Letter from the President: New Safesport Policies

February 2, 2024

Fellow BCBUA members

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that all sport participants in Canada - from playground to podium - can participate and flourish in sport environments free from harassment, abuse, discrimination, and other forms of maltreatment.  The Government of Canada has adopted a universal code of conduct to prevent and address maltreatment in sport.  To be considered for funding a sport needs to have adopted the code of conduct and prepared policies for the protection of their members.  Baseball Canada falls under this umbrella and it extends down through Baseball BC and to the BCBUA.  

The BCBUA Board of Directors are committed to preventing umpire abuse and maltreatment in sport.  Safe Sport policies are for all Canadian sport agencies and programs.  The BCBUA relies on insurance coverage, program support and funding from Baseball BC.  For this to continue we needed to introduce these policies to get certified.  I am pleased to announce that Baseball BC has certified the BCBUA as compliant, ensuring our insurance, funding and support continue. 

Your BCBUA Board of Directors, with the assistance of Baseball BC, has created twenty-one (21) new policies that comply with Sport Canada and will be adopted for the 2024 season.  You need to familiarize yourself with these policies.  We will be including these in future clinics and training opportunities to ensure our new members, returning umpires, clinicians and the board of directors understand the policies and apply them.  

We have posted them to the BCBUA website, and the link can be found here:  https://bcbua.ca/safe-sport

These new policies are:

(1)    Code of Conduct                                    (2) Air Quality

(3)    Concussion Protocol                              (4) Conflict of Interest

(5)    Dispute Resolution                                (6) Emergency Action Plan

(7)    Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion              (8) Harassment and Sexual Harassment

(9)    Hazing                                                   (10) Heat

(11) Intimate Relationship                              (12) Locker Room

(13) Performance Enhancing Drugs              (14) Safe Sport Education and Orientation

(15) Safe Sport Reporting                              (16) Screening Policy

(17) Severe Weather                                      (18) Social Media

(19) Substance Use                                       (20) Travel

(21) Whistle Blower

All of these policies are important; however, I want to draw your attention to the universal Code of Conduct, the concussion policy, Air Quality and Heat policies to ensure the safety of our umpires and participants.  A criminal record check screening policy is now mandatory for those umpires nineteen 19 years of age and older.  The criminal record check is free of charge and easy to do from your computer at home.  The criminal record information is being stored on a password protected BCBUA hard drive by the Receiving Officer, until a new database with associated security options is achieved. 

I understand some of these policies will be welcomed and some may be controversial.  I can assure you these were mandated and are the right thing to do.  The BCBUA board of directors’ thanks you for your service and looks forward to your continued participation.  

If you wish to read more about the work behind these policies, you can check these links out:

Government of Canada:  https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/safety-integrity-ethics-sport.html

Province of BC Via Sport:  https://viasport.ca/safety-in-sport/?_audience=organizations

On behalf of the BCBUA Board of Directors, we thank you for your service to baseball and appreciate your attention to these new policies.

Yours in sport,

Sean Sullivan

President BCBUA