25th October: Late Withdrawals , Background and Reasons for Review

I have had cause to review the position on fines and penalties particularly for late withdrawals from Tournaments.

There is now a well-established protocol for dealing with appropriate fines in late withdrawal cases, based upon a number of factors, including the length of time before the Tournament when withdrawal is communicated and also the level of the Tournament and furthermore, the impact upon the Tournament itself. For example, the nearer to a Tournament that a withdrawal is indicated, the heavier the fine and Nations withdrawals tend to attract greater fines than for Club Events.

There has been some useful feedback, particularly during the most recent General Assembly (2017) and also as discussed with the Competitions Manager and other members of the EHF working groups, that current levels of fines levied upon Federations in some respects do not encourage teams to do anything other than not turn up at the Tournament but simply to “stay withdrawn”.

Disruption caused by a very late withdrawal or “no show” at a Tournament can be quite significant because it can demand that the Tournament has to be reorganised at short notice with fewer teams, that the income expected by the hosts is also dramatically less and that irrecoverable costs may also be incurred by the hosts. It also detracts from the quality of the Tournaments and the general perception of the game of all concerned.

Aim and Implementation

The aim of any review and reform of the fines system is not to fill the coffers of EHF but to ensure less withdrawals and that the Tournament organisers are not out of pocket; further that the Tournament does not have to be re-organised at the last minute putting additional strain on the TD and staff.

As a result of a review also that took place at the most recent Executive Board meeting (in September 2017) following input and possible methods of reform, I am contacting you with details of factors that will now apply with immediate effect:

 Fines and penalties for late withdrawals are likely to increase significantly in all Decision to be made from now.

 Before withdrawing from any Tournament or Event, the most senior Federation representative must telephone and speak to both the Competitions Manager and also the Disciplinary Commissioner explaining in full the reasons for the proposed withdrawal. The withdrawal will not be deemed effective until this step has been taken.

 In calculating a financial penalty in respect of a late withdrawal I will apply an approach that includes a mathematical element in reaching the Decision as to the level of the fine. This will include key factors of (a) the level of the Tournament concerned (major Nations Tournaments will be rated significantly higher than more minor Club Tournaments) and (b) the proximity of the withdrawal to the Tournament start date with an accelerating upward “curve” the nearer it is to that date.

The aim is to encourage more Federations to honour the commitments they have made when deciding to enter Tournaments and to consider carefully the implications of late withdrawals after they have so entered.

It should be noted that there are other Penalties available to both EHF and the Disciplinary Commissioner and the ultimate decisions will continue to reside with those agencies. Each decision will also be fact sensitive. It will turn on its own particular circumstances and will be subject to this overriding discretion to impose an appropriate sanction in any specific case. For instance, a genuine terrorism threat would be one significant factor (which could minimise a sanction completely) that

would be taken into account. The final Decision will not comprise solely of mathematical formulae, but a composite consideration of all factors relevant to it.

October 2017

Tim Ollerenshaw

Disciplinary Commissioner to EHF