Quizzing Code of Ethics and Fair Play
The game and concept of quiz is based on the assumption everyone involved or concerned observes existing rules and attaches the greatest importance to honesty and fair play. The purpose of this Code of Ethics and Fair-Play (hereinafter referred to as “the Code”) is to bolster and defend these principles, in particular at in-person and online events and tournaments held in conjunction with the British Quiz Association (BQA) and/or the International Quizzing Association (IQA).
It is impossible to define exactly and in all circumstances the standard of conduct expected from those covered by this Code and what might constitute a breach of its terms. In most cases common sense informs us as to expected standards of behaviour. If any participant has any doubt as to the conduct expected of them, tournament and/or organising officials and proctors should be approached for advice.
Disputes arising during a game or tournament shall be resolved in accordance with any relevant rules of play and/or tournament regulations in force at the time. So, however, and in the absence of any written rules pertaining to an incident, participants should at all times behave in an honest manner and in the best traditions of fair play.
- Anyone required to apply the provisions of this Code, at such time as they find it necessary to interpret any clause or phrase which is not defined in paragraph 5 below, shall approach that task using a purposive approach (i.e. they should seek to find an interpretation consistent with the object and aims of this Code). In so doing, when practicable, the person applying this Code shall follow any precedent set previously in the adjudication of similar cases in which the surrounding circumstances were broadly consistent. If this Code has been translated into another language and it appears that conflicting interpretations occur as a consequence, the original English meaning ought to prevail.
- Within this Code the following definitions apply at all times:
Ethics and Fair Play Committees: a panel of volunteers, one committee for the BQA, and one committee for the IQA, drawn from members of the Orders of Merit, regular players, or people who assist with running events, from as broad a demographic and regional range as practicable;
Currently Being Finalised.
Event or tournament: a quiz contest organised in association with the BQA or IQA;
Fair play: a combination of observance of the rules, respect for one’s opponent, and combating aggression and unfair behaviour – as championed by the International Committee for Fair Play (CIFP);
BQA: trading name of Quizzing Interactive Ltd which is appointed by the International Quizzing Assoc. (‘IQA’) to represent its aims and interests in the United Kingdom;
Negligence/Negligently: action (or inaction) arising through an absence of reasonable care;
Order of Merit (OM): ranking and status conferred via participation in BQA and/or IQA events;
Person: an individual or group of individuals, including bodies such as companies and associations;
Responsible authority: the body organising the event or tournament – i.e. in the case of a GP this will be the BQA, in the case of an IQA-related event, the IQA. In the case of a complaint against the BQA, the responsible authority is the Ethics and Fair Play Committee, and the IQA in the case of complaints against the BQA in carrying out its duties for the IQA;
Tournament Director: person given ultimate authority in connection with the running of a UK circuit event or IQA event;
Proctor: person organising and running a local chapter of a UK circuit event or IQA event.
- This Code is applicable to:
- BQA directors involved in the provision of UK Quiz Circuit events,
- Persons appointed by BQA to officiate at or organise UK Quiz Circuit events,
- Persons appointed to keep and publish UK Quiz Circuit and Order of Merit (OM) rankings,
- BQA officials and any persons appointed by them to officiate,
- affiliated organizations (e.g. national quiz teams such as England, and Wales)
- sponsors’ representatives
- participants at BQA and IQA sanctioned events.
- This Code shall govern what action may be taken against any person who deliberately or through gross negligence violates the rules and regulations of the game or otherwise neglects to observe the precepts of fair play.
Date of coming into effect
- This Code, together with its rules on compliance and sanctions etc., shall come into force on 12 January 2008.
- The Code shall have no retrospective application – save in wholly exceptional circumstances as deemed by the directors of the BQA and IQA, as appropriate, and only then where the consequence of not applying the Code is deemed likely to cause significant injury or discredit the OM or IQA.
Breach of Ethics Code
- The Code shall be breached by a person or organization who directly or indirectly:
- offers, or attempts to offer or accepts any consideration or bribe with a view of influencing the result of a quiz for which OM ranking points are available or the administration of the OM or IQA, or
- in other respects acts contrary to this Code.
- Of particular importance with respect to head (b) are the following:
- Knowingly giving incorrect information in order to obtain unwarranted advantage or gain in connection with a BQA or IQA event.
- Officials who through their behaviour no longer to command the required confidence of the members of the OM or who have in other ways demonstrated they are no longer worthy of trust.
- Organisers, tournament directors, arbiters, proctors or other officials who fail to perform their functions in an impartial and responsible manner.
- Failure to comply with normally accepted standards of courtesy and quiz etiquette. Misbehaviour of a personal nature which is generally unacceptable by normal social standards.
- Cheating or attempts at cheating, or violent, threatening or other unseemly behaviour during games and tournaments conducted in the public arena, including UK Quiz Circuit and IQA events, TV and radio game shows and duly constituted quiz leagues.
- Players withdrawing from a BQA or IQA tournament once underway without valid reason or without first informing the tournament organiser.
- Gross or repeated violations of BQA and/or IQA rules or other approved tournament regulations.
- Unjustified or frivolous accusations toward other players, officials or sponsors or an unseemly protest made other than in accordance with established procedure.
- Disciplinary action may arise from intentional acts, or negligence, causing the sport of quiz, the BQA, OM or IQA to appear – to a reasonable person – in an unjustifiably unfavourable light.
Compliance and sanctions
- Tournament officials will take all necessary steps to ensure the proper conduct of games and tournaments according to the rules of the Quiz and any published regulations.
- Subject to proper procedure (see para 13 et seq):
- BQA directors, officials and affiliated organizations acting in contravention of this Code can be temporarily excluded from events or barred from officiating at them.
- Upon the decision of a Tournament Director, anyone acting in contravention of this Code can be excluded forthwith from further participation in specified elements of an event, or its entirety. Further, and whether acting in the first instance or following a Tournament Director’s report, the directors of the BQA or IQA may exclude a person from events for a period not exceeding 3 years from the date of decision. In applying sanctions and duration thereof, regard shall be had to the nature of the violation and any previous offences. Which an exclusion is current persons are not permitted to enjoy status acquired as a member of the OM.
- As a lesser sanction to that referred to in head (b), the directors of the BQA/IQA may suspend a person’s OM membership for a period not exceeding 12 months from the date of decision. Or they may institute suspension from playing in tournaments for a fixed period of time.
- Tournament Directors found to have intentionally or negligently acted contrary to this Code can be refused the right to supervise events for a period not exceeding 3 years.
- At a BQA or IQA event, should a player or member of a team create an unreasonable disturbance or distraction relating to rules, procedures or conditions, the Tournament Director or Proctor may exclude them forthwith and thereafter, upon the decision of the directors of the BQA and IQA, a player may be forfeit ranking points and event finishing positions, depending on the severity of the disturbance.
- In the case of physically or verbally aggressive or intimidating conduct at an event described at head (e), the Tournament Director or Proctor of the event may rule that a player or team in which they are a member forfeits a game or a match and excludes them from further participation in the tournament and/or event. Thereafter the Tournament Director or Proctor shall submit a report to the BQA or IQA who, if they uphold the decision made under this provision are then further empowered to exclude that person from BQA and/or IQA and related events for a period of up to 3 years
- Where either head (e) or (f) applies, if the offender is a member of the OM, they shall, in addition to the sanctions already described there, have their membership suspended until such time as any period of exclusion has been served. While under such suspension they will lose the right to claim any corresponding status earned from their membership.
- Alleged breaches of this Code by a BQA or IQA official shall be reported by e-mail to email@example.com. The matter will then be referred to the Ethics and Fair Play Committee. A trio of members will then jointly apply the provisions of this Code. In the case of an alleged breach by BQA or IQA, the matter should be referred to the IQA Europe regional director, Steven de Ceuster, in person or in by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Ethics and Fair Play Committee trio will be chosen from the panel of volunteers. A member of the panel shall be barred from determining any case in which it might reasonably be held there is a conflict of interest. So, however, they shall not be excluded from determining a case concerning which they may have first-hand knowledge.
- Where a suspected breach (other than one covered by 13 above) occurs at an event, it should be brought to the notice of the Tournament Director as soon as possible. A complaint need not be in writing but the complainant should be prepared to submit a supporting statement within a reasonable time thereafter if asked to do so. The Tournament Director should address any complaint as soon as practicable and give a prompt ruling, which will not necessarily be made public or given to the complainant. In so doing they shall take reasonable steps to acquire supporting evidence for any decision, ensuring whomever is accused of breaching this Code has first been given an opportunity to answer any allegation. So, however, where a breach occurs within their sight, the Tournament Director may instigate action on their own initiative. After the event, the Tournament Director shall record and explain their decision in writing and give an opinion, as necessary, regarding any further action that might be taken. A copy of the decision should be sent to any complainant, the accused, and to the responsible authority.
- Where an instance arises at an event requiring action by a Tournament Director, any subsequent adjudication shall be a matter for the responsible authority.
- Other than in the case of matters covered by 13 above, where in the first instance a report is made only after an event, or is not directly connected with a BQA or IQA event, details of any alleged breach should be submitted direct to the responsible authority (BQA for domestic matters), IQA where International quizzing is involved. In such cases, the responsible authority will determine the matter without reference to the Ethics and Fair Play Committee.
- Any proceedings undertaken by a responsible authority under this Code shall be recorded in writing. Grounds must be given for any decisions made, and no decision shall be arrived at until any accused person has been given reasonable and sufficient opportunity to defend themselves in writing, and/or orally if necessary.
- Subject to the provisions of paragraph 20; any person directly affected by a decision made under this Code, or where a person has made a complaint against a person duly called upon to apply this Code, and they are unhappy with the outcome, they shall have a right of appeal to the Ethics and Fair Play Committee. In this context a decision also includes a determination declining to apply this Code once a complaint has been duly made (except where no jurisdiction exists under paragraph 6). When requested, and where practicable, a personal hearing should be arranged.
- Appeals against any decision made under this Code shall be submitted to the Ethics and Fair Play Committee. The appeal must be sent by e-mail to email@example.com, notifying a return e-mail address. At no stage during the process should a party affected by a decision under appeal, or anyone on such person’s behalf make an informal approach on the matter to a member of the Ethics and Fair Play Committee. Any such act will be viewed as prejudicial to proper process. However, a personal hearing can be arranged for a subsequent event, where interested parties can state their case. If necessary members of the Ethics and Fair Play Committee panel not hearing the appeal can deputise at this hearing for evidence-gathering purposes.
- The time limit for any appeal is twenty-one days following communication of the disputed decision and includes decisions made under this Code communicated orally at an event – i.e. contemporaneous to the offence or breach which is the subject of the ruling under appeal. All recourse to ordinary courts is excluded.
- Decisions made by the Ethics and Fair Play Committee will be final except in the case of a decision that there was a breach of this Code relating to an IQA event or that injury was caused to the IQA’s standing and/or repute. In such cases, an appeal can be made to the regional director of IQA Europe who will re-hear the case based on written submissions and substitute a decision in place of that given by the Ethics and Fair Play Committee. The appeal will otherwise be conducted in accordance with the process outlined in the preceding paragraphs.