to change by the referee. The game may continue while the player is changing.
[Explanatory Note on action available to referees: Referees have the ability, under CMAS rules, to provide players with a time penalty or match dismissal for failure to comply with the rules - including failure to wear correctly coloured bat, hats or stick.]
4.9.Teams receiving a forfeit shall be credited with a win and a score of seven-nil (7-0). Any Team that has less than four (4) players in the water after three (3) minutes of the game commencing shall forfeit the game.
4.10.In the event that the puck accidentally goes under, or behind the goal tray, an advantage puck will be awarded to the attacking Team. The puck is to be placed 5 m from the goal tray, directly in front of where it went out of play.
4.11.Any Team playing an ineligible player (ie. a person who does not comply with all the rules and regulations of MUHD) in a game will forfeit that game. [See especially By-laws 2.2, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.8 and 4.17] Team Captains will be notified as soon as possible of any penalty points which have been incurred in the previous week's games.
4.12.At the conclusion of the game, the Captains and the Out-of-Water Referee shall check and sign the completed score sheet.
4.13.Teams must complete 'house keeping' duties as specified from time to time by the Games Co-ordinator. Teams failing to complete their assigned duties may lose one (1) competition point, as decided by a majority of Executive Members.
Competition Points will be awarded as follows:
4.14.1.For each game:
(By-laws 4.9, 4.11)
4.14.2.Penalty points deductible from competition point tally (in addition to points awarded for each game):
Playing with unauthorized A-Grade player/s-1 point (By-law 3.6)
Playing more than the permissible State Level players-2 points (By-law 4.2)
Failure to provide referee's on time-1 point (By-law 4.4)
Failure to complete assigned 'house-keeping' duties-1 point (By-law 4.13)
4.15.Any Team incurring penalty points during a finals game will have the penalty points deducted from the next fixture.
4.16.Any Team that has, in the Committee's opinion, retired from the competition, shall have all points and scores for and against them in that round deleted (round being where each Team has played each other once).
4.17.Players must have played at least one-third (1/3) of the fixture games with a single Team to be eligible to play in the finals with that Team, however-the Committee will consider extraordinary circumstances.
4.18.Team grading will be at the discretion of the Games Co-ordinator. A Team Captain who believes his/her Team has not been appropriately graded may appeal in writing to the Committee. A decision by the majority of the Committee is final.
4.19.Any disputes or queries concerning the competition should be directed to the MUHD Committee in writing.
4.20.Unsportsmanlike behaviour will not be tolerated in the MUHD competition.
4.21.Players (and/or where appropriate Teams) are responsible for their Guest's behaviour and may be held liable for any misbehaviour.
4.22.In the event of a person (or people), who is not a VUHC member (whether or not a Guest), causing a disruption, or otherwise acting in a manner which would be not be acceptable of a VUHC member, that person may be asked to leave the pool area. In the event that the person (or people) fails to leave the pool area, after being directed to do so, the appropriate authorities may be called.
5.Conduct and Discipline
5.1.Appointment of Panel Members
A meeting of VUHC may appoint the members of the Panel who must at least be accredited as Level 1 Referees (or are deemed to be of an equivalent or better standard) and it is desirable that they be players who have competed in a National Competition within the last five (5) years. The Chief Referee is an ex-officio member of the Panel. There must be at least three members of the Panel. The VUHC Committee may fill a casual vacancy on the Panel.
Appointment of a Tribunal
Complaints shall be heard by a Tribunal of three (3) members of the Panel appointed by the Chief Referee. Neither a Tribunal member, their Team nor their Guests may be directly involved in the complaint.
In any case where the Chief Referee is directly involved in the complaint, all responsibilities assigned by this by-law (By-law 5) to the Chief Referee will instead be assigned to a person nominated by the Committee, such person (and their Team, if a member of a Team) not being directly involved in the complaint.
5.3.Making a Complaint
Any player or Team may submit a complaint regarding any player, Team, and/or Guest that they believe has:
5.3.1.committed a serious breach of the rules of Underwater Hockey; or
5.3.2.failed to act in accordance with accepted standards of behaviour or sportsmanship; or
5.3.3.engaged in conduct prejudicial to the objectives of VUHC.
5.4.Notice of a Complaint
The Chief Referee should serve a copy of the complaint and provide at least seven (7) days notice of the time and place of the Tribunal hearing to each Defendant as quickly as practicable after receipt.
Notice may be served:
by personal delivery; or
by ordinary post on the player at his/her address, as recorded in VUHC records; or
by ordinary post on a Team at the address of the Captain, as recorded in VUHC records.
This notice should inform the Defendant that:
they may attend the hearing and present a defence of the allegations;
they may bring witnesses and present any other relevant evidence at the hearing;
in addition, or as an alternative, they may provide written submissions for consideration by the Tribunal.
The Chief Referee may also notify the Complainant or any other person with knowledge of the incident, of the time and place of the hearing.
5.5.Hearing of a Complaint
The nominated Tribunal will hear the complaint at the time and place nominated by the Chief Referee. The hearing should take place as soon as practicable after the incident.
The Tribunal will consider the complaint, the evidence of all persons present at the hearing and any written submissions received by the Chief Referee prior to the hearing.
The Tribunal will not be bound by rules of evidence, but will endeavour to give all Defendants a fair opportunity to be heard and defend themselves against the complaint. The complaint shall be determined by majority vote of the members of the Tribunal.
5.6.Powers of the Tribunal
After considering the evidence in respect of each Defendant, the Tribunal may either dismiss the complaint or;
5.6.1.issue a reprimand or warning; and/or
5.6.2.suspend a player or Team from VUHC competition for such period as they consider appropriate including, in a very serious case, suspension for life (in the case of suspension of a Team, the Tribunal shall indicate the extent to which the suspension applies to or affects each Team member); and/or
5.6.3.penalize a Team by reduction in competition points; and/or
5.6.4.impose such other penalty as is appropriate in the circumstances.
Notice of the Tribunal's determination must be given by the Chief Referee to the Complainant, Defendant/s and the Secretary of VUHC and may be delivered personally at the hearing or by ordinary mail. Subject to By-law 5.7 the determination will be effective within seven (7) days of notification.
A written appeal from a determination of the Tribunal may be made within seven (7) days of notification, but the only valid grounds for appeal is that the Tribunal did not act in good faith or that a material prejudice to the appellant occurred due to the failure to comply with this by-law. An appeal will be determined by the VUHC Committee, who can dismiss the appeal or request the Tribunal (if necessary, consisting of new Panel members) to re-hear the matter. A determination will not take effect until any appeal has been determined. Further appeals may be directed to higher bodies.