Approved by the BRCC board on: December, 2023

1. Introduction / Statement of Values

The Berkeley Racing Canoe Center (BRCC) has the mission of encouraging competitive dragon boat racing and recreational paddling with its inherent health and fitness benefits, and of providing water access to community members from all walks of life, ages, and abilities. Some members have been members for years, and some are relatively new to the sport. All are to be treated as equals with unique strengths that are celebrated. The BRCC Board of Directors has adopted this Code of Conduct (the “Code”) for the purpose of protecting the integrity and reputation of the sport and its participants.

The Code applies to all persons and organizations associated with the BRCC and its activities, including all members (officers, directors, coaches, and participants) and volunteers.

All members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that embodies integrity and respect at all times. The personal conduct of all members shall be above reproach in regard to any activity that may reflect upon the BRCC. Any member whose personal conduct directly reflects discredit upon the BRCC or constitutes a violation of this Code of Conduct shall be subject to such action as deemed appropriate by the BRCC Board of Directors.

2. Standards of Conduct

The following list sets out some, but not all, expected standards of conduct for all members. Thus, all members shall:

  1. Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of all persons involved in BRCC activities including no illegal drugs or weapons at BRCC locations and venues and no participation while impaired by drug or alcohol use.
  2. Treat all persons fairly with dignity and respect and treat the harbor, equipment and facilities with care and respect.
  3. Respect the authority and responsibilities of the BRCC Board of Directors, coaches, captains, steerspeople, and each other.
  4. Conduct all actions with positive leadership exemplified by open communication, creativity, dedication, flexibility and compassion, including listening and being open to feedback.
  5. Model the behavior we want others to see. Demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity, truthfulness, honesty, and open communication in all activities to inspire confidence and trust in the sport and in competition.
  6. Be willing to participate and be flexible. Attend events and practices with a positive approach. Keep an open and curious mind without making assumptions about others.
  7. Follow the rules of BRCC, the venue and/or the competition and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
  8. Use reasonable care to protect and safeguard all the organization’s property. No BRCC property shall be sold, loaned, given away or otherwise disposed of without proper authorization.
  9. Without the express permission of the Board of Directors:
    • Members shall not support or oppose legislation pending before elected bodies while acting on behalf of BRCC or through the use of BRCC events or resources.

3. Definitions

BULLYING: The act of seeking harm, intimidation, or coercion of an individual through cruel, insulting, threatening, or aggressive means.

DISCRIMINATION: The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people including but not limited to on the basis of the following protected categories: race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, citizenship, genetic information, immigration status, marital status, primary, language, source of income, familial status, occupation or veteran status.

HARASSMENT: Harassment includes unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct toward another person or group of persons including but not limited to that based on race, color, religion, sex (including but not limited to sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, or genetic information (including family medical history) that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment as viewed from the perspective of a reasonable person. Harassment need not be intentional.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature when: (1) submitting or rejecting this conduct is used as a basis for making decisions which affect the individual, (2) such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s performance, (3) such conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

RETALIATION: For the purpose of this policy, retaliation is considered as the following:

intentionally excluding an individual(s) in a crew or dragon boat event who has

  • Filed a complaint in good faith and in compliance with this policy,
  • Participated in any procedure under this policy, or
  • Is associated with a person who has filed a complaint or participated in any procedure under this policy.

4. Unacceptable Behavior

The BRCC strictly prohibits and will not tolerate harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination or retaliation including but not limited to any practices, competitions, festivals and all community outreach events, regardless of whether such conduct is illegal under local law in the jurisdiction in which the conduct occurs. Any Party who is subject to harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination, or retaliation, or witnesses such behavior, should report it using the procedure below.

The following is unacceptable behavior:

  • Personal attacks including but not limited to biased, demeaning, intimidating, coercive, bullying or harassing conduct or commentary, whether seriously or in jest.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention, including but not limited to making sexualized comments or jokes, displaying sexually explicit material, inappropriate touching, groping, or making sexual advances.
  • Bullying, including any communications or conduct designed to threaten, intimidate, humiliate, or coerce another participant.
  • Bodyshaming or subjecting someone to humiliation and criticism for their bodily features.
  • Creation or contribution to a safety threat or unsafe or exclusionary situation including failure to follow protocols and failure to follow coach/steersperson commands.
  • Retaliation against anyone for reporting a conduct concern or assisting in its resolution.
  • Making a false, groundless, frivolous or bad faith complaint.
  • Stalking and/or threatening another person including but not limited to threatening to post or posting another person’s personally identifiable information without consent and continued one-on-one communication after a request to cease.
  • Other conduct that could reasonably be considered inappropriate.
  • Advocating for, encouraging, or intentionally concealing any of this behavior.
  • Bad faith accusations of conduct concerns.

5. Discipline

Any Party including any Board Member or Coach who is found to have violated the BRCC Code of Conduct or engaged in discrimination, harassment, bullying or retaliation in violation of this Code will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including removal from BRCC teams or positions and permanent disqualification from participation in BRCC-related activities.

6. Procedure for Raising a Conduct Concern

The following sets out the procedure for reporting a conduct concern or for retaliation, and for how those allegations will be investigated and resolved. All concerns shall be handled confidentially to the greatest extent possible.

a. Filing a Concern

Any person alleging a violation of the BRCC Code of Conduct Policy may contact a BRCC coach. Any concerned party may also contact one of the BRCC officers (the BRCC President, Vice President, Treasurer or Secretary).

The contacted coach or the BRCC Officer shall engage with individuals and groups in the BRCC paddling community to explore and assist them in determining options and to help resolve conflicts, problematic issues, or concerns by:

    i. Listening to understand issues while remaining neutral with respect to the facts. The coach or BRCC Officer does not listen to judge or to decide who is right or wrong.
    ii. Developing and helping individuals evaluate options which can include the filing of a formal report. This helps individuals identify the interests of various parties to the issues and helps focus efforts on potential options to meet those interests.
    iii. Where appropriate, helping to resolve issues between parties through various types of informal mediation.

The Coach or BRCC Officer shall operate in a manner to preserve the confidentiality of those seeking their services, maintain a neutral/impartial position with respect to the concerns raised, and work at an informal level of the BRCC. The Coach or BRCC officer shall not make any promises or conjectures as to an outcome.

In the event a person alleging a violation of the BRCC Code of Conduct policy seeks a formal review of their allegation, they have the option to complete and file a BRCC Reporting form in as much detail as possible. The completed form shall be emailed to either the Board President ( or the Board Secretary ( including any supporting documentation provided; however, that if the Reporting form alleges misconduct by both the Board President and the Board Secretary, the completed form shall be emailed to the entire Board of Directors (

b. Review of Report

  • Upon receipt of a Report, a three-person “Ethics Committee,” determined by the Board Secretary based on the nature of the concern comprising one Board member, one coach and a member at-large appointed by the BRCC Board, shall conduct a brief initial review, and may request additional information from the Reporter. If the concern involves the Board Secretary, the Board President shall adjust the composition of the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee shall inform the entire BRCC Board of Directors within 3 days of receipt that a Report has been filed. The Ethics Committee should submit its findings to the Board as quickly as possible but no later than 21 days from the date the Reporting form is submitted.
  • In its review, the Ethics Committee may also seek additional information from the Reporter and/or parties named in the Report, and any witnesses if applicable. The Committee may consider the refusal to provide such information when deciding how to proceed with the report.

During the review process, the Ethics Committee shall not disclose any information to any non-involved party. The Ethics Committee will provide the general status / nature of the Report, and respond to any requests for clarification from the Board. If there is a good faith concern that child abuse or child molestation has been alleged, the Ethics Committee shall immediately notify the local law enforcement in the jurisdiction where the alleged abuse or molestation occurred.

c. Conduct Concern Resolution
Upon completion of the review, the Ethics Committee shall forward their findings to the full Board of Directors. This document shall include a copy of the original Report and the Ethics Committee’s recommendation(s) for resolution or discipline, which may include a recommendation for further, third-party investigation. The Board of Directors shall review the findings and recommendation(s) and issue, in writing, a final decision on the matter within 7 days of receipt of the findings.The Board of Directors will provide both involved parties with the Board’s general resolution of the concern while maintaining the privacy of both parties.

d. Request for Reconsideration

Either party may file a request for reconsideration to the BRCC Board within 7 calendar days of being informed of the Board’s resolution by emailing the request to the BRCC President at

Upon receipt of a request for reconsideration, the BRCC President shall schedule a meeting within 7 calendar days with the full BRCC Board where the BRCC Board shall hear any new information that might cause the BRCC Board to reconsider its previous decision. At the close of that hearing, the BRCC Board shall decide whether to: (1) uphold its previous decision; (2) revise its previous decision; or (3) instruct the Ethics Committee to re-open its investigation into the report.


The policy above was drawn in part from the USDBF Code of Conduct:

This resource has a good framing for how to handle reports, with an appropriate focus on the reporter and safety:

BRCC members support “WATER FUN.”

BRCC members are:

Welcoming – We model appropriate behavior. We are inclusive, respectful, and mindful in communicating with others. We support a safe and welcoming environment for all members, paddlers, and participants.

Adaptable – We are willing, flexible and embody positive attitudes.

Thoughtful – We are cooperative, collaborative, reliable and willingly volunteer. We put team members first, are committed to safety and each other and open to feedback.

Encouraging – We recruit and support new paddlers, give constructive feedback when welcomed or invited and represent BRCC in a positive way.

Respectful – We are respectful of coaches, steers, regulations, rules, and each other.

Free – Our teams are intolerant of harassment, bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

United – We are united in our love of the sport for fun or for competition or both!

Nurturing – We nurture community partnerships and opportunities to experience dragonboating.

BRCC encourages having fun at practices, races and our community service events, but this fun should never come at the expense of a paddler or coach, and discrimination, harassment and bullying are never allowed nor tolerated.