What is Safe Sport?

Safe Sport provides a framework to ensure that everyone in the sport of lawn bowls is able to enjoy the sport. Bowlers, coaches, umpires and volunteers have the right to participate in a safe and inclusive environment that is free of abuse, harassment or discrimination.

Bowls Canada’s Commitment to Safe Sport

Bowls Canada places the highest priority on a safe and fun environment for all of its participants  and we recognize our fundamental obligation and responsibility to protect the health, safety and physical and mental well-being of every individual that is involved in the Canadian Bowls community.

 Bowls Canada Boulingrin takes situations involving misconduct or maltreatment very seriously. For this reason, Bowls Canada Boulingrin is committed to enacting and enforcing strong, clear, and effective policies and processes for preventing and addressing all forms of misconduct or maltreatment.

 Bowls Canada Boulingrin’s policies are intended to promote a Safe Sport environment in a manner that allows for consistent, immediate, appropriate and meaningful action should any issues arise. They are also intended to prevent issues from arising in the first place by communicating expected standards of behaviour.

Abuse-Free Sport 

Abuse-Free Sport is an independent program that is part of a growing national movement to rid Canadian sport of all forms of harassment, discrimination and abuse. As a Program Signatory, Bowls Canada Boulingrin is an active player in this movement.BCB is a Program Signatory of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner as of March 1st, 2023. 

As a Program Signatory to Abuse-Free Sport, BCB has agreed to adopt the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) and retain the services of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) to hear all complaints of potential violations of the UCCMS involving designated UCCMS Participants. 

The UCCMS is the core document that sets harmonized rules that have been adopted by Canadian National Sport Organizations and Multi-Sport Service Organizations. The goal of the UCCMS is to advance a respectful sport culture that delivers quality, inclusive, accessible, welcoming and safe sport experiences. The UCCMS addresses:

  • common principles and a commitment to advance a respectful sport culture;
  • standard definitions of various forms of maltreatment, including grooming, neglect, and physical, sexual, and psychological maltreatment;
  • a list of other prohibited behavior such as retaliation, failure to report maltreatment, intentionally filing false allegations, misuse of power, etc.; and
  • a framework for determining appropriate sanctions against such prohibited behavior.

The UCCMS is administered at the National Level by Abuse-Free Sport, a program created by the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) according to the mandate it received from the Government of Canada, for preventing and addressing maltreatment in sport. 

This interactive resource of the UCCMS introduces some of the UCCMS’ concepts to help Participants in sport familiarize themselves with their rights and responsibilities under this document. This resource is not an education or training module for safe sport or the UCCMS and it does not provide an exhaustive review of all UCCMS provisions; however is a great resource and introduction to the policy.

A UCCMS Participant is an Organizational Participant affiliated with BCB who has been a) designated by BCB and b) who has signed the required consent form. UCCMS Participants my include athletes, coaches, officials, athlete support personnel, employees, administrators, or volunteers acting on behalf of, or representing BCB in any capacity. BCB UCCMS Participants are designated, appointed, hired, and/or selected by BCB.

As such, UCCMS complaints will be reported and addressed directly through the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) via OSIC’s reporting page.

Please use this detailed flow chart to determine which mechanism and procedures you can use to report a complaint. 

Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner

The Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) is a functionally independent division of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) and is responsible to administer the UCCMS and relevant aspects of Abuse-Free Sport. SDRCC is a non-for profit organization created under the Physical Activity and Sport Act (S.C. 2003, c.2).

Unlike the previous approach, where each national sport organization created its own system for dealing with complaints of maltreatment, this is a centralized “one-stop shop.” It is independent and led by experts in their fields, using education and research to prevent maltreatment at all levels of sport. 

The Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (the Office) serves as the central hub. It operates independently to administer complaints about alleged violations of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS).  

Where there are admissible allegations of abuse, harassment or discrimination, the Office conducts independent investigations and recommends sanctions against individuals who violate the UCCMS.  

The Office will also maintain a national sanctions registry, which prevents individuals from evading sanctions be moving in different sports or in different jurisdictions. 

For designated participants within our organization, there is access to a wide range of resources, including victim services and referrals to specialized mental health professionals and experienced lawyers – all of it available in English and French. 

For more information, visit the Abuse-Free Sport website.


Bowls Canada has many resources to help clubs and provincial organizations implement safe sport.  To understand why your organization might want to implement safe sport, check out this short, five minute video.  Learn more about Bowls Canada’s Safe Sport Policy suite by clicking here

There are policy templates and other resources available to Bowls Canada affiliated clubs through the Members Only section.  Log in to see what is available for your club or contact office@bowlscanada.com to learn more.

For more information, visit the Abuse-Free Sport website.