Article 2 : Judicial Process

Section 1: Preface


While we would prefer it be otherwise, there may be instances where players or teams will exhibit poor conduct or break the rules. This may occur due to ignorance or a lack of respect for the rules or other players. Unfortunately, that requires that we incorporate a judicial process, to ensure these issues are handled correctly, and there are punishments and deterrents in place to avoid the majority of them.


Large groups of people bring a variety of ideals and morals with them. The League will do what is best to ensure that the majority of the community understands and complies with the rules and conduct we expect from our members.


When a breach of rules or misconduct occurs, the League will step in to enforce the standard.


1.1: Conduct Related Offense


When there is an issue of conduct of either yourself or another player, make a note of the misconduct, and extricate yourself from the situation. Cease communication immediately. If your presence is required, remain calm, follow the rules, and complete your commitment before leaving.


After you have left, you have the option of filing a Conduct Complaint through your management or the VFLPA/BOGs. Do not discuss the issue with other players, as that will not aid in a resolution, and will only serve to produce misinformation that will harm the ability to resolve your complaint.


1.2: Rule Related Offense


When a Rule Related Offense occurs, teams are expected to make immediate restitution. If a breach of the rules results in an advantage gained for your team, a complaint may still be filed, but returning that advantage will reduce or eliminate further enforcement.


If there is a disagreement as to whether a rule was broken, finish the game as if the rule was not broken, and gather as much evidence of the breach as possible, with video of the infraction being the best possible evidence. Save it for submission of a complaint after the game.


Do not argue with the other team, or allow this disagreement to also result in additional conduct-related offenses. There is no need to communicate with the other team as to whether an infraction occurred. 


1.3: No Harm, No Foul


When a rule is broken but there is no advantage gained by the team that broke the rule, then there is an offense committed.  



Section 2: Restitution


When an offense is judged to have occurred, there are several ways to apply restitution to the offense.


2.1: Immediate Restitution


There is no need for communication between teams regarding an incident. Follow the section below which relates to the possible infraction.


2.1.1: Touchdowns


When a touchdown is scored as the result of an infraction, the team scoring the touchdown has the option of returning that touchdown. 


Allow the other team possession of the football, Immediately come out in field goal block. This makes it quick and apparent to the other team that you are returning a touchdown to them.



2.1.2: Possession 


When an infraction occurs that does not result in a touchdown, restitution can be made by giving possession of the football back to the other team.


If you are unable to return possession, you may offer restitution the next time you do have possession of the ball. The important consideration is that it is obvious to the other team by your actions on the field that you are offering restitution. Your touchdown in this situation is to avoid the filing of a complaint. If you do not feel your restitution was apparent to the other team by your actions, it is recommended that you repeat it. **One time offer, no restitution is allowed later in the game after multiple possessions**


When a complaint is filed, the BOG will determine if the restitution was sufficient to avoid a further ruling.


2.2: Post Restitution


2.2.1: Touchdown Incident


When a touchdown is scored as the result of an infraction, the BOG has a right to remove that touchdown from the result of the game. The BOG will only do so when they deem there is sufficient evidence (video) of the infraction, and that the touchdown was scored as a result of that infraction. If a team wins by one touchdown, and one touchdown is overturned in this manner for that team, resulting in a tie score, the game will be set for replay. This will only occur in playoff situations.


2.3: Replay


A replay is a BOG ruling instituted to correct an imbalance in a played game after a review is found to have sufficient evidence to warrant the ruling.

A replay consists of 1 game of standard play, followed by overtime, if necessary.


Replays may occur in the regular season only if the following occur:

If the game freezes at any point during the game no matter what the score and no matter how much time left is must be replayed. The game MUST be replayed in 24 hours. If the game cannot be replayed within 24 hours then the team that does not show up for the replay will forfeit the game. If both teams do not show up for the replay the result of the game will be a 0-0 tie. If there is evidence that you or the opposing team had forced the game to freeze by repeatedly going offsides that team will be forced to forfeit the game and punishment may be handed down.


2.3.1 : Scheduling


A replay will be scheduled for Friday if needed at 9 pm. If a team should have multiple replays, or that date is not available, the replay will be scheduled for Friday at 9 pm and then Friday at 10 pm.


2.3.2: Eligibility


Players from the original game must be scheduled to play this game. Any players in violation of the rule who is unable to attend the replay may only be replaced with ECU’s and this game does not count towards player limits for ECU’s.


2.3.3: Procedure


The BOG will add the replay to your weekly lines after informing management of the ruling.

You are required to note any substitutions in a new post regarding that game.

Individual and game stats are not recorded, and this game does not count towards player limits for ECU’s.



Section 3: Filing a Formal Complaint


Complaint forms will be made available in the complaints channel on discord.


3.1: Type of Complaint


3.1.1: Player Complaint


As a player, you have the right to contact the VFLPA if you would like to file a complaint regarding :

1. Your rights as a player.

2. Conduct of your Management.

3. Conduct of other Members.


If you feel your rights as a player are being violated, or you are being harassed or otherwise treated unfairly by your management or another member of the league, contact a VFLPA representative, as listed in the Executive Order of the constitution. They will offer you further advisement and guide you through complaint procedures.


3.1.2: Management Complaint


As Management, you have the right to contact the BOG to file a complaint regarding :


1. Conduct of Your Management

2. Conduct of Your Players

3. Conduct of Other Management groups


If you feel the conduct of your management or players is creating a team issue or against the constitution and procedures of the league, contact a Deputy Commissioner as listed in the executive order of the constitution. They will offer you further advisement and guide you through complaint procedures.


3.1.3: Game Complaint


As the Owner (or VFL GM) of an organization, you have the right to contact the BOG to file a complaint regarding : 


1. Game Infractions

2. Game Related Conduct

3. Game Rulings


You will filter any complaints from your affiliate management groups about these issues, to ensure that they have a legitimate complaint before submitting it to the BOG for review. This is to be done AFTER the Game(s) in question. If you are unable to resolve an issue, the game is completed as if that issue did not occur, and according to the rules.

You may not contact a BOG or Commissioner when you encounter an issue. They are only permitted to reiterate the above-underlined statement in those circumstances. This is to avoid misunderstandings and spot rulings, which cannot be enforced.



Section 4: Resolving Complaints


4.1: BOG Rulings


The BOG will rule on all complaints. They are the group that enforces the rules and standards of the VFL, and have no connection, or responsibilities, to Management or Players. Their responsibility is to provide rulings based on the constitution and procedures of the league only.


4.1.1: Offense


An offense is accrued by a player when a suspension is issued against that player. Each offense carries an outlined punishment. 


First Offense: 1 Week (3 Games Missed)

Second Offense: 2 Week (6 Games Missed)

Third Offense: Suspension for the remainder of the season, probation, and return to free agency


4.1.2: Suspensions


The BOG can suspend any member of the league according to the constitution, provided they have sufficient evidence to do so.

Suspensions will be decided at the end of each week, by Friday at midnight.


4.1.3: Management Penalties


The BOG can apply Penalties, including 1 game suspension, for failure to comply with league standards, meet deadlines, or follow proper procedures. These penalties are reserved for management.


4.1.4: Circumvention


Any ruling found to be circumvented is an immediate third offense. For example, playing while suspended.


4.1.5: Disclosure


A player found to be discussing an incident under review, appeal, or otherwise conducting themselves in an inappropriate manner related to that incident, private or public, will forfeit their right to an appeal and immediately be registered with an offense.


No ruling is official until it has been communicated to the offending parties involved in the complaint. Only at that time will the ruling take effect.


Once a ruling has been made, and an offense has been registered, it will be posted publicly. The Commissioner will make this announcement, or assign a member of his staff to that task.


4.1.6: Appeals


An appeal may be filed, at the discretion of the VFLPA on behalf of a player and management.



For proper appeal procedures, contact the appropriate branch of staff.


When the VFLPA finds sufficient cause to file an appeal on the behalf of a player, or the Commissioner’s Office for management, the ruling may be suspended temporarily while the appeal is processed. An appeal with an insufficient cause or low probability for success may be rejected without being filed, at the discretion of the branch of staff responsible for the appeal. You may not file multiple appeals for the same ruling.


An appeal must be submitted 24 hours from being notified of being suspended. If the appeal isn’t resolved before games on Sunday the player is still suspended in till the appeal is resolved. 


A suspended ruling will state “Pending Appeal”, and changed to “Appeal Successful” or “Appeal Denied”, pending the result.


The offending party will be notified of the result of the Appeal when the process is complete. The offense will either be applied or removed at that point in time.